No longer hunting?

DooleyVT

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Jan 13, 2022
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Who knows people who no longer hunt that used to? And why have they stopped? I asked my dad this past weekend if he had bought this year's hunting license for his home states yet because I wanted to get it for him for his upcoming 70th birthday. His response caught me off guard when he said that he wasn't sure if he was going to hunt anymore?? That surprised me... especially after us hunting together for the last dozen seasons in multiple New England states and him being a lifelong upland birds and whitetail hunter. He's in pretty good shape for 70 and he loves hunting! He has harvested all kinds of game with multiple weapons in multiple states. His reasoning for losing motivation was that he was getting "too old" and no longer comfortably pull his vertical bow back and he didn't enjoy his crossbow as much. He said he now gets cold easier, there's not as many critters to chase as there used to be, it's getting way too expensive for tags ,gear, ammo and gas, and none of his friends from his local sportsman's club hunt anymore. I honestly didn't see it coming and actually thought we would try to plan more hunts together in the upcoming years now that travel restrictions are no longer a factor and he has more free time since retirement. I understand a little bit where he's coming from but I'm sure going to miss him in camp.

Update…I did end up buying him his license just in case he changes his mind.
 
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MallardSX2

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I know a lot of people who hunt it up hunting out west when you couldn't buy mule deer tags OTC.

They are all old now and some of them have passed on but they have/had HUGE bucks on the wall from their adventures in the 60s and 70's.....

My dad is in his 70's and hunts as much as he did when he was 40....just all depends on your drive. He never cared for hunting out west. He was always more of a small game, turkey, and whitetail hunter. He gave up small game hunting when our beagles died off.
 

tdhanses

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My dad stopped when he was 60, his last elk hunt about physically killed him. I tried to get him to go hunt easier terrain and he had no interest, been 11 years since his last hunt and he doesn’t seem to miss it.

He now rides his atv all kinds of places and fishes a ton plus camping.
 

Northpark

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Mar 8, 2015
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I have decided to quit hunting, sort of. I will no longer purchase a tag, but I will accompany friends on their hunt.
I’m getting close to you on that one. Thinking of buying a bison every year for meat and then just tagging along on other peoples hunts. Be cheaper at this point and maybe just get out and predator hunt once I awhile. I’m getting tired of crowded public lands and hard to draw tags.

Could spend more time camping carefree with the family too.
 

Pony Soldier

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My dad's second wife convinced him he was too old to hunt at 79. Up to then we had to help him into the saddle the first day. By the end of the season his mobility returned and his strength.

Without that seasonal exposure he slept in his chair till he went to bed. By 83 he struggled to get out of the chair and at 85 walking and balance was a challenge. He died at 89 - in a rest home.

Move it or lose it.
 

nobody

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Sep 15, 2020
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My dad is only 51 and thinks nothing of going a few years without a tag. His feeling is that he doesn't care to chase tags unless they're a high likelihood of success (over 90%) on a premium or limited entry tag in Utah. He also isn't keen on paying for out of state tags and opportunities, doesn't feel like it's worth it. He will come with if any of us (his kids) or other close family draws a tag but he doesn't get excited about anything "normal" anymore. Kinda makes me sad.

I also have a hunting partner (we've hunted together for the past 2 years, over 20 days in field together each year) who didn't hunt for a few years through college and he was open about the fact that his desire to hunt dropped more each year that he didn't hunt. It wasn't until he went hunting the year he graduated that he immediately realized how bad he missed it. I've seen that with other people, my brothers for example, and I think that's the biggest cause. People who really like it but don't love it and aren't super passionate about it have to do it constantly to remember how much they like it. But as soon as a few years pass without doing it they lose more interest with each passing year.

Personally, I'm in the camp of I'll take every opportunity to hunt, even if the tags aren't as "good" because I know one day I won't be able to anymore, and it won't be through any choice of my own.
 

roadrunner

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It's lost it's appeal for me from what it used to be. I do much less now, certainly don't think about it all the time. Priorities have changed recently and have other obligations to tend to.

All I need is one decent tag a year and I'd be good. Bow/rifle, bull/cow, buck/doe doesn't matter.
 
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DooleyVT

DooleyVT

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Not really. I would just rather help folks than go hunt for me.
I hunt with a great guy with a similar mentality. He'll hunt once he helps the rest of us fill a tag. He usually has more fun that the rest of us too.
 

bigv

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south dakota
I still have a pretty hard drive for it but one thing that is slowly changing as I age is how I view animals. I'll never be a tree hugger yet I admit that I'm getting soft. I hate it when I wound a bird and have to ring the neck of a goose or see a poor shot on a deer etc. Ive never liked that but it seems my feelings are getting stronger. I just really respect nature more and appreciate the wildlife. Kinda get a guilty feeling sometimes.
 

Antares

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Alaska
My dad started hand feeding deer and then sort of lost the heart for it (hunting). I do and don't understand all at the same time...
 

Laramie

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I know quite a few guys who have stopped hunting big game due to lack of access. They can't or won't afford western tags and the private land they once hunted is no longer available for various reasons. It's a pretty common theme here in Nebraska.
 

MallardSX2

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I enjoy the hunt way more when my wife has the tag. I dont feel nearly as stressed about things. So I can relate to the above posts pretty well. :)
 

GSPHUNTER

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Without a doubt, the older I get the less I hunt. 72 now, and not able to hike the hills the way I use to. another reason is, I have to travel at least 200 miles for any decent hunting, not much to be had in southern Ca. unless you belong to a private club. A lot of my hunting friends are older than me and for that reason have all but stopped hunting, on top of that two have moved and we seldom get together anymore. I will limit myself to, rabbit, dove and elk. the Elk hunts I do are strictly cow meat hunts on a reservation and don't require much in the way of physical stamina. I will do what I can until my body won't let me.
 
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DooleyVT

DooleyVT

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I know quite a few guys who have stopped hunting big game due to lack of access. They can't or won't afford western tags and the private land they once hunted is no longer available for various reasons. It's a pretty common theme here in Nebraska.
That was definitely one other thing my dad had mentioned was lack of available access. I would assume that this is a pretty common theme all across the country and certainly discouraging to some. Most of the areas he hunted when he was younger were private land and he no longer had access to them because it was either now posted by the new owners or a housing development.
 

Ratbeetle

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I definitely don't have the need to hunt like I used to. After spending the last 7 years out in CO I just moved back to the Midwest and am looking forward to fall in the hardwoods this year, may go after some turkeys too.

I have to say, I had some really high expectations of western hunting and while I had some fun hunts, overall my experience in CO just didn't really deliver for me. I absolutely loved backpacking in the mountains and we plan to make trips back out for that, but I don't see myself applying for any tags out west. As a NR now, the juice isn't worth the squeeze for me.
 
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