The most successful people in life know how to leverage all that is available to them. They may do this consciously or subconsciously but they all leverage whatever and whomever they can to achieve their goals. If you have attained big achievements, then you no doubt owe some of the credit to somebody else and/or to circumstances or opportunities that you leveraged along the way. To be in denial of this is egocentric, and no offense, but you are full of crap. I am not saying that hard work, laser focus, grit and determination do not play into the equation, but leverage is almost certainly a key to how you made it big.
I snuck through the hardwoods and made my way down into a lower drainage trail to try and sneak north to where I planned to hunt that morning. As I’m creeping through this lower path, I realize that I finally found a way to stay undetected while accessing this tricky area to hunt. The drainage offers a thermal effect that contains my scent beneath where I figured the big 10-point I had come to name “Elvis” was feeding. Typically with these lower areas the wind will stay down low until 9 or 10 in the morning so it can offer the perfect access route to keep your scent contained and fool even the smartest mature deer. This is not perfect science, but I had observed this first-hand in this spot so I knew I could leverage it. Let us call this leverage point #1: hiding my scent by taking advantage of the drainage trail by leveraging the time I had spent in these woods and checking wind direction I knew this plan should work. After what appeared to be a clean sneak in thus far, I am now about to make my riskier move and climb back up to the west and creep into the northern tip of the big alfalfa field about where I expected Elvis to be in less than an hour.
Although dawn is not upon me and the sky is still dark, it is high-risk anytime you enter the edge of a field in the morning as you may send whitetails flying everywhere and botch the entire hunt as the deer are likely feeding in the field, catching their last morning meal before heading into cover for a nap. I am freaking out with each baby step I take and trying to keep myself low to the ground and as close to silent as possible. From scouting the area I had noticed that Elvis consistently drifted over to this high corner of the alfalfa field just after daybreak and lo and behold there sat a random clump of bushes in the middle of nowhere yet right on top of where I repeatedly spotted Elvis. The wind was a steady breeze out of the south, so by my calculations I expected this crazy plan just might work. Let’s call this leverage point #2: the bush blind. It consists of leveraging what I had noticed scouting and leveraging a random growth of cover in the middle of an area of the huge alfalfa field.
I nestled into the isolated bushy cover and began quietly twisting vines and branches in front of me and behind me to add in some extra camouflage for when I came face-to-face with Elvis, who is a smart old son of a gun. Here, I am leveraging both the remaining time before daylight when I can still move around a bit, and I am leveraging the available vines and branches to offer more camo post-daybreak to disguise me from Elvis or any other deer that comes close. Let us call these leverage point numbers 3 and 4.
I set my grunt call (buck call when looking to breed, fight, or be heard) and my rattle bag (a bag of wood sticks that sounds like two bucks fighting when rolled around in your hands) on the ground next to me. I made sure that everything was in order so I would be ready to rock as soon as the sun rises. In the first 30 minutes of daylight, my plan was working like a charm. I had three does and two younger bucks pass me within 15 yards south of me and the wind direction and the cover worked harmoniously as I went unnoticed. Few things are cooler than watching a plan work like this work, as this is leverage at its best.
I see his massive antlers approaching before I see his body as I am hunkered down low in this bush. My heart starts slamming and the shakes begin in a big way. I remember thinking that this is for sure a county record 10-pointer, he is majestic as he exhales and blows steam from his mouth and nostrils. With each step closer to me, my heart is beating faster and faster. I am freaking out. I come to full draw and I am moments from releasing my arrow and he stops dead in his tracks. He looks right then left and then for some reason which I can only call the “sixth sense” of a mature monster buck, he turns and walks the other way, leaving me no shot.
I watch him walk away calmly and steadily in a direction that is counterintuitive to every other deer I saw that morning or any path I have seen him take in the past. I think to myself, “what the f-ck just happened? I played everything right. I leveraged every possible piece of data correctly and then by some fluke Elvis pulls this 180 on me.” I begin to laugh to myself and lay down in the bush and smile as I gaze up into the sky. I guess that even the best at leverage, even those that play each step right cannot always come through with a win. I guess that in this case Elvis must have known a thing or two about leverage himself and he leveraged his knowledge and experience and trusted his sixth sense that told him, “something isn’t right here, so I’m just going to turn around and head to bed somewhere else, sorry Farbz.”
While even the best at leverage cannot always achieve their goal, I came damn close. Or maybe in some way I did achieve my goal. I could have arrowed eight other deer that morning, including three bucks. In addition, I was literally one step short of Elvis and the rush was incredible and will always live on as an amazing memory and it provides an experience that I will leverage for years to come. I now use random cover, thermals, daylight, you name it to my advantage as leverage points that are a part of me. The next time that you feel jammed up on something think about the leverage points that are available to you and start thinking about how they can help you succeed. When you look at the people that are the best at their trade, start asking them about what they leveraged to get there and by all means leverage them for their help, but remember that leverage is a two-way street. I will end with a proverb I made up: “He who leverages must be willing to be leveraged.”