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The Patience Equation

Every time I run a turkey off by moving too soon or trying too hard to make something happen, I re-examine the attributes of being patient and staying put.

No one is born patient. We come into the world kicking, screaming and demanding food and attention — right now. Patience is a learned behavior and an acquired skill (if you can call anything as fickle and fragile as patience a skill). From childhood, we are told to be patient. “The early bird gets the worm, but the second rat gets the cheese. Be patient.”

Further, it takes patience to learn to be patient. I’ve worked on being patient all my life. I finally got somewhat of a handle on it by determining and analyzing the factors that create an atmosphere of patience. For the mathematically inclined, I put those factors into a patience formula: Patience equals confidence, plus comfort multiplied by three, plus inclination.

After you identify the factors that comprise patience, you can weigh the individual values of each for a specific situation and determine how long your patience will last. Or, if the factors add up to a brief, miserable hunt, you can manipulate them to improve the amount of patience you can muster.
Confidence is a critical element in the patience formula. If you are confident something will happen, but you don’t know when, you can sit still for a long time.

Comfort is the square root — to use another vague mathematical term — of patience. The greater your discomfort, the quicker your patience will run out. Here are some ways you can placate patience with comfort enhancement:

Get Cozy

Comfort starts from the ground up, and one of the most important pieces of your arsenal is the seat cushion. You can stay in the game as long as you can sit still. When you start to wiggle and squirm, you will get caught — for sure.

Use Good Footware

You might walk as much as you sit, so good boots add to your comfort.

Be Inclined to be Patient

Inclination is the wild card of the patience game. You might have plenty when you start, but when nothing is happening and the hours start dragging, you start thinking about things you should be doing. That kind of thinking makes you less inclined to stay put. You might even decide to quit hunting and mow the lawn.

Cultivate your patience; nurture it, and work on it. That old gobbler has plenty of it. You need to have a little bit more than him.

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