I’ll throw a few numbers at you to give us a starting point. Say you find yourself wanting to chase an elk anywhere in the mountains. Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, it doesn’t matter where. The odds of you being successful and taking an elk are not in your favor. Most areas give a hunter less than a 15% chance of shooting an elk. But if we look at hunters who use a guide, you are looking at an average that I would say is safely above 90%. Why the drastic difference?
Before you go there, this is not an article persuading you to drop some money on a guided hunt. When a hunter decides to go on a non-guided hunt he is already at a disadvantage. He isn’t aware of how the animals have been reacting to weather, how the pressure from other hunters is affecting the wildlife and may very well never have even set foot in the area that he is planning on hunting in. Guides make their living understanding animal movements by being in the field. Field time and experience in understanding certain areas goes a long way in increasing success rates. In turn, we can share our knowledge with our hunters and help them increase their success rate at that exact moment, and for every adventure they embark on in the future. I for one can tell you that there is nothing more intimidating than looking at a mountain and figuring out how you are going to get in range of the quarry you are after. So how can you increase your chances of being successful? By repetition and seeking advice.
Last season, I was in the field guiding elk hunts for 45 days. I was on 20 shots and 15 kills to give you reference. Now granted, I was in an area that had a very high density of elk and little pressure from other hunters, but elk are still elk. It is a hard thing to get within range of a wild animal in its natural habitat. Given that I have been guiding hunting trips for 7 years now, I have seen my fair share of successful trips. There are many men and women who have been at it longer than me, but 7 years is a long time. The more repetitions I have been able to have and the more experience I have been able to obtain has helped me do my job better. I have also had plenty of men and women show me the ropes on how to be a successful guide. A guide’s job is to put his client on an animal that is a perfect representation of what he wants and provide an opportunity for the client to take a shot on that animal. If you can’t consistently do that, you won’t be a guide for very long.
All this to say, why would you set a goal and not seek advice from someone who has been there, done that. If you want to learn how to become a good hunter, why wouldn’t you ask questions from veteran hunters or guides? The same goes for your walk with the Lord. The Lord is the “ultimate Guide” and also has many other “apprentice guides” working under him. Some of these are easily seen through our pastors at church and others can be seen throughout your community. Our “ultimate Guide” has experienced every hurt and pain this world has to offer, and He knows what you are feeling. His “apprentice guides” have experienced and are experiencing the same pains and hurts and are walking with their Guide to find healing from these knowing that He makes good of all things. Not seeking advice and playing the victim card in your walk with the Lord makes you just an “okay” Christian. When a hunter goes out into the field, he doesn’t look to be just an “okay” hunter and fill his tag every once in a while. He wants to be a great hunter and be successful in his pursuits. It’s not “okay” to just be an “okay” Christian.
Going about life with that 15% success rate is not how we should live our lives for Christ. What a waste that would be. There are many guides out there who can help you with your walk rather that be physically, spiritually or mentally. Even us guides in the hunting world need help and seek advice from outside sources. Listen to the “ultimate Guide” first and in doing that He will place “apprentice guides” in your life who will help you on your journey.
Guided hunts take an investment from a hunter but increase the success rates. Giving your life to Christ takes an even greater investment but gives you a 100% success rate on this most important adventure you will ever embark on. Maybe it’s time you listened to the Guide and made that investment.