People + Process = Performance

Lean and Deer Hunting Part 4

This is the fourth blog in the series on deer hunting and Lean, Ergonomics (Human Factors, Six Sigma and Systems Thinking (L.E.S.S.).

In my last blog I explained how a couple of Lean principles are used pre and post-hunt.  Well, those same principles can be used once the hunter arrives in the woods.  As a reminder, two of the primary principles Lean are to reduce waste and non-value added activities.  The goal of hunting is to spend as much time as possible hunting, i.e. in the stand/blind, and minimize the time spent on preparation.

Final pre-hunt preparation

Once we arrive at our hunting land the final preparation tasks are to get all of your gear and weapon ready for the walk into the stand.  At this stage my husband and I are responsible for our own gear.  I have a routine that I always do in order not overlook anything.  Once out of the truck I spray down my boots with a no-scent product, put on my waist pack, then my back pack and last ready my weapon (uncase my bow/gun) before heading off to my stand.

At the stand

When I arrive at my stand I test the ladder to make sure it is still secure and tight to the tree.  I take off the backpack and put it under the stand.  Then I climb up—depending on the height and type of stand I may rope up by bow/gun.  The first thing I do on the stand is attach my harness rope around the tree and then attach it to my harness.  Then I load my weapon and place on holder.  The next thing I do is take whatever accessories out of my waist pack that I’ll need, i.e. range finder, binoculars) and then place the pack beneath my seat.  Finally I put on my mask and I’m ready for the hunt.

Hunting Success

The obvious goal of deer hunting is getting a deer.  I’m happy to say I’ve been success each season I’ve hunted in both bow and gun hunting.  After I get a deer the next step is to field dress it.  This can be task where lacerations occur if one isn’t careful (I know this from personal experience and that of my husband!).  Because of the potential for self-injury from using a buck knife I’ve developed a systematic method of field dressing.  This has made my field dressing very clean as far as minimizing damage to the meat as well as preventing injury.  I won’t go into detail on this due to the potential sensitivity of describing this but suffice it to say I have been very pleased with the results.

As you can tell by the above the steps for each task have been minimized as much as possible and done in such an order as to place safety first.  The last thing I or any other hunter wants to do is fall out of stand which is why attaching my harness to the tree is always done first.  Some of the fine tuning was by design—thought out beforehand, implemented and the result worked well.  Others were by trial and error, i.e. process improvement.  Evaluating how I do things and improving upon them is a constant theme each hunt and hunting season.  In the next blog I’ll discuss the application of the principles of Six Sigma/process improvement.