October means two things for me, playoff baseball, and whitetail hunting. While the
two seem very different on the surface, if you look a little deeper, there are a lot of similarities between the game of baseball and deer hunting. Adam Laroche, Chipper Jones, and Jake Peavy all own their own hunting properties. Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Bo Jackson, as well as legends such as Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Joe Dimaggio were all hunters. It is no coincidence that all these men were successful in the game of baseball as well as in the woods.
Here are five skills that translate from the diamond to the woods.
Detailed Gear Preparation
If you’ve ever seen a mother handle a newborn baby, then you know what a baseball player looks like handling a new glove. Ballplayers will spend hours meticulously breaking in a new mitt. Guys use things such as shaving cream, oil, and water in conjunction with a microwave or oven to get the glove perfectly broken in. If it’s perfect, it will give them the greatest potential for success when the game is on the line. The same goes for hunting gear. Bows and rifles must be sighted in perfectly, treestands must be set up correctly so they don’t make any noise, and the list goes on. The key is to have every piece of gear you use in its best shape in order to give you the best chance for success when the time for the shot comes.
Hand Eye Coordination
You can be the most athletic person in the world, but if you don’t have hand eye coordination you will be a terrible baseball player. Nearly every aspect of baseball requires excellent hand eye coordination. Obviously, this same skill is vital to being a good hunter. Without good hand eye coordination, it’s going to be pretty difficult to effectively hit your target, whether it’s a duck flying across the sky or a deer standing 40 yards away.
Strategy and Preparation
Baseball is largely a game that takes place between your ears. Every situation calls for a different play. Baseball players spend countless hours running through every situation so that they are prepared and know what to do when each one comes up. They are so well prepared mentally that by the time the play comes to them they are acting off of pure instinct. This skill is directly related to hunting. What if the deer come in from a different direction than you expected? What if the wind shifts in the middle of the day? The situations and variables are nearly endless. A good hunter is prepared and has a course of action for every situation so that when the time comes, he or she is ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
The record for highest career batting average in Major League Baseball history is held by
Ty Cobb who batted .366 for his career. This means he got got a hit 3.6 times for every 10 times he went up to the plate, which means he failed quite a bit more than he succeeded. With that many failures, having a short memory was highly important to his success. s a hunter, if you draw your bow or look down the sights and your mind is still thinking about the one you missed yesterday, chances are you’re going to miss again. Being able to put the past out of your head and focus on the situation at hand is extremely important to finding success in the woods.
Calm Under Pressure
The game of baseball is filled with pressure situations. Unlike other sports, you can’t just give the ball to the guy on the team who handles the pressure the best, so every good baseball player has to have the ability to perform under pressure. Hunting is the same type of environment. When that big buck comes into view, the palms start to sweat and the heart rate increases. If you can’t take a deep breath and handle the pressure of that moment, more than likely you’re not going to have the outcome you’d like.