Hunting is hard. Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit. More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck. So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it. I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward. It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.
Being new to hunting, I constantly second guess myself and have doubt about if I am doing the right thing, especially since I never had a mentor to bounce questions off of. It is my weakness. It is the internal battle that I struggle with when hunting. Have you ever had questions about what others would do in certain situations? Maybe you catch yourself not staying in the game mentally. I know I often do. I find myself double guessing a move or a plan of attack when I hunt. Being new to hunting can be frustrating and defeating, so much that it is hard to stay motivated.
This series is meant to be a way to inspire and motivate you when it comes to hunting your dreams, and at the same time making a difference in recruiting new members and building community in the hunting world. Hopefully the advice and insight shared by our guests can help you feel like you are not alone in your struggle against the wild, as well as build confidence in your chase.
WBC: What is your name?
Wesley: Wesley D. Smith
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Wesley: I’m from Brownsville Oregon and currently moving to Roseburg Oregon.
WBC: What is your day job?
Wesley: I work for Born and Raised Outdoors as the Digital Media Manager.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Wesley: I have a large immediate family that consists of three brothers and two sisters. I’m also married and have a 1 1/2 year old daughter.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Wesley: My father was my mentor and his passion lit a spark in me for hunting.
WBC: Did you have a hunting mentor? What did you learn from them and or what did you want or wished to learn from them?
Wesley: My dad was without hesitation. He taught me a lot. At a young age I was able to follow him around in the elk woods. Even though I didn’t carry a weapon, I was able to learn from the things he did correctly and from his mistakes. I wish I learned more than just elk hunting knowledge from my dad, meaning other species of animals.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Wesley: My favorite hunt has been shooting my first blacktail buck with a muzzleloader under the assistance from my uncle.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Wesley: The mental struggle. Whether it being the choice to come out early due to bad weather, or bad hunting. Keeping your head in the game is a constant battle.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Wesley: My mind.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Wesley: Some sort of GPS or OnX maps. I have no fear of being lost, having the GPS or mapping software only improves my hunting style.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Wesley: Western Oregon Blacktail. I love the chase. In my opinion, they are the hardest animal in the lower 48 to consistently kill with your bow. I love hunting the thick nasty ridges where bucks travel looking for does.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Wesley: Wind is everything. In my early years of hunting I didn’t recognize how vital it was.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Wesley: My personal Instagram handle is @parttimehunter and on Facebook as Wesley Smith. You can also find me and some of the work I do on the Born and Raised Outdoors Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube (@bornandraisedoutdoors).
We want to thank Wesley for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Wesley and what he does, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his Instagram account as well as the work he is doing as a part of Born and Raised Outdoors.
If you enjoyed reading the article or can think of anyone that could benefit from the insight given, please share it with others. It is “OUR” job to continue the growth of the hunting and outdoor community. Be sure to invite someone to start hunting with you. You never know what type of impact it may have for them and their life. Remember, mentorship is conservation and you cannot out give good.
If you would like to be featured in the blog series or know someone who should be, let us know by emailing us or direct message on Instagram.
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