Steve Bartylla talks Frustration when Managing
Tip of the Day
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I’m afraid that this will be at least partially preaching to the choir, as most of you have already arrived at the place I’m about to describe without a lick of help from me. That said, having struggled in the past with this mightily myself and knowing how destructive it can be, I wanted to share this with those that follow my work the closest…All of you!
When pouring your heart and soul into managing ground on any free range property, you’re going to have all sorts of things work against you. Mother Nature will decide not to rain for a month after putting in a food plot, the fruit trees you planted die, the bucks you pass are killed by neighbors (and they deserve as sincere as we can muster congrats for doing so, no matter how bad it stings) and everything else imaginable under the sun will eventually explode in your management face. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty much a given when trying to control Mother Nature and her creatures.
We all face a choice. We essentially have 3 paths we can take.
One is to complain up a storm about it and wallow in our own misery. That’s certainly our right to do so. In fact, I sincerely believe that some out there find comfort in being miserable. I’d just suggest that dwelling in misery breeds nothing but more misery and never improves one’s situation, at least when playing the management game.
Another route is to simply be thankful for what we have and continue doing the same things we’ve always done to deal or not deal with the issues that keep setting our efforts back. I imagine that there is an inner peace of sorts that come with that approach. the catch is that things rarely improve on their own, without us doing something to force the issue….again, in the management game.
The third option is to do your best to focus exclusively on fixing (as best we can) the issues that keep slapping us in the face, doing what we can to prevent them from occurring again and both IDing the things we simply can’t control and doing our best to accept them.
I believe it was Elbert Einstein that said something to the extent that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, only expecting a different result next time. Some issues we face in management can never be eliminated. They are always going to occur and, for whatever reason, there truly is nothing we can do to fix or eliminate the issue. However, there really are many things we can do to improve many situations. Wallowing in misery or convincing ourselves “this” is just the way it is does nothing but detract from making things better. attitude really is important in this stuff.
It took me way too long and way too much wasted emotions to get to this point, but I’ve personally found that focusing as much as I can on what I can impact and doing my best to ignore the rest is the most productive path I’ve found.
Does it hurt like a son of a gun when you lose a buck, such as the one pictured, to a neighbor (which is what happened to him), poacher, car, disease, fighting, pack of yotes or whatever else? Of course it does. When there’s just enough soil moisture to germinate the seeds, only to not rain for a month after and have the seedlings die, it stings like heck. So, we can lament our bad luck or we can get out there and establish that food plot in something else. When equipment breaks down, as it is going to do, we can beat on it with a hammer until we break it even more or we can suck it up, fix it and get as much work done as we can in the time left.
The human race is filled with people that expect things given to them and complain when they’re not. When managing ground, Mother Nature isn’t going to give you a dang thing. You need to go out there and force her to. Each of us can ultimately be whoever we want to be, in these regards. You want to be jealous that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, no one is going to stop you…Or, you can focus on making the grass greener on your side. If you do, will you still face all sorts of challenges and losses? You most certainly will. How one choses to deal with those challenges and losses is very often what separates the wheat from the chaff, as it applies to managing ground….Get out there and MAKE your own luck, to the fullest extent you reasonably can, while doing your best to accept what you honestly can’t control, but you need to be honest with yourself about what you really can or can’t control, if you want your grass to be as green as realistically possible.