Hunting Success – 50% Skill – 50% Luck

Snow Geese

Hunting Success – 50% Luck – 50% Skill

Many times when you meet hunters and fisherman, a lot of them have hunted or fished for years and they have all the best of everything and they still have not bagged an animal or caught that big one.

I mean they study their game, they buy the best guns, the best ammunition, best fishing equipment and tackle, they have all the toys, and bells and whistles…but does it make them a better hunter or fisherman?

I would say that having nice equipment, new improved scents, new camo hunting gear, the best fishing rods, lures, etc, does give them a bit of an advantage.

But, what if they just are not meant to be a hunter or a fisherman?

Now some people think that anyone can be a hunter or a fisherman right?

Wrong! And I will tell you why, in my opinion, and that’s all it is, in this story from the Squirrell’s Nest.

In the hands of the wrong person, a gun or a fishing pole can be a recipe for disaster. Every year we hear of those tragedies, where we lose someone, because of buck fever, or just plain stupidity. Like carrying a loaded gun up a tree or shooting at a sound, as my Dad and I experienced in Kapuskasing on a moose hunt, no kidding (my Dad’s car had the bullet hole to prove it). Or looking through a scope (which should never be done…not ever…not worth it), at a target which happens to be human, and BAM, safety accidentally goes off and the gun kills.

Or a loaded gun over a fence ( I saw a guy with half his face blown off at the Smithers, BC emergency unit), or guys at camp having a few bevies and then they start cleaning guns or worse yet, going out hunting with a mickey in their pocket. I caught one of my friends, after the mickey fell out of his pocket and I told him to go home and we never hunted together again.

No life jackets in the fishing world and drinking during this activity does cause many deaths. Also standing up in a boat or going too fast, can all end in tragedy.

We all know better, but still, year after year there are deaths.This year all of the deaths that I heard and read about were preventable, families left to mourn, over the age old thought pattern of “it won’t happen to me”

My friend was mistaken for a moose. My friend who was in a pair of orange coveralls was shot by a hunter who was from another country.

He looked right at the hunter and yelled, “NO!” And then he dove and caught a 300 win mag right in the shoulder. If he had not of walked himself out, Ivan would not be here today.

To my story now, about luck and skill, now that I have been through the reality of hunting and fishing.


How many times have you heard of a first time hunter bagging a great big monster buck, that the most experienced hunter has pursued over many years?

This happened to me from one of my hunting stands in an earlier story. The young lad was studying for an exam in my stand. A half an hour later and the buck I was after for five years was taken!

How many times have you heard of near misses? Of the big one that got away, in both fishing and in hunting stories. More times than not, most likely. These fish and animals did not get to be big by being stupid.

It is very important that you know how to shoot or fish safely. Practice is good, no one wants to track down a gut shot animal, particularly a bear.

It is also important that you take the time and respect the animals surrounding, by studying how they live, eat and sleep, breed, etc.

So after you have taken your exams, in some cases, if you hit a hot spot, are very patient..and enjoy nature, key phrase enjoy nature, most likely you will be successful.

But some people are just not meant to be a hunter or fisherman period. In an earlier story I told you of the two brothers, fifteen years watching everyone shoot deer, all around them until they realized, that they were not lucky, end of story and decided, to take up golf.

Or of a friend of mine that no matter how hard he tried, practicing, year after year, would have the big one step out in front of him and would miss for ten years in a row. No kidding!

But on a range he would win hands down in shooting competitions. Buck fever would consume him time and time again. At one point, I went over and he was shaking, he had shot four times at this monster buck( 12 point).

I looked on the ground and there were his four unspent rounds, he had levered them onto the ground, as he was shooting at this massive brute. Man I thought, he has the luck, but never will he be successful, because he could not, and he is not the only one, calm himself down enough to make the kill.

After the tenth miss, he said to us, “I am just going to go to the range for fun and shoot my guns. We were relieved, as meat on the pole was nice.

In earlier fishing stories I told you of catching a fish by the eye of another jig or of retrieving my late wife’s lure the next day. That in my opinion is luck, plain and simple.

In conclusion, here is my summation, and it is just that, read my earlier stories, I am skilled with years of hunting under my belt, with many great hunters, and we are lucky as well, our many great years of successes, more kills than the occasional miss, which does happen to even the best of us.

Don’t be discouraged, but what you will soon learn, over the years of hunting or fishing is this…you study hunting and fishing…it looks easy, but it’s really not, there is a right way and wrong way to get the licence, you study or cheat, you study your game from books and you make your mistakes early on and hopefully they are not fatal and you learn from them. Some never do, sad but true.

Sure you practice casting or shooting, but what it comes done to is this, that the good lord up above, the Creator, gives you the knowledge to gain the skill, the patience (calm down) to land or shoot your game, and the luck that is needed to be in the right place at the right time. He also gives you the wisdom to know right from wrong.

Wearing a life jacket is the only sensible thing to do no matter what, no matter how good a swimmer you are (drownings claims far too many every year).

My friends it is in my opinion and belief that you have to have 50% skill and 50% luck to be a successful hunter or fisherman.

And that Safety in all aspects of our outdoor adventures is Numero Uno. To be that Great Hunter or Great Fisherman make sure that the people you learn from are wise, patient and kind. That you learn the right way to hunt and fish.

Finally the older we get, whether you believe me or not, the more absent minded and forgetful we get…so there has to be an added awareness to “Safety”

Hope you enjoyed reading this story and agree – Safety First!


More tales from the Squirrell’s Nest from Brian “Bear” Squirrell at Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia, Canada.

Big Bear Outfitters - Nova Scotia,

Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia,