I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, so statistics and surveys are always interesting to me. There were some pretty intriguing statistics that stood out to me from the #PROJECTSUCCESS survey I sent out a couple weeks ago, one of which was the overall success rates for elk hunters. I was in Utah over the weekend doing a couple of Elk Hunting seminars, and I was able to replicate very close results from those crowds as well.
When you take a look at average success rates for elk hunters, you’ll find around 15% of elk hunters are successful each fall. However, when you neglect draw hunts and look only at OTC, public land, DIY elk hunts, the success rates drop to around 10%. This rate of success includes cows, spikes, raghorns, and mature bulls. If you remove from the statistics the hunters who consistently fill their tags on mature bulls, it would be safe to say that actual success rates for mature bulls for the “average” hunter is under 3%. This is not an acceptable rate of success for me, and I’m sure it’s not acceptable for you either. Honestly, the average of 10% is nowhere even close to where I want to be. Fortunately, none of us have to accept this low level of success, and I want to share with you something I’ve found that increases elk hunting success rates by 4X or more!
You’re probably thinking, yeah right, another gimmick product to buy that promises amazing results. Actually, it’s something you already have. Let me explain.
I should have been surprised when the success rates from the survey came back at nearly 45%, but honestly, I wasn’t. For several years now, when I do elk hunting seminars, I ask everyone in attendance who bought an elk tag the previous season to stand up. I do a quick, rough count, and then I ask everyone who did not fill their tag last season to sit down. On average around 60% of those standing sit down, which means around 40% of elk hunters in attendance at my seminars were successful the previous season. Considering the overall average is around 10%, this is pretty amazing! Additionally, I’ve seen that the percentage of elk hunters at these seminars who were successful on 6-point or larger bulls is usually over 10%! Why is that?
What is it that skews the success rates so greatly from the average hunters to those who took the #PROJECTSUCCESS survey or those who attend these elk hunting seminars? What do they possess that the average hunters don’t? Hopefully, by now the answer is pretty clear. Those elk hunters who attend elk hunting seminars in January and February, and those elk hunters who take the time to respond to random elk hunting surveys throughout the year have one thing in common – they have a continual desire to improve and learn, and they are thinking about elk hunting all year long.
So, what does that mean? That simply means that if we are willing to immerse ourselves in elk hunting information, discussions, education, and application throughout the year, we will – on average – experience 4X the success in elk hunting as those who don’t. I am certainly not saying you can learn everything you need to learn to be consistently successful by answering surveys and going to elk hunting seminars, but it absolutely separates the more successful hunters from the less successful hunters.
One of the quotes I included in my “Keys to Elk Hunting Success” seminar this winter is by Bernard Baruch, who said, “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” If you combine your brain’s ability to soak up information with your desire to be successful – in any endeavor – you will be more successful. That doesn’t mean you can sit back and skip out on the hard work, but you will have so much more of an advantage over those who suddenly remember to shoot their bow and pick up their elk tag on August 29th.
So, I applaud you for being so motivated to be a successful elk hunter that you are absorbing as much elk hunting information as you can all year long. If you know someone who needs a little motivational boost to get them thinking about elk season (i.e., a hunting partner), be sure to invite them to sign up for #PROJECTSUCCESS.
I’m in the middle of organizing the 10,000+ questions I received from the survey on elk hunting topics for discussion, and will begin putting together those discussions very soon. One of the first topics I’m going to tackle is failures, as failures are a much larger part of elk hunting than successes. I feel it’s so important to be prepared to fail, and to be always ready to learn from failures. Bernard Baruch (the guy with the quote on successful people from 2 paragraphs ago) also said, “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” Recognizing – and learning from – failure is critical in the world of elk hunting. It’s not enough to just accept things that happen as part of the game, but instead, to understand why they happened, and more importantly, what we can do to minimize them from happening over on the next ridge.
I’d love to hear from you…what has been the most frustrating failure you’ve experienced in elk hunting? Post your comments in the “Comments” area below, and we’ll dive into that discussion next.