How old is too old?

hflier

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
2,623
Location
Tulsa, OK
Being that I am going to be turning 55 years old in August, I am interested in hearing from any older backpack hunters on the forum and how you are making out. I am in pretty good shape, but I need to loose another 15-20 lbs. I also struggle with lung capacity it seems. I do get up at 4 a.m. 3-4 mornings a week and throw a 35-40lb pack on and do 3-4 miles. I live in Oklahoma though, so it isn't that big of a challenge. I have no injuries or anything like that, but I am wondering if it is time to change my style of hunting because of possibility of injury. You know the mind says I am twenty, but maybe sooner or later my body is going to tell me I'm not. I have 3-4 backpack hunts planned over the next year, but I am starting to wonder why there are no older gentlemen on this forum lol.

Ron
 

#1antler

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
201
They are here. Just lurking. Turning 66 and heading to Yukon for month this year
 

Rangerz

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Messages
24
Location
Henderson, NV
I don't think it is so much about age, but what you can handle from a physical standpoint. If you can handle it, go for it!
 

oldgoat

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
1,767
Location
Arvada, CO
I'm 53, I think we just have to be more careful and plan better. Figure out places that aren't quite so far away from the truck. Lots of elk and deer within a mile of a road. Me and my wife are pretty much hunting same spot we found before backpacks, just now cut out 1.5 miles of walking every day by back packing in, setting up camp and hunting from there. We actually feel the best physically all year when we are in the mountains and not walking or working on cement. It helps make the hunt easier that we don't ever kill anything, but we sure have fun and get close to sealing the deal, the struggle is real with struggle sticks!
 

RoJo

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
399
Location
South Central Arizona
I'll be 59 this summer. While I have been both a hunter and backpacker for decades, I only recently started backpack hunting. Do whatever your body says is okay.
 

Stickinit

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
67
Location
Great Falls, MT
I'll be 56 in October. Staying active is part of my life, and stretching is something us old dudes need to do more of. I stopped running on asphalt/concrete about 5 years ago, and just hit the trails now. That has helped my knees tremendously. Although I'll only run 2-3 times a week, I do throw my pack on with 35lbs and and climb as much vertical as I can, either the hills, or the local school's stadium steps. That helps with lung capacity.


I'm with you on the "mind says I am twenty" statement. But, I also believe in the will to get it done also carries some weight. We just need to hunt smarter, and know when to slow down.
 

Fixitman

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
149
Location
Eastern Kansas
I'll be 58 in September I backpack hunt every year covering 100 plus miles each year. I'm a heavy equipment mechanic so I get a pretty good work out daily. I hike 5-6 miles 3 times a week Living in Kansas I have the same problem with lack of O2. I've found to give yourself a day or so to acclimate and don't push it the first few days and you will be ok. Also remember your hunting it's not a race go at your own pace
 

Mad Mountain Mike

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
699
Location
Banks of the Red Deer River Alberta
At 50 I finally found a thread on hear where I feel like a spring chicken. As others have stated I spend a little more time stretching but just as much time training and hunt just as hard as ever ( or at least in my mind I do ). I'd rather have them find my bones picked clean on a mountain side than wither away in a hospital bed.
 

Ross

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
3,867
Location
Liberty Lake, WA
Turning 54 before season...have to hunt wiser and prep a little more. Do the best you can to get ready being diligent on workouts and go for it, just keep in mind what the distance limits may be and have fun. As stated it is not a race..good luck👍
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
11,926
Location
Colorado Springs
I'll be 52 next month and I don't plan on slowing down any time soon. That third herniated disc in my neck from carrying out last year's head, rack, and cape on my neck and shoulders certainly didn't help anything. But it's gotten to a manageable level again, so I'm full steam ahead. If it rears it's ugly head again with the numbness and weakness though, I might have to go get that fusion. But until then.........I press on.
 

sodaksooner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
673
Location
Tulsa Ok
50 in a week. No intentions of stopping. I was just talking to my cousin this am(same age as me). He drew a coveted unit 2 tag in SD this year, rifle. Took him 21 years. He said he may never draw another. I said he'll only be 71 in 21 more years. Should have the whole season to hunt then. :)

BTW....hflier, if you ever want to get together and do some training, let me know. I do some short hill repeats at chandler park that'll definitely get your HR up. I run a lot too, but I still need to lose another 20 or so lbs before sept. Already lost 18, so on on the way.
 

TJ

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
637
Location
N.E Oregon
I'll turn 61 at the end of archery season. I started back country hunting in 2008.

I think staying in shape is the key, and a year around commitment.

Most of the time I am solo, so hauling an elk out of the back country is brutal.
I plan on doing this as long as I can. My only regret is that I didn't start back country hunting 30 years ago.

Go for the gusto!
 

VernAK

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
1,304
Location
Delta Jct, Alaska
I'm now 75 and hike 20 miles a week.

Backpack hunting need not be the Bataan Death March.......slow down, enjoy the outing and observe the wildlife.

Six years ago, I drew a coveted Dall Sheep tag here in AK. Ninety days out of the heart hospital, I was sheep hunting in the Alaska Range. On the second day, I got near a band of rams but the largest slipped over the ridge and I couldn't go after him without spooking the other rams. I had to settle for the second largest ram that was bedded 200 yards distant.

My age requires me to choose my battles more carefully. I don't shoot moose unless they are near the landing strip or are in an area where I can get equipment in.

Today's lightweight equipment and rifles makes hunting much easier for we Geezers.
 

LostArra

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
2,376
Location
Oklahoma
Hunt smarter with age and that includes deciding to shoot or not shoot an animal because of location.

I'm 64 and last year I shot an elk in a spot that made a treacherous rocky downhill pack out. Stupid on my part. I didn't realize it at the time but I tore a knee meniscus and had surgery 6 weeks after the hunt. Fortunately the surgeon did a superb job and I arrowed a deer 10 days later.
 

Superkodiak38

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
687
Location
Maryland
I'm now 75 and hike 20 miles a week.

Backpack hunting need not be the Bataan Death March.......slow down, enjoy the outing and observe the wildlife.

Six years ago, I drew a coveted Dall Sheep tag here in AK. Ninety days out of the heart hospital, I was sheep hunting in the Alaska Range. On the second day, I got near a band of rams but the largest slipped over the ridge and I couldn't go after him without spooking the other rams. I had to settle for the second largest ram that was bedded 200 yards distant.

My age requires me to choose my battles more carefully. I don't shoot moose unless they are near the landing strip or are in an area where I can get equipment in.

Today's lightweight equipment and rifles makes hunting much easier for we Geezers.

Appreciate the wisdom and admire the tenacity, of course I'm just a 51 year old kid myself ! :cool:
 

boom

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
3,181
i'm younger than you at 50. i lived a pretty sedentary life until i killed my first elk and got a bit obsessed.
so i am constantly fighting an uphill battle. i could lose some weight sure..but i am damn suprised at the level of hiking and packing i can endure.

i think my knees have a finite number of miles on them, so i am saving them. i mountain bike. my doctor once told me to gain strength and endurance, you kinda have to suffer. walking up and down hills if it isnt challenging isnt suffering. i climb hills on my bike and red-line my heart. i am not pushing it like i did last year, and it feels different.

i am going to have to step it up. one day, i know i will be sniping deer from box blind overlooking a distant corn feeder..but i am not there yet. :)
 

530Chukar

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
400
Location
Out West
I know quite a few 30 year olds that can't hack it hiking in. Go for it. Listen to your body and base the following year off that.
 

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