Contributors to this thread:
Losing the itch
I am normally that guy whom feels cheated if I do not get that morning hunt in. Feel terrible if I miss an afternoon sit. Have been sick the last few days and when I normally would be out and about, I have been home. While the guilty feeling is still there it sure isn’t like it used to be.
I read stories where as a hunter ages this is normal and I am finding it to be true. I don’t have the drive like I used to. I try to reason why and I think a lot can be attributed to not having spots I am confident in anymore. Have lost a lot of permission due to leasing etc. People stealing equipment, hunting opposition, Idk.
Anymore I look forward to hunting with others and the camaraderie. Would rather drive a day and hang with a friend for a couple hours versus sitting in my local stand.
I will always hunt and not sure where I am going with this but thought it may be a topic of discussion. I have a possible pig hunt with a buddy next year and am excited about it.
I find myself on Bowsite less and less even. Don’t want that to happen.
What I really do enjoy is reading hunt recaps of our Bowsiters like Homrich, Zack, Lee, Nick, etc. Keep me coming please
Just found out may 59 year old brother has not hunted elk for 3 years. . . The dude lived to hunt elk. I still have the fire . . . But it is different. Swear to god - back in the day . . . I felt like if was going to crawl out of my skin with anticipation. Still love it. Still lose sleep in anticipation . . . But now it is more about my boy and the friends. Right up until a bull is within 30 yards:)
I could imagine working towards a s slam would wear a guy down some. Sounds like you need to maybe just recharge your batteries a bit. The rut is getting ready to kick in pretty soon. Hopefully that will getcha fired up. Hope you get feeling better soon too, Nedly!
Ned, you’ve been working really hard at a goal and I’m sure that keeps your mind wandering. You’ll finish it, in style and after that I’m sure the rest will be gravy!
Troy your Greenland hunt recap was so enjoyable. Please do another hunt soon and report. Breaking a sweat as we speak. Hope I am kicking this fever in the arse
I’m almost 69, been bowhunting 43 years. I used to hunt every weekend and a few vacation days, during the season. Back years ago, I was obsessed with bowhunting and stopped other hunting, cause I was always too busy bow hunting. In recent years, I bow hunt for the most part, only the rut. I diversified into bow hunting for turkeys, and other game. And I also upland bird hunt (shotgun of course), and I do quite a bit of coyote calling. I don’t think I’m losing the itch, I’m just hunting in the prime time and hunting via other methods. I do hope to bow hunt many more years.
Thanks Ned. Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe we can do a group thread on the upcoming Kodiak blacktail trip. Several Bowsiters will be there as well. Hopefully we don’t kill too many brain cells while there! ;-)
Forgot to add....Zack will be there
My hunting buddy/partner called it quits last Nov 16th at 9 am, opening day of the Wisconsin gun season. He was 78 and had bow and gun hunted all his life. He said he "lost it". This past summer he sold all his stuff.
I have same feelings.....I think I could quit all together with only a few relapses a year ;) All jokes aside, I pretty much follow my 2 boys. If they want to waterfowl hunt, I have no problem putting the bow down. Just no desire to hunt to much without them.
Sounds like low T, but I thought that will actually give you an itch? ;-)
I think people's goals change over time and that a shift in focus is natural - mine certainly have. There was a hunt I did in the early 2000's here in NorCal where I went by myself, pitched my tent in the snow and went after it. It was more adventure than I had experienced. A repeat of that hunt has absolutely no attraction to me today. I can still take the cold, have no issue with sleeping on the ground and don't mind the work, but simply would rather hunt with good friends rather than hunting solo.
A buddy in high school told me to slow down or I'd get burnt out.20 years later I do hunt a lot less now, but usually the hunts I plan for all year are pretty epic for my life. I find myself valuing conservation and hunting with friends more than I do the kill.
Yea I think it’s fairly common. I’m feel like I’m slowing down a little. I still like to hunt don’t get me wrong. But I find myself wanting to be with family More. I still enjoy hunting but at the same time want to enjoy every minute with my daughter
Fairly common...I haven't had that intense fire for about 10 years, now 67. I'm hunting now ONLY because my son wants to hunt with the Old Man again. Can't say no to that, eh? But I hunt on my terms...do more deer watching than shooting. If a buck catches my fancy I'll take him, if not...I'll let him walk. Doubt I'll ever shoot another doe...one buck a year suits me. That said, I revel in success of others...here as well as my son. Still enjoy the stories here, especially all you elk hunters...I loved the Wyoming mountains! Keep em coming, y'all.
I think you are normal and everything is going to be OK. I’ll be 72 in a few weeks. I “don’t hate’em like I use to.” Being retired, I have ample time to hunt. I hunt for pleasure and not pressured weekend hunt time and saved vacation time. I hunt the fronts, prime hunting times and pretty days only- no rain. I let the working folks hunt the weekends and I hunt during the weekdays when I have the woods to myself and the woods are still and quiet.
I do still enjoy booking hunts and traveling and sharing campfires.
Like you, I enjoy reading the stories of the younger guys on BS. They help to keep the hunting embers warm. They help me back to when I was their age and reminisce about my younger days and exploits. I also think back to many of my hunting buddies who have unfortunately already died and how fortunate I am to still have the health and resources to hunt. That reminds me not to squander opportunities.
I ain’t a “Dugga Boy” yet and still have the mindset of controlling the herd, till Father Time challenges me.
Well, I’m just a deer hunter for the most part, but slowing down has maybe helped me a little. I used to hunt no matter what because of my limited time off. Now, I’m retired and will not hunt if the wind is iffy or it’s too hot to sit a ground blind. I also don’t hunt lots of weekends when everyone and his brother is stirring things up. I still get to hunt more than I did when I worked, I just get to pick when.
Matt brought it up, but I've always wonder if decreasing Testosterone levels as we age has something to do with people losing the desire to hunt as much. Depression can also make things that you once enjoyed no longer be enjoyable. Some Wellbutrin usually squashes that and pumps up the libido at the same time if it's depression that's causing someone to not enjoy things anymore.
I'm 50 this summer
I've not had one day in the woods in a year. Not one stand hung, not one squirrel shot at, I've not seen a scrape or rub.
I miss the hunting - not the killing. I've been through a lot this year, and I'm scheduled for a Nov 1-10th Kansas hunt. My heart is in it, but it isn't.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.
"Matt brought it up, but I've always wonder if decreasing Testosterone levels as we age has something to do with people losing the desire to hunt as much."
More likely wisdom than low T...
I get a huge guilty feeling in the elkwoods if I'm not out from dawn to dusk. I feel like I'm cheating myself. The season only comes once a year.
I know the feeling well Trophyhill. Used to just eat at me but it is subsiding. Depression may be a large factor actually. Things with every day life, etc. Hunting helped me beat depression I thought.
Always feel like a wimp feeling depressed by maybe Ike is on to something. Feel like a person should be able to get himself out of a depressed funk by bucking up so to speak and not rely on meds.
During a hunting season and if I was not doing something towards Said activity I would feel so cheated but that feeling is subsiding. Confiding in friends sure helps.
I finally got to meet Dick Mauch this year. He recently passed away. Was able to talk to him for quite a bit and he talked about his hunting trips a very little bit and mostly of the friends he had met in his journey through life. I admired that. Once again rambling on a bit but just emphasizing the enjoyment of friendship over hunting itself. This reinforces the fact that killing is just a small small part of our hunting and I try to explain that to no hunters.
I used to hang a stand every hunt. Now I will sit in some ground blinds and have placed some permanent ladder stands on our farm.
Two weeks ago I purchased a Stump 4 blind. Last weekend I sat in it for the first time. My wife accompanied me, which was the intent for buying it. I was blest to harvest a doe in front of her at 15 yards. She has been with me when I have taken a turkey by bow, in warm Spring weather, but this was her first time with deer. It was very exciting for both of us.
I don't have the fire I once did, but changing things up is keeping it exciting.
Cool Frank!! Good point for sure
Think its just part of the natural evolution of a hunter. Read a book on it awhile ago, don't remember the title. When we start, we're young and a bit "bloodthirsty", the goal is to stack em like cordwood. Then as we get older it's not the numbers but the quality, we want the biggest most mature animal we can find. Then the final stage is where you are, we care more about the place, the people were with, and the experience. I'd rather see a first timer I've drug along get it done than punch my own tag. I still enjoy filling my tag, it just isn't the most important part of the experience anymore....
There was a while when I was stationed in Maryland and I was hunting most everyday during their long seasons. After about 4 years of the constant hunting, it turned into a major grind and I had my fill and almost stopped. Now retired and back in northern Michigan, I hunt a little more...mostly on private land the last 3 years. IMO, public land here isn't what it used to be and the DNR regs and special interest groups (horn hunters) are ruining it....at least from I was use to. Public land deer hunting here doesn't excite me too much anymore. I get more thrill on out of state/Canada hunts as I feel they offer more things to chase. I think if folks are getting burned out, look at hunting something different, even if it is small game...birds, squirrels, rabbits and such. If that doesn't clear the mind, it's ok to put the bow or gun down and step back for a bit regroup.
priorities change with time unless there is something wrong with you
I`m in the same boat this year, but my lack of enthusiasm is brought on by illness. I have bronchiectasis which is a lung condition similar to copd. It makes you tired all the time, depressed, etc. My get up and go has seem to have got up and left. Going out this morning again, but just not the same as years previous.
I think there was a thread 3-4 years ago that contained some questions about what to do with mounts if ya died or didn't want them as you moved into a new home that had a different style and not so much for a Trophy Room.
As the thread progressed it turned into how worthless $$$ wise a mount was worth to sell or even try to sell.
I sat in my TR and wondered if I had taken on the wrong Hobby as it looks great with many compliments but I started wondering if each mount was about as worthless as another Bowling Trophy ~~ great to have with many pats on the back and a little bit of a positive reputation but not of much real life value in the end of the day.
Sure, I've had multiple mag articles as just a nobody hunter submitting a story and as great as those were, it didn't change my life nor did it motivate me to be an overall better person in society, just a better hunter and there is definitely more Topics in life than hunting.
I felt guilty after paying for a brand new vehicle instead of spending the money on a Stone Sheep hunt--------> but not anymore.
Go with your Gut Ned as you have had such wonderful results in life man.
Good luck, Robb
Listen to the Podcast Zac did with Ray Howell. I posted a thread on it. Ray Howell has lived an amazing life.
At 66 I’m still running hard with bow hunting (in a tree as I type) and what drives me is at some point I’ll be left sitting on the porch while the youngins Hunt. Enjoy every hunt there is an end!
Like the rest of you Time and my body have changed my priorities. I started out on Saturday morning to check my trail cam. I was less than a half mile in to my walk when my leg told me to turn around. I listened. A younger me would have pushed on. I too am taking increasing interest in the social aspects of the hunt. I have two grandchildren that I look forward to taking out in upcoming years. I think it only natural we reach the stage where we don't have to kill an animal is coupled with the time to teach kids.
Been bowhunting for over 40 years. What has kept me interested is the new places, new species, and bringing in youth to pass it along. Started late so my son is still in high school, daughter just starting college. I used to teach the state and IHEA, NBEF bowhunting classes, co-authored the "I can bowhunt" presentations in my home state, served as former president, board member of the local state bowhunting organization, promoted NASP, served as line judge at state competition.. sounds like a resume but its a way to stay involved.
I don't hunt with ANY of the people I used to. Between their changing of interest, aging, dying and becoming the "head hogs," the folks they used to detest (a story in itself) you could say depression does set-in occasionally. Especially after losing a hunting buddy or a spot to wolves, logging, sale or property development.
That said, helped track my son's first deer Friday during MEA. Spotted a huge track while hunting on my own a few days later. Fire is still there, Thanks Lord..
I still have the fire and don't intend slow down and I'll be 59 come December. I just love being out in the mountains. I have friends who don't care to hunt anymore and sit around and fish, play golf, watch tv, or have grandkids.
Like stated sometimes you need to change things up or hunt a different species to rekindle the fire.
I'll agree that the older you get, the 'itch' subsides and the drive just isnt there as it once was.
But I still have a few hunts I havent achieved yet. Maybe I'll do them, maybe not. But I do know that even if I dont, Im satisfied, because it beats playing golf.
I think that as a person goes through life and experiences things and accomplishes their goals, their outlook on life and events that unfold change as well. For example, Ned you are chasing your Super Slam and are extremely close to getting it. You have been on some amazing adventures, some that tested you physically, mentally and also financially (your stone sheep hunt/grind comes to mind). After you go and experience that, going out in the back yard and hunting whitetail may not have the same emotional effect on a person.
The young guys keep the fire going for me. The more I hunt with the kids the more it reminds me of being a kid !! Find a young man or woman and take them hunting. Just stay out of the corn fields:) Hunter
Be careful about the chase...........most of the time, if not nearly always, the catch is less rewarding than the pursuit and the anticipation. Most of the time people are left asking is that all there is when the goal is met. what we imagine the achievement will be like far surpasses the reality of what achieving it is most of the time. That is what make the pursuit of a goal so meaningful. Relish the journey as the destination isn't going to be all it's cracked up to be.
Priorities do change and what were once challenges, well, they change also. My challenge now is less about me and more for my wife. I want her to succeed and in the process has created this desire for her to do well and possibly kill a book buck. It drives me, and it motivates me. It's a good thing I have that, because I've kind of lost the zest as well.
Sounds like you need a new challenge in your life, Ned. Best of luck, and always remember... you're not alone.
When I start to let myself go physically, my mental well-being soon follows. After my annual western trips is the worst. I tend to back off on my training, drink too much beer, and eat too much junk. It's amazing how much better I feel when I devote at least an hour a day to something that physically sucks and clean up my diet. The older I get, the more desire I have to be in the best shape I can possibly be so I can enjoy my retirement years to its fullest.
Shooting Stage Limiting-Out Stage Trophy Stage Method Stage Sportsman Stage Hunter Ed. lists these “stages” and remarks that not all hunters go through them or in this order.
I really think this is all normal, and I feel the same. Some years I am on fire, and others I could careless if I go. I think it's just the way life is for most people.
I hope you feel better and don't worry to much about the fire. Just try and have fun doing what ever you decide to do.
The only thing that has subsided is my available time to hunt. and I no longer shoot everything that comes along, rabidly. I am much more selective, and pass up the small stuff, even if I haven't shot anything yet that season. I used to get frantic at every legal critter that came along. Now I am more relaxed and much more picky about shooting stuff, and pass up squirrels, and small turkeys, small deer of either sex, and go for the mature stuff, although it doesn't have to be trophy quality, just good sized and fully grown.
Good thread. I came to the conclusion if I only hunted whitetail's, things would get boring and I believe that. We've had countless whitetail TV shows and before that Beta, VHS and DVD's going back to the early 1980's (shy of 40 years!). That makes me ask how many ways can you hunt and kill a whitetail in the same place(s)? On the flip side I don't want to take any hunting privileges we have in the good ol' US of A for granted either. There is a balance in their somewhere.
Thanks to all you guys for sharing your thoughts here, and you, Ned, for starting it. I needed to hear this stuff from all of you. On a Colorado solo deer hunt right now and the last two days have been windy and a little cool and no deer, but plenty of nasty climbing. Snow was forecast for this morning but hasn't happened yet. I slept in this morning and felt guilty about it! And then I read this thread and it made me feel good about the hunt this week.
I've been hunting for over 60 years and have been considered fairly hardcore. So I don't know, maybe the expectation of others is part of what pushes us at times and we tend to forget why we're out there. It's not just for the meat! I do know I need these hunts for my own good and look forward now to just enjoying the rest of this week wandering around these ridges. If a good buck shows up, great.
So thanks,guys, and have a great rest of the Fall with a smile on your face! Winter can't be far behind!
I lost my hunting partner this year and it’s certainly different. I want nothing more then to enjoy hunts with my son and new friend who is 21. They keep me young. The fire burns more then ever but for their success. I enjoy the camaraderie much more then my own successes. Passing it on gives me great satisfaction. Mentor a young man they will motivate you.
Ned, you've had a good run. Just because you shifted gears doesn't mean the ride has to be over. Life circumstances run in cycles.
I'm 65 and retired, so I have the freedom to hunt a LOT. I don't hunt as much as I can because I get enough of what I need to satisfy the need and desire. I still hunt (or "guide" girlfriend) 60+ days a year. What has changed for me is that I no longer feel guilty for taking a day or two off to recharge and gain a fresh perspective. A sore knee has limited my ability a little so I'm learning to hunt closer and smarter. But bowhunting is still my passion.
We all must find a life balance that works. What is needed for balance changes over time. My neighbor used to be a great, accomplished bowhunter. Former CBA Bowhunter of the Year. He hasn't hunted anything for probably 20 years. His joy now comes from fly fishing with his wife and working with wounded vets. He is as happy as ever and was able to accept the life change, redirect the drive, let go of hunting as his "identity" without feeling guilty. And maybe that's not a bad thing.
I’ve definitely lost my drive to hunt my home state but I still have a drive to hunt out of state and for different animals. Both of my daughters and wife are into hunting now and I get more gratification out of them enjoying it than I think I ever did.
Right there with you ... I find myself wanting to spend more time at things I do best (work) and that's fine ... but it means giving up a lot of things that I could otherwise improve -- and which could improve my life.
Im still givinger pretty good, elk and moose get me going so much more than whitetail or black bear
Sounds like you need to do more mountain hunting. I think your evolution is a natural response of a successful aging whitetail hunter. Change it up with some species and terrain that challenge you and make it fun.
I think hunting shows is what burnt me out. Not that I don't enjoy watching them, i do get tired of everyone needing an ATV, or electric bike and then "cutting up" by the camp fire with a guitar and then cooking your deer in the "can cooker". But it's my buddies and friends that watch them and then you feel the pressure to have to shoot a deer a certain size or age structure because they see it on tv. I just got burnt out with pressure. This will be the first time I've bow hunted in a couple years and i'm really looking forward to it and hoping to just relax and enjoy it this year and shoot what i want to shoot.
The itch is as strong today at 62 as ever. The physical ability to scratch that itch is getting a little harder.
For those banking on youngsters to keep the fire burning - this is always a risk
The biggest change for me over the past few years is that I've finally started to realize how to properly take measure of my success. It's not always punched tags, full freezers, and grip and grins (although those are nice!). I've started to enjoy myself a lot more in the outdoors now that I don't put as much pressure on myself to punch tags, etc. My goal is to put critters in front of my kids and friends. This year has been an unbelievable success in that regard! Antelope, deer, a couple nice bull elk, hopefully a few more to come yet in the coming weeks. The most joy I get now hunting comes from seeing others succeed, even when that is my furry, four legged buddy on a pheasant hunt.
I understand the feeling, kids have grown and moved, or are too busy, and I slowed in my passion to kill. I was still going hunting alot, but hunting often consisted of driving to the cabin and building a fire and sitting in the recliner and looking at the fire or if it was warm enough moving the recliner out on the deck and napping.
Most times the bow or rifle never left the truck.
Until this year, I bought a new recurve, and the obsession is back I am shooting a ton and connot get afield often enough. wahooo.
I'm actually glad I don't have to scratch that itch every morning and evening during the season. I lived a very one-sided existence in my younger years as I arranged everything around the 'need' to hunt or fish. Now I arrange my hunting around other priorities. My life is way more balanced and the only time I feel guilt is when I miss something related to family.
Time has certainly changed things for me as well... Kids is probably the biggest reason for me, along with not having hunting ground/access that I'm truly excited about... I also feel like even with significantly less time in the field, I'm having good success... All those lessons that I learned the hard way over the years paying off I guess. For example I used to say it would take me around 25 sits hunting whitetails on average before I saw a buck I wanted to shoot - it's probably closer to 10 now... Some of that is just focusing on the dates/times that are more productive - I don't have the amount of free time to do 25 sits so I just choose days/times that tip the odds in my favor.. I've really found myself shutting my alarm off a lot more if it's cold and windy out - used to hunt no matter the conditions but now I'd rather just wait until I'm not going to be miserable...
I hunted hard for many years, realized I had become a serial animal killer and there was no point, kind of dumb really. I now hunt occasionally, but mainly enjoy mentoring others.
Just woke up. Had to call in sick from work and that hasn’t happened often in last 23 years. Feeling much better this morn.
Last night as I laid on the couch, I looked around at some taxidermy and reflected as to what Bullelk posted. These trophies don’t mean squat really. Sure I enjoyed every moment collecting them but then I pondered as to where I may be if I hadn’t chosen to go hunt them. If I had those monies invested in the adventures, what would I have done with it.
Hunting diff species has helped fuel the fire some. Perhaps getting close to that completion has fueled some of the lack of my itch.
Like Huntman I do enjoy taking younger hunters and give back some helping at the Nugent camp and Trailblazers. I mentored a young duck hunter and created a monster. He lives and breathes it now so that has been enjoyable.
Boubond is right on when being careful about the chase. I hear him there.
That financial thread on here years ago helped me some. I have spent a lot of money chasing this slam. I needed to hear and see what people are doing to secure monies for later in life. I think that is what has me feeling selfish about how I approached hunting. I told myself in college that I was tired of reading about all of these species and was going to do something about it so that I can have the experience of them and not just read and fantasize. So my theory was to hunt them while I had my youth. Lots of hunters wait for financial security before embarking on crazy quests and I am second guessing myself. I am happy to have had the experiences but wonder if the route I took has lead to my itch problems.
Whocares I am glad this thread helped ya and hope you get after em. Enjoy your hunt! And fill us in on it.
Having gained a few pounds in the last few years hasn’t helped and only I can fix it. Nick got that on the head as well. He and Embry are inspirational and I should follow suit to get I better shape. This would help but this fat Iowa kid has always gotten around so think this is the least concern of my lack of itch recently.
I think my itch will always be there. Although it is subsiding, there are lots of cornfields to explore. Done barking for now. Lol
Daughters 2019 buck.
Daughters 2019 buck.
This is a great thread as I have had the same change of heart. Just not as excited as I once was. I am pickier also. I bowhunted for elk in what hunters here in Idaho would say was the worst unit in Idaho. Just because of the challenge and the number of wolves I said "I'm in.". Called for 2 of my friends and realized afterwards I never even carried my bow. Not one day. Called in a few bulls as well. I only hunted 5 days total.
I am leaving on the 2nd of November to bow hunt whitetails in Iowa. Trying to get fired up about it but having a hard time. I mean, for a whitetail hunter (which I am not), this is the best situation ever. Two private farms that my buddy owns and he does food plots specifically for the deer. And only he and his son are the only ones that hunt it.
Last year I hunted 38 days between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. This was because of tags I drew. Towards the end it felt like a job, not an adventure.
Now I get more excitement helping others, specifically my daughter. She is 11 and has taken quite a few game animals at her young age. I hope she doesn't lose the passion. This is her buck from last week.
Daughters Turkey this year.
Got the drive but the legs have gone, going for replacement the first of the year and will go from there, at 68 rust never sleeps, one thing or another.
Being a new dad I have found I don't have the time to hunt I once did. My son is my priority now and will always be. I miss it and the fire is burning especially as the rut approaches but I have graciously excepted this new role. I will find a way to get in one of my Ohio stands come rut and it will be a magnificent time. I suppose I am already learning to choose/enjoy quality hunts over hunt because I can...
Like you, I lost land and lodging opportunities, and with it familiar hunting spots, groups of friends and family. I didn't lose the drive to hunt, just places to lay my head for the night. Wasn't crazy about hunting solo...the friendship, camaraderie, drinks, card games...that was what I was missing for the last 7 years or so. I did the best I could, got a few deer while doing so.
A few weeks ago, my nephew E-Mailed me asking if I'd like to hunt his farm. I jumped at the chance. He had some nice deer on the cams. I'll be hunting there this year. Although hunting solo (he doesn't hunt) will have some company after the hunt.
The fire is back!
Two feathers- the Wisconsin gun season is enough to make anyone quit hunting- you know what I mean
It seems that the Missouri rifle season will also take the wind out of your sails. Or at least it used to, now I relish the opportunity to take my daughter hunting with her rifle.
I've gone thru many of the stages of a hunter. Used to totally live to hunt. The last 5 yrs or so I have to drag myself out to do it. It makes my son unhappy but I've been there done that many times. With compound, with longbows, with a crossbow god forbid. I still go hang treestands in the summer for my son and anyone else who wants to use them. For some reason I no longer enjoy the hunt. I think it's akin to many many years ago where I lost my appreciation for gun hunting and only archery hunted for the last 30 years..... Don't know what it is but I just don't have it anymore.
We are 21 days into the archery season here in Michigan and I have not one sit under my belt. The fire just isn't there like it was 25-30 years ago.
Work is playing a large factor also. I never would have let work stop me from hunting but now I do. I work for the government and am fortunate to have a pension when I retire. 22 months to go. My pension is based off of my last 6 years of income so the more I work the larger my pension. Overtime is always available so I have been working 7 days a week for the last several years. Right now I am more interested in making the big bucks instead of killing one.
I am also one who has bow hunted for 39 years and lived to bow hunt "just turned 60", but the last couple of years it has been hard to get out like I had. My hunting partner passed this spring and my desire to look ahead to fall just about stopped. Then my two granddaughter came to me and said they wanted to start shooting bow. They joined the local archery club with me and we went and shot every week and almost every day they asked if we could go and shoot. Then my oldest granddaughter "12" asked if she could go an do the youth hunt over MEA "the first all state youth hunt they have ever had in MN" and I said that would be great. For her birthday I got her a nice little rifle and we practiced every week so she was comfortable shooting it and the opening day finally came this last Thursday. She said she could not even sleep "that brought back memories" and it even got me pretty excited. We went out with a lot of anticipation and I was hoping she would see something. She sat for three hours and never complained or said lets go back or even could she look at her phone. Then just like we hoped, a nice six point came by and she waited a half hour for it to come back out and she made a perfect shot, and 50 yards later it was down. I turned to her and she was crying saying, her heart stopped and this was the bet day she has had. So if the fire starts to die down, just start showing the younger generation something new as like me it has started the fire again. If I knew how to upload a photo you would see that I needed this to show me that teaching another hunter is so rewarding. After school today she said she had a friend who wants to start shooting bow during this winters league and could I teach her, I said sure she can, and now I have more to look forward to. LIFE KEEPS GETTING BETTER
at 61 I still refuse to slow down, even though I realize I am ... I still back pack in my gear every hunt, some times twice a day if I change locations, If I dont go out, I feel Ive let myself down .. I still continue to run, the run times have slowed, but I still stay in shape (42 years running/racing), I upland hunt and shed hunt, hit the streams for Steelhead/Salmon... I dont want to slow down nor get 'old', I guess that is why I feel I must stay active and try to stay in shape, it does get harder every year now .. .... Yea, I feel the pains more now than I used to, I dont recoup as fast either, the 'fire' is still there, the only thing is I hit the snooze button more than I used to ... ;0)
Hey, maybe the elk woods will see a few less people after all!
There will be fewer in the woods as there are fewer hunters in total because the defectors are not being replaced in equal or greater numbers by new recruits. It’s a leaky bucket.
It's a leaky bucket because of cost and access, all due to trophy score popularity.
Every year for the last 10 or so. Summer hits then a cool breeze advertising Fall. Taged out this year on elk and a buck. We will see what happens next year
Hi. Don't post much but enjoy the threads. Funny how the title of this post caught my attention. I'm 59, live in CO and in good shape. Was fortunate to harvest a very nice bull last year. This year, I drew a cow tag (muzzleloader) for unit 76 as a leftover thanks to the app. On last morning, I had bulls screaming and cows all over me for three hours but I was about two miles away from the road. I passed on a cow because I had to be home that night for a trip to Alaska with wife two days later and thought that pack-out and burdening my hunting friend with rest of job was too much I now realize that I made an "old fart/lazy" decision. Intense hunter's regret but great memories.
Hunt with your children, I go on three hunts a year with my son look forward to each hunt, now taking my daughters four year old son you can't replace the smile on his face and the million questions it really keeps the fire burning. Or if no family members find youngster to mentor it's a great feeling. Go Hunt!
Bullelk x 2. Nedly you have done much and you are on the doorstep of completing a goal that has been a major focus of yours for several years. What you are feeling is understandable. It is Ok to step back and take breather. The flames will start to burn again. You will complete it and new goals will come. We will be with you every step of the way and look forward to that day. One day at a time...
Wow - don’t we sound like a bunch of old guys ;-)
I’m in the same boat. Not sure if it has to do with age or moving and not having great hunting spots like I used to. I think it’s age and perspective. A realigning of priorities is usually a good thing. I had grown bored with killing multiple deer every year with my compound so I switched over to a recurve and longbow. That relit the fire for a little while but it’s gone dim again. I think it’s just a new phase in life - a time and a season for everything.
Ned, great thread and post. I might be the oldest guy on here based on those that have given their ages. This is something that I have given thought to in recent years and there are many excellent posts on this thread. Some that really hit home for me and reflect my feelings were posted by Bullelk 1, cnelk, Huntman, Jaq. Bighorn. and Brotsky. They seem to have covered most all of the bases for me as l can relate to what they are saying and am feeling good that others feel as I do. They posted better than l could regarding this subject and l thank all that posted and especially you............Bob
Great Bob! I appreciate the responses. Hunting has been my life and have structured most everything I do because of it. So it’s weird to admit feelings of this matter.
I don't know if I'm necessarily losing the itch.. yet... but I do know that elk hunting can sometimes suck and can be much more mentally challenging than physically challenging. I also know that sharing elk camp can help overcome some of the highs and lows. Not even necessarily hunting with a buddy or buddies. But coming back to camp after a challenging day of chasing elk to a hot meal and a beer around a campfire with some friends can really be a much needed reset... so, in short I enjoy hunting much more when sharing a camp with some good pals.
hunting should be something we do not a definition of who we are.
Havent lost the itch at all however my itchs have changed slightly a bit over the years.
I haven't lost the itch but I've gotten smarter as to how I approach my deer hunts. This normally means less time chasing whitetails during less productive times.
However, due to some medical issues and not being allowed to draw a bow for quite some time the itch is really going to be scratched as soon as my Dr releases me. :)
Nedly: In a tree at Dennis’ as I type. We are hunting does. Such a thrill to concentrate on flatheads and let the bucks walk. Your Tule Mount looks great:) We are very blessed indeed!
That's great Charlie. Hope you all get some does. Dennis always does such a fine job!!
Ned, it is easy to get feeling that way when you start losing the ground you have hunted for a long time that you know like the back of your hand. Just have to get out and find new spots and start the process over again. Cannot even count how many spots I have lost do to sales, death, leasing, other hunters pissing off the landowner etc.
I haven't lost the "itch", I just developed a new one that makes me forget about the old one, at times.
My addiction gets worse as I get older. Go jump in poison ivy.
I'm willing to tell you stories Ned but I bet you are referring to one of the other Nicks.
Ned I can fully understand your sentiment.I find myself enjoying my annual pheasant trip and multiple weekly duck hunts just as enjoyable as bowhunting now.I actually sold most of my midwest land to help both my son’s professional careers and don’t regret it at all.
See, I think that as most of us grow older our perspective changes, I know this may sound odd to some of you but we are empty nesters at a pretty young age, late 40's early 50's. But I really enjoy being home with my wife in our very peaceful and quiet house! We have 4 wonderful 4 legged kids now, and I miss them too when I am gone hunting. I still really enjoy the hunts, but I really love coming back home to my wife and our sweet pups! We call them our PZZZZ! I haven't lost the desire to hunt and take game, it's just different, and for me, that's ok!