Sun Setting on My Hunting Career

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
Just wondering if any of the older members on this forum feel that your days in the field are nearing the end? I think I'm fast getting to that point. I'm 76, and I know there are guys out there still walking the fields that are older than me. When I was younger I never thought the day would come when I was thinking about hanging it up. I've always been in very good physical shape for my age, but age is beginning to catch up with me. A couple of years ago I found out I had AFib and that has really zapped my energy and stamina. An hour or two in the field and then I need a couple of days to recoup. I've got a bad back that has really been acting up lately and giving me fits. Hope to get in for an epidural in the next week. When you are physically not feeling well it has a tendency to also effect you mentally. Tough to get excited about the next hunt. If I didn't have a 6 year old dog and a 16 year old grandson that likes to hunt I'd probably throw in the towel right now. I've been hunting with a gun since 1956 and I've got some wonderful memories from those past 66 years.
 

matto

Active member
Sounds like you have your share of challenges. I can only add what I see from my dad. He's 84 and he still gets out some. He's good for about a half day, maybe 3-4 times a year. I hope I'm in as good a shape as he is when I'm that age. It will probably only be a hope unless I develop a little more dietary discipline.
 

Wind River

Well-known member
May your experience motivate your grandson to get out as much as possible. You have much to teach him and he will be richer to have you in his life. My grandfather was in the army when WW1 broke out and shared many experiences with us. Zeb, don't let the old man in when you get out of bed in the morning. We will only see so many Octobers. God Bless Be like your dog and enjoy the moment. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery
 
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Chestle

Well-known member

Don't let the old man in
I wanna leave this alone
Can't leave it up to him
He's knocking on my door
And I knew all of my life
That someday it would end
Get up and go outside
Don't let the old man in
Many moons I have lived
My body's weathered and worn
Ask yourself how would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born
Try to love on your wife
And stay close to your friends
Toast each sundown with wine
Don't let the old man in
Many moons I have lived
My body's weathered and worn
Ask yourself how would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born
When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in
Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in


Zeb, I'm not far behind you. Stuff doesn't work like it used too....knees, backs, etc. I've got a 10 month pup that's eager and a 7 year old that still loves to go. So I'm going, aches, pains and all. Don't let him in!
 

haymaker

Well-known member
Zeb I am already there. I said when my dog died that I was done, this is my second season without him. I have shot more pheasants ducks and rabbits than I care to remember. I am still in good enough shape but I have gotten to the point that I don't need to kill stuff to enjoy them. I still block and pick up hunters when we have a family hunt but that is about it. My kids and grandkids will keep this going after I graduate. One of the blessings of having a hunting business is seeing fathers and sons and maybe grandsons hunting and making memories.
 

jonnyB

Well-known member
Just wondering if any of the older members on this forum feel that your days in the field are nearing the end? I think I'm fast getting to that point. I'm 76, and I know there are guys out there still walking the fields that are older than me. When I was younger I never thought the day would come when I was thinking about hanging it up. I've always been in very good physical shape for my age, but age is beginning to catch up with me. A couple of years ago I found out I had AFib and that has really zapped my energy and stamina. An hour or two in the field and then I need a couple of days to recoup. I've got a bad back that has really been acting up lately and giving me fits. Hope to get in for an epidural in the next week. When you are physically not feeling well it has a tendency to also effect you mentally. Tough to get excited about the next hunt. If I didn't have a 6 year old dog and a 16 year old grandson that likes to hunt I'd probably throw in the towel right now. I've been hunting with a gun since 1956 and I've got some wonderful memories from those past 66 years.
Hey George,

Sorry to hear that physically, things aren't going well. One never knows, at our age (84) that one morning we'll wake up with the next ailment that prevents any future hunts. I'm still planning on 3-4 tours in SD and hopefully...the younger guys can keep up!
 

BritChaser

Well-known member
Yep, it's happening to me. Had a knee go south this spring. Arthroscopic surgery improved it, but it's wait and see as far as getting around in the pheasant fields. My dog has maybe five seasons left, and I hope to field her to her hunting end. Then we'll both retire. My only real goal in life at this age is to outlive my dog so she always has a happy home.

UPDATE: Knee performed well over two days of hunting in SD. Hunting not so good.
 
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carptom1

Well-known member
You
Hey George,

Sorry to hear that physically, things aren't going well. One never knows, at our age (84) that one morning we'll wake up with the next ailment that prevents any future hunts. I'm still planning on 3-4 tours in SD and hopefully...the younger guys can keep up!
are in way better shape then I am at 25 years younger. Between college football and a misspent youth of alcohol and car wrecks I put my body through hell. Now I need to get some weight off so I can keep up with a new dog. Btw picked her up this morning
 

david0311

Active member
Zeb..
Only a year or so behind you! Don’t give up.I plan a full year of guiding again this year..and until I just can’t go any more..
Took off 25 pounds this summer working dogs..almost every day..my own and others to get in better shape..have one that will be two in January that’s dragging me back into field trials because of her potential…the little wench😊
Like haymaker though I’m past having to kill birds..haven’t shot a bird except for traing and at trials in over six years..it’s all dog work for me..
Get out..go as long as you feel like it..then take it easy..but keep going!!
I believe it was the Great Satchel Page who said..
Dont look back They may be gaining on you!
 

GetTothePoint

Active member
Just go as long as you can even if it's just riding along. I had an older friend I hunted with for years and he had copd, the last couple years he just kinda rode along and it was still great to have him there. He said he felt like he was in the way but couldn't have been farther from the truth for me and I'm sure your hunting buddies/family feel the same way. Get out in any capacity as long as you absolutely can I say.
 
I'm held together by various artificial pieces, gonna limp through with a problem hip this year, probably need to replace that one over the winter. It's a good thing that I don't judge my days by how many birds are in the bag. I will continue to do it as long as I can and I will continue to get new pups to supplement the old ones. The 13 and a half year old is more my speed now, but I'm going to give a lot of time to the 3 year old. Might even get a new pup, I've still got a couple strands of hair to pull out. The first couple hours every day are really painful, but around 2 in the afternoon after my nap I'm good for probably 45 minutes straight and boy am I gonna enjoy that time.
 
Just wondering if any of the older members on this forum feel that your days in the field are nearing the end? I think I'm fast getting to that point. I'm 76, and I know there are guys out there still walking the fields that are older than me. When I was younger I never thought the day would come when I was thinking about hanging it up. I've always been in very good physical shape for my age, but age is beginning to catch up with me. A couple of years ago I found out I had AFib and that has really zapped my energy and stamina. An hour or two in the field and then I need a couple of days to recoup. I've got a bad back that has really been acting up lately and giving me fits. Hope to get in for an epidural in the next week. When you are physically not feeling well it has a tendency to also effect you mentally. Tough to get excited about the next hunt. If I didn't have a 6 year old dog and a 16 year old grandson that likes to hunt I'd probably throw in the towel right now. I've been hunting with a gun since 1956 and I've got some wonderful memories from those past 66 years.
My Dad's 76 also and I always wonder when it'll be his last trip with me hunting anything. He's already quit about everything else and we never know how my Mom is going to make it either with him gone. She's really not in the greatest shape but he's always been in good like you said. When you have to travel as far as we do to get to good pheasant hunting areas it sometimes makes it hard and always makes you worry a little about loved ones.
 

remy3424

Well-known member
Keep doing it as long as you are enjoying it! We would all be lucky to see the sunset coming and walk-away on our own terms. I am doubting I will have a long retirement (if I make it there), I seem to be breaking-down already and I haven't got to 60 quite yet. At my recent 6 month cardio check-up, my EKG was not right, had a stress test and they say that shows issues, will be going in for them to look for a blockage and if found, they will balloon and stent it, likely not a big deal. If they find more trouble, they will back-out and get a game plan for it. With the stent I will be hunting on the opener (if they get me in soon), but if it is a by-pass type of thing, guessing I will be on IR for the season. My new pup is 15 months old and I hope to have him out early and often.

In '18 had a heart attach and 3 stents install, '19 had A flutter, shocked back into rhythm, that didn't last and had an ablation, that fixed that issue. Hurt my back right before opener last season, that healed itself, but missed about 3 weeks of season. Now this. It could be worse, I have had a good life so far, just a few speed bumps lately.

My father will be 86 this season, last year he was only out on the opener. I credit (or blame) him for my love of pheasant hunting and creating habitat. I have been with him hunting for over 50 years now....how time flies by it this life we live.

Not sure how old I was when I started carrying a gun, I could find the manufacture date on dad's 1100, when he got that, I got his 870 and was hunting for real!
 

carptom1

Well-known member
Keep doing it as long as you are enjoying it! We would all be lucky to see the sunset coming and walk-away on our own terms. I am doubting I will have a long retirement (if I make it there), I seem to be breaking-down already and I haven't got to 60 quite yet. At my recent 6 month cardio check-up, my EKG was not right, had a stress test and they say that shows issues, will be going in for them to look for a blockage and if found, they will balloon and stent it, likely not a big deal. If they find more trouble, they will back-out and get a game plan for it. With the stent I will be hunting on the opener (if they get me in soon), but if it is a by-pass type of thing, guessing I will be on IR for the season. My new pup is 15 months old and I hope to have him out early and often.

In '18 had a heart attach and 3 stents install, '19 had A flutter, shocked back into rhythm, that didn't last and had an ablation, that fixed that issue. Hurt my back right before opener last season, that healed itself, but missed about 3 weeks of season. Now this. It could be worse, I have had a good life so far, just a few speed bumps lately.

My father will be 86 this season, last year he was only out on the opener. I credit (or blame) him for my love of pheasant hunting and creating habitat. I have been with him hunting for over 50 years now....how time flies by it this life we live.

Not sure how old I was when I started carrying a gun, I could find the manufacture date on dad's 1100, when he got that, I got his 870 and was hunting for real!
I remember you talking about your back issues. Grateful mine resolved once I got out of the install side of work. Mine this year was two bouts with Covid, mcl, broken rib from a fall. Was actually getting healthy and riding the bike dropped 30lbs. Well the last 3 months hasn’t been good. I need to get serious or my years are few.
 

Uplandhunter67

Active member
I am 55yo. I have osteoarthritis in both hips one worse than the other. Causes me grief all the time. Supposed to have surgery but really don’t want them cutting on me until I can’t walk anymore. I dull the pain with scotch.
I had major surgery in 2016 and was burdened with a colostomy bag for almost a year until I could get it put back right. Was tough but I got out and put up birds.
Have too many miles to cross, too many flushes and retrieves to witness. Even if they told me not to do it I’d still do it. I just can’t help myself it flows in my blood. If it were the last thing I did and died doing it I’d be happy.
 

UplandHntr

Well-known member
Seems like a good place to leave this….
I went to a wake for a friend last night. We worked together at my old company and now at our current company. Eat, breathed and slept fishing. Every weekend he was fishing somewhere. Either in local tourneys or for fun.
We rarely talked business. Always about where he was headed that weekend.
I saw him Tuesday afternoon in the iffice and we txt’d Wed afternoon. He took Th and Fr off to go to LaCrosse and fish the Mississippi For a few days. Fished all day on Th. Went to bed Th night and never woke up. Apparent heart attack. Fished up until his last breath. He knew he had a family history and personal health issues that meant he probably wasnt going to die of old age. He kept doing what he loved to do despite those issues.
Live every day like its your last I guess???
It just might be
 

Birdman2

Well-known member
Keep doing it as long as you are enjoying it! We would all be lucky to see the sunset coming and walk-away on our own terms. I am doubting I will have a long retirement (if I make it there), I seem to be breaking-down already and I haven't got to 60 quite yet. At my recent 6 month cardio check-up, my EKG was not right, had a stress test and they say that shows issues, will be going in for them to look for a blockage and if found, they will balloon and stent it, likely not a big deal. If they find more trouble, they will back-out and get a game plan for it. With the stent I will be hunting on the opener (if they get me in soon), but if it is a by-pass type of thing, guessing I will be on IR for the season. My new pup is 15 months old and I hope to have him out early and often.

In '18 had a heart attach and 3 stents install, '19 had A flutter, shocked back into rhythm, that didn't last and had an ablation, that fixed that issue. Hurt my back right before opener last season, that healed itself, but missed about 3 weeks of season. Now this. It could be worse, I have had a good life so far, just a few speed bumps lately.

My father will be 86 this season, last year he was only out on the opener. I credit (or blame) him for my love of pheasant hunting and creating habitat. I have been with him hunting for over 50 years now....how time flies by it this life we live.

Not sure how old I was when I started carrying a gun, I could find the manufacture date on dad's 1100, when he got that, I got his 870 and was hunting for real!
Remy
 

birddude

Well-known member
I'm 66. I'm in ok shape and can still cover some ground after I get in shape, but I sense it! I can feel it in my bones! I know my seasons are numbered. It might be 20 more or this one could be my last. I don't know. I'm just going to keep on going and try not to think about it.
 
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