An unlikely helper - How an art director helped me get better at hunting.

Did you ever imagine deer hunting has anything in common with advertising?

Or that we (hunters) can learn from art directors - the creative types who think up the ads you see on TV?

I did. Maybe you can too?

I've always worked hard to become a better hunter.

Continuous improvement is an integral part of who I am. Sounds familiar?

But I also see it as my obligation to nature. Because I have a role to play. As a hunter.

Hunting is a broad topic. So many things to learn. And so many things to enjoy. Biology, shooting, cooking, navigation, camp craft. You name it.

But too many choices can be a challenge when learning. Where to start? What to focus on?

At times, I've behaved like a happy little butterfly. And flown randomly from one flower to another. In search of sweet nectar.

As much as it's been fun. It's also slowed down my rate of improvement.

It's stopped me from going in-depth. It's gotten in my way of successful hunting.

Hunting inspiration from an unlikely source

Pondering how to deal with the overload of choices, I recalled a phrase from a book on advertising.

It was from an art director. The creative who comes up with ideas for advertising campaigns. His job starts with a brief from a customer. That tells him what the client wants to achieve. And on that basis, he can apply his creativity. And create an advertising campaign that sells.

This idea is a bit of a paradox. Here's what he said:

"Give me the freedom of a tight brief".

It means it's easier to come up with a great campaign. If the client has given a brief with narrow requirements.

Because that way, he can focus his creative attention.

And cut out the noise.

I loved the idea when I first saw it.

But applying it to hunting was easier said than done.

Things started to click into place when I saw hunting as the collection of separate roles.

Like a team with different skills.

That way, I could park exciting topics. And concentrate on one thing at a time.

It meant I could sell my butterfly costume (it wasn't a great look anyway). And I could start to focus.

Applying focus: the efficient hunter

For the act of hunting, I refer to the role as "the efficient hunter".

It's the artist formerly known as the purposeful hunter. If you've read previous posts.

It's all about eliminating all elements that don't contribute to killing an animal (to put it a little bluntly). And doing them as efficiently as possible. With a minimum of wasted effort. And that ranges from being squared away to movement economy when you operate your hunting gear.

So that's how an idea from advertising has inspired me.

Concentrating my attention has helped me look deeper at hunting.

It's helped me define a process. And four principles. A framework that helps me focus on a few things and do them well.

It's just the start.

But I've got a clear path.

Which makes all the difference.

Here's an example. Of how the ability to focus has helped me think differently about training as a hunter. And understand the priorities. I used to practice shooting in isolation. Now I've started working on the whole process of setting up and taking the shot. And that's helped me become more efficient (faster).

Granted. It's a simple idea. But the implications are wide-ranging.

Applying focus. Grouping skills. Is an important starting point to help you get better at hunting.

Maybe those creative folks have more to offer than I first thought...

If you're a little or a lot like me, you won't leave any stone unturned. In your efforts to get better at hunting.

Maybe it's cooking wild food that drives you. Perhaps it's being part of nature (instead of apart from). Or it's both and a whole lot more.

Either way, I hope you'll benefit from this idea in some way.

There's lots more to tell. And I will in future posts.

Focus is not enough on its own.

I use different tools. Many lenses. And several mental models. To help me make sense and improve.

If you're as obsessed with hunting and optimization as I am. You might find next weeks post interesting.

It's about the efficient hunter. And LEAN. The process optimization framework developed by Toyota. And helped them become known for their reliable cars.

Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and all the best,


PS. I've created a summary of the different hunting roles (the Steward of Nature). Click here if you want to read about them.