Luck or Skill?

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Deerslayer

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I was just wondering what everyone HONESTLY thought about this........

"I have seen just as many first time hunters bag a huge elk or deer, and they didnt have a clue about hunting that animal. Goes to show that there is little to do with being a great white hunter about half the time. LUCK has just as much to do with bagging your animal as skill."

I was reading some stuff I got in mail today and came across this one.......was scratching my head........

If I read correctly, this guy has seen jsut as many "first time hunters" bag big elk and deer........just as many, meaning.........if he saw , say........10 big animals killed this year..............at least 5 were by first time hunters!.....MAN!!!!!.......I didn't know there were even that many first time hunters out there who harvested! :eek:

I saw 8 or 10 animals that made me gawk this year.......and I had no idea 4 or 5 of them were on theor very first hunt!.....that IS impressive.......

and furthermore.............I was SO friggin glad to read this stuff......because since it's all luck anyway...........that can free me up from having to do a couple of months worth of scouting this year........and think of the money I will save ob TOPOS!!!!!.......and no need to drive very far from home.........hey. it's all luck anyway, may as well get just out of town here and roll the old dice! :D

So what do you think about it......is it a Vegas style trip or not.........and I know e all need a little luck from time to time.......but I read a quote from a pretty darn good hunter in his own right and he said.....and I quote....." a hunter makes his own luck".....

.....whether that is actually true or not......I like to believe that,.......that is enough to drive a fella to do what he needs to to be "lucky" :D
 

Elkhunter

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Yes DS, it is all luck and skill has nothing to do with it. Those who feel they need skill to hunt only need hire the professionals. Between the skill of the proffessional guide,and the first time hunter's luck, it is a sure bet that the hunter is going to bag a huge animal. That does give the first time hunter a 100% chance for a huge animal.

In all honesty, luck does play a role in hunting. But luck is not the answere my friend. It takes lots of hard work, scouting and planning to continually harvest a mature animal.

But I would hardly say that 1/2 of the huge animals are killed or harvested by first time hunters. Some maybe, but half, NO WAY!
 

Nut

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I'd rather be lucky than good.


I realize that it takes alot of effort to hunt out west. Here in the east it is a little different. More people and less land to hunt. It takes more effort to find a place to hunt than it does to find game.
If I get a chance to hunt out west I will need HELP to get started. That is a given. I know that I am utterly inexperienced to western style hunting. You all know it also.
So I would need luck in finding a person/guide/outfitter who would do me right and luck that once I got there the game would be also. I would do all the research possible to get it done and plan at least a year in advance. But since I am at least a thousand miles away from where the game is I have no choice to at the end to trust in a little luck.
 

danr55

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Boy, talk about a crap shoot. You can have all the skill in the world born from years of tracking, scouting, hunting, finding big animals and if luck turns against you, you're sunk. Otherwise, people with skill and there are some out there, would have book heads every year.

Like with anything that involves wild animals, more than half of the game is theirs and they don't always play fair. Anytime you are talking about wild critters, you are betting on the probability that they will behave in a prescribed manner, which they don't always do.

So, to answer your question, yes.... :cool:
 
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Deerslayer

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Nut......that's the beauty of it!.........you say your a 100 miles away and need help.....not according to the above quoted authority.......you have just as good a chance a killing a big ass bull this fall as Greenhorn........really even a better chance than Greenhorn, because it would be your first time! :eek:

:rolleyes: .........the whiskey must be flowing a little north of here :rolleyes:

Dan.........we all welcome luck......and we all know you can never count on an animal doing what you expect him to.........but you've hunted enough to know you have to get out there and bust your balls to put yourself in a position to harvest,......and for someone to do it continually, year after year, it would take more than luck, but rather knowing what the he!! is going on.

......and I would go a little farther and venture most first time elk hunters eat their tag.....I would guess the numbers would say that......strictly a guess though.
I would think with elk hunting, a hunter gains better odds each year he goes out, as he learns more about when and where he needs to be.......and if he can grab a little luck along the way, all the better.

But for the hunter that relys on his luck........he'd better get used to the taste of "tag soup".........just my opinion of course. ;)
DS
 

Elkhunter

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So according to an authorative figure, Nut has a better chance for a huge elk than anyone who has hunted elk before, because it is his first time. That is so cool for you Nut.
 

ELKCHSR

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Yes it took years of hunting by myself to even get confident enough to start taking elk on a regular basis. I would like to know where the luky half that are starting out hunt. Or mabee not. I think I am a better hunter and more skilled outdoorsman because of not getting them on the start. It also makes you a lot more appreciative of the ones that you do get with skill and not just dumb luck.... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

Moosie

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DS... YA jest about it.. BUT It's true... I've seen several BIG game kills by first time hunters that get LUCKY.... ALTHOUGH they only get one or two critters in thier hunting career, THE luck was with them.. After opening day of Elk or DEER there is always an article in the paper about some lucky slob walknig right off the road wacking a big one...... BUT, It's not the NORM statisticaly wise.. YOU just here the stories and they stick more then JOE BLOW that wacks a 4 point every year..... SO it seems like 50% :D :D
I have more buddies that go Deerless every year that hunt HArd. LUCK does play a part in it, BUT like the secret of hunting (THAT I ONCE READ
) you have to combine being in the right place.. WITH the right time.... THAT is a key !!!!

WELL..... I might go out Next year for the first time..... after a weeks of scouting.... And I'll let ya know how I did :D :D
 
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Deerslayer

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Good point Moose.......maybe it's that we hear about the "lucky firt timer" more, and it sticks, and it's no real news when the guy that does it every year simply does it again........

But do you even know how many people take to the field every year.....and then consider how many of them are on their first hunt.......it wouldn't even take Tom, the statitician, to figure out that the numbers of first timers are a minute fraction of the hunters anually, and out of that smallish percentage, the ones who score are even a smaller number, and the ones who kill really big critters are such a minute percentage of the big picture that like Moosie says, they would be head-line material:eek: and we were talking about the "norm"......not something so unusual it is note-worthy

I think Elk Chaser has hit it dead on. I remember a post last year on HIS about how long it took to get your first elk.........by far, the responses were "after several years of trying"........some guys had been hunting for ten years and were still looking for their first. I, myself, had hunted for 5 years before I took a bull, and hardly any of them ever said they got one theit first time out, on blind luck.............and dozens and dozens of people replied to the topic. I think like, Elk Chaser said, it is more of a "progression"...........of learning about elk,.....where to hunt them,.....how to hunt them, ...trial and error......sometimes it takes several seasons to learn an area and how the elk use it.........stuff you just can't depend on blind luck for.......ESPECIALLY FOR BIG CRITTERS!

I know there are some like Wyoming Tim ......who is two elk in two tries by the way ;) , but I think he will tell you luck played very little in the role of him harvesting, as he had to go several times and work his butt off each time to fill his tag,.....and if you label that luck, well yeah, I guess it's all luck. You could say that every guy who ever busted his balls, did months of research and scouting, played the percentages, worked the maps, knew the elk in the area better than he knew himself, then stuck with it until he succeeded,.......you could say he was "just plain lucky that critter showed up that day"........but I say, in that instance, "he made his own luck".....

I'll go farther out on a limb here and say I will get lucky next year, ......on my elk and deer, as will about a dozen or more other guys from this board I could name specifically.......guess I should go to Vegas with Ol' Bob since I can predict luck that way :eek:

A little luck never hurts anyone, but when you go depending on it, tag soup may be the "meal of the day" ;)
DS
 

10scn

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Do you think the first timers luck could have something to do with where he hunts? It could be that the first timer might hunt a spot out of ignorance that we experienced hunters would pass up because the "bigun" would never be there. :confused:
Sometimes big animals tend to frequent unlikely places because there is no hunting pressure and a first timer might just hunt that spot because he doesn't have the experience to deem it an unlikely spot.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 12-25-2001 17:34: Message edited by: 10scn ]</font>
 

mtmiller

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Luck plays a big part in the hunt. On a side note though, it seems those who put more time into scouting and doing their homework tend to have more of it.
 

Muledeer4me

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This is what I hear year after year.
Alot of guys that dont tag out every year think its more luck then skill,the ones that get a nice animal year after year know better then that. They understand it takes more then luck to be able to come back with chit year ofter year,and to come back with big chit year after year takes more skill then luck.
I dont happen to have either LOL but I dont mind giving credit where credit is due,some of these guys on this board do come back with big chit all the time ---thats not ALL LUCK-or the ones that come back year after year with smaller animals ,I dont believe thats all luck.
I thinks its more skill ,work and the abilty to retain information about what they learned on each hunt.
I dont think the number would be half the new hunters luck into it either,sure we all hear about it happening and I do believe like some one pointed out we remember that more.But if you sit around hunting camps or hunters and really hear what they are saying, those that are consistent have some things in common, (LUCK Hahaha not)they spent more time out there busting there butts then the rest of us do.
I dont see anything wrong with not being as dedacated as they are because its all fun, but,
Boy if I was going to hire an outfitter I for darn sure would like to think he has more SKILL then LUCK ,other wise it would be cheaper to go stuff my pockets with lucky rabbits feet,Or rent greenhorns lucky undershorts
:D :D
 
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Deerslayer

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Miss Muley........once again, you get your point across VERY effectively...... ;)

I made a big long post and tried to say what you did in half the web space :eek: ...maybe I can start sending you my thoughts and letting you condense them for me :D

......and 10SCN, your right, the location chosen is most definitely key.......but if we choose areas where "our luck will be higher"......is it luck? :confused:

.........while we have such a nice friendly debate going........ponder this.......
.......would my "luck be greater in Wyoming than Colorado for elk?........and if so, and I "choose" Wyoming, is it luck or a good choice? And as we get into even more "choices" concerning our hunt...ie. when and where to hunt specifically to give us a better chance at "luck", ......at which point do these choices we all have to make become "knowledge and skill" and not "luck".

..............When I think of luck, I think of riding down the road with no clue and finding yourself in front of your quarry,........or shooting with your eyes closed and hitting your mark............but when I think of a hunter busting his balls and doing his homework, then being successful......well I chalk that up to skill and knowledge more times than not......
DS
 

Greenhorn

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I'd rather be lucky than good, but it's nice to be both. :D

I've had a lot of good luck come my way but I always make sure I'm hunting at times and in places where good things can happen... and usually, when they do, I don't screw the opportunity up.

I don't have many of them stories about the big ones getting away because usually they don't.
 

Nut

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As for me having luck. I do. Its all bad. ;)

Since I got back into hunting 2 yrs ago my skills as a hunter has improved as I learned more. The luck factor decreased as my skill level goes up. I didn't know crap and still don't. But I am able to use what I have learned so far to enhance my hunts. So what I am saying is that luck goes down as skill level goes up. Once you have the skills you do not need the luck.

Can anybody understand what I just posted? :confused:
 

Tom

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I'm on a deer lease this year with 7 others. We've got 5 bucks so far and two does mainly because there's only 4.07 deer per 1000 acres in this county according to Texas Parks and Wildlife surveys. Some counties in Texas are like 150/1000 acres but they're usually smaller deer also. The first buck was a nice 8pt by a guy who has been hunting the area for 14 years, pure skill, plus the landowner told him what has historically been the best area on the place, which is help. He also got a doe a few weeks later with skill again. The second buck was a 3x4 by me, pure genius. I shot a doe in her bed during rut. She pissed before dieing, and her head fell over the entrance wound, a little luck there maybe. Its a real decoy now, but dead, with real fresh smelly doe pee out the back end. The buck came up sniffing her 10-15 minutes later and I did another 208 yard shot and got him at the same spot. That buck was technique, pure genius, a ballistic tip to expend all its energy in the doe with no exit wound. The third buck was a spike by a guy who kept saying, if its brown its down. He was pissed, he got stuck twice on the ranch with his 4 wheel drive truck and had hunted for maybe 10 days with nothing. If it was brown, it was down, and he got a spike. He drove around to much for a big buck to come out if you ask me. The fourth buck was out of my blind by a novice the day after I left and went back to work. He parked his truck under the blind we learned later, a big 4x4 one walked out and he shot it. He had to borrow a knife to clean it, pure luck, except for the genius that set the blind up for him to use. He was there at the right time, rut was active and the big bucks were too. The fourth one was after rut, again out of my blind. A friend had been hunting hard for a big one for 11 days. I let him hunt my blind and he got an 11 point, 5 by 6, his biggest ever. Somewhere, my skill had failed, two big bucks out of my blind shot by others that are bigger than mine. One by a novice, one by a seasoned hunter. For branch antlered bucks this year, our lease is 1/4 novice or luck, 3/4 skill, genius, and experience. I think there is a lot of luck involved, but being in the right place at the right time and ready for a shot or making a good shot happen consistantly takes a lot of skill and time.
 

snite66

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As others have said in this thread " I would rather be lucky than good any day!!" :D :D


Sure there is always luck involved in any hunt(sadly in my hunts it seems to be all bad lately) :( . What 10scn sais about first timers "lucking" into a good spot, probably holds very true. There always seems to be a large amount of first timers or one of those guys that hunts the opening weekend only, that seem to get a monster every year. These are to be considered the lucky ones.

The hunters that take those larger animals year in and year out are the ones that are working on skill. anyone can take a nice animal once, but the guy that does it consistantly is the one that is showing his skill.

HMMMMM Just made myself feel pretty bad, realized I haven't taken a large whitetail in over three years. Damn I musta been lucky before :eek:
 

Muledeer4me

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Snite,but you got it right :D :D
I havent taken many Big animals either,and some were nothing but gifts from god,or I lucked onto a deaf,bumb& blind animal that just stood there.
So if im knocking anyone about Skill over Luck I would be putting myself in with the more by luck hunters most . Im very happy with that.
Others arent thats why that spend more time & energy out it the field then I do.
Now Tom you were just pure genius in where you placed your stand,trouble was your Luck ran out when you let the other use it.
Sound like a good hunt,I still can not get past the thought of being able to take more then one animal in the same State in a Year.
Pure Lucky is what some of you are.
:cool: :cool:
 

ELKCHSR

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I suppose luck is great. I personally would not have it. I prefer by leaps and bounds to be able to get game by skill and knowladge. It is a much more rewarding experience. In my earlier years. I wished I could have the luck. Now its not that way at all. You don't learn anything by luck. I suppose except how to butcher game. You could practice on farm animals though if thats all you wanted out of the experience. I'm out there to pit myself against my quarry. I would suppose someone like Chuck Adams would laugh at the luck thing. Also so to would all of the bow hunting ledgends of our past.
:rolleyes:
 
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