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Has Your Mindset About Hunting Changed Any?

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Has Your Mindset About Hunting Changed Any?

Old 10-03-2021, 03:06 PM
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Default Has Your Mindset About Hunting Changed Any?

As I approach my 60th year I find my point of view on hunting has changed drastically.

There was a time when I hunted hard from dawn to dark humping the hills in CO looking for elk and mulies. My whole family would be on the hunt but I rarely saw them since I was always the first one out the tent long before daylight and I was always the last one to come dragging in long after dark with a flashlight in my hand. I'd eat, crash and do it again the next day and would do it until I tagged out or the season ended. Now most of those family members: both grandfathers, father, uncles, some cousins and long time family friends are all dead. I realize now that I was hunting for the wrong reason since I always had to be the one that tagged the biggest animal and usually was. I missed the comradery and the simple joy of being with people I cared about. There was a time on safari in Africa with my father that I insisted that we both have our own PH because Pop hunted too slow for me. I wasn't there when Pop took a really good Kudu.

I wasn't there when he took a very nice Cape Bushbuck, a species I never did take.

I wasn't there when Pop took the biggest Blue Wildebeest I ever saw. I had to hunt elsewhere looking for game.

This really struck home when my father died and I realized there would be no more hunting trips with him. Only then did I understand that the real trophies from a hunting trip are not the horns, heads, antlers and hides. The real trophies are the people you share the trips with. I haven't hunted for any antlers since I buried my father in 2013. I have taken a few bucks as target of opportunities but now I hunt for the memories and for a few does for the meat. I take time to watch the sunrise. I find joy in watching the birds fly and hearing the coyotes howl. I relish the feel of the sun and wind on my face and I wish every season that I could have all those long dead hunters with me in camp just once more.

I would love to hear how some others have changed as well.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:44 PM
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My father was a hunter, he did not do big game hunting in Africa or any other foreign country he was a hard working man of modest means. He went to a one room school house and during the hunting season he and his brothers hunted their wat to school and stashed what they shot and when when school dismissed they hunter their way home and they helped feed a family of 12. I ran a trap line with him when I was 9 years old, he taught me how to trap fur and about here to look for rabbits and pheasants which was what we hunted for other than squirrels and deer. The area we lived in did not have good deer hunting but he took his 3 sons all the same. If it had not been for what my dad taught me I would not have grown up to be a Game Warden after I got out of the Navy and got married. The only thing I regret is that my dad died before I could afford to take him to places to hunt that he only dreamed of but kept silent about it. I am happy that I has the opportunity to take him on a 4 day sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay which for a man who could not swim enjoyed immensely. He was a hard working man who after he came home from the South Pacific when WWII ended put all his resources and energy into taking care of his family! No my mind set has not changed about hunting, for me it is not only recreation but a way to put good wholesome food on the table while having fun.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 10-03-2021 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 10-04-2021, 02:05 PM
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Flags, this is a very thought provoking topic. I couldn't agree more. Kudos!
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:49 PM
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My mindset on hunting really hasnít changed a lot. As I enjoy our laidback way of life and with Covid I canít think of a better way to self isolate. I enjoy putting food on the table and will keep trying to. I donít always succeed with it but have enjoyed a few road killed deer that I have been allowed to bring home.. So I am not going without. I also will give some away to family and some of the older people that live in the area that has been having a hard time of things. But now my hunting has changed since I had cancer and I try to find game that would be easier to get out verses those long drags. I am not sure if I will do much deer hunting this year as I have picked up a road killed moose that no one wanted to deal with. That gave 320 pounds of meat and my wife and I have a moose hunt to do. I know where thereís two bruisers hanging around and debating on which one we should go after. I am thinking the easiest one as I know whoís going to be doing most of the work. My wife wants a big moose and I just want any legal antlered moose. I am hopeful we will be getting one though but itís going to be a hard hunt I am thinking. All the while I am hoping for a one day hunt. But because of issues related to the cancer treatments that left me not so energetic I would choose the easiest route. I get coughing while setting in cold weather which really messes up my hunting. So I have to change how I am doing it..
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:06 PM
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Dad always hunted hard, sun up to sun down regardless of the weather. But only to fill the freezer. When that was done he was done. It really wasn't recreational for him other than a few trips with his uncle's out west for elk, mule deer and antelope. He had a Remington 7600 .30-06 that he was good at using, and always filled his tags in Penns Woods.

I started at 11. By the age of 13 I decided I wanted to do more than just fill my tags, I really liked to hunt!. A guy at our church got me set up with a bow and started taking me bow hunting. I'd found a new love.

At 14 I asked dad if I could build a tree stand on the neighbor's property. We went and talked to the guy and he said go ahead. So, I built my own stand and that season i shot my first archery deer, a 125lbs doe. I shot quite a few more out of that wooden stand between 14 and 18 including a couple good 8 pointers.

Then I left for college and started hunting public land in central Ohio. Through my early 20s I did allot of archery hunting and would always save some tags for gun seasons as well. I hunted several states and learned allot about hunting specific deer and hunting more mature deer, not just punching tags. It was never about antlers, but I passed young deer and targeted older bucks and does.

When I started having kids time and money influenced hunting more than anything. The last five years I've only archery hunted about 10 or 15 times probably. Just not a good use of my time right now. But I've been able to take elk, antelope and bear. And am planning a trip for muleys and then elk over the next several years. So I'm blessed to be able to still take time and do some fun things.
I still gun hunt but I'm much more like my dad here the last few years. I'm there to fill a tag and fill the freezer. The kids love deer sticks, jerky, deer dogs, and burgers. Most years dad and I try to tag between 4-6 deer between a few states (mostly Ohio and PA).

Dad has also begun to enjoy hunting more as he's aged. The last few seasons he's started taking my crossbow out a few times in early November, squirrel hunting by himself sometimes, and he's bought a few new toys to shoot deer with. Not just about grocery shopping anymore.

My kids are starting to hit hunting age now. That's the focus for the future. So it won't be about me, but getting them set up. We adopted a boy this summer, he's 14. His first deer hunt will be the PA Youth season in a couple weeks. Really hoping I can show him a good time and pass this love onto him. He seems excited, and seemed to enjoy his safety course and he's loving the shooting practice.

So I suspect the next 15 years for me will be getting the kids into successful spots and teaching them everything I can. I've got a 14, 8, 6, 3 year old. So lots of hunting over the next 15 years.

I won't lie. I miss the years(when I was single and no kids) when I could spend 60-80 days in the woods archery hunting each season. But I suspect when I'm 50, have lots of time to myself to hunt whatever I want, that I'll miss the years I'm just now entering in to. So I'm going to make the most of hunting with these kids and spend every free second I can doing it. Assuming they're interested.

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Old 10-04-2021, 09:28 PM
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The stand I built in 03 or 04. All that's left the last time I was back there and hunting that property. Four Amish guys lease and hunt it now.

I eventually put a ladder stand up when the wood started getting bad on this one. Rough cut doesn't last long out in the weather like that. But I shot a good handful of deer and a few bucks out of this.

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Old 10-05-2021, 06:35 AM
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Id have to agree that filling my tag has not been the prime motivation for decades,
its the trips out of state with good friends and helping them fill tags thats been what I try for most trips
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Old 10-05-2021, 07:24 AM
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I still have the passion and drive to hunt but go at it a bit slower these days. I grew up in a family deer camp and then branched out and bought my own camp. These days I hunt closer to home with the goal of filling the freezer.
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Old 10-05-2021, 05:48 PM
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I still have the same passion I always have had. I guess the main difference now that I am retired and I have more time to hunt. I am trying to go on the hunts I have always wanted to and I am trying to spend more time with family and close friends on hunts. The nice thing about having more time is that I can hunt when the conditions are right and not just on weekends or vacation.
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:37 AM
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Default Things have changed

My hunting attitude has definately changed. The pressure to be succesful has been replaced by slowing down, looking around, checking out new country. Sure I still like to take an animal, but I have had more encounters with other animals because I am looking more, exploring more. Hunting really is a lot more fun when you have someone to do it with. Camplife is something not to be taken for granted. Due to relocating, I lost a great group of friends, that I miss every fall.

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