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October 16, 2013

Take a Senior Hunting

By Phil Bourjaily

Monday I had the pleasure of playing dove guide to an older gentleman. Our mutual friend Springerman3 suggested I offer to take him out since he, Springerman, would be off in Wisconsin hunting grouse. Keith has permission to hunt a cornfield full of doves and I had a feeling my good deed might be rewarded if I said yes. We met at the field Monday. Keith is 78 and his knees don’t work as well as they used to. While he stays active he told me he hadn’t done any wingshooting since he gave up pheasant hunting 15 years ago. I ferried him out to a bale of corn stalks we could use as a blind, set up some decoys, then drove the truck back to the road and walked in to join him. Keith turned out to be excellent company in the field and we had a very pleasant afternoon. I spotted doves for him, hung out, visited, shot a few birds myself, then went and got the truck and drove it back out to pick him up at quitting time.

We both had such a good time we’re going again this week.

We talk a lot about taking kids out, and it’s important, because they’re the future, but it’s also good to get members of the generation before us out into the field. One of dove hunting’s many charms is that it’s a warm weather activity that’s not strenuous and it’s perfectly suited to taking an old sportsman back into the field. Keith kept saying “It’s nice to be out here,” and “I just like watching them fly.” He’s right, and I hope someone will take me when I can’t go alone anymore so I can enjoy this for as long as possible.

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from TeamAsgrow wrote 26 weeks 21 hours ago

I took my dad out Dove hunting on Labor day, I think it was the first time he had ever shot a live bird. He missed way more than he hit but he was having a great time spending time outdoors with his son and some buddies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dougfir wrote 26 weeks 21 hours ago

Sounds like you both had a great time. Nice!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 26 weeks 19 hours ago

What a fine thing to do Phil! You did a kindness and were rewarded with a pleasant afternoon in the field, it does not get any better than that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 26 weeks 14 hours ago

Good job, Phil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 26 weeks 14 hours ago

This is equally gratifying with fishing!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 26 weeks 11 hours ago

Although my father passed away nearly 2 decades ago, I got several chances to return the favor of taking the other hunting before he died. Those days are some I remember the most from his last 2 years with us. Including the morning driving out to the turkey woods, his face turning ashen, popping nitro tabs, and refusing to let me turn around and go back to town. He was going to go with his boots on if he could. he made it almost another year.

An old quail hunter lives near me and loves my Lab. I told him the other day we were going to drive "out east" and work the dog in a few weeks. He nearly wept at the idea. Can't wait to go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadly wrote 26 weeks 5 hours ago

Phil,
Does this mean you'll be taking Petzal on a hunt?
(Couldn't help myself, Dave)

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Goose hunting here would be great for older sportsmen. Weather never gets terribly cold and it is usually possible to "ferry" the older fellas out to the field. They can help set up decoys until they tire or are too cold and then can hop back in the vehicle to warm up or rest. Do not patronize or pamper them either. When they offer to help, let them. As much as they can. There's an amazing variety of seating equipment on the market and having one of these handy is important. Several years ago I was given an el-cheapo tripod stool. It didn't last the season and was very tricky to set up. Make sure you have something stable for the older gents or an ambulance may be ferrying them back. This year I spotted another tripod affair in Scheels at Grand Forks and took a chance on it. Actually has a backrest and the construction was much more sturdy. I used it quite a bit in the early season when I was nursing a sore hip. Worked very well.

A lot of the older crowd are diabetic so it might be necessary to cut the day short or take a meal along. Some guys are self-conscious about things like that so it may be necessary to ask them outright before you leave home. Keep an eye on diabetics in the field. Their energy consumption schedule is usually thrown out of whack by getting up before daylight. Throw in the cooler temps and exercise and their metabolism really goes for a looper. And if they are diabetic, make sure they don't forget to take their insulin along! Most diabetics will know when they're getting in trouble but you can often spot it before they do. Watch their reactions and responses. If they seem to be in slow motion, ask them if they're okay. That will usually wake them up to the fact that they aren't. A jolt of high energy food will usually get them fixed temporarily, but they often are overdue for a meal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

The old man was 81 years old,a bad knee made him slow of gait.I knew that he was as fine an old gentleman and accomplished hunter as I might ever meet but when my Father asked me to help host the old guy in South Dakota for pheasant hunting,I was less than enthusiastic and most ungracious in my response.Daddy only said,"Son I need your help".A grudging "ok" was about all I could muster and added that this was my vacation too and I would still duck hunt every morning and not hang around the house until noon when the pheasant hunting would begin just because this old man might not be up to going.
We met formally at my parents' 40 anniversary celebration.I sat down to introduce myself to one Mr.Kramer Nimitz.Well I asked ,you ready to go to South Dakota?"
"Yes sir" was his reply and finished with"and I promise you one thing Teddy,I won't slow you down"The fire in eye and the intensity of his reply changed my life for the better, friends.
"I don't believe you will,Mr.Nimitz,I'm looking forward to it."
Well,he didn't miss a single morning duck hunting with us and needless to say he didn't slow us down.He became a fast friend and man whose impact on my life cannot be measured.We saw each other regularly until I got the the call to be a pall bearer at his funeral.He had died early one morning after dressing to go out in the woods with another friend.He lay down ready to go,dozed off and left this earth to be with old pals who had gone on before.
I was blessed.
Yes boys,take an old man hunting.You will have no regrets.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

I have a Best Friend a man could ever have. We Hunted for years but age(84) has taken its tolls on him,We haven't hunted to getter in 6-7 years, but I still ask,Who knows he mite say lets go??? This year I have a spl. Spot for him he luv long range shooting a 355Yd opening that's 1 acre wide and a lifted ground blind....I hope he says yes lets go!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

My brother and I are members of a hunting camp in Pennsylvania and every year we make the trip for deer season. There are are 11 members to our camp, my brother and I are the youngest and the oldest is 93, but if you had met this man you would never know that he is 93. My brother and I usually do all the camp chores, repair treestands, clear the trails, and on opening day we get everyone to their hunting spots. always have to remember that these guys are the same ones that took us when we were just kids and like other said I hope there is someone around to do those things for me and my brother. I'm 64 and my brother is 63.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

Phil,
Very glad you could take the time to take Keith out, I know he enjoyed it very much! He had the female springer that my first male ( Andy )bred which produced an excellant dog ( Gabe ).
In his day he was also an excellant trapshooter, he is one of the few people I know that can actually kill pheasants at 50 yards ( not wound but kill dead )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tvash wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

I will never forget when I was young what my father said- someday it will be you taking me fishing. It seemed impossible at the time but that day is coming. He is still in very good shape and keeps active. My brother, father and I have since built a hunting camp and it is already filling up with memories.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 25 weeks 16 hours ago

I have a friend who is really having trouble since he had a stroke, and some of my best times are taking him to the woods. He turns into a little kid again and it just really makes me feel great. Doing things for other people can make you feel a lot better than doing things for yourself.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardOwlMirror wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

I would like to add that this same 'good deed' could be expanded to those of us who are disabled.
I'm going hunting for the first time tomorrow with help from a friend. I'm 55 years old & have been disabled for the past 10 years. I can't walk very far and trying to get a big game animal back to the truck & loaded would be impossible without a healthy friend to assist.
I understand assisting the aged but, please don't forget the disabled. We too would enjoy getting out hunting but, each of us have our own limitations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bwana Hunter wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

It's most pleasing to see the many good comments of taking the elderly and disabled sportsmen afield once more to enjoy the pursuits of their earlier years. And remember too that some of these senior citizens are from the 'Greatest Generation' that faced the storm and fury of WWII. That old and proud flag was preserved for this and the future by their selfless efforts and sacrifice.

This also fully includes and salutes the brave and heroic young men and women of today who continue to serve the nation, sometimes paying the ultimate price and/or bearing the effects of disabilities for the rest of their lives.

Yes, it is very good to remember the elder generation of sportsmen and women and show them a good time in the fields of their youth with patience, understanding of their limitations, and enterprise on your part. As much as it'll be a fondly remembered time for them, you'll be at least equally rewarded in many ways by your kind and generous endeavor.

When all is said and done in our years on this earth, everything a person has achieved and accumulated for themselves passes away when they die, but everything that one does for others and the good of humanity lasts for eternity.

Semper Fi;

Bwana

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

There was a man 93 yrs old. pictured in my town paper several weeks ago, and an entire front page written about him. He was hunting Sage Grouse in the snow with his Brittany. He has adhered to a strict diet since turning 80 just so he can continue getting out, and hunting. He's shooting for 7 more years, and reaching the 100 yr. mark. I am going to give the guy a call.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from deadly wrote 26 weeks 5 hours ago

Phil,
Does this mean you'll be taking Petzal on a hunt?
(Couldn't help myself, Dave)

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

The old man was 81 years old,a bad knee made him slow of gait.I knew that he was as fine an old gentleman and accomplished hunter as I might ever meet but when my Father asked me to help host the old guy in South Dakota for pheasant hunting,I was less than enthusiastic and most ungracious in my response.Daddy only said,"Son I need your help".A grudging "ok" was about all I could muster and added that this was my vacation too and I would still duck hunt every morning and not hang around the house until noon when the pheasant hunting would begin just because this old man might not be up to going.
We met formally at my parents' 40 anniversary celebration.I sat down to introduce myself to one Mr.Kramer Nimitz.Well I asked ,you ready to go to South Dakota?"
"Yes sir" was his reply and finished with"and I promise you one thing Teddy,I won't slow you down"The fire in eye and the intensity of his reply changed my life for the better, friends.
"I don't believe you will,Mr.Nimitz,I'm looking forward to it."
Well,he didn't miss a single morning duck hunting with us and needless to say he didn't slow us down.He became a fast friend and man whose impact on my life cannot be measured.We saw each other regularly until I got the the call to be a pall bearer at his funeral.He had died early one morning after dressing to go out in the woods with another friend.He lay down ready to go,dozed off and left this earth to be with old pals who had gone on before.
I was blessed.
Yes boys,take an old man hunting.You will have no regrets.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

My brother and I are members of a hunting camp in Pennsylvania and every year we make the trip for deer season. There are are 11 members to our camp, my brother and I are the youngest and the oldest is 93, but if you had met this man you would never know that he is 93. My brother and I usually do all the camp chores, repair treestands, clear the trails, and on opening day we get everyone to their hunting spots. always have to remember that these guys are the same ones that took us when we were just kids and like other said I hope there is someone around to do those things for me and my brother. I'm 64 and my brother is 63.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tvash wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

I will never forget when I was young what my father said- someday it will be you taking me fishing. It seemed impossible at the time but that day is coming. He is still in very good shape and keeps active. My brother, father and I have since built a hunting camp and it is already filling up with memories.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TeamAsgrow wrote 26 weeks 21 hours ago

I took my dad out Dove hunting on Labor day, I think it was the first time he had ever shot a live bird. He missed way more than he hit but he was having a great time spending time outdoors with his son and some buddies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 26 weeks 14 hours ago

Good job, Phil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 26 weeks 14 hours ago

This is equally gratifying with fishing!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Goose hunting here would be great for older sportsmen. Weather never gets terribly cold and it is usually possible to "ferry" the older fellas out to the field. They can help set up decoys until they tire or are too cold and then can hop back in the vehicle to warm up or rest. Do not patronize or pamper them either. When they offer to help, let them. As much as they can. There's an amazing variety of seating equipment on the market and having one of these handy is important. Several years ago I was given an el-cheapo tripod stool. It didn't last the season and was very tricky to set up. Make sure you have something stable for the older gents or an ambulance may be ferrying them back. This year I spotted another tripod affair in Scheels at Grand Forks and took a chance on it. Actually has a backrest and the construction was much more sturdy. I used it quite a bit in the early season when I was nursing a sore hip. Worked very well.

A lot of the older crowd are diabetic so it might be necessary to cut the day short or take a meal along. Some guys are self-conscious about things like that so it may be necessary to ask them outright before you leave home. Keep an eye on diabetics in the field. Their energy consumption schedule is usually thrown out of whack by getting up before daylight. Throw in the cooler temps and exercise and their metabolism really goes for a looper. And if they are diabetic, make sure they don't forget to take their insulin along! Most diabetics will know when they're getting in trouble but you can often spot it before they do. Watch their reactions and responses. If they seem to be in slow motion, ask them if they're okay. That will usually wake them up to the fact that they aren't. A jolt of high energy food will usually get them fixed temporarily, but they often are overdue for a meal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

I have a Best Friend a man could ever have. We Hunted for years but age(84) has taken its tolls on him,We haven't hunted to getter in 6-7 years, but I still ask,Who knows he mite say lets go??? This year I have a spl. Spot for him he luv long range shooting a 355Yd opening that's 1 acre wide and a lifted ground blind....I hope he says yes lets go!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

Phil,
Very glad you could take the time to take Keith out, I know he enjoyed it very much! He had the female springer that my first male ( Andy )bred which produced an excellant dog ( Gabe ).
In his day he was also an excellant trapshooter, he is one of the few people I know that can actually kill pheasants at 50 yards ( not wound but kill dead )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 25 weeks 16 hours ago

I have a friend who is really having trouble since he had a stroke, and some of my best times are taking him to the woods. He turns into a little kid again and it just really makes me feel great. Doing things for other people can make you feel a lot better than doing things for yourself.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardOwlMirror wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

I would like to add that this same 'good deed' could be expanded to those of us who are disabled.
I'm going hunting for the first time tomorrow with help from a friend. I'm 55 years old & have been disabled for the past 10 years. I can't walk very far and trying to get a big game animal back to the truck & loaded would be impossible without a healthy friend to assist.
I understand assisting the aged but, please don't forget the disabled. We too would enjoy getting out hunting but, each of us have our own limitations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bwana Hunter wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

It's most pleasing to see the many good comments of taking the elderly and disabled sportsmen afield once more to enjoy the pursuits of their earlier years. And remember too that some of these senior citizens are from the 'Greatest Generation' that faced the storm and fury of WWII. That old and proud flag was preserved for this and the future by their selfless efforts and sacrifice.

This also fully includes and salutes the brave and heroic young men and women of today who continue to serve the nation, sometimes paying the ultimate price and/or bearing the effects of disabilities for the rest of their lives.

Yes, it is very good to remember the elder generation of sportsmen and women and show them a good time in the fields of their youth with patience, understanding of their limitations, and enterprise on your part. As much as it'll be a fondly remembered time for them, you'll be at least equally rewarded in many ways by your kind and generous endeavor.

When all is said and done in our years on this earth, everything a person has achieved and accumulated for themselves passes away when they die, but everything that one does for others and the good of humanity lasts for eternity.

Semper Fi;

Bwana

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dougfir wrote 26 weeks 21 hours ago

Sounds like you both had a great time. Nice!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 26 weeks 19 hours ago

What a fine thing to do Phil! You did a kindness and were rewarded with a pleasant afternoon in the field, it does not get any better than that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 26 weeks 11 hours ago

Although my father passed away nearly 2 decades ago, I got several chances to return the favor of taking the other hunting before he died. Those days are some I remember the most from his last 2 years with us. Including the morning driving out to the turkey woods, his face turning ashen, popping nitro tabs, and refusing to let me turn around and go back to town. He was going to go with his boots on if he could. he made it almost another year.

An old quail hunter lives near me and loves my Lab. I told him the other day we were going to drive "out east" and work the dog in a few weeks. He nearly wept at the idea. Can't wait to go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

There was a man 93 yrs old. pictured in my town paper several weeks ago, and an entire front page written about him. He was hunting Sage Grouse in the snow with his Brittany. He has adhered to a strict diet since turning 80 just so he can continue getting out, and hunting. He's shooting for 7 more years, and reaching the 100 yr. mark. I am going to give the guy a call.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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