How to deal with it

Blackstorm

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Central NY
Dealing with age is all part of the process that we all have to deal with. I am part of a hunt club in S Dakota where a large group of guys would get together every year from all parts of the country, Our group of 5 from NY. The Alabama boys the guys from the Dakotas and Iowa all told there were 14 of us . I was one of the youngest at the time it started now 5 are gone and most of the rest have serious health issues that prevent them from making the trip anymore. I'm now the sole owner of the camp as most of the members are in their 80's or late 70's. We did a cool thing to keep a timeline on the wall of the camp we would sign in marker our name and the dates we hunted. I can't recall everybody on the wall but there are over 50 names and the same number of photos detailing the fun time these guys had that shared a common passion for the outdoors. I'm now one of the older guys and I have been pretty diligent in passing this hunting tradition down to future generations and there are several that I have pinned my hopes on that will continue our traditions at our camp. I will be the oldest hunter this year and trying my first Elk hunt but I have to do it in Colorado as we couldn't tags as non res in SoDak. I guarantee I will be slowest in camp, I've started the replacement parts process will a couple more on the horizon. That is ok I've got a few years of good hunting left and this was a bucket list item for me. I will let the kids hop on the horses and hunt the BLM land I will be just as happy posting up and glassing from a stand or a large stump as I love to do in our Eastern woods, you see more that way anyhow. The optimist in me even bought a new rifle for this trip.
 

mtwarden

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
3,357
Location
Montana
Well I'll consider myself lucky; I'm 62 and there isn't anyone I would be afraid to slow down on a hunt. Having said that, 95% of the hunting I do is solo so eventually I'll just be slowing myself down :)
 

Deere83

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
84
Location
Western colorado
When I go with my brother in laws dad, long story but 15 year friend, we scout our butts off and try to put him on the best bull once, knowing he probably can’t climb twice, then we hunt the timber and enjoy the stories.
 

eaglemountainman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
150
Location
Florida,Dwneast Me,Catskills
At 63 y/o I've lost a step or two. But I'm ok with it. If the younger guys want to pack in and spike out a few nights or even the whole trip, that's fine with me. While they are young and able, they should experience that thrill and exhilaration as much as they possible can because, like it or hate it, sooner or later, the time comes for all of us when we have to reevaluate and adapt to our age and body's limitations. I wish I had the wisdom to appreciate that little fact a bit more when I was younger.

I like to think nowadays, that from the times I sat on post, enchanted, against a tree next to my grandpa or walking in my dad's footsteps in the snow as he taught me to track and still hunt, through my entire hunting career, that I've learned enough to hunt smarter and not harder and to compensate for what I now lack physically. So, while I might envy the younger guys their deep mountain adventures, I would never dream of asking them to slow down and diminish their experience on my account. Their own time for slowing down will be upon them soon enough. Me and a few of the older guys that remain have learned to appreciate, a little, the comforts that a good base camp or even a ranch house or lodge has to offer...like fully prepared meals vs freeze dried crap out of a Jetboil cup, cozy bed vs sleeping in wet clothes in a cold fart sack, or a long hot shower vs pissing out of the tent at 4 AM when it's 12* outside. Ah, who'm I kidding?;)

While it's always great to notch a tag and endure the misery of a long , steep pack out to fill the freezer, I'm at the point where I don't have a need to anymore. Just to be out and settled in somewhere on the mountain as the eastern sky just breaks light, straining to hear the faintest of sounds in the dead calm, crisp morning air. Or sitting on a ridge glassing for critters and admiring a great piece of walnut and blue laying across my lap and reliving all the great hunts and adventures I've had the privilege to share with my dad and grandpa, my uncles and all the other old timers that have shared camps throughout all those years, and who've moved on. I love every one of those guys and feel that as long as I can continue doing this every year, I'm keeping our sacred circle whole.

Anyway, enough of this drivel.

OP, please forgive me if I veered a bit from the intent of your thread.
 
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Diesel

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
332
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Something must have gotten in my eyes. This thread hits me at a time when my old knees are screaming more often than not. It is a very sad day indeed when you realize your days are short to keep doing what you love so much. I for one want to be around the young blood as it helps the spirit stay strong and it is about the adventure anyhow. When the day comes, I will take over as camp cook.

The old guys we hunted with in our younger days melted away but hung in there as long as they could and we did the pushing till they were gone. Great fun sharing the camaraderie and stories and I dearly miss those days.

Thanks for the thread. Great posts, guys.
 

Still Hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
149
Location
Texas
I wrote you five paragraphs and then deleted it. The answer is simple. How would you want to be treated? So lets put this in perspective, if you had a bad accident and were placed in a wheel chair, would these same "old men" leave you at home, or drag your butt out there, push you around, lift you in and out of places, bring you meals, help you get dressed and take care of you and bust their butts in trying to get you a bull? Something to think about. Killing an elk is not that important. It is about relationships, getting into the mountains, getting away from work, sharing a fire, listening to bugles and watching falling stars across the sky. If you are thinking about culling the old guys out you need to find another hunting group. Most of us "Old Men" know when we can't hang. However, we are not out there to just kill an elk. Walking through the mountains after a fresh snow and being the first one to walk down a trail, come across fresh tracks by a rabbit or a bear or an elk. To smell the fresh pine, smell the Aspen, to watch and feel the mountain winds rush through the pines and shake the Aspen leaves down and leave the forest covered in yellow polka dots. Finding a wallow hidden thick in the brush covered with muddy tracks that look like a rodeo arena. Watching a Pine Martin try to catch a Pine Squirrel. Watch a elk calf splash in a stream. Walking up on a fresh kill by a lion or a bear. The sounds of a rushing stream. Hunting Elk is the EXCUSE we use with our wives and our employers to get away to "put our outside on".

I think your missing it my friend. I hope you figure it out before you are 60 and the kids want to put out to pasture.
 

mtnwrunner

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,164
Location
Lowman, Idaho
I would think the best thing would be communication-----just ask them. We haven't had that issue as we are all relatively the same age. We still get after it but are just slower and of course, much smarter.;)
That being said, we are currently on a bear hunt and I shot one last night and guess what?...….a younger guy has volunteered to go and recover the bear this morning as its in a brutal spot. Its kind of an epic story.

Randy
 

swampthing

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
302
Location
prince george british columbia
Great thread! I am an old guy in camp now. I raised a son into backcountry/backpack style hunting. He did his first backpack trip at 13. He is 24 now and Leaves me in the dust on the mountain. He has found a good backpacking partner now for his "big" trips. We still do plenty of hunting together though. On our more remote trips I send him off on his own for the big climbs and I offer support in dropping him off and picking him up at different locations, keeping chores done in camp and basically making it easier for him to maximize hunting time. I still "get er done" myself but hunt at a much slower pace these days. Sharing a camp with men of all different ages is very enjoyable. I hurt my back before last years november deer camp and my son and partners took on all my camp chores and let me enjoy just being in camp! There is one tough old fella I have shared camp with who is in his 90s. Although his appearance is old, the gleam in his eye and his smile is as big as any mans in camp.
 

Ucsdryder

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
734
Dads first elk at 78 years young. That was a hell of a hunt. Called him in the last evening of our hunt. I was 50 yards down in a little hole, bugling and stomping around, banging on branches. I’ll never forget the sound of that muzzle loader going off! Good times...
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