When is the last time you heard of a professional athlete, or professional anything for that matter, ask for help from someone else who was also considered a professional?
Does it show signs of weakness for us to ask for help? What about “professional hunters“? And I use that term lightly. What about the hunting celebrities that you see on television and on social media showcasing their abilities to fill their tags and their freezers. Do they ask for help? Do fitness professionals need help from other fitness professionals? What about professional videographers? Can you see them calling a friend and asking about a camera setting when they don’t know the answer?
I feel like I can speak on this topic with some certainty because I fit into all of those categories. I’m not saying that I’m a professional anything. What I’m saying is that I sometimes have to ask for help in all of those areas…
And here’s the secret: It doesn’t make me look weak. In fact, it makes me look stronger and more educated when I reach out to people who know more than I do.
As a hunter who spends more time in the field each year than many other people, I can say with honesty that I need professional guides from time to time. Not all the time, but if I don’t have time to go scout an area or put up cameras prior to season, then I need professional help. What if I want to hunt in a state where I don’t know anybody and I certainly don’t own any property? What if I don’t have a clue where the elk are spending their time in the late season? When I harvest an animal, sometimes I need professional help butchering and packaging it so that I can either share it or store it for later. There’s no shame in that. (And truthfully, I like supporting both small business and guide services because that’s the foundation that our entire industry is built on.)
As an athlete I also need help. Do I spend much of my time eating right and exercising? Sure, I do. But that doesn’t make me a genius when it comes to meal planning, current trends, or even how to lift weights. I reach out for help when I feel like I can advance further on my platform by having a professional step in with some advice. I recently hit a plateau on my fitness journey and I reached out to one of the best fitness experts I know. Her knowledge and advice pushed me in the right direction, and now I can feel the changes in my body as I’m getting even healthier than before. If I had been too full of pride to reach out, I would still be back there trying to convince myself that I know what I’m doing.
Keep in mind when you see a popular “professional” on television or on social media that they probably also have to ask for help once in a while. Many hunts that you see are not as easy as what they’ll have you believe. Does it show weakness if they tell you the truth – That they asked a guide to help them? Would that make you judge them? In my case, and I can’t speak for others in this industry, I don’t care if it makes me look weak.
I’ve said it before; I’m not a professional hunter. I co-own one of the most successful production companies in our industry, I host television shows, I film hunts, I run a business, and I spend my days outdoors more than most people do. It’s really that simple. That does not make me any more of a professional than someone who hunts on the weekends for fun. And it means that I probably need more help than anybody.
I have noticed a trend lately where people are publicly shaming others on social media for hiring guides or for hunting in areas where they get a guaranteed shot at an animal. I want to remind everyone out there that we are all on the same team as a hunting community, and before you judge someone for making a decision to hunt in a certain way you should evaluate your reasons for judging them.