The end is in sight....

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Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,103
Location
Southwest Washington
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.

Your plan is my plan as well……. This season I will hunt on level ground; no hill climbing. I won’t shoot anything unless someone else is around to help out.
Camp life is fun. We play cards and BS a lot. We have BB guns to plink with in camp. Many other activities. You see, our hunting camp is a family get together. My brothers and sons and I have many memories from past hunting seasons and we like reliving those moments around the camp fire.
The change in my role as “lead Hunter” has been and is a tough adjustment. We will enjoy our season regardless.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,761
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
"The change in my role as "lead Hunter" has been and is a tough adjustment. We will enjoy our season regardless."

Adjusting is what we do in life. Sometimes,, it's subtle,,, other times,, glaring.

Today,,, I attended a celebration of life for a friend,, a year younger than I. He was a country guy,, loved hunting & fishing & farming. Sadly,, he left us all too soon. But at the service today,, I was able to visit with a lot of folks who, like I,, had wonderful memories of him. Tears were shed,, hugs were shared,, yet,, the eulogy given by his cousin has to be one of the best I've ever heard.
Not much preaching,, by the pastor,, but the cousin,, captured my friend,, and family member to many there,, darn near perfectly. It was not all "glory & roses" presentation,,, but a realistic portrayal of his life,, with some bad thrown in with the good.
Even the mortician,, who was also a friend,, and we all went to school together made the comment,," When it's my time,, I don't want preaching,, I want FRIENDS to do exactly what Charlie did! Share MY life & the memories."

Well, deer camp,,, deer hunting,, & the souls who've gone before us,, and those following us,, all are a cherished memory. Today,, several comments were made that revolved around Travis's attendance at hunting camp.
So,, while it may seem the time is near,, just shift a little,, become a different part of deer camp,, or as wolfie says,, get a chair & relax,, and maybe a few more deer will be sent your way by the Good Lord.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,567
Location
missouri
Contender's post reminded me of an incident from 50(ish) years past. I was considered sort of 'the mountain man' of the area by some and one evening a phone call came into the folks house(I didn't even have a phone at the time). It seemed that an older man had gone out deer hunting but hadn't returned for his evening chores and his family had no idea where he was. He'd left the house on foot and all they knew was the direction he'd gone. I was asked to attempt to trail him and it was already getting dark.
I already knew it would be impossible to track since livestock followed the same paths away from the homestead so my search began where I expected he might have gone to sit and wait for a deer to blunder past. About 10 PM, I found him sitting next to a large oak tree with his rifle across his lap. He'd passed away probably around noon and judging by the angle of the tree and such, the sun had been shining on him when he passed. Pretty hard to beat that.
 

Gator89

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
1,007
Location
Nut Bush City Limits
One of my great-uncles loved hunting with hounds, deer during season, wildcats (bobcats to some folks) the rest of the year.

Towards the end of the 1985-86 season my uncle had placed standers around a block of woods in the Ocala National Forest and set off to find a fresh deer track on which to drop his hounds in hope of getting a "jump" My uncle leaned his Remington pump shotgun against a tree, dropped the tailgate on his old IH Scout, opened the dogbox (kennel if you prefer) and let his "strike dog" out in hopes getting a "race" going. But the race never developed. Finally standers went to check on Uncle H J and found him permanently at rest, his dog on a leash patiently waiting for him to get up.

There was no better way for my uncle to go out after 82 or so years on God's earth.
 

One at a time

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 5, 2022
Messages
7
Location
USA
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.
Their is many stories out there about the hunters coming back to camp and helping the “camp cook” wack and stack whatever critter they managed to put down while the others were out and about. Now it’s your turn.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
I stopped hunting years ago. I am in my 7th decade. I just did not like the killing any more. I still go out in the woods as often as I can to just enjoy being in nature. I find the deep woods to be very "primeval" and just amazing to sit in and watch & listen. I have sat still enough that deep have walked by me less than 10 feet away and never flinched. I have also gotten up and found deer footprints behind me in the snow that close and I never knew they were there!
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,567
Location
missouri
"When I turned 75 I hit a brick wall."
Man, I hope that's not the way it turns out for me. I plan to be on an elk hunt this fall for my 70th Bday.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Dave, it's not whining. You're just telling us what's going on. I hope you come to terms with it. I guess there are a lot of us here on the RF who are facing our own difficulties regarding aging. I know I am...
Hi,

Most of my hunting has been for birds and small game. My first dove hunt was Opening Day (Sep 1) 1962. My 12th birthday present that year was early by a few days because of the dates: a Stevens 311 20ga SxS. I think I got one dove out of two boxes of shells. Two of us shot at the same bird and the other fellow said it was my shot. We had a good crew of guys to hunt with back then. This Sep 1 will mark 60 yrs since that first dove trip, and I think I can count the number of openers I've missed (school and/or work) since then on one hand.

I may be out there alone this time. Over the years we've lost all the folks I used to shoot doves with to attrition--age, death, loss of interest, and such. I have one hunting buddy left, a young fellow I introduced to dove hunting when he still lived in CA. Since he left, we've been getting together in Yuma, AZ. I don't know if he'll make it this year--his work schedule can be sketchy because of Covid (he works for a school district.) It's about a 4 hr trip to meet in the middle, so pricey gas may or may not be a player.

But whatever happens, there's a good assortment of memories from years past to add to. So whether I get a dove or not, I can at least tell myself I'm honoring a tradition!

Rick C
 

wolfsong

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
2,493
Location
Sierra foothills, Ca. U.S.A.
Rick, because the miles between us precludes you and I ever enjoying Opening Day (Christmas in September) together, you can rest assured that you are with me in spirit. I'll squeeze off two rounds at an empty sky to represent our first - only - misses of the day, and then I'll keep the field reports headed your way. And I'll send any surplus high flying birds southbound for ya. 😊

Peace and God bless, Wolfie.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Rick, because the miles between us precludes you and I ever enjoying Opening Day (Christmas in September) together, you can rest assured that you are with me in spirit. I'll squeeze off two rounds at an empty sky to represent our first - only - misses of the day, and then I'll keep the field reports headed your way. And I'll send any surplus high flying birds southbound for ya. 😊

Peace and God bless, Wolfie.
Hi,

Wolfie, I'll be listening for those two "misses" and watching for those ever stimulating "Neener, neener, neener" tailgate pictures!

Please don't let go of the idea of a Christmas in September shoot. You've read my thoughts about your retirement, and my own scheduled date is October 16 this year. So at least with the latter, I'm anticipating some changes in my life. I've got to get around the hit my spending money will take, And I'm afraid doctors may start playing a bit more of a part in my life than they have the last 50 years, but this, too, shall pass. So I may be able to come out and play more. At least that's the plan.

So until then, I hope you guys blast a bunch of those little gray buzzbombs this upcoming season!

Rick C!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10,535
Location
Webster, MD.
Improvise, adapt, overcome. First Ruger Gathering at Contenders I walked a gazillion miles it seemed. Then Ma Nature stepped in. Many of you have seen my gallant steed "trigger". It was the 'adapt' in order to' overcome'. I didn't stop what I like to do, just the manner in which I did it.
 

skeen

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
15
I've only got about 40 seasons under my belt, well less those whenever I was stationed overseas I suppose. While I feel like I have quite a few good deer seasons to go, I've discovered I'm not as interested in getting one myself anymore - I'd way rather watch my boys and friends score.
We still set up a canvas wall tent for 10 days, and it's work, but I do enjoy camp and the comradery.
 

turd

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
996
Location
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I can really relate to this thread. I grew up hunting. Shot a double 12 ga. that knocked me on my rear when I was about 10 yo. The adults all thought that was cool, the bird carrier got to shoot for once! I have hunted just about everything available in the area, year after year. Managed to accumulate some decent firearms along the way. Now I'm finding that walking miles through broken fields or hauling myself and a gun and a day pack for a mile or so and then dragging the deer back out just really doesn't work anymore. Got lots of memories, so I have started identifying nephews (no kids) that may have use of some of the guns I have accumulated, and I've started giving them away now so they can tell me about using them instead of waiting 'til I'm gone. 'Course, I've kept a few so I can still go for short trips or dream of going........
 

WV460hunter

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 28, 2022
Messages
39
Location
West Virginia
Hey, there's nothing wrong with just waiting for a deer to walk past. I've been doing it that way for decades.
In the east Appalachian mountians the sit and wait is a very common tactic as the dense and rugged terrain is not very open and usually full of brush , green briefs, autumn olives , Beech trees raspberry and blackberries thickets . So setting up 50 yards off a trail is an ideal way to hunt here.
 

UmpquaCharlie

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
1,378
Location
SW Oregon
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.......
Im right behind you. This may be my last year of stomping through the timber chasing elk and deer. Arthritis in knees and back are slowing me down to almost stop. Im 78.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,567
Location
missouri
Words of encouragement: On November 2, I rode the air evac helicopter 120 miles to the nearest burn center with 1'st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns to hands, face, and neck. Ten days later, I killed one of the biggest bucks I've taken in my life. I couldn't even bend most of my fingers and had bandages like mittens but we managed to get my trigger finger separated enough to do it's job.
NEVER QUIT & NEVER GIVE UP
 
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