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How to find "luck" in big game hunting

We often hear the phrase, "That guy is so lucky!" Here's an equation: Preparation + Attitude = Luck. There are many things you can do to improve your odds, or "make your own luck," whether you are on a guided or self-guided hunt. Become highly proficient with your gun or bow, get in good physical shape, use quality equipment, and speak up if you have important concerns during your hunt.

The most important part of the equation for hunting success is a good positive attitude, not just in hunting but in your relationship with other people during the trip.

Don't give up! We've lost count of the number of times we have taken game on the last hour of the last day of the hunt. Yet many hunters give up after just two or three days.

Your relationship with your outfitter and guide is often as important as anything else you can control. With few exceptions, guides and outfitters are in the hunting business because they enjoy hunting and particularly enjoy helping others have successful hunts.

Be your guide's friend, not his adversary. Let him know by your words and actions that you want to do whatever it takes to get your game in an ethical and legal manner. Treat him like a hunting buddy, and you'll most likely be given the royal treatment. If your guides sees that you're willing to put out 100% and that you're willing to hunt hard despite any problems that might crop up, he will try his best to help you accomplish the goals you have set for your hunt.

If you are not happy during your hunt or if something bothers you, by all means speak up. Some hunters are reluctant to bring up concerns during a hunt, but this is usually a mistake because many problems can be resolved in the field. Also, you might have a misconception, which the outfitter can dispel if you voice your concerns.

The key to resolving concerns or problems is to adopt a cheerful, flexible attitude. Do not let minor events or shortcomings bother you. If the outfitter is not providing a service as promised, a cheerful attitude can go a long way toward getting what you expect, either during your trip or a subsequent trip. A good outfitter or guide will want to do whatever is reasonable to satisfy a reasonable and positive customer. Good luck!