The end is in sight....

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Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,103
Location
Southwest Washington
My first deer hunting season was 1961. I harvested a young doe that year and was tickled to death. I was 12 years old at the time.
Flash
forward 61 years and I can see the end of my favorite fall outdoor activity fading away. I no longer have the physical ability to hike the hills and woods in pursuit of game.
This year I will be hunting from a stand waiting for the deer to come to me. I will be using a S&W 629 5" 44 Mag from the stand and for longer shots, a
lightweight Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39.
I am going to miss this part of my life in the future.
Sorry for whining, but mother nature can be cruel when it comes to getting older.......
 
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NewRuger41

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
62
Location
USA!
Smile upon the cherished memories of past hunting adventures, and look forward to the new ones coming down your road. Carry along binoculars to check out the creatures beyond eyesight while yer sitting up there.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,567
Location
missouri
I suspect you're about my age (70ish) and I fully understand your thoughts. Use what you have and enjoy the experience for a while longer. Over the past 20 years, my deer hunting has generally used enclosed blinds located in prime spots and I've got to say I've killed more deer especially bigger bucks than I did previously.
I have a hip replacement and a knee that hasn't been right since the early 70's (age isn't helping that) and I've managed to go elk hunting 4 of the last 5 years. Just allow yourself some time to adjust to this new page in life.
 

clintsfolly

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
307
Location
outside lansing mi
at 66 this year I am slowing down but not stopping. My concern is the deer camp is we all are getting older and not many younger guys coming in to replace and help. when I started I helped with the tracking,dragging and field dressing for the older guys. One day one of the older guys ask “Kid why?“ I just smiled and said “Because someday I hope a Kid will help me stay in the woods!” Few years back I got to the point that I didn’t want to walk for miles so I bought the Quad. Two yrs ago I could get my buck on the back of the quad. This year I had a small block and tackle setup and loaded it just fine! Getting down On my knees is fairly easy getting up not so easy so park the quad close and grab the rack and help myself up! When it to hard to do it I will just have to become the camp cook and stove tender!
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,761
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
As we age,, we become aware of our slowly changing abilities. Things creep upon us,, to where we realize we just can't exactly do the things we used to do.
BUT,, we can modify our lives to where we can still enjoy most of the things we've always enjoyed.
And,, in this case,, try & mentor a younger person into becoming a hunting partner,, to assist you in your hunting endeavors. You can pass along your knowledge,, and teach them to be aware of how life treats us ALL!
Don't give up,, just learn new methods & modify how things are done.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,567
Location
missouri
I don't want to seem barbaric but consider that some have woken in a hospital bed and found themselves permanently handicapped in some(or many) ways. My self and many others have helped them discover that it is NOT the end of outdoor recreation, hunting, shooting, fishing, or even hiking. The opportunities are there, it's up to the individual to pursue them.
Sorry for coming off so tough.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,103
Location
Southwest Washington
My situation was not a gradual onset of having these inabilities that I now have.
Hunting season 2020 was normal. I hiked the same trails and climbed to the same mountain meadows I always had. Hunting at 5500’ in the Cascade mountains was not much different then the many years prior.
It was 2 weeks after hunting season that I had a mini-stroke. I could not walk without falling down. My strength and endurance went away. I even had a few memory issues.
By fall of 2021 I had regained some of my strength and stability. Enough that I thought I would give hunting a try in the old manner I was used to. Well I had a rude awakening on opening day morning. I fell on a rock pile and was not able to get up. Luckily, my brother was nearby and rescued me. That was the beginning and the end to last hunting season.
So, you see, my situation isn’t a gradual decline but sudden. I have continued to get stronger and with better balance, but nothing like it used to be.
I love the woods and hunting. I will just have to accept my limitations and do my best.
 
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Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,518
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
Dave, you and I have had this discussion going on for some time.

I also cannot navigate the slopes, hills, the rocks, the brush and ankle snakes as I once did. I don't look to the bottom of a canyon for deer as often. I always look uphill. It's sure easier to drag a deer down hill.

You have a family structure that makes sitting on a promontory with binocs very doable. I do also, but not as much.

I know some of this aging stuff is much out of my control. But I'm still blessed that I'm still going out every year, even if it's mostly a sight-seeing drive thru the mountains.
 
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jasper661

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
45
Heliman

We are on a highway, it goes one way, we need to enjoy every moment we have. I am at the 8th decade, and hunting is not as important as it once was. The older we get the more we believe that all life is precious. I live in the forest and spend part of everyday out on the trail. I have livestock, and have no qualms about dealing with predators that threaten my horses.

Take the time you have and enjoy it.
 

wolfsong

Moderator
Staff member
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Dec 20, 2005
Messages
2,493
Location
Sierra foothills, Ca. U.S.A.
My deer - and bear - hunting days are coming to a close, too. Like you, I can no longer run (or even walk) up and down the mountains. Field dressings become difficult. It's just not the same.

But, I have come to realize I can can still be out there with the guys by being what we affectionately call "the camp b*tch". I can cook, and burn the coffee, and keep a tidy camp. Plus, I can nap comfortably whenever I want! I have a lifetime's worth of gear to cover every need. Might as well use it. Still lots of story telling to do, and it's always fun to watch the green horns show up with a Cabela's showroom full of every gadget, super ammo, camos, optics, knives and the Lord knows what else, drag it out in the field and come back tired and empty handed. 😂. Eventually, they learn to listen, and it's even more fun to see them come back to camp with a filled tag.

Perhaps I can park a lawn chair overlooking a clear cut somewhere and sit with my old 30.06 on my lap and my thermos of coffee and some jerkey and take a nap. That would still be hunting, right? Just as long as they remember to pick me up come sundown.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,761
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Jeff,, if we all reflect upon our lives as hunters,, sharing camps etc,, we can all remember the "old guys" who'd come before us & had done it long before we even considered it. But they,, like us,, STILL want to be out there. And many of us will find a way to enjoy it as long as physically possible.

Just a few years ago,, a local guy,, who'd been a lifelong hunter,, often needing the meat for feeding his large family,, came in from a deer hunt. Told his wife he was a "bit tired" and went to lay down. He passed away right there, just after spending a day afield. His son's & I have enjoyed pleasant conversations about how he passed.
So,,, get that lawn chair,, slip out over a clear cut,, & enjoy it as long as possible.
 
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