I have been considering areas in which I am supposed to be an expert. And it’s sobering to realise how many flaws there are and how I haven’t improved my knowledge at all during the last few years.

Could it be that the thought that one is an ‘expert’ starts to close the mind to new developments and counter-arguments whilst fostering stultification. I suspect that many great players have had this thought, and they counter it by changing their game as soon as they know what they’re doing.

Scott Brooks agrees:

Interestingly, I have felt the same way for some time about deer hunting. I am confident that I know what I’m doing, but in the last few years, I have found it difficult to improve my “game”. I used to like to read all the deer hunting magazines. I got bored of them. It’s the “same ‘ole…same ‘ole” in every magazine story. Nothing new.

I then got into the Quality Deer Management Association. It’s a scientific organization that gets into the real nitty gritty of deer managment (with the emphasis on hunting). Good stuff and more detailed. But still, it is becoming a more detailed version of the “same ‘ole…same ‘ole”.

It makes me wonder:

  1. Is there really anymore to learn about deer hunting (chess, trading) or is just a different rehash of the “same ‘ole…same ‘ole”
  2. What am I missing? There has to be more, and I’m just not seeing what the next level really is…of course, no one else is either…but that’s no excuse….just because others aren’t seeing the “next level” is no excuse for me to not see it.
  3. Maybe the “Peter Principle” is real and I’ve risen to the level where I’m no longer competent (I reject that, of course. Which means that I’ll break thru to the next level. Or its further proof of the principle in action).

So maybe it’s my complacency in what I “think” is competence in an area that I “think” I have expertise. I have been feeling this way for sometime about many areas of my life. Deer hunting, trading, and my businesses. There is either more or there isn’t. If there isn’t more, do I have the intellectual capacity to see my limitations and find happiness with “my level of competence”? If there is more, how do I tap into my intellectual capacity to find it?

J. T. Holley offers a suggestion:

“If there isn’t more, do I have the intellectual capacity to see my limitations and find happiness with ‘my level of competence’? If there is more, how do I tap into my intellectual capacity to find it?”

Don’t necessarily forget everything that you’ve read, watched or seen; but wipe the slate clean. I personally feel that a lot of those “hunting” and “fishing” magazine are just like the “financial pornography” that exists on Wall Street via papers, TV, and radio programs.

Go out and get nothing more than a .99 cent composition notebook and pencil and start writing down everything that comes to your mind. Approach hunting as if it were a “science experiment” and don’t limit anything that comes to your mind.

My Papa did this back in the early 1900’s and kept many a journal. He has one on trapping minks and muskrats that I cherish and feel honored to have read due to the fact that only a handful of people have done so. The other journal comes from hunting deer in Picco Gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It gives insights that nothing today would give or come close to.

Persistently writing and keeping notes and reviewing will allow you to see things that you’d have never before paid attention to or might have been distracted over “other’s experience”. Once you have enough of this data and writings then you’ll be able to form hypothesis and see that certain things are or aren’t predictable when it comes to hunting. Sure beats taking David Petzl’s or Bill Dance’s word for it.

The approach above is one of the main parts of Vic’s two books that I cherish. If you read  Education of a Speculator he didn’t promise a “get rich quick” but a way of thinking that will apply to everything you do. The joke is that nobody wants to take the time to do the work to get the results. They would rather cheat themselves and farm it out or not do it at all and rely on others.

I am not a single expert on anything. Maybe the outdoors in general but that’s about it! That comes from Cub Scouts, Hunting, Fishing, Rafting, Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Camping, and going places and experiencing things that other people simply wouldn’t do.





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