“Go For Your Dreams… Do Not be Afraid to Fail… Keep Going….. Place it in your Subconscious Mind”
Today I had the honor of listening and learning from our first featured Legendary Hunter, Mr. Ed Ward Jr. He is a man with an abundance of knowledge in hunting and the great outdoors. Beyond his hobby of hunting, he’s a veteran of the United States Air Force and the Wisconsin Air National Guard. In the Air Force he was an aircraft Jet-engine mechanical engineer. With all of his greatness, he has so much humility, discipline, and compassion for life. I am grateful that I had the honor to visit his home and listen to the stories of wisdom about the trophies and valuable information for life.
A gathering that was originally planned to be an interview on all things hunting, became a moment in my life that gave me encouragement and a detailed guide on how to succeed not only in the great outdoors, but how to succeed in careers and live my best life day to day.
Mr. Ward started hunting when he was a young child in Brunswick, TN. He started hunting smaller game due to the desire for fresher meat. As a child, the Ward family would use the traditional way to preserve meat through a process called curing. When it was time to prepare meals, they would have to boil the meat twice to help remove some of the salt that was used during the curing process. Mr. Ward disliked the overly salty taste and this is what gave him the motivation to begin hunting.
With the combined skills of an avid reader, a self-taught hunter, and a M1 Garand Precision Shooter Marksmen, Mr. Ward is lethal on the hunting grounds. His appetite for hunting larger game, was awakened during the times when his co-workers would show him photographs from their various hunts, and they would also give him samples of the harvested meat. Mr. Ward was marveled, thus leading him to develop his plans to make sure he would have those same adventures.
“Plan…Plan…Plan…. If you fail to Plan, you plan to fail…..”
And with this goal, Mr. Ward placed his plan in “WRITING”. He clearly identified his outcome and wrote out the plan, and the plan b, and the plan c and d to get him to the “mule deer, the white tails, the Colorado Elks, the bobcat, and the antelopes….. These are the same steps we must do in our every day life to obtain all things that we desire and need. Hunting is an expensive hobby… yes pricy, but ultimately worth the investment (the appreciation of the value of well-kept guns and rifles and the moments with God and the unforgettable tales we will share with others.) Mr. Ward did not purchase the most expensive rifle, when he started his passion; he purchased what he saved for and what he could afford and with this Winchester 30-30, Mr. Ward practiced shooting his rifle months before the season would near. We must Plan and we must Practice….
“Practice…. Practice….. Practice….”
As hunters, most of us end the season and don’t start preparing again until late September or even October… As a baby-hunter, I am guilty of this, which also sparked my interest in starting this group in order for seasoned and newbie hunters to gather our knowledge and experiences in one place, and to help us to become our best as outdoorsmen.
Mr. Ward starts preparing and practicing for the next season in July. With the early start, he gives himself not only the surety that his rifle is sited perfectly, but this practice and preparation gives him extra experience, familiarity, confidence and it places the movements and routine of positioning the rifle, aiming, and shooting… into his subconscious mind, which allows hunting to become a seamless second nature.
“Self-discipline is what it takes…”
When Mr. Ward was in the Air Force, there was that 105 degree morbidly hot day during M1 precision shooting training, that gave him the discipline to withstand harsh conditions in order to reach the desired goal of perfection and precision. It was the day that would be the final test they needed to pass, if they didn’t want to return for another miserable week in San Antonio, TX.
When Mr. Ward knew he wanted to harvest the best trophies; he had to have the same discipline from the days in the Air Force. He knew he would have to do what most people don’t do…. He knew he needed to stay in the deer-stand a little longer, hang in there when the weather was least desirable, hunt all day, hunt in the rain, hunt during the freezing days in Milwaukee, and be uncomfortable in order to get the “sugar cookie”…. (that prized antlered wild-game). This self-discipline leads to the greater rewards in life and the greatest trophies.
“The outdoors and hunting gives me peace of mind… I am free…. I have no worries…”
Mr. Ward followed his heart. When he has a dream, a goal, and a destination….no matter the size…. He takes a picture, he visualizes it…. makes a plan, stays focused and disciplined and the outcome arrives and it’s grand, because that is the way he in connection with God, planned it. As hunters we get to experience this joy, this freedom, and the moments in nature that stand the earth still and stop time. Like Mr. Ward, we as hunters are gifted a piece of heaven and the serene moments with God, in the outdoors. This is what Mr. Ward loves most about hunting. This is why He hunts; this is why we hunt…..
Special Thanks to Mr. Ward for his valuable time and information; I am forever grateful and honored to share today with you and my dad.