Sitka Gear
Elk hunters, when or how to say goodby
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
badbull 23-Apr-20
nvgoat 23-Apr-20
nmwapiti 23-Apr-20
Scrappy 23-Apr-20
Ermine 23-Apr-20
Knothead 23-Apr-20
t-roy 23-Apr-20
[email protected] 23-Apr-20
Grey Ghost 23-Apr-20
APauls 23-Apr-20
midwest 23-Apr-20
elkmtngear 23-Apr-20
longspeak74 23-Apr-20
badbull 23-Apr-20
Brotsky 23-Apr-20
pav 23-Apr-20
midwest 23-Apr-20
Bowboy 23-Apr-20
Mule Power 23-Apr-20
Inshart 23-Apr-20
badbull 23-Apr-20
Pop-r 23-Apr-20
Mule Power 23-Apr-20
Trophyhill 23-Apr-20
Brun 23-Apr-20
ki-ke 23-Apr-20
Beachtree 23-Apr-20
Jaquomo 23-Apr-20
Dale06 23-Apr-20
WV Mountaineer 23-Apr-20
cnelk 23-Apr-20
joehunter 23-Apr-20
LKH 23-Apr-20
ELKBUSTER 23-Apr-20
Archbull 23-Apr-20
Jaquomo 23-Apr-20
Rgiesey 23-Apr-20
Mule Power 23-Apr-20
StickFlicker 23-Apr-20
midwest 23-Apr-20
badbull 23-Apr-20
svrelk 23-Apr-20
WapitiBob 23-Apr-20
jingalls 23-Apr-20
llamapacker 23-Apr-20
ki-ke 23-Apr-20
Irishman 24-Apr-20
wyliecoyote 24-Apr-20
weekender21 24-Apr-20
Bowman CE 24-Apr-20
BULELK1 24-Apr-20
altitude sick 24-Apr-20
ELKMAN 24-Apr-20
Mule Power 24-Apr-20
Hank_S 24-Apr-20
Z Barebow 24-Apr-20
paul mitchell 24-Apr-20
Bob H in NH 24-Apr-20
TreeWalker 24-Apr-20
[email protected] 24-Apr-20
Terry in Ore 24-Apr-20
8point 24-Apr-20
Dyjack 24-Apr-20
Brotsky 24-Apr-20
badbull 24-Apr-20
Knothead 24-Apr-20
creed 24-Apr-20
TD 24-Apr-20
wyobullshooter 24-Apr-20
swede 24-Apr-20
lewis 24-Apr-20
midwest 24-Apr-20
Scrappy 24-Apr-20
JRABQ 24-Apr-20
Scrappy 25-Apr-20
elkster 25-Apr-20
weekender21 26-Apr-20
Knife Cobbler 26-Apr-20
Highway Star 26-Apr-20
Bill in MI 26-Apr-20
tobywon 26-Apr-20
Pahaska 28-Apr-20
painless 02-May-20
GF 02-May-20
leftee 02-May-20
elknailer 02-May-20
GF 03-May-20
badbull 01-Jun-22
Ermine 01-Jun-22
sticksender 01-Jun-22
SteveB 01-Jun-22
grasshopper 01-Jun-22
'Ike' (Phone) 01-Jun-22
From: badbull
23-Apr-20
As I am at that age to consider when and how to say "goodbye to yesterday" , I am wondering how others plan on dealing with the end of their elk hunting careers. Quit Cold turkey ?, phase out slowly utilizing offspring or younger friend ?, or maybe hunt till you drop ? No more chasing bugles, struggles to get an answer from my calls, no more praying for cold moist weather or bugles keeping me awake, no 70 yard hangups, no listening to hear that crash after the shot, no field dress and quartering before that long killer packing. No more that wry smile as you glance at the load in the back of the truck as you drive for home. These are the things that I will miss when I say "Goodbye To Yesterday" but I will still have my memories of "back in the day"....Badbull

From: nvgoat
23-Apr-20
I don't like thinking of the time when I can't hunt the mountains any longer. I train year round to stay in shape. My plan is to hunt as long as I can. I have been building antelope points in multiple states which I will utilize when I can no longer hump the mountains.

From: nmwapiti
23-Apr-20
My dad keeps saying this year might be his last elk hunt. He turned 70 last year. I keep getting him out there. So far, as long as I pack out the meat, he still gets after them.

From: Scrappy
23-Apr-20
I'm only 49 and as of right now I have it figured out. I will hunt the mountains until I can't walk anymore. Then move back to Texas and take up fishing. A guy can sit in a boat every day pretty much till he dies.

From: Ermine
23-Apr-20
I will elk hunt until I can no longer get up the mtn

From: Knothead
23-Apr-20
I'm 56 and guys like [email protected] are my inspiration to keep going as long as I can. Not motivated by the kill so much as I am motivated by the experience. I love everything about being in the outdoors to give it up. Don't give up, just keep moving.

From: t-roy
23-Apr-20
I’d reach out to [email protected] He’s possibly going to be facing this issue in about 15-20 years.

23-Apr-20
One of my elk hunting buddies is 30 years older than me and I'm no spring chicken. His tactics change, limitations increase but if you can walk and have some help packing out, there's a way to elk hunt.

From: Grey Ghost
23-Apr-20
I hope to say goodbye to hunting similar to how my father did. He killed his last elk at the age of 82. The following year, when he told me he didn't feel up for going hunting, I knew the end was near. A month later he died peacefully in his sleep. Damn, I miss him.

Matt

From: APauls
23-Apr-20
From what I seem to see from people everyone is wired differently. I sure hope I am not even close to that time yet, but I feel like the way I am wired one day will come where I spend two hours at the base of a tree struggling to get up it, and that's when at the ripe old age of 95 reality will hit me that I can't climb a tree and will have to hunt from the ground.

I guess what I'm getting at is it seems like some people will make the decision, and for some people, they will never make that decision. They simply keep going until the decision is made for them. It simply isn't possible. There is no right or wrong in my opinion.

From: midwest
23-Apr-20
Hope I die on the mountain.

From: elkmtngear
23-Apr-20
I don't know how I will be able to "let it go".

Ran into a couple guys, 1 1/2 miles down the Mountain in a Colorado Wilderness area a couple years back. Couple Brothers, both in their early 80s. They had been hunting the area for over 40 years, coming in all the way from Wisconsin.

Guys like them, and Paul Navarro, are my heroes. Hope I can come close to that kind of longevity.

From: longspeak74
23-Apr-20
"Hope I die on the mountain." This.

From: badbull
23-Apr-20
Thanks guys. Encouraging posts so far. I guess health considerations over a certain age might be the determining factor for me as I read how others are thinking.

From: Brotsky
23-Apr-20
I'm with Nick. I hope someone finds this note on my body "This was a good bow, it kilt the elk that kilt me".

From: pav
23-Apr-20
I've had the same concern. I hunt the west solo more often than not. Guess, I'm less concerned about being able to hunt elk as I age....because I can adjust style and pace for that. I'm more concerned, down the road, about getting an elk off the mountain by myself. That's not getting any easier....and finding a reliable packer is easier said than done in my experience.

From: midwest
23-Apr-20
LOL @ Brotsky!!!

From: Bowboy
23-Apr-20
I'm with Nick I hope I die on the mountain. It's nice having younger friends around, but I'm picky and will hunt by myself. Main thing is take care of your body and stay in decent shape.

I hope I can keep doing elk hunting like Paul.

From: Mule Power
23-Apr-20
I’ll never quit. I’ll just adapt. At 55 I already “pre scout” for places where I can just sit as long as I can get there. As long as someone can help me get on a horse that’ll be a long time. I might have to go to treestands. But by then the view and simply being there might be the definition of a successful hunt.

My knees are already in bad shape. But the mountains are like medicine. They bother me at work and the entire off season but when I’m on the mountain they don’t hurt much at all. I have to be careful and I’ve told myself to start using trekking poles. Other than that I tell myself where there’s a will there’s a way.

I think about my upcoming elk hunts every day. If I quit what would I have to dream about. So for me giving up elk hunting is giving up living.

Last year I set a spike camp for the first time. That’s another way to adapt. I only have to get on top every 3-4 days instead of every day. Hunting is right out the door.

No doubt [email protected] Fort, Big Dan, and Kevin Dill doing solo freakin moose hunts are very inspirational to me.

I’ve been recruiting a young guy or two too. I want to show them the ropes and get them killing bulls you know..... so they owe me! Haha

From: Inshart
23-Apr-20
Well as others have said - Paul is definitely an inspiration. I think he has the corner on the "ever ready bunny" deal. LOL

For now, I have no plans on quitting, as long as my health keeps me vertical ...... I'm going to keep after it.

From: badbull
23-Apr-20
You elk hunters on here are some tough hombres ! Can't say that I am surprised knowing some of your exploits.

From: Pop-r
23-Apr-20
Would love to hear Bigdan's take on this. It's probably not ever going to be how you'd think.

From: Mule Power
23-Apr-20
And I’m also with Midwest. Is there anyone here who didn’t think that Big Dan went out in style the way he wanted to when he passed on a hunting trip? I figured he went with a smile of contentment on his face.

From: Trophyhill
23-Apr-20
Riding off into the sunset. Sooner or later it happens. I would imagine it would compare to Bret Favre trying to come to grips with calling it quits.

From: Brun
23-Apr-20
I will keep hunting as long as I am able. Might have to go slower and smarter, but I'll keep after it.

From: ki-ke
23-Apr-20
Paul Navarro is my ageless guru.....the guy hunts his butt off and still party’s with beautiful women.....lol. He is one of the nicest people you’ll meet. He’s worth emulating, besides for just his fitness level. FWIW, Paul is 49.....

From: Beachtree
23-Apr-20
I killed a bull in Montana last year that was bigger than I would ever deserve as long as I live. I thought about big Dan and his love for hunting . I hope my last moments on Earth, and Iast elk hunt end with reaching down and grabbing a big set of antlers.

From: Jaquomo
23-Apr-20
I'm right there with Mule Power, except I'll be 66 next month. Snagging a younger, really fit woman who can help pack meat and a spike camp will help prolong my elk hunting, I hope. Meantime I am scouting and learning spots where elk live closer to roads - like where my bull died this year 200 yards from a county road. As I wrote in my Bowhunter article on mountain fitness for senior hunters, "When I grow up, I want to be like Paul". But life happens, and joints break down no matter how much we work out or take care ourselves.

Then at the end, I hope it goes like it did for the highly-decorated retired war hero I was guiding. Bulls were bugling all around us, the sun lit up the fresh snow into psychedelic sparkles everywhere, and he told me it was the most beautiful, amazing morning of his life. And then he died right there on the mountain. His last words were, "I need to take a leak". The last sound he heard was an elk bugle. Can't make something like that up.....

From: Dale06
23-Apr-20
I’m 69 and going this September. Don’t think it will be my last. It’s guided, so I’ll have help with meat, etc, if I arrowed one. There is always the option of hunting by water hole from blinds. Elk hunting does not have to be a marathon.

23-Apr-20
There may be a time coming when I decide elk hunting is not for me. But, I can't ever see that happening. More then likely I'll die trying to get things lined up to go elk hunting. :^) Seriously, with all the hunting out there, its a choice to decide whether to quit if they have general health. and, that is perfectly o.k. too. Everyone has to play their own game. Just never forget that every day you have when a resemblance of decent heath is a blessing.

From: cnelk
23-Apr-20
Im already looking for spots that are close to the vehicle and flat to hunt elk when Im old.

Wait.... those spots are already producing :)

From: joehunter
23-Apr-20
I was on a solo Elk hunt in Wyoming 2018. Same guy beat me to a prime area and parking spot long before daylight several days in a a row. Next morning I got up super early to beat him to that spot. To my surprise the same old guy was there parked already. Since I had not talked to another human in 8 days I pulled up and said Hi. It was Ron from Fort Collins. He was 76 and solo hunting. I want to be him when I grow up!

From: LKH
23-Apr-20
72 years old. 20+ as a type II diabetic. Heart attack with scarring and 7 stents. In 2019 I killed a cow elk w/rifle in MT and a small 5x bull in WY. Don't think I could have handled either if I'd had to pack them very far.

As you get older, the trick is to have help in case you kill something.

From: ELKBUSTER
23-Apr-20
If a dead elk was the mark of a good hunt I would have quit a long time ago. You have to have something to motivate you throughout the year. When you stop moving you are dead, so keep movin.

From: Archbull
23-Apr-20
Elk hunting is a young persons game. I also said I was going to hunt elk until I dropped. I'm in my late 60s now and still love it. I can still hike to where I've always hunted, it just takes a lot longer to get there. I'm lucky to have younger brothers and friend's who are always there to help pack out. I love it when I hear of someone over 70 still hunting and especially killing elk! Hunt till you drop!!!

From: Jaquomo
23-Apr-20
I know a guy in his 70s with severe COPD who spends the whole month of September in the elk woods. Sleeps and cooks in the back of his truck, sits on the tailgate and cow calls with his bow beside him, or sometimes walks 50 yards into the trees to call. During the day he visits other camps. He is still "elk hunting" amd checks in with his nurse wife every night.

From: Rgiesey
23-Apr-20
Nice story Lou! Great picture!

From: Mule Power
23-Apr-20
The way things are going with point creep we’ll probably all die of heart attacks when we see the word “Successful” in the draw results! Lol

From: StickFlicker
23-Apr-20
For those of you that hope to die on the mountain, I feel bad for the person that has to come in and quarter you up to pack you back to your family! As far as Big Dan, perhaps some people "die the dream" as well as they "live the dream", but you have to wonder if he felt cheated dying on an antelope hunt rather than an elk hunt... Glad I was able to spend a little time elk hunting with him a few times before he left us.

From: midwest
23-Apr-20
MP, That's one of my motivators....I have to live long enough to finally draw that Nevada tag!

From: badbull
23-Apr-20
Great posts by you guys. I have been waiting to see if [email protected] has any input on this subject as his advice would be of great value.

From: svrelk
23-Apr-20
My worst fear is..... Not dying in the hills....

From: WapitiBob
23-Apr-20
Lots of flat ground out there.

From: jingalls
23-Apr-20
X2 Scrappy and Brotsky!

I didn’t start elk hunting until I was 49. Haven't missed a year since I started. At 57 I need a new left knee. Biggest problem is getting everything fixed and rehabbed by start of the next season. All I can think about is getting back to the mountains to chase elk. Going on my first backpack hunt this year and I can’t wait!!!

From: llamapacker
23-Apr-20
Two old hunters I met years ago in Wyoming were my inspiration. The one guy was well into his 80's, had emphysema and an oxygen tank with him at all times. He set up a rack on his ATV for the tank, traveled many two tracks, and often hiked a few hundred yards into elk. It might take him 2-3 days to get an elk back to the ATV, but he did it alone and camped alone every year. One supremely dedicated elk hunter.

Charlie spent 30-45 days camped in the mountains into his early 70's, and his camp was the communal gathering spot. Most days he cooked for anywhere from 10-30 people he fed for free, and most didn't even know. He was officially camping alone, but most in the area stopped by for a meal and to check on him regularly. About one day a week he would go out and road hunt, and shot an elk almost every year. He often called in his son or daughter to come pack meat when needed.

I miss both of these guys, and they showed me when there is a will, there is a way, even to elk hunt. I hope to be elk hunting solo into my 80's at least. But none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Get out and go hunting when you can. Bill

From: ki-ke
23-Apr-20
Great story Bill. Thanks for that

From: Irishman
24-Apr-20
About 10 years ago I was in SW Montana doing some pre-season scouting for elk. This old guy pulls up in his truck and stops to chat. He was going around checking on his traps, and had some dead critters in the back of his pickup. I think he said he was 90. I was impressed that he was out driving around by himself checking on traps. Then he tells me about the tree-stand he had put up for his grand-daughter on the ridge I was looking up at. I had previously been up on that high ridge, saw the tree-stand and wondered who had the ambition to take a tree-stand clear up there, at it was a steep hike. Then we talked more and I learned he had landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day. I tried to steer the conversation to ask what that was like, D-day, but he ignored me and changed the subject. He died a year or so after that, probably doing what he enjoyed up to the end. I always wondered, what life must have been like for him, having survived something like that when he was so young, and going on to live so long. I guess that he wasn't the kind of person who was going to let aches and pains, and old age stop him from doing what he wanted to do.

From: wyliecoyote
24-Apr-20
I am still buying preference points in 3 states...so I guess I intend to keep hunting...77 years young now....I do spend more time in a blind at water than I used to and i supply my hunting partners with a walkie-talkie so i can find them.....but whatever the changes ahead, Elk bowhunting is and always has been my passion...Hurry up September !!

From: weekender21
24-Apr-20
Although it's been a few years since I stuck an arrow in an elk, I do love elk hunting and mountain hunting in general. I also love hunting turkeys, deer, hogs, pronghorn etc. In addition to bow hunting, I love fly fishing. I might not be able to do all of these things in my final days but the greatest adventures for me have been just over the next hill or around the next bend in the river. I'll be exploring something somewhere until the day I die.

From: Bowman CE
24-Apr-20

Bowman CE's embedded Photo
Bowman CE's embedded Photo
I am the older son of Badbull. We have had many great hunting trips over the past several decades. My brother and I have enjoyed dad taking us to the elk back country and calling elk for us. Dad is now in his 80s and still joins us on our hunts, though not as many all day hikes chasing elk. He was the reason that my brother and I got bulls. Even if we are not bugling together, dad still does research and scouting to make our hunts successful. The impact from dad’s example is never going to end. By the way, dad shot this bow kill bull when he was in his 60s. He was even the one who mounted it.

From: BULELK1
24-Apr-20
I've learned to hunt smarter and that doesn't mean farther.

I take in the pack out as much as the harvest location as I solo hunt more and more..

My diet, workouts, no bad habits that can affect my life and self confidence play big factors as I age and hunt most all fall in one state or another.

I've got boo-coo points in multiple states on Antelope so I will coast on to those options when I can't chase them Dang Elk or Sheep in the high county in my aging future.

Good luck, Robb

24-Apr-20

altitude sick's embedded Photo
altitude sick's embedded Photo
We put some of Ed’s ashes on a peak. Don’t think it was legal. But worth a fine

He was 75 when he developed brain cancer. He would hunt elk for the entire season.

It took him longer but he still walked miles and hunted all day the entire season if need be.

Unfortunately he was always in search of the perfect hunt to burn his dozens of points on a variety of species and states.

And left all those points because of point paralysis

To all our fellow bow hunters in the 70s and 80s

Be careful, enjoy, your our inspiration

and everyone BURN THOSE POINTS you never know!

From: ELKMAN
24-Apr-20
I will die with my "boots on"...

From: Mule Power
24-Apr-20
Speaking of knee replacements... I figure that’ll come one day. My plan is to schedule the procedure for they day I get home from an elk hunt so I have the most amount of time possible to recuperate before the next season.

From: Hank_S
24-Apr-20
Truly, haven't thought about the end...too busy enjoying the journey!!!

From: Z Barebow
24-Apr-20
I haven’t really thought about it. Basically until my body won’t let me. As I slow down, I will hunt smarter. (Still young and stupid @ 54 years) I think senility will need to be involved as I currently think about elk everyday. It would kill me to think about elk and not be in the country they live.

24-Apr-20
77 in sept. not going to quit. 12000ft. last year just fine. good luck to all.

From: Bob H in NH
24-Apr-20
Mule Power, I had my right knee done 1 week after returning from a WY Deer/Antelope hunt in 2018. By fall I was relocated to WY permanently, antelope, deer and elk hunting. Add in MILES AND MILES of hiking in the bighorns and that knee feels AWESOME.

We moved here after a long discussion, we wanted to retire here, but work made an offer I couldn't refuse: keep your job and tele-work! We debated missing family/kids/now a grandson, vs living like we always thought we wanted to some day.

Off we went.

I'll elk hunt til I don't feel comfortable doing it (haven't got one on my own yet), but LOVE antelope hunting as well and they are lighter :-)

From: TreeWalker
24-Apr-20
Left elbow gave out. No longer can practice with a bow without significant pain and will not hunt with a bow without lots of practice. Now hunt with rifle and muzzleloader. The hunting is a bit tougher as tiptoe up to 60 years old. The pack out of a bull elk is a heck of a lot tougher and that is the riddle I have to solve as apply for bull elk hunts.

24-Apr-20
For those that want to be "just like Paul", thanks for the compliment but you better check with Tricia before you do that. :) I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you guys do and most likely have many of the same passions. What keeps me ticking is my passion for bow hunting and fishing and just being in the out of doors and that passion continues to grow. Yea, retired at 62 but still moving forward.

No doubt when I turned 80 years last March, I had to take a reality check. Dad died at 84, father in law died at 85, mom died at 94. I have lost too many friends and acquaintances over the past 15 years, some much too young and when I tell myself I will live forever, well you know where that will go; you know what is said concerning, death and taxes! Another life reality check was ten years ago when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. Modern medicine, prayers and my life long angel Tricia, got me through that; sort of being in a war zone and surviving. But that experience made me stronger and more determined.

My body has always needed physical stimulation and that keeps my mind strong, breathing strong, heart strong, body strong, and enables me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Two of my favorite says are, " you only go around once in life so grab up all of the gusto you can, " and, "your current life is not a dress rehearsal for your next one".

I love bowhunting and the challenges it brings and that surely parallels life in general. Solo hunting, developing a plan, heavy backpack, bow in hand, muscles aching, heart beating strong, one foot in front of the other. I just returned from two successful turkey hunts, plan on elk hunting this season, pronghorn hunting in August, white tail deer in the fall, AZ coues deer next January. Chase the wonder dog will make me take him pheasant, goose and duck hunting.

When Tricia and I move to Colorado in 1992 and at the age of 52, I thought, "Wow, I have 25 years of guaranteed elk hunting". Well the "guarantee" might have ended three years ago but I keep going in spite of no guarantees any more. For the past 17 years, I have been visiting the same gym, mostly in the winter months, then I hike and bike and do yard work in the summer, all in preparation for life and as important, the next elk season.

I am blessed with a wife who appreciates and understands my passion for the hunt. Prior to the hunting seasons she will examine the freezer and will say, "Paul, we are getting low in wild game meat, do not come home until you get some." What is a guy to do? Happy wife, happy life. Yep, blessed indeed.

All I can say is that in twenty more years, I will get back to you on "when and how to say goodby". God bless you all. my best, Paul

From: Terry in Ore
24-Apr-20
My dad killed a 5x6 bull in 2018 he was 82 years old. He called the boys to help him get it out. My brother and I are the boys I was 60 and my brother was 54 .

From: 8point
24-Apr-20
After singing my swan song and giving up on elk hunting, I've discovered that my bow only needs to be 35# to be legal in CO. I have it set at 40# now, so I hope to light a fire under my 55 year old nephew and try to find a spot that isn't to crowded on CO public land this fall, lord and virus willing. I've missed the last 2 years, and at 75, I don't feel I can afford to burn many more. Certainly any shots will need to be short, but just pulling the bow back on a branch antlered elk would be fine with me. I won't quit til the fire goes out.

From: Dyjack
24-Apr-20
You're a legend, Paul.

From: Brotsky
24-Apr-20
The rest of us need to start taking into consideration the kind of world we are going to leave behind for Paul. :-) You're an inspiration my friend!

From: badbull
24-Apr-20
After reading these wonderful posts, I feel like I just stepped out of an elkaholics anonymous ( complete with Handles) meeting and that is a great feeling. All of your personal experiences and insights are so enlightening, uplifting, and interesting to me. Thank you guys so much for sharing at such a personal level ! Good elk hunting to all of you.........Bob

From: Knothead
24-Apr-20
I hope all the older guys still getting it done and getting out in the woods know they are an inspiration to all of us. Keep it up because it means a lot more than you can even imagine to the rest of us. Post up your pics.

Great topic badbull and right now is probably a good time to reflect on the things that are most important to us.

From: creed
24-Apr-20
I am facing this decision now. The shoulder is completely gone, paralysis just starting on the right leg, tremors starting in the right arm. I can still draw back a bow but for how long I don't know.

One more elk tag.

From: TD
24-Apr-20
Had Hatchet Jack all cued up.... Brotsky and Nick X2.... Only thing i could add is "trouble? what trouble?"

When I quit hunting there will be literally nothing else I can physically do.

Good luck this year Paul!

24-Apr-20
I will never stop elk hunting, as long as I’m still above ground. It may get to the point all I can do is walk down a trail for a hundred yards, sit my butt down for the day, and hope one walks by, but at least I’ll be elk hunting. That said, when it gets to the point I can no longer get that beast out of the woods, then my elk killing will come to an end.

From: swede
24-Apr-20
I do not know who I would like to be, but it is not the guy I see in the mirror every morning. For sure he is starting to show his age, but at 72 it seems a little late to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. As far as quitting, I have started thinking about a transition, but have made no plans. I guess I will continue bow hunting as long as the Lord permits, then I hope to bow out graciously. I have enjoyed hunting and feel blessed for every season God had given. I got my 308W back from the gunsmith yesterday. Maybe when I am too old to hike around or draw my bow, I can go sit at the edge of a meadow, build a fire and watch. Maybe I can find a good ridge to sit on. It doesn't matter if I kill something as long as I am hunting.

From: lewis
24-Apr-20
Great thread but it does pull on some heart strings.I’ll be 74 in November I have a pacemaker and just recovering from knee replacement surgery but life is good.I have 16 points in Az so hoping to see that through.Paul as always I enjoyed your post you are very blessed hope to meet you someday.Lou your post was also a great read the story of the retired officer is a classic and no you can’t make that up.It still hurts to think about BigDan not being here and knowing our first time hunting together will not happen at least on this earth.Good luck all and stay safe.Lewis

From: midwest
24-Apr-20
Hoping you have many more elk seasons to come, badbull!

From: Scrappy
24-Apr-20
Definitely learned one thing for sure from this thread. Dont piss off ground hunter. Shot, Stabbed, and told a crashing plane to piss off. I think I have found a guy that would scare Chuck Norris.

From: JRABQ
24-Apr-20
"Hope to die on the mtn", or in the marsh, river, lake, woods, ocean, any one of those is acceptable.

From: Scrappy
25-Apr-20
Ground hunter dont try to be modest now. :):)

Thanks for your service Sir.

From: elkster
25-Apr-20
Good post Brotsky. LOL

From: weekender21
26-Apr-20
Long live [email protected]! Hopefully Paul will be motivating us through his successful hunt threads for many years to come! I'm impressed with the number of 75+ hunters out there still getting after it!

26-Apr-20
Pretty much already there for me. Friends getting older, quality of otc units pretty bad if you have not participated in the points game in other states, imo. It was agood run, my CO bud and I dont hunt together any more. Just had to replace it with different priorities, deer hunting is the current obsession. I will admit nothing beats the mountains in fall, I think I miss the smell out there the most. Nothing like waking up in a high country tent camp and breathing in that sweet air. I had a 12 year run, just have to live off those memories and move on.

From: Highway Star
26-Apr-20
I'm 64, and realize that I will not be able to hunt the way I do for ever. I will just change tactics, and hunt as long as I can.

Scott

From: Bill in MI
26-Apr-20
With a fairly small circle of people in my life I can see my last day elk hunting as my last day. I remember hunting elk in AZ 7 west back in 2008. Missed a bull on my last day of the hunt, hung my head in disappointment and noticed a pristine 4" chert atlatl point literally touching the toe of my boot. Makes you think of a lot that comes before you and all that happens after you pass.

From: tobywon
26-Apr-20
I can’t say goodbye until I’m able to say hello!!!

From: Pahaska
28-Apr-20
This thread kinda hits home. I just turned 67 and the " I Hunt" statistics say I'm finally guaranteed my non resident Utah San Juan archery elk permit. With this Covid 19 crap, my age, hunting solo and being very familiar with the San Juan unit, I'm perhaps a bit concerned about the wisdom of this hunt. I've already harvested over 20 elk but never a chance at a possible 350" or bigger animal. Kinda tough choice for me. Still carry all my bulls out on my back but...

From: painless
02-May-20

painless's embedded Photo
I think this will be me in a few years.
painless's embedded Photo
I think this will be me in a few years.

From: GF
02-May-20
forgive me if somebody else has already brought this one up, but…

There’s an article in the new Traditional Bowhunter Magazine about a guy who took a Shiras at the age of 77.... I’m sure he would’ve been happy to have made the trip many years before, but it took him 20 years to get drawn.

I think he would’ve enjoyed the trip more 10 years ago, and things probably would’ve gone better if he had still been able to draw 10 pounds more than he ended up hunting with, but he shot one moose, he killed one moose, and no meat was lost unnecessarily. There was a good chunk of luck involved, but there always is; he just needed it more after the shot than before. If you find out unforgivable… Give yourself 20 years.

My Elk hunting career has seen basically a 20 year interruption at this point… Might take a few years before I’m able to get back at it on a regular basis. Two boys still need to go to college, but maybe I’ll get lucky and I’ll be able to retire a few years early and I’ll grow up to be Paul.

Overall, though… I will stay at it until it becomes irresponsible for me to do so. Whether that’s because I can’t draw a heavy enough bow to get the job done, or because I’m not fit to get the meat off the hill before it’s gone bad, or if I might just end up dying out there somewhere, leaving my wife to agonize over what my final hours must’ve been like without her there. We are old enough now that our sons have lost three out of four grandparents, and we’ve seen it enough times to have figured out that those last few hours are more important to those who are still here than they are to those who have left.

So I guess I will quit when I get old enough and wise enough to realize that it’s not all about me anymore. I’ve been through enough in the last couple of years to have realized that my wife and my boys matter more to me than anything related to hunting EVER possibly could.

Until then… Maybe I should start putting in for preference points???

From: leftee
02-May-20
Late 70s and zero plans to quit.NM in Sept.

From: elknailer
02-May-20
my good friend Bubba Wentland passed today and took his 24 Colorado elk pts with him.

From: GF
03-May-20
Plenty sad to hear about something like that....

What are we all waiting for?

From: badbull
01-Jun-22
I thought that I would bring this thread forward as there are some great comments from hardcore elk hunters whom I have a great deal of respect for their opinions.

From: Ermine
01-Jun-22
I’m going until I physically can’t go any longer

From: sticksender
01-Jun-22
This was a real good thread. I must have missed it the first go round. Lots of wisdom posted here. The comments about using those points NOW rings especially true.

From: SteveB
01-Jun-22
I’m 67 in a few weeks. I have also found out that I’ve been misdiagnosed as a type 2 diabetic for 13 years, and just determined that I am in fact a type 1. Not overweight and in shape too. Trying to balance insulin now and really struggling. Hard to see how I can climb and do what I love like I could before but sure as heck am going to try. Just had to cancel my bear hunt because I was having too many scary low glucose readings and was afraid to be so remote with this challenge. Once it’s balanced out it’s game on. But make no mistake, aging is very real and every year you know it a bit more. Appreciate youth while you can guys! It’s fleeting!

From: grasshopper
01-Jun-22
No one said this yet. Which is odd.

I'll quit when I can't get a license. That day might be here before any physical limitations prevent it. Colorado is now crawling with antis, and getting a tag in another state as a nonresident is getting really tough.

Think about that. Someone else may make the decision for you. Join pro hunter organizations. It may save your hunting career.

01-Jun-22
When Paul quits, I’ll quit! ;-)

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