Become A Predator by TR Michels
One of the reasons humans aren’t successful when they hunt is because they don’t become a hunter. Putting on hunting clothes and picking up a hunting weapon does not make you a hunter. Taking a weapon into the field with the intention of hunting does not make you a hunter, or maybe it does. It does not make you what you should be if you want to be a good hunter, what your ancestors were; which was a predator.
The difference between a hunter and a predator is that the predator has an intimate knowledge of the game in the area, the area itself, and knows where to find the game at the current time of year, time of day and under the current environmental conditions. If you have hunted the same property for several years you know what I mean.
The more experience you have on a particular property the more familiar you are with it. The more experience you have hunting, the better your hunting skills and hunting techniques will be. The more experience you have hunting a particular species the more you will know how it reacts at particular times of the year and times of the day under different environmental conditions. The more experience you have hunting a particular species on a particular property the better you will be at predicting where to find the animals on that property under all conditions. To be successful as a predator you have to know; the land, the species, how the species will react under all environmental conditions, have experience hunting the species, use proven successful hunting techniques, and be a good hunter.
Not knowing the land is one of the biggest problems for the hunter. Hunters don’t know the land because they may not have hunted it before or have not spent enough time and effort scouting it. No one can teach you the land. You have to learn it yourself; and the more hours and years you spend on it the more you will about know it. You can cut corners by getting information from someone who knows it, and by having and being able to use topographical maps and aerial photos. Maps and photos will give you an idea where the preferred habitat of the game is.
But, if you don’t understand the game you won’t know what type of habitat it prefers and where to find it under all environmental conditions. You can learn about the game by reading, listening to others and watching videos and the game itself. The more time and effort you put into trying to understand the game the better you will be at predicting where, and when to find it. The best way to learn about the game is to research it thoroughly to gain all the knowledge you can, and then spend time and effort watching and hunting the game yourself. Knowledge is only a partial substitute for personal experience.
You can learn hunting techniques, but without good hunting skills, learned through personal experience, even the best hunting techniques won’t do you any good. Hunting skills like being quiet, unseen, unscented and a proficient shot must be sharpened by putting them into practice over several years. The traits of patience, perseverance, persistence and curiosity are possessed by predators and can be taught through self discipline. These traits and skills must be combined to make a good predatory hunter.
Knowing you should stay downwind of big game; knowing when to sit still and be quiet; knowing that if you hunt all day you’re chances of seeing game are good and doing it are not the same thing. Knowing there may be an animal just over the next hill, and going to find out is two different things. Knowing that sitting it out in cold, windy, wet weather will probably help your chances of seeing a trophy whitetail buck, and suffering through the weather are two different things. Knowing that putting in more time and effort will help you learn more, see more and become a better hunter, is not doing it. Reading and listening can help you know and understand, but you have to supply the time, effort and experience if you want to become a predatory hunter.