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Old Yesterday, 02:26 PM   #1
wgp
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Losing desire to hunt

I've been hunting upland birds, doves and deer for at least 30 year, I'm 62 now. Opening day has been almost a religious event. We went at it the whole seasons, frequently missing work at the end of the bird season to get in one last hunt.

Something has changed. I only went out 3 or 4 times this year. My dog died last year and I just don't want to start a new pup. I did an all-day pheasant hunt yesterday to end the season and I enjoyed the company of my long-time hunting group but I have to admit I didn't enjoy the hunt. Part of it is there are so few birds, part of it is we've lost all our private land access to outfitters, part of it is losing the dog, but it's more than that. I still really enjoy getting out for deer but I have little interest in actually killing one. Maybe I have enough nice racks on the wall.

Hunting has been such a part of my life for so long that I'm wrestling with how I'm feeling about it these days. It has nothing to do with becoming anti-hunting or such as that -- I'm just losing interest and I have never expected that to happen.

I wonder whether others on the forum have experienced this and how it played out for them?
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM   #2
Don McDowell
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I hear you. My whole world used to revolve around elk hunting, I haven't went seriously elk hunting for several years now.
I think a lot of it has to do with just how much work it really is, and with just the wife and I in the house, we do well to eat an elk in a years time.
I've also found that shooting bpcr matches and the like give us ample opportunity for travel and time away from the ranch in mostly good weather to go and enjoy. Don't do the cold as well as when I was 20 years younger.. Something about stomping into frozen boots before dawn and lighting the barrel stove, just doesn't have as much appeal as it did years ago..
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Old Yesterday, 02:39 PM   #3
steveno
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I gave up pheasant hunting about 10 years ago. reasons being lack of birds , the available public lands are too damn big to hunt for one person and it is too hard to actually find the farmer to get permission to hunt on private land if they will give the permission at all
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Old Yesterday, 02:43 PM   #4
Sam1911
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I've had that sort of interest shift over the years, in a number of areas. No harm in it and nothing to worry about. Just start putting your energies into other pursuits you do find interesting and worth effort.

If you still enjoy being out in nature, try hiking and photography instead of the pressures and discomforts of the game chase. If you like shooting but aren't compelled to kill anymore, try practical long-range competition and/or sporting clay games. Lots more trigger time, lots less waiting.

We don't need to hunt anymore to survive. It is only a pastime. If you aren't living for it and loving it any more, don't force yourself to do it. That'll lead to you resenting it as a self-inflicted imposition.
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Old Yesterday, 03:00 PM   #5
Red Cent
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I have not pulled the trigger on an animal in the last 25 years. White tail, antelope, mule deer, and all the little creatures have fallen. Been there, done that. I cannot watch the usual cheetah/antelope chase. The fear now and the inexplicable pain later gets to me big time.
SASS, long range Cowboy, and, soon, some indoor competition.
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM   #6
gspn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgp View Post
Hunting has been such a part of my life for so long that I'm wrestling with how I'm feeling about it these days. It has nothing to do with becoming anti-hunting or such as that -- I'm just losing interest and I have never expected that to happen.

I wonder whether others on the forum have experienced this and how it played out for them?
I started to have the same thing happen this year. At one point I actually wondered if something was wrong with me.

It's weird sleeping in on a weekend when deer season is open. For so many years I'd be up at 0400, gear packed and rolling to the farm. This year I took a trip to Montana to hunt mule deer and I think the enormity of that experience just drowned out any desire to hunt whitetails locally for me.

I imagine I'll get back around to hunting them, maybe not as hard as I once did...but maybe that's the natural cycle of a hunter.

I used to hunt to try to kill one. Then I wanted to kill a big one. Then I wanted to kill a limit of them. I wanted to stalk them. Then I wanted to kill one with a bow, then a blackpowder rifle, then a pistol. Then I wanted to teach others to kill one. I taught my son to hunt, taught him to put food on the table and spent tons of great hours in the field with him. Along the way I learned to butcher and process them. I make great things for the family to eat out of these deer.

Maybe some of the excitement for me was the learning and growing as a hunter...dunno. But the burning desire to go day after day from sun up to sun down in any weather has faded.

I imagine other hobbies will fill in the time I used to spend pursuing deer.

I'm close to where I'm not bothered by the change...it still feels weird...but the weird is getting less pronounced. Heck...I took a day off during hunting season last week to go fishing in 40 degree weather!
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM   #7
jmr40
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Time for you to become a mentor to a younger hunter. If you don't have a grandchild to take, there are lots of young hunters out there that would be thrilled to have you share your experiences.

The spark will come back when you see them get excited.
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Old Yesterday, 03:08 PM   #8
Sam1911
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Quote:
This year I took a trip to Montana to hunt mule deer and I think the enormity of that experience just drowned out any desire to hunt whitetails locally for me.
[LANGUAGE GEEK ON]
Was it all that bad???

Enormity actually means something completely different from what you'd think.

e·nor·mi·ty
iˈnôrmədē/
noun
1. the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.
"a thorough search disclosed the full enormity of the crime"

2. a grave crime or sin.
"the enormities of the regime"
synonyms: wickedness, evil, vileness, baseness, depravity;

[LANGUAGE GEEK OFF]

Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled thread.
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Old Yesterday, 03:14 PM   #9
gspn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911 View Post
[LANGUAGE GEEK ON]
Was it all that bad???

Enormity actually means something completely different from what you'd think.

e·nor·mi·ty
iˈnôrmədē/
noun
1. the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.
"a thorough search disclosed the full enormity of the crime"

2. a grave crime or sin.
"the enormities of the regime"
synonyms: wickedness, evil, vileness, baseness, depravity;

[LANGUAGE GEEK OFF]

Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled thread.

HA! I didn't mean one of those definitions. It's also can mean:


3
: the quality or state of being huge : immensity <the inconceivable enormity of the universe>
4
: a quality of momentous importance or impact <the enormity of the decision>

I promise you we did no base, depraved, or evil stuff!!! Heck...we didn't even drink!
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Memo to all nsa, fbi, cia, dia, dea, atf, mba, aok, fmj, kgb, MI5, and any others that might be listeneing/reading/tracking my metadata...i share this computer with an old lady, an ex-con, a priest, a used car salesman, a military veteran, a pacifist, a vegetarian, a hunter, a circus midget, a Panamanian strong man, and a chihuahua...so any data you have will be random and useless...good luck.

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Last edited by gspn; Yesterday at 03:22 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 03:19 PM   #10
stevekozak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911 View Post
[LANGUAGE GEEK ON]
Was it all that bad???

Enormity actually means something completely different from what you'd think.

e·nor·mi·ty
iˈnôrmədē/
noun
1. the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.
"a thorough search disclosed the full enormity of the crime"

2. a grave crime or sin.
"the enormities of the regime"
synonyms: wickedness, evil, vileness, baseness, depravity;

[LANGUAGE GEEK OFF]

Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled thread.
Well you got two of the 3 common meanings of the word:


a : great size
I was overwhelmed by the enormity [=immensity] of the task at hand.
b : great importance
They didn't fully grasp the enormity of their decision.


I think his use of the word was appropriate.

Fellow Word Geek.
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Old Yesterday, 03:21 PM   #11
stevekozak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gspn View Post
HA! I didn't mean one of those definitions. It's also can mean:


3
: the quality or state of being huge : immensity <the inconceivable enormity of the universe>
4
: a quality of momentous importance or impact <the enormity of the decision>

I promise you we did no base, depraved, or evil stuff!!!
I guess there are three of us!
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Old Yesterday, 03:44 PM   #12
urbaneruralite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
Time for you to become a mentor to a younger hunter. If you don't have a grandchild to take, there are lots of young hunters out there that would be thrilled to have you share your experiences.

The spark will come back when you see them get excited.
+1

Also, try hunting turkeys this Spring. It's something else.
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Old Yesterday, 04:31 PM   #13
wgp
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Interesting responses. I still love the outdoors. I have a farm and love to see the critters all year, put in food plots, build wildlife piles, that kind of thing. My interest in fly fishing has grown a lot.

The comments about mentoring are interesting. My two boys hunted with me but they just never developed the interest to sustain it. There are 4 grandchildren now, too little to go but as I've told my wife, I don't want to see them raised only at the mall. We bought an RV trailer recently partly so I can get them out in nature.

My interest in shooting itself remains strong, perhaps more sporting clays and the like. I still take great pleasure in my collection of guns.

Life will be fine -- I'm just getting used to these changes.
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Old Yesterday, 05:00 PM   #14
jmr40
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My best day hunting this Fall. My 2 oldest grandkids spent the night with us before opening day of Archery season here. My 4 year old grandson looked up at the bearskin I have on the wall and asked me to take him bear hunting. So I did. A quick trip to Walmart resulted in 2 camo T-shirts and we got up "early". Grammy made pancakes and we were in the woods by about 8:30. Later than I'd have preferred, but about right for a 4 and 6 year old.

We never got out of sight of the truck, and bear was technically legal. They did fine until they ran out of Dr. Pepper and Skittles. We were back home before 10AM, but I planted a seed that will only grow.



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Old Yesterday, 05:03 PM   #15
Fremmer
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Well that's the way it works. Don't worry and think about serving as a mentor. Also think about trying a different season like black powder for deer. Or trying a bow. Or fishing, or something else new.
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Old Yesterday, 05:24 PM   #16
Captcurt
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City girls.

I hear you. The Granddaughters (ages 7 and 4) spent a few days with us during spring break last year. Took them fishing for the first time. I would hook one and let them land it. Caught 10 or 12 trout. Two days later the elder asked to go again. We did and now they have their own rods. Can't wait for their next visit. BTW, they love to shoot my air rifles.
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Old Yesterday, 05:40 PM   #17
short barrel
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Hunting was my world until I got into my sixties. Now at 67, the desire is absent altogether. I don't want to kill animals anymore. This past season, I enjoyed getting in the mountains and looking for deer, but when I got a shot I didn't take it. Didn't want the deer to die and I didn't want to fool with the butchering. My secondary sport, fly fishing, has now taken first place. It gets me to the mountain streams and I get to see game, but don't have to kill. I don't even kill the trout. I supplemented the trout fishing with saltwater fly fishing and get to go about twice per year.

I wish I lived in Texas or Georgia where I could hunt hogs. I don't think killing a wild hog would bother me.
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Old Yesterday, 05:51 PM   #18
Sam1911
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Quote:
I guess there are three of us!
NO! You two are neologism-loving Philistines!

Why, I'd bet you would use "comprise" to mean "compose" just because the usage panels are starting to give up in abject frustration at the inability of English speakers to discern between near homonyms. <sigh>

Rage! Rage against the dying of the light!
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Old Yesterday, 05:52 PM   #19
gspn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911 View Post
homonyms.
Hey...there's no point in calling people names...lets keep this professional.
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Memo to all nsa, fbi, cia, dia, dea, atf, mba, aok, fmj, kgb, MI5, and any others that might be listeneing/reading/tracking my metadata...i share this computer with an old lady, an ex-con, a priest, a used car salesman, a military veteran, a pacifist, a vegetarian, a hunter, a circus midget, a Panamanian strong man, and a chihuahua...so any data you have will be random and useless...good luck.

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Old Yesterday, 05:57 PM   #20
Patocazador
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wgp wrote: "My dog died last year and I just don't want to start a new pup. I did an all-day pheasant hunt yesterday to end the season and I enjoyed the company of my long-time hunting group but I have to admit I didn't enjoy the hunt. Part of it is there are so few birds, part of it is we've lost all our private land access to outfitters, part of it is losing the dog"

Almost all of it for me would be losing my dog .. which I bought and trained at age 62. I'm 71 now and she's the best one I've ever had. She will be 9 next month and is slowing down and so am I. Without her, the ducks, doves, squirrels, coons, hogs, etc. wouldn't matter much.
Don't give up, start a new dog. You won't be sorry.

BTW, 62 is not old.
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Old Yesterday, 05:59 PM   #21
joem1945
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I haven't hunted in many years. I use to keep the freezer full. No desire to shoot game anymore. Knees shot, bad back too hard to walk the woods and fields. Much easier to go buy the meat I need.
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Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM   #22
stevekozak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
My best day hunting this Fall. My 2 oldest grandkids spent the night with us before opening day of Archery season here. My 4 year old grandson looked up at the bearskin I have on the wall and asked me to take him bear hunting. So I did. A quick trip to Walmart resulted in 2 camo T-shirts and we got up "early". Grammy made pancakes and we were in the woods by about 8:30. Later than I'd have preferred, but about right for a 4 and 6 year old.

We never got out of sight of the truck, and bear was technically legal. They did fine until they ran out of Dr. Pepper and Skittles. We were back home before 10AM, but I planted a seed that will only grow.



That is awesome, JMR! Good on ya!
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Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM   #23
notaglockfanboy
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wgp, I used to be a die hard hunter. Never done much bird hunting, but anything with fur had me on its path no matter the weather. I have not shot a deer since 2001, but I still enjoy going with my son and wife and nieces and nephews. I do get to drag a bunch of deer and skin them also lots of tree rats. I guess I enjoy taking them hunting and seeing the joy in their faces more that I do firing shots. Just my experience. Paper and steel are the only ones that have to worry about me lately.
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Old Yesterday, 07:21 PM   #24
mquail
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Quote:
f you still enjoy being out in nature, try hiking and photography instead of the pressures and discomforts of the game chase.
That's what I did. With all the knowledge one gains while stalking and hunting critters you can get great photographs of animals being animals without pulling the trigger. Instead you push the button and get to look at that memory for a long time.

Moving down here from South Dakota did it for or to me, depending on how you look at it. Back in SD at times we were swimming in gamebirds and waterfowl. Here, it's a completely different world. I might try calling predators but killing simply isn't my thing anymore. Nothing wrong with that. There were times I couldn't get a wink of sleep before a hunt and understand that but today I sleep pretty good
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 PM   #25
twofifty
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Originally Posted by Sam1911 View Post
I've had that sort of interest shift over the years, in a number of areas. No harm in it and nothing to worry about. Just start putting your energies into other pursuits you do find interesting and worth effort.

If you still enjoy being out in nature, try hiking and photography instead of the pressures and discomforts of the game chase. If you like shooting but aren't compelled to kill anymore, try practical long-range competition and/or sporting clay games. Lots more trigger time, lots less waiting.

We don't need to hunt anymore to survive. It is only a pastime. If you aren't living for it and loving it any more, don't force yourself to do it. That'll lead to you resenting it as a self-inflicted imposition.

Same here. I went away, then decades later came back to hunting.

I consider that hunting is a vestigial cultural artifact.

On the East coast, urban sprawl has fractured, privatized and reduced habitat to such an extent that animal populations are much reduced. Human population densities are high. Access is wearisome to establish. Getting there is a costly pita.

But for rural people -of the East or West- who are lucky to live amidst tens of thousands of acres of readily accessible wild public lands, hunting remains part of day-to-day culture. It is an activity rooted in a vestigial memory of mankind's timeless drive to survive and be independent, and because hunting fields are readily accessible, hunting thrives on.
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