And the purposeful hunter is the foundation for how we build gear.
Purpose-built hunting gear.
But probably not the way you think.
To us, purpose-built is not gear designed for mountain hunting, deer hunting, western hunting, safari, driven hunting etc.
That's how I used to think about hunting. And how I used to build gear.
But I realised that's all wrong.
Of course, those things are relevant, but at best they're the wrong place to start. At worst, they're just mindlessly applied labels.
So what should we do instead?
How do we approach hunting if we're single-minded, obsessive and uncompromising in our pursuit for a "job well done"?
The light clicked for me when I re-read Stephen Covey's "The 7 habits of highly effective people". It's a book about goal definition and alignment that has sold 25 million copies.
Lots' of good stuff in that book, but two things made me reconsider the way I look at hunting (and building hunting gear).
Firstly, it's the idea we should be guided by principles (the habits in Covey's book). Because principles are timeless and apply to many situations - known and unknown.
By the way, that's incredibly helpful if you hunt abroad or on new ground. No matter the situation or conditions, you have principles to guide you.
And secondly, the 2nd habit turned things on their head for me (with great effect): "Start with the end in mind."
But how do we translate that to hunting?
For hunting, "the end" is a field processed animal, ready for transport and butchering.
So far, so good. But to me, that was difficult to operationalise.
So, surprise surprise, I reverted to processes to help me find answers.
And I came up with the concept of "the window of opportunity".
Does that sound a little far out? Stay with me.
When we hunt, we look for an animal. We shoot it. And we field process it. To make sure as much of the meat as possible ends up on a dining table.
The "looking for" part is about creating an opportunity to shoot the animal. And the "shooting" and "processing" parts are about successfully shooting the animal and putting it into the food chain. Maximising the window of opportunity.
Here's a summary.