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Looking back

Old 12-24-2011, 06:32 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Looking back

The posts in here about what age to let a kid hunt, how fewer kids are hunting, deer populations, and things of that nature have got me thinking back over 30 some years of hunting and how different things have become.

When I was a kid there was a certain progression for most of us.We started off on small game animals, squirrels and rabbitts mostly.Then youd get to hunt phesants, ducks geese, things like that for awhile before anyone considered taking you out after big game.You learned a lot on small game, identifying small targets in thick cover, picking a small area on a small critter to shoot at.Tracking and stealth, safety, and patience.And how to clean what you killed.In between that we would run trap lines, fish, and generally spend as much time outside and away from the house as possible.The seasons were long and the animals seemed plentifull.Everything you learned laid the foundation for bigger game hunting later in life.

The other thing I remember is pretty much an open door policy, you could get in almost anywhere by stopping and asking, many places you only had to ask once a year on, and some I still hunt to this day without having to ask.I could literally walk out my door and hunt for miles in any direction and if you ran into a farmer it was just to say hi and ask how you were doing.Sometimes youd stop hunting and give them a hand if they were loading livestock or fixing a fence and if you had something youd killed you might offer em a couple pheasants or ducks.

There werent gadgets for everything we did, you didnt rely on your GPS to get back to your truck, you didnt have cameras for keeping track of what deer were hanging around, the wind was how you kept critters from smelling you, and the only camo around was military surplus if you could find it.Im not saying these are bad things to have, I just wonder if we rely to much on technology for what used to be common sense stuff.

Maybe Im off base but it seems like today everyones got thier kids chasing deer right off the bat.If sitting in a blind or stand is the only thing these kids have ever known for hunting its no wonder everyones nervous about letting em out alone.

And there are less kids hunting but what do they have to hunt?We have turned hunting into a big business, theres no place for em to go except crowded public spots where theres no room to learn.everythings privatized, leased, locked up, or off limits.In the late 80s and early 90s antlers became the main focus of everything we do, small bucks and shooting does was considered a bad thing.Land became harder to access and companies started convincing us we needed everything on the market to kill a big buck.Many states started seeing the trend and starting jumping thier prices on everything from tags to fines based on the size of deer they could grow there.And hunters started turning against each other over more issues than ever before.Hell, I followed right along with the bandwagon on much of this myself.

Then it started getting political, QDM, antler restrictions, and lower deer populations were instituted in many states.Bad part is most of them cant afford to do it properly and those that try often have thier biologists over ridden by politicians who see nothing but dollar signs generated for the states by hunting licenses.Deer populations were destroyed, nieghbors started fighting over who was killing what, and more land got locked up.

Its been a long strange ride if you think about it and are old enough to remember much of this.But I wonder with all the trophy hunting, greed, and fighting if we havent left these kids in a helluva mess thats gonna get way worse before it ends.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:43 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ohio
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I agree 100% with what you said.

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Old 12-24-2011, 07:15 AM
Dominant Buck
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Good post as always petasux. When I was a kid and growing up in the 50's and 60's my parents always told me get out of the house and do something. We played kickball, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, whiffleball and had some great games of hide and seek. When all the kids in my area got around 12 we all had bb guns and were allowed to hunt for chipmunks, birds and frogs. Summer afternoons were always on the river fishing and we got there by bike. No sitting around playing video games or watching TV. There were always things to do. When it did get time to get out on the first solo hunt I feel I was prepared for all of it and had been taught all about sportsmanship, woodsmanship and the animals by my father and uncles. Back then everyone hunted and they even let you out of school to go to a family deer camp. Times have changed and so have many of the kids. Today lots of the kids around here have gone through hunters ed but their parents donít hunt. I was turkey hunting on private land this spring and passed on 3 jakes that came into my calling. I watched them work their way out to the middle of a field and was enjoying the day. All at once I could see 2 hunters running towards the jakes and when they got 60 yards from them started to shoot at the running jakes. They were on private land that only I had permission to be on and so I went right out there to confront them. It turned out they were two 15 year old kids from the area and how they didnít shoot each other running and firing the guns in a mystery. I lit into them for trespassing first then really did a number on them for the way they were hunting which goes against every common sense and ethical rule there is. I sent them home and told them I was going to talk with their parents about what a poor job they did in teaching the kids right from wrong. The mother of course blamed it all on the cousin and said her kid was always getting in trouble when he was with him. Later on in the fall I passed a popular pulloff near an open piece of land and saw the 2 kids along with two more of their high school friends getting out, loading their rifles and heading out to hunt. No muzzle control and you could tell from the way they were going into the woods they were going in to drive deer in a small patch. I canít imagine all the unsafe things that happened that day. They were legal to hunt, had passed hunter ed but didnít have a clue about how to ethically and safely go hunting.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Like others have posted, I grew up outside the house !!!! Santa Claus brought me a Mossberg, bolt action , 3 shot .410 with a "poly-choke" the Christmas of my 3rd. grade. I had turned 8 on Nov. 11 of that year. Looking back I know that this was a heck of a sacrifice purchase for my parents. For years this was my squirrel - swamp rabbit - wood duck - dove - nutria gun. My No.1 childhood buddy had a single shot Winchester .410. We'd cruise the rural roads around our community, gathering soft drink bottles, and trade them at $.03 each at a local "jot 'em-down" dry goods and grocery store. We would get one 2 3/4", .410 shell for every 3 bottles. We'd try to get enough bottles for 3-5 shells, and you better know that we'd not waste them. I do not recall us ever having more than about 10 shells each. It was nothing unusual for us to leave at daylight on a Saturday, and chase critters almost all day long. Bologna/cheese sandwiches, a few candy bars and a Boy Scout canteen of water. Usually we'd come in around 4:00 p.m. with a couple of rabbits we had jumped or found on the nest, a couple of fox squirrels if we were lucky, and almost always a nutria or two. There was not even a thought of us missing a day's hunt. There was plenty of private land to hunt by permission back then and tons of small game. As we got older, we both started suffering from "fumes" ... perfumes and car fumes. Then came Viet Nam.

It was about 10 years later that I could bring myself to kill anything, and I got back into my first love .... archery. Now I hunt a ton and have a ball. And it is now never much about the bagging of game. It is almost 100% about the camp experience.

Where are the kids ???? I have no clue. Both of my daughters hunt. I hunt with 14 other men. Most nave sons and grand sons. Very few of their youngsters hunt at all. I figure that the way this activity is going, in 3-4 generations, a "hunter" will be a fairly rare critter.

As for the gadgets ??? We all know that nothing replaces solid woodsman-ship. GPS units, SPOTs, FRS radios, I-Phones and such all can serve as excellent hunting and especially safety related items. But every one of these needs a battery. Obviously batteries are life limited. So I will have a good compass, an accurate map with me , let some one else know where I intend to head ... and I'm gone !!

Last edited by Mojotex; 12-24-2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:47 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Good post petaux. I agree with you.

Around here...we spend alot of time outdoors, shooting, hunting, fishing, riding atv's, etc. Small game hunting ain't what it used to be...we only have squirrels now. When I was young we had lots of game to hunt. We turkey hunt too...but they too don't seem to be nearly as plentiful as they used to be around here. I guess the coyote's are taking a toll.

My kids are also heavy into sports, and fairly accomplished athletes. This takes a ton of time time that could be spent in the outdoors. But at least they aren't laying on the couch playing xbox 24/7. (They do play, as most kids...but I limit the amount of time they can).

I agree there aren't as many hunters out there....though all the guys I hunt with are bringing up their kids as well. Our camp has about as many kids as adults now. I think alot of it does have to do with the lack of ground to hunt. I too remember just being able to "hunt". Ask and you were given permission. Now, hardly anyone gives permission....its just a sign of the times we live in. I don't begrudge folks for not allowing it...there is alot of risk and everyone is sue happy these days. Life is WAY different than it was back then, for sure.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:48 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northern WI
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Boy you described my childhood hunting experiences to a T. I started at about age 12 with my Dad, By age 14 I was out small game hunting, bringing home a limit of rabbits that my beagle and I got for the dinner table. I would spend entire days at age 14 over Christmas break from school providing food for our family, and having a great time doing it! And as you describe, you could hunt "out the door". It is a different world now, in a lot of ways.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tampa Area, Florida
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Great post Petasux, and I totally agree with you.

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