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Timberstalker
01-11-2013, 11:59 AM
I am looking to draw an Antelope tag for the fist time in Oregon this year. I have been applying for antelope for 15 years and it looks like this is the year I will draw a tag, and to draw again in Oregon will be likely be 20+ years. I am already feeling pressuse to succeed in my quest for a big buck. I drew a Bighorn Sheep hunt a couple years ago, at times the stress I put on myself to succeed took some of the fun out of hunt. I know antelope can be hunted in other states without a 20 year wait, and is not a once in a lifetime hunt. There is the potential for a big buck if I put the time in and can pass on the smaler ones. After waiting so long I want to make the most of the opportunity, but I have a tendancy to turn my hunting into a job lately. What do you guys do in a situation where you've waited a long time for a certain hunt to keep it fun and not stressfull?

Kevin Root
01-11-2013, 12:18 PM
I've never pulled a 20+ year wait tag as yet. Congratulations on drawing your tag. I could imagine that being some pressure though on wanting to make the most of that special tag. I don't have all that much sound advice other than using your own last 6 words Timberstalker, "keep it fun and not stressful."

I hope you have an awesome hunt! Enjoy the moment"... you're really lucky to be out there... so enjoy it, leave the outside world behind.

On a side note, I can think of a lot of worse problems to have. :)

jenbickel
01-11-2013, 01:25 PM
I can think of a lot worse problems to have too!

I know that feeling.. Not the feeling of drawing a tag like that but the mental hunting pressure of making the best of a hunt. When I draw my limited draw areas for elk or antelope, I always stress. I usually just start preparing as early as possible for the hunt. That seems to help ease my stress a little bit if I feel like I am as prepared as possible. I also keep in mind that even if I don't even end up tagging an animal, it was still a great hunt. I think I learn more when I eat tag soup than I do when I actually fill my tag.

Old Hunter
01-11-2013, 01:48 PM
Hunting should be fun. If you're not having fun. You're hunting for the wrong reasons.

Timberstalker
01-11-2013, 01:59 PM
Hunting should be fun. If you're not having fun. You're hunting for the wrong reasons.

Thanks for getting me back on track! I knew this was the crowd I needed to go to. I have been known do get caught up in the wrong thing at times. I need to stop thinking about how long I've waited I guess. I appriciate the replies, I'm looking forward to a FUN hunt!

Muleys 24/7
01-11-2013, 03:03 PM
I havn't drawn a tag like that yet but here's how I view the hunt....... I'm just happy to be out in some beautiful country with the opportunity to kill a quality animal, some areas have better potential than others, but for me the hunt is not all about the kill, it's about the whole experience. Good luck and ENJOY your experience, kill or no kill!

Fink
01-11-2013, 03:22 PM
Hunting should be fun. If you're not having fun. You're hunting for the wrong reasons.

Truer words were never spoken.

Colorado Cowboy
01-11-2013, 03:28 PM
I waited a long time and saved up a lot of money to take a wilderness, guided elk hunt in a world famous area. It was a hunt of lifetime (AT LEAST FOR ME). Hunting was a bust, but got to experience some awsome, wild country. At first I was a bit disappointed, but it only took me about an hour after I started the drive home that I realized how much fun I had. Like Old Hunter said....FUN!
I've spent literally thousands of hours on the water offshore fishing for Marlin & Tuna. At least 25% of the time you come home empty, but what a day on the water. I've sat hours & hours in a goose blind with my Lab, with nothing flying. But the sunrises ....Oh well you get the idea. The older you get the more enjoyment you have just being able to do these things.:cool:

Timberstalker
01-11-2013, 04:07 PM
I'm still going to look for a good one, I also realize thats not what it's all about. I already have an added focus for the hunt, thanks to you all.

Old Hunter, what you said really hit home, thanks.

Never in Doubt
01-11-2013, 04:44 PM
Take a minute to just soak in the surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? There's always unique scenery, birds, animals, wildflowers, plants, interesting rocks, clouds, colors of the sunrise, smells of different trees and bushes. No phones ringing, or vehicles roaring. Take a moment to appreciate those things. Maybe snap a few pictures.

It's tough to top the feeling of being in the back country as the sun rises on a brand new day. Peace, excitement, anticipation, etc. It's special.

Colorado Cowboy
01-11-2013, 04:54 PM
Take a minute to just soak in the surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? There's always unique scenery, birds, animals, wildflowers, plants, interesting rocks, clouds, colors of the sunrise, smells of different trees and bushes. No phones ringing, or vehicles roaring. Take a moment to appreciate those things. Maybe snap a few pictures.

It's tough to top the feeling of being in the back country as the sun rises on a brand new day. Peace, excitement, anticipation, etc. It's special.

Yep....you have it down pat:cool:

sheephunter
01-11-2013, 05:24 PM
I felt the pressure when I had a sheep tag...after a summer full of scouting and feeling confident I think it's important to have a plan B in place, and then a plan C and even D if necessary.

Old Hunter
01-11-2013, 05:32 PM
I'm still going to look for a good one, I also realize thats not what it's all about. I already have an added focus for the hunt, thanks to you all.

Old Hunter, what you said really hit home, thanks.

Good, i'm glad. Nothing wrong with going for that trophy. As long as you have fun doing it. Success or not.

tttoadman
01-11-2013, 06:34 PM
We ultimately just love animals and being out there. When the hunt doesn't work out, I just think about that monster buck or bull that is still out pushing his herd around. I get alot of enjoyment from my camera. I am hooking up the go-pro next year!! Also because everybody says I am such a clutz I should be able win Americas funny video just doing what I do.

see attached...............this is really what its all about.

good luck on the hunt!!

Elkhunter96
01-11-2013, 07:02 PM
I have been there and felt the pressure. For me, it was the 10th day into a Utah LE archery elk hunt. I was having fun, but getting tired of not being able to fill the tag I had waited 10 years to have. I found that if you take a step back, enjoy the scenario and company it helps refocus and recharge the batteries...

Timberstalker
01-11-2013, 10:26 PM
I like everything you all have mentioned, I can relate to it all.

shedhead
01-17-2013, 07:34 PM
I have put the pressure on myself a few times, it can ruin the hunt if you let it. First time, I drew a Utah Archery elk tag in '05, after looking at so many 350" class bulls while scouting, I was so focused on breaking 370" that it almost became a marathon, never stopped to enjoy it. After passing a 370 class bull early on and missing a 360" at 30 yards I finally killed a 340 bull at 11 yards, and did it with my dad right by my side. Priceless. I did the same thing in Nevada when I drew my Archery elk tag with 4 points, wanted to make the most of it because the odds of getting a tag again are horrible. Again focused on breaking a score, was actually getting frustrated because all I could find was 290-325 class bulls everyday, I know sounds pathetic, and it was. Finally regrouped after 14 days and just enjoyed being there with my dad and ended up killing my best bull the next day.

Too often we get focused on killing trophies when we get LE tags, that we miss the point of it all. Enjoy the time with family and friends and often the solitude that comes with drawing a good tag and let the cards fall where they may, if you find a giant kill it, if not enjoy the experience for what it is. I regret not doing that more on my hunts. There is a difference between hunting hard and being dedicated, and putting the pressure on yourself to rewrite the record books and make the cover of a magazine.

Ikeepitcold
03-09-2013, 07:45 AM
All of these post are spot on! I have put so much pressure on myself to kill the biggest animal. I would put bench mark score of what I wanted and made myself miserable! I finally got to the point of giving myself anxiety attacks over it! So why bother anymore. I needed a vacation after my hunts to decompress.

I finally decided to stop going out of state and spending a bunch of money to hunt and stayed in my home state. Had a kid, and got my wife into hunting. Now with a new out look on life it has become my passion again because its now a family affair. I take great pride and have the sense of accomplishment when my wife or daughter takes a animal, even more then myself. The want to make it fun for them takes the pressure off of myself, they don't really care how big the animals are just that they want to have the chance in getting something and that is so much easier to do. Having them with me on my own hunts and having them there to celebrate the ups and downs is very calming for me.

Just like most of these posts you have to make it fun or your hunting for the wrong reasons.

Good luck on your hunt! Hope to see some pics

Timberstalker
03-09-2013, 08:23 AM
Thanks IKC, Its funny, I was thinking about the hunt as I was logging on. I am really looking forward to it. My 15 year old step daughter may be tagging along too. She loves to hunt, so why not have her with me?? Only about 6 month away, I need to get the 'Ol 25-06 dialed in soon.

Ikeepitcold
03-09-2013, 08:25 AM
Thanks IKC, Its funny, I was thinking about the hunt as I was logging on. I am really looking forward to it. My 15 year old step daughter may be tagging along too. She loves to hunt, so why not have her with me?? Only about 6 month away, I need to get the 'Ol 25-06 dialed in soon.

That would be a blast to have her with you! Good luck again!!

Timberstalker
06-20-2013, 04:56 PM
Well it's official, I drew the tag. So far I feel zero pressure, I plan to keep it that way. I have 3, possibly 4 weekends before season starts to scout. I need to get some hand loads ready and dialed in soon as well. This is going to be a FUN hunt!

25contender
06-20-2013, 05:33 PM
That is right make it fun!! I am one for always punching my tag but some of the best hunts I have been on are those where that tag was still in my pocket. Good luck!

wolfman
06-21-2013, 07:25 AM
What a timely topic! I have been struggling with this perceived pressure after drawing a Moose tag that has taken me 14 years and if I get a Bull I will NEVER get to hunt one again in CO. So I have gone back and forth about whether to hire a guide or do it myself. Then take into account juggling already scheduled family commitments and making sure to have enough vacation time to make the hunt happen while juggling work, home and finding time to scout. Unfortunately it is more than just about the hunt. But I figure if I can make time to get the scouting done when the hunt rolls around the pressure will be a lot less. Plus the scouting has been fun thus far. Looking forward to the moment when the Bull hits the dirt. The problem is and has been that with the competition to draw some of these tags anymore a bit of the fun has gone out of the it due to the rarity of drawing. Also you need to put it in perspective as some have said. There are way worse problems to have.

Timberstalker
06-21-2013, 07:50 AM
Congrats on your Moose tag wolfman! I hope you get a biggun'

wolfman
06-21-2013, 07:54 AM
Congrats on your Moose tag wolfman! I hope you get a biggun'

Thanks! Me too! :)

25contender
06-21-2013, 08:12 AM
Congrats on your Moose tag wolfman! I hope you get a biggun'


Thanks! Me too! :)
Another congratulations on the Moose Tag!! Thats the tag I want!!

wolfman
06-21-2013, 08:58 AM
Another congratulations on the Moose Tag!! Thats the tag I want!!


Thanks 25contender!

2rocky
06-21-2013, 09:55 AM
I've Felt that same pressure TS. The First time was the year I drew a CO Antelope, Nevada Mule Deer, and a top notch late season Blacktail hunt all the same year, and all archery. I got SKUNKED that year. and you know what? The world didn't end.

I had so many close calls, almosts and maybes, that it was still a thrill. But I needed a year like that to give me perspective.

The next year I drew a OIL tule elk tag. By day 3 I was getting a little nutso after a number of close calls. It took a midday trip to town to the laundromat, and giving myself a good talking to while I sharpened and cleaned up my knife blade. I went out that evening a little more relaxed and ended up killing my bull.

Once you realize that you are the only one putting pressure on yourself, it gets easier to enjoy yourself. Then it becomes more likely that you will exceed your own expectations.

My Motto this year is "Improved performance through lowered expectations". ;)

tim
06-21-2013, 10:31 AM
Once you realize that you are the only one putting pressure on yourself, it gets easier to enjoy yourself. Then it becomes more likely that you will exceed your own expectations.


My wife rides my ass until there is an elk in the freezer for her.

Timberstalker
07-01-2013, 12:42 PM
Well, the first scouting trip is behind me. One hot day in the high desert produced the sighting of one medium sized buck and alot of dry water holes. I have three weekends prior to season to find what I'm looking for, I eliminated alot of country already.

Timberstalker
07-17-2013, 02:27 PM
Well I found a good waterhole on the second scouting trip! Only problem is, someone else found it before me/trail cam. My 15 year old daughter is having alot of fun helping me out and driving me around. I don't know too many 15 year old girls that want to get up at 3:00a.m. to go look for antelope! She spotted one at about 2 miles away with a cheap pair of Bushnell bino's, she has a good eye. It's hard to believe she was barley a year old when I started applying for this hunt.

tttoadman
07-17-2013, 05:35 PM
Well I found a good waterhole on the second scouting trip! Only problem is, someone else found it before me/trail cam. My 15 year old daughter is having alot of fun helping me out and driving me around. I don't know too many 15 year old girls that want to get up at 3:00a.m. to go look for antelope! She spotted one at about 2 miles away with a cheap pair of Bushnell bino's, she has a good eye. It's hard to believe she was barley a year old when I started applying for this hunt.

That sounds like some good quality time, and you get to scout. Amen for kids and their good eyes.

Is your back holding together for you so far?

Timberstalker
07-17-2013, 08:43 PM
That sounds like some good quality time, and you get to scout. Amen for kids and their good eyes.

Is your back holding together for you so far?

The back is ok, the pain is not bad at all. The tingling in my leg and fatigue is the big issue, I'm not sure what to do at this point. I have been going to a chiropractor, it seems to be helping. Thanks for asking ttt

exit28nevada
08-07-2013, 12:36 PM
Some times the added pressure comes from people who dont ever put in for premium hunts in premium hunts zones.In the long run it boils down to you,your research,you equipment,and your skills,to be honest when i was younger,i put that unneccisary pressure on myself,maybe peer pressure who knows,but the bottom line is if your ready and prepaired for the hunt,and are confidant in your ability you will harvest your trophy,at that point its up to mother nature,cause a lot of varibals come into play,weather,hunting pressure,etc....good luck!and first big speed goat you see will make all the pressure disapear.

Timberstalker
08-07-2013, 04:59 PM
first big speed goat you see will make all the pressure disapear.

I saw him, now all I need to do is find him again! Knowing he's there definatly takes the edge off. The hunt starts Saturday and I am surpisingly relaxed.

Timberstalker
08-17-2013, 09:34 PM
Well the hunt is over, it was a 7 day grind with only 5 bucks spotted. I ended up with the second best buck I found.

6287

25contender
08-17-2013, 09:39 PM
Pressure is off!! Nice looking goat with great hooks!

tttoadman
08-18-2013, 02:23 AM
Start the year with a bang. Looks good!!

CrimsonArrow
08-18-2013, 06:40 AM
Nice animal, TS, good way to start the season. I've got to ask, though, how can it take 15 yrs to draw a tag where the animals are that scarce? Were there some bad winters or predator issues?

Timberstalker
08-18-2013, 08:59 AM
Thanks guys! Crimson, I was hunting the N wagontire unit in Oregon, it takes 14 points for a resident to draw. I knew when I applied it wasn't going to be a slam dunk hunt. We had a very dry winter and spring, most of the waterholes were dry, the ones that weren't are surrounded by juniper trees. Looking back I should have applied for a differant unit or held out till we had a wet spring. Oh well, my antelope hunting days are over now, at least in Oregon.

CrimsonArrow
08-18-2013, 06:34 PM
You made good on what sounds like a tough hunt, so congratulations, and keep on putting em down.

sjsmallfield
08-22-2013, 03:41 PM
Congrats on the buck TS. Sounds like you worked for it.