Contributors to this thread:
Not Hunting at all...
This is not about hunting at all and for sure not about bow hunting. If that offends you, read no further. You probably wouldn't understand it anyway.
As we get older:
Just a few things that went through my mind as I watched the local news. I thought how, as I have gotten so long in the tooth, I have, no tooths, and there seems to be somewhat of a silver cast to my hair, something I never gave much thought to when I was young, say 60, I now do as a matter of course. Here is a partial list. 1- Always wear a life jacket and for sure wear it when I am in a boat. (touch of humor.) 2- Go armed, most of the time, sometimes, very well armed. 3- Wear my seat belt, actually, feel naked when it is not fastened. 4- Seldom go barefoot outdoors. Seldom wear shoes inside,(peripheral neuropathy will stop that.) 5- Regard certain common practices of my youth as sheer insanity. Many examples come to mind, the most glaring, walking across the 12-inch wide, top of a 200-ft. high dam over a diversion canal. I still get the fiverin shites when I remember when I did that. Second most remembered with astonishment is hitting a 150-pound, sow bear in the head with a plastic, 5-gallon bucket. To my amazement, it worked. 6- Always wear my safety harness when hunting from treestands. What brought this thinking on was news of a man drowning after another kayak accident. I have to think, at some point, he said, “I’m not going to turn over and if I do, I can swim.” I know I have sure said that many times. I believe that is the fourth water related fatality in 10-days. Two (maybe three.), involved kayaks. I have come to think, if I were to have a tombstone or whatever the PC term, is, it would read, “Well shoot, that didn’t work.” I hope I have outgrown that. Who else has noticed an increase in their "maturity" regarding safety?
On a second front. For, four-years- I co-hosted a weekly television program here in TN. I have many of the segments on VCR or tape, as it was called. Last couple days, the wife and I have been going through them, picking out some to transfer to disc so they can be saved for the G-kids. I had four that dealt with scouting during different times of the year. It came to me, for over 75% of today's deer hunters, they would not only be meaningless, they would not comprehend. No food plots, no feeders, no cameras, no cell phones, no GPS, no satellite photos. I also did one on treestand safety and it quickly dawned on me, how unsafe our safety measures were. And finally, an interview with the inventor of ASAT. It was done about a month before it was made available to the public. Kinda fun to look back 30+-years and think about the changes.
You are so "right on" Bowriter. I think many of those very things now as I grow older. "today is the oldest I have ever been and the youngest I will ever be."
When I think back, I’m amazed that I’ve lived as long as I have. Couple times I should have bled to death, but still here. Taken drops and falls that should have left me crippled, but still OK. As time goes on, I’m realizing what I shouldn’t be doing. I don’t what to push the Good Lords patience too far.
#3 especially for me, as I'm finding that when I drive I'm constantly surrounded by inconsiderate, clueless morons who are about to do something stupid, and usually do.
I also used to be able to jump off a pickup tailgate that was down. Not anymore. I don't trust my legs. It's better than being dead though!
Our mind gets smarter with age. At least for some of us.
I follow most - except #4. You in poisonous snake country?
The ones who don't wise up with age sadly died young.
Not that I haven’t survived a few careless choices but I feel like I’ve never been a risk taker. I do get on a ski boat without my life jacket on at times but that’s about as risky as I get. I don’t walk on ice, no matter how thick. I don’t walk on narrow walls high off the ground. I have some cattle and I don’t call the bluff of a bull or cow no matter how gentle they normally seam. There’s just so many things that aren’t worth leaving my kids fatherless.
I feel your pain John. At 71, I have been there for about ten years now, the slowing down and not taking chances mindset prevails. I still do lots of things I use to do, but I damn sure do them more slowly and carefully. Both knees can't be fully trusted, both shoulders need extra care, sand I don't even try to lift some things that used to be easy. I have a hitch haul on my truck or Ranger, because the day is past that I can muscle a 150# deer up into a pickup or atv bed. A 200/250# hog just gets dragged unless I have help. But as Woods said, it's better than being dead.
I never speed the last 20 minutes of a long trip. I figure, I made it this far chancing it, why ruin it in the final stretch. Life isn't much different.
Yep, many things that now go under the “seemed like the thing to do at the time” and “0h, but for the Grace of God” categories. I shake my head and shudder at some of the crap I used to do. Dang lucky I ever made it to 20, let alone over 3 times that.
As my dear old Mom used to say "to soon old, to late smart".
I will admit I have reached 52 years old in spite of my efforts. (More so before I got married and had kids). I suspect in each one of your examples John you had a life experience/event that solidified your viewpoints. Some may construe those items as common sense, but when you are young and invincible, common sense might prove elusive at times.
#3- My wife convinced me to wear a seat belt at all times. (Her mom had her bell rung in an accident where she wasn't wearing one. I wore it, maybe a little begrudgingly. In 1998, a guy blew a light and I broadsided him at 45 MPH. I vividly remember how hard the impact was. Even if I had time to tense up, there is no way I had enough strength to keep me from going head first through the windshield. I will not drive out of my driveway w/o buckling up.
#6. Climbed many a tree. Even fell a time or two. 1988, my tree stand collapsed. First 17 1/2 feet were fine. The last 6" sucked. Spent 3 days in the hospital with a vertebrae compression fracture. Suffered for years. Now I cannot climb a tree without a safety line, much less a harness.
All of us have an expiration date. God is undefeated. I would rather have my date come up "naturally" and not fast tracked.
No one has told my Dad about an expiration date! He's nearly 104 now and I have the pleasure of caring for him in our home every single day for the past two years. He thinks he is just gonna keep going on and he does. True Grit.
And to think, I use to do this about 100 times a year and did it for 10-years. Even then I had a bunch of stuff taped up.
I can see why you wouldn't go barefoot there.
I don't go barefoot because I have peripheral neuropathy. Stepping on a blade of dry grass feels like stepping on a razor blade. In the house, on the carpet, I am always, barefoot. Even socks are uncomfortable. besides, we got lots of rattleback coppertones.
Not too long ago I had to move the full garbage cans around. I thought to myself.....
"Hey, I wonder if I can still carry two of them at one time?"
So I picked each one with ones hand and carried them about 10 feet, at which point I set them down and thought.....
"YUP! I can still carry two of them.......I just don't WANT to anymore!"
"Too soon old..." INDEED!!!
You really know you are getting old when you pass up a slam dunk shot cause the deer is bigger than you want to drag.
I think my deceased father in laws , favorite saying was "" youth is wasted on the young"" . At 30 , when I met my wife, I would hear him say that. Now I can relate to it.
Bowriter, making those changes proves that you appreciate the life you had and the rest yet to come! As far as passing a deer too big to drag , never! I butcher em on the spot now if they get across the river or in a place I can't get the 4 wheeler. Quite enjoyable ,being older now and in no hurry. I like the feel of a pack full of venison! I wish I could remember who wrote about the stages of a hunters life . You may know who it was . He articulated those stages perfectly. I'm in the later stages ... It's good to have made it here.
"As far as passing a deer too big to drag , never! I butcher em on the spot now if they get across the river or in a place I can't get the 4 wheeler."
You betcha'! That's why God made cast iron skillets and salt and pepper!