Alex Broad – Reflection and Planning

February 07, 2012

The start of another year is here, this for most of us makes us think about the year ahead and what we want to achieve.

With the Roar only 2 months away for me, this is a good opportunity to finalise any planning and really get the ball rolling on some of those “trips” that have been up in air for a while.

It’s a good time to reflect on what you did last year, what worked and what didn’t, how you’re going to increase the enjoyment you get out of hunting and how you may or may not change what you do.

Last year I didn’t get out for the roar at all due to an inconsiderate mate deciding to get married at the other end of the country smack in the middle of it, and me being too disorganised to sort out a hunt while down there.

This year however a trip has been planned, but not into a usual haunt.  Instead into new country none of us have hunted much before.   In order to be successful we started planning this trip a month or 2 ago.  Booked the bach, started talking to hunters in the area, deciding what gear we will need to take in with us and drawing on past experiences in order to know what to expect.

Sounds like pretty elementary stuff, but you’d be surprised what you can dig up just by doing a bit of research.  The old saying “Plan for the worst and expect the best” is something to keep in mind.

Reflecting on past trips and experiences can be invaluable when planning a trip away.  Remembering what happened last time you were in that part of the country at that time of year? From memory last time we had a quick walk in this block, we wouldn’t have gone more than 100m into it before we found some pretty impressive stag sign.  Mental note: take it quietly on the boundary.  Sometimes you’re reflecting on what you carried in with you.  Mental note: 60 cans of beer were unnecessary.  Other times you reflect on the gear you were using.  Mental note: Froze my backside off on that flash expensive bed roll 2 years ago in a frost.  Or it might be something simple like not roaring at a deer just because you “think” it’s a spiker and will be fun to wind up.  Mental note: spikers can sometimes turn into quite massive trophies never to be seen again in the fading light.

This year a good mate from school will be joining us.  It will be his first Roar.  A relatively inexperienced hunter, we need to keep in mind what we were like when we first started hunting.  Buck fever is something that comes to mind, it can make or break a hunt.  It can be a catalyst in a situation where a bad decision leads to a lifetime of regret.  Too many people are injured or killed in New Zealand’s bush.  However if we are aware of where others have gone wrong, we can learn and prepare ourselves so things like this never have to happen again.

Finally the gear we use, how did this go last year? In your kit was there anything you could have used? Anything that’s worn out and needs replacing? Or perhaps anything that failed and led to a less than enjoyable time in the hills?

The time to get yourself organised is now, start thinking about your trip away this roar, not how big or how many deer you’re going to shoot but rather the finer details, these all compound to give you a good time.

In the next blog entry Ill look at the beginnings of a good hunting kit, and possibly the most important part of everyone’s kit, what you’re wearing.

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