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Why We Finally Stop Hunting

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July 25, 2008

Why We Finally Stop Hunting

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

I have an unnatural fascination with prehistoric man and, like a lot of paleontologists, spend time wondering what killed off the Neanderthals. They were around for 260,000 years in the face of some of the worst weather the earth has experienced, but 2,000 to 10,000 years after Cro-Magnons showed up, they vanished. Neanderthals lived in small family groups, and bit by bit, the groups ceased to exist. Finally, it probably came down to one man or woman, and that must have been the loneliest death imaginable.

I'm sure that last Neanderthal's last thought, just before his (or her) heart stopped was "Screw it. Why bother anymore? There's no one left."

And so it is with hunters. Hunting and shooting are intensely tribal. Only another hunter or shooter can understand what we do, and we tend to hang around with hunters and shooters of our own age. The pissant punks who can't remember before GPS and Gore-Tex and laser rangefinders will never understand how older generations view things.

Eventually, you reach the point  where you look around and there is no one left who remembers the things you do. Unlike the poor damned Neanderthal, you may not decide to die, but you very well may decide to hang up your guns. If you have no one left to share your sport with, why bother anymore?

Comments (121)

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from Wade wrote 5 years 19 weeks ago

Here's an idea. Instead of sitting around complaining (could it even be whining?), do something productive. I took a kid on a youth day spring gobbler hunt in WV last April. No blind, no decoys, no fields to watch. Just moving by foot through the woods to set up on gobbling birds. The kid took a beautiful mature bird that I took several nice photos of and printed for him. I have also helped young kids, whose fathers are not serious hunters, take their first deer. Some of your articles are taking the tone of not wanting to kill as much any more. I can understand and respect that feeling. But, insteading of pissing and moaning, why not help some young hunter have a good experience in the field while at the same time helping the way of life we love endure.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Put a set of glasses on that man, a hand to his chin and who do you have? Oh I give up.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Punch my name to see why Dave has a fascination with Neanderthals... I think I found his great great great great grandpa. One of the theories is that Neanderthals actually interbred with cro-magnons and share a common ancestor a half million years ago?

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from O Garcia wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Wait here, Mr. Petzal, what are you doing suggesting the Earth is more than 8,000 years old? My neighbor says he's counted back the years from now to Adam, using St. Matthew's gospel, and he believes your numbers don't add up.My friend also believes those thousand of dinosaur bones being dug up are either clever hoaxes by prosthetic artists in Hollywood, or remains of unclean animals that Noah couldn't bring in the Ark.

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from Skyler wrote 5 years 36 weeks ago

omg i just spent 2 hours reading all of that touching writing above. i am on the verg of tears and you guys can't even stick to a givin topic. you're treating this like a chat room for the holy ones sake.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Dr. R,Just read my last post and boy I sure wasn't trying to insinuate anything. Just joking on the original post which caused you to reply and then was trying to comment of the folly of 'dry counties'.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

I lived in a dry county in N. Carolina. Many drunks lived there too.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Show me Jim, you can't even get a sniff of the real thing at the factory... Kinda like the D.C. security dude who couldn't have a weapon at home, Old No. 7 is made and aged in a dry county. No free taste and no sales period.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Dr. R,Did you pay a recent visit to the Jck Daniels factory?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Best living gun writer... I had decided this a while ago but thought it best not to fill the man's head with delusions of grandeur. Reminds me of Twain... tells it like it is, makes fun of people, has an air of superiority that cannot be denied and makes no apologies for his observations which are bitter, hateful and as accurate as that sub-MOA Vanguard he tested last month... we would not be America without free thinking honest men in positions of power with millions of readers such as DEP and Sammy Langhorne. Perhaps the First Amendment is more important than the Second. Anyways just forget I said this crap because tomorrow I will be calling him and his six points shy of genius thoughts idiocy.Take this one Dave, you'll probably get in the 160's. It's nothing like MENSA's

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Still thinking about Monkey Wards... I used to hang out at the gun counter in the 60's talking to the old timers and heard an amazing story. Seems the elderly gentleman I was conversing with had shot a German soldier in the head killing him instantly but the bullet ricocheted off the helmet and came back and hit him in the leg. Claimed he could see the projectile coming towards him but just couldn't move fast enough to get out of the way.

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from Wags wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

You want to talk about hopeless........try passing on your love of quail hunting in SE Indiana to your children!! Big game hunters have it a ton easier than us Uplanders. Your prey is at it's highest population in recorded history. Even wild turkey numbers are through the roof. There are elk in Eastern Ky. But very few still pursue old bob, and those of us that due spend more time pursuing than finding. Very hard to develop a good dog, nie on impossible to develop a good young hunter.

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from Stan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

nice waste of time ... now lets go outside...

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from Ryan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

PS Since you have an 'unnatural fascination' with prehistoric man you should check out some new resources on the subject other than dusty National Geographic issues.There is nothing physical about Neanderthal bone structures to indicate that they are anything less than human, in stature, speech and locomotion. In fact they on average have larger brain size than the current global gene pool.The remains, mostly found in France, were largely considered just stocky-build old men or occasionally humans with specific ailments before Mr. Darwin showed up. And consistent with Darwin science they reinterpreted the facts based on a gross assumption that there is no God and natural causes have to explain everything. The predetermined search for the monkey man connection artificially created the need for the Neanderthal man, complete with early 20th century descriptions about his brutish thoughts and behavior. Who knew they could portend thoughts from a skeleton?No. The Neanderthal man used tools, buried the dead in graves, took care of the elderly and blind by most indications. There is nothing about his physical structure outside the parameters of what we now consider human. He was a man, like you and me. The Neanderthal myth is just another evolutionary hoax.Old timer, you are of the first generation that was brain washed into pure Darwinian evolutionary thinking from first grade. Sometimes old way doesn't mean better way, and vice versa.R

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from Paul wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

I am new to hunting and I do take a little offense to the piss ant punk comment. I do not think name calling does anyone or the sport any good. I do understand the old school traditions and mantality and there is nothing wrong with it, just as there is nothing wrong with GPS or Range finders or Gore-Tex. It is important that the hunting traditon and culture gets passed down from generation to generation or WE all will be like our dead extinct ancestor. As for the GPS and Rangefinder these are just tools used to have a more successful hunt and to help us directionally challenged and people who have a hard time seeing myself included into those two groups. We need to stick together and never give up. Like Charleton Heston said "From my cold dead hand". Everything we hold dear is under attack from the liberal socialist left. Name calling does not help our cause.

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from Ryan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

My little boy is two. I was raised with no guns, no hunting and no fishing. I've taken to value real sports and real activities that put ones self to the test, and builds character and manliness. Now I've got the task of learning everything myself before I start teaching my boy.Let me tell you - if you don't have friends and family that do it - it is a lonely and frustrating pursuit and I doubt many men would undertake even if they wanted.Thankfully I have a neighbor who has taught me how to fish, went with me on my first deer hunt, and we have plans for salt water and waterfowl yet this year. In return he gets my sincere gratitude as I have little more to offer.A lot of you on this board could be that guy - if you suspect someone has an interest ask them. You might be surprised how willing people can be to learn and try something new.R

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Nothing wrong with GPS. It helps these tired knees get back to the truck with the fewest steps possible in the dark!

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from Ben wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

so you're trying to get me (a barely 25 year old piss-ant punk) to become more interested in your hunting traditions by addressing me as a piss-ant punk?Anyway...Certainly the younger generation aren't the only people using rangefinders and GPS. Plenty of the old guys are too - or else the manufacturers would have gone out of business because college students and entry-level employees don't have the jack to afford this stuff. Additionally, the people - young and old alike - use these products because it makes life a bit easier. I think the difference is that the old guys probably know what to do if the GPS or rangefinder fails and the young folks may not.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba, Bubba, Bubba.... don't mess with my Mongomery (monkey) Wards. They were the only store in town that would sell this twelve year old shotgun shells. The man behind the counter knew my dad and would always wink when he said you're sixteen right?

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

DaveThe "good ol' days" will be around as long as there are good ol' gunwriters. Litera scripta manet.

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

DaveThe "good ol' days" will be around as long as there are good ol' gunwriters. Litera scripta manet.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hell, Heavey. I hope that I last another 30 years! That Petzal feller is one of the best Yankee's I have read.

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from bill heavey wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

ungentle readers,you should know that DEP was born old, as this incident shows. many, many decades ago, when he was just a toddler, dave's mother found him looking very dejected and morose (even for him)."what's the matter, sweetie?" she asked.dave looked up from the "1886 Shooter's Bible: The World's Standard Firearm Reference Book," fresh from the mailbox, with tears in his eyes. "i just read that they've invented a smokeless gunpowder," he said."it's going to be the ruination of the shooting sports. you mark my word."DEP complaining is our best living gun writer hitting on all cylinders. even his blogs have a heft seldom seen elsewhere, in newsprint or glossy magazine. enjoy him while you can, guys. and hope, as i do, that he lasts another 30 years.

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from matt wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

"We interbred with the Neanderthals? Wow Matt that explains a lot... Bill Heavey and most Democrats are fine examples."I was thinking along the lines of Michael Moore, specifically, but I degress... :) That is one of the thories offered by science to explain their extinction, but as any semi-educated zoologist, naturalist, etc will tell you, subspecies rarely if ever interbreed naturally.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.I think so, except there is no longer a catalogue dept. You must visit their store to make a purchase!Bubba

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Ishawooa, Thank you for your nice comment about my Dad. I think he (now 91) is an amazing guy. When we were visiting him last January, I got to talking about his various varmit rifles. I asked him how his mauser-action rifle that had been re-bored to .257 Roberts shot. He said that it shoots pretty good. He said he had shot a 5/8" group with 5 shots at 100 yds with it. I said, "You have got to be kidding"!He proceeded to take out an old tattered notebook from a desk drawer. Leafing through the pages he found an entry that identified the gun, type and weight of the bullet, type and amount powder, etc.that used to reload the shells. Included was a notation, "5 shots, 5/8" circle, 100 yds." The year? 1991! (when he was 74!) He also retired from farming at 74, but still lives on the farm today.

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from dale freeman wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm 68 yrs. old and enjoy theoutdoors as much, if not more,than ever.I must admit that it is getting smaller as we speak.I must admit that my companionsare gettin younger and fewer.However, the outdoors is not the only thing in change.I started to look for a new270 remington fiberglass andwas shocked.They look like space guns.I feel like remington has forsaken the old timers andtradition.No wonder old farts say "enoughis enough.

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from hardwoodjdc wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just wanted to share an incident with all of you that happened to me today. I went out to shoot with my son in law and his best friend ( both in their low 30's) in northern Mi. near a college town. We were shooting in an open area and a car pulled up with out of state plates and a group of upper teen agers came over to us. One with piercings and tatoos everywhere, two guys looking fairly normal and an Asian decent gal in a mini skirt! They very politely asked if they could shoot in the same area we were and of course we said certainly. I watched them for a bit and they were having trouble throwing the clay pigeons so I went and showed them how to use there thrower. They had several guns with them so I went back and offered to let them shoot one of our handguns which they were all over. I helped them with how to use it and safety precautions etc. and they had a ball! Turned out thay were a great bunch of kids trying something new and enjoying themselves. The gal was the first to shoot the handgun and hit the tin can she was aiming at the first shot, one of the other guys said she had never shot a gun before. As for me, I was very happy to be out and share my knowledge and equipment with these "pissant punks" as well as spend time with a couple of the new shooters which I have helped into the sport. Share your knowledge, give your time, it is your legacy!

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Coming from a young adult....I just wanted to say YOU ROCK. And if I had a campfire ..you would be welcome around it:-)

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I dont see really any trouble with the new technology...like GPS...or say...a rangefinder..but...where does it stop and start. Maybe in the future they will just have a trail camera with a built in gun...then you program what kind of animal you want it to shoot....and it does all the work for you.Its always fun to handle the new toys. Weather its a new gun(my personal weakness) or the latest bow or trail camera or whatever.....but just so long as hunting remains ...well ...hunting...so that we dont forget our woodsman skills and instead rely upon technolgy to do all the work for us.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba,That was a 'blast from the past'. I was a child the last time I heard the term Monkey Ward. Are they even in business today?

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Back in medival(sp?) times, some "black smith" came up with the idea of a cross bow. It might not have been as quick to reload as a long bow, but penetration was unbelieveable. Then some Chinaman mixed carcoal, sulphur and nitrate together and "BOOM"! Gunpowder was born. Somebody decided that if they could put some "BOOM" in a pipe, a projectile in front of it, the projectile could be directed in a specific direction. Armour soon became irrelavent. The next gunsmith decided that making the projectile spiral in flight, it became more stable and more apt to contact the target. Then came sights, flint locks replaced matchlocks, then here came breech loaders which soon gave way to bolts, revolvers, pumps and autos.Our entire world has been developed by "change".Change happens!I'll take the Timberline hiking boots over my clunky Monkey Ward brogans any day. Bibs beat union suits hands down. Were I younger and in better physical condition, I'd have a GPS and go places I'd never dreamed of in the past.Change is good, but I don't have to embrace it if I prefer the old way!Bubba

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

There is more to life than hunting (or so I'm told..).Never leave a man down behind. A lifelong principal to live by. (Scott's post above)

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from Reno wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I know what you mean, Dave, and share your sentiments, Brother. But I want you to know that as long as the two of us are alive, you're more than welcome to share a fire, a hunt, and days afield with me. I'm 52, and have been blessed to have had a foot in both worlds, it seems. Yonder years where intangibles were embraced call much to my heart and mind. I, too, yearn for them... I met you a few years ago at the Harrisburg, PA, Eastern Outdoor Sports Show (or something like that). You put on a seminar, and I not only thoroughly enjoyed it, but knew I'd met a kindred spirit, just by listening to you. I've kept up with your writings, ever since, and have enjoyed this sight as well. I wish that I had taken notes on what you said during the seminar. You basically told us to get a rifle along the lines of a 7-08 and shoot it, and a .22LR weapon, alot. You gave advice on which targets to use and ranges at which to shoot them. Good stuff! Do you think that you can do an article here on it? Just wishing... Keep up the good work, Brother-hunter! I'm proud to know you!

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkeyVA, My point exactly when I posted earlier about the GPS with a bread crumb feature. I have been out in the woods and had fog and snow fill in. During the daylight hours it is not bad but come night fall it is downright spooky not to be able to see 10 foot in front of you. My big down fall is that I hunt alone and I would not be missed at Deer Camp if I did not show up.Tom the Troll

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkeyVA:Give you dad a pat on the back for all of us as no doubt his is our kind of guy. I wish I could shoot 18/25 with my 28 ga now at age 60. Well maybe on a good day, maybe...

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.--another option is to check with Show-Me Gunstocks in Warsaw, MO. I am sure they'd fix you up.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

AlaskanExile,Thanks, I'm going to go to web address you gave after I google Numrich and call Rem. tomorrow.This guns not much to look at anymore but with a very slightly bent barrel and the front sight tapped 1/4 inch to right I haven't shot a .22 that can beat it. Now that I've got extra money (unlike 5-6 yr ago) its time to get her back in the woods.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

We interbred with the Neanderthals? Wow Matt that explains a lot... Bill Heavey and most Democrats are fine examples.I'm not about to quit hunting. EVER... My dad grew up during the depression and had to hunt as a very small child just to provide meat for the table. His father had polio and was unable to walk more than about fifty yards. You would think being forced to kill to survive would make it a job but it turned into his lifelong passion. Often he hunted alone as our town had no jobs and all his children moved away, plus his best hunting buddy was in an accident that left his arm paralyzed. If anything he hunted more. He was not a quitter and if hunting to you is sitting around a camp shooting the bull go to a bar... you don't understand what hunting really means.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Stop hunting? NEVER!!!

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in MO;Visit this link, it's just "electriccitygun" and then add a dot-com to the end of it.Contact my brother, he runs a small gun store, he does stock repair, and he has a stock duplicating machine. He can make you a new one, just like the old one. As long as the pieces can still be glued together or missing pieces simulated with Bondo.Alaskan Exile

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Last winter, I had an opportunity to go quail hunting on my Dad's farm in cental Illinois where I grew up. Things have changed a lot in that area of Illinois over the past 50 years. Mostly loss of habitat with neighboring farmers taking down fences, pushing out osage orange hedge rows and small stands of timber. It was only the 2nd time in the past 30 years that I'd hunted on the farm and was not sure if there was any game left. However, a double hedge row that always held at least one covy of quail 50 years ago was still standing and it still had a covy of quail in it! What a thrill!Dad (now 91) doesn't hunt quail any more (too difficult to walk the fields for hours), but he still enjoys dove hunting and shooting an occcasional round of skeet or trap. His hands shake so bad that you can't read his writing, but put a gun in those hads and he still does pretty well. Last year, on his 90th birthday, he hit 18/25 skeet with his 28 ga. Beretta O/U using his reloaded shells with 1/2 oz of shot instead of the standard 3/4 oz loads. He was a little irratated that he didn't do better. I'm 65 and I just hope I am able to hold a gun at 91.

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I hunted a lot with my Dad (mostly quail, rabbits and doves) while growing up on the farm in central Illinois. I went to college, got married, moved away and concentrated on my own family and career. About the only time I went hunting or shooting for that matter was when we would go back to Illinois to visit family once or twice a year.Now that I am retired, I look for every opportunity to hunt upland game. Two friends have taken me deer and turkey hunting a few times (haven't killed any yet) and some other friends (all younger than I) have invited me to go duck and goose hunting on several occasions.Thankfully, my duck hunting friend has a GPS, because the last time we went duck hunting using his boat blind on Back Bay in Southeastern VA, dense fog rolled in. Without his GPS, who knows how long it would have taken us to find our way back to the dock.

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from hillbilly hunter. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The way I feel, if you don't like to use a GPS or RangeFinder, then don't use your modern firearm or compound bow....Make your self a stone axe or club.. or do you only want to use the Technology you see fit. Everyone else has gone HOG WILD with this modern stuff... What, smokeless powder?, How could you even think of such stull, Really.

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from Scott wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Gun nuts: shotgun nuts, rifle nuts, handgun nuts, bb gun nuts, are we. Hunters and beer drinkers and whiskey drinkers and tobacconists etc., etc., etc... Neanderthals we are, however, not. We are "smarter than the average bear." To quote a classic, Boo Boo.I, for one will never give up. I will never leave a man down, either. Dave, you worry me. Will someone close to him please smack him one, give him a stiff drink, and drag him back to the fire, please!

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I dont remember who wrote it...but ..they were talking about how alot of younge people were probobably like him in his teens and early twenties ........broke.....LOL..ya man...im there. So even if i wanted to buy some nice stuff.....i couldn't...

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

It seems like I'm finally going to stop hunting with my Rem. 572Fieldmaster. She's got a broken stock. About five years ago I went to the Rem web site and could have bought stock and hardware. Today can't find a replacement from Rem. Do they have a completely different site for this? I searched their site for repacement stocks.

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal...ill put myself in that Pissant Punk Category....but.....um...lets think a little bit...about everyone of Field and Streams articles towards gear.....including yours sir.....are all about how great this new gear is....how useless "the good old stuff" is compared to it...though not in those words...but deffinitely in mood....Isnt that talking out of both sides of your mouth...you sell gear as like the best stuff and go buy it now if you really want to be a good sportsman..then you turn around and talk about how sad it is that people are using the gear that you just got done selling.. instead of the old stuff.

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from Mark (A) wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Who are you referring to? Canadians?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

PSI didn't mean you!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

PS,I didn't mean you!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkyVA,Don't do anything, maybe their testing a new way to keep those filthy wierdos off here.

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just tried posting a relatively long comment again and got the following message:"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author." What do I need to do???

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Test comment. I tried posting twice. Both times my comments were were held up as "Spam" to be reviewed. Not sure what is going on.

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from AP wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

matt has it right. Most of the guys I hunt with, and myself included, can't afford the really nice clothes and toys. However, I do have one pair of gore tex boots that I saved up for. Previous to those, I had Timberland hiking boots, with no insulation, no gore tex. As of right now,I need to save up for a Marlin XL7, not a rangefinder, or anything else for that matter.

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from Mark (A) wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,I share your thoughts, but maybe not your feelings. Like everything in life, advances in science and technology have unalterably changed the outdoor and hunting experience. Changed it in the same way the invention of firearms unalterably changed hunting and warfare and law enforcement etc. Every generation eventually believes the next will not respect, appreciate, admire the way things were done in the past, and the new ways will, in some way or another, be inferior. Undoubtedly, the next generation of hunters utilizing GPS, sattelite imagery, rangefinders etc. will eventually feel their own young will not have/share the same experiences as them. God only knows what the next generation of advancements will be!I often wonder what other people, like you and I, in our generation, feel is lost in time and gone forever from the way hunting was. I remember from the time I was a boy of 8 years old and embarking on a 1200 km journey to what seemed like, and was then, a remote area in Canada where all game and wildlife was so abundant, and sucking up every bit of knowledge my father had to on, from survival to botony and meteorology and biology and how that knowledge would equip me well in any situation relating to hunting and the outdoors. Those trips seemed like a true northern safari and conjured up all the feelings that go along with a great adventure. The feeling of remoteness and survival and paring our own situation down to our own rudimentary instincts. Seeing the vastness of the sky at night absent of any incidental light and the comforting hissing sound of a naptha lantern and the smell of the canvas of a wall tent and the way the sound of loons and wolves and moose would travel in such a sterile, soundless environment were truly awe inspiring. Logistical preparation was so essential to a successful hunt, as was knowledge of the lay of the land and habits of the animals and map reading and how to drive, I mean really drive in the bush. Many of the skills seem to be giving way to things like GPS, satellite imagery, quads and trailers and cell phones and range finders and fish finders. These advances to me seem to have shrunk the world and abbreviated the hunting experience and hastened the chase. Then, of course, the same could be said by the generation before ours, of the technological advances we utilized, like gas lanterns and wall tents and rifle scopes!This year I am returning to those hunting grounds for the first time in 20 years and I wonder how my father would have felt about scouting with google earth, and emailing hunting partners and logistical providers the way that I am now. The way I feel about it is that it no longer feels like the great safari that it once felt like. To have that feeling again would I have to go further north? No, I think not. Because the world has shrunk. Unalterably. By all the "modern advances".I can only hope that ,despite all the advances, my son and, and his son, and so on, can somehow feel that same sense of adventure in hunting that I found as a younger man.What do you and other readers feel has been lost?

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from Bryce wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My hair was too long for my father's taste but we hunted together till age stopped him. My son's pants are a bit too big and we hunt as often as possible. I don't plan to stop for a long time and he will always be welcome, as will his son. Oh, I gave him a compass some years back.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

You want Gore-Tex?The Army, Air Force and Navy are all now in the process of trading out their woodland camo and three-color desert uniforms for new green-gray, high-tech, all-purpose camo uniforms for both desert and garrison wear. Right now, the manufacturers can't keep up with the demand for new Gore-Tex jackets and pants, but when they catch up, expect to see the old stuff piling-up in surplus stores and at garage sales.I am betting that in the very near future you will be able to buy tons of woodland or desert camo Gore-Tex jackets and pants for extremely low prices because the market is going to be flooded.I know it's not Realtree, but it will keep you warm and dry, and if you sit still the animals won't see you.

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from matt wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Don't worry folks. There are enough poor, young hunters too destitute to afford the fancy equipment (i.e. myself) still out there. We are never going to disappear entirely. The question is will we remain numerous enough to survive POLITICALLY.P.S. Concerning the Neanderthals (by the way people, please don't pronounce the "H"), my two cents worth is they were wipped out by H. s. sapiens (that would be us) in history's first case of genocide. They may have been far stronger but were completely unable to derive projectile weapons. I've also heard theories that H. s. sapiens and H. s. neanderthalensis interbred and so they became extinct in a more subtle manner. I'll have to reconsult my horde of National Geographic magazines...

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm not nearly as old as Dave, but probably not quite as young as the aforementioned "pissant punks" he refers to.Maybe a proto-punk.At any rate, Dave, I think you're a bit mistaken in assuming said pissant punks can even afford Gore-Tex and rangefinders.I suspect there are a lot of younger guys out there now who are in the same boat I was in in my teens and early twenties, the one christened SS Abject Poverty...Gore-Tex? Not until I took a chunk of my first Stafford Loan in college and bought a pair. Up until then it was surplus leather boots, a roll of Saran Wrap and a fervent desire for mild weather.What I did have was an overwhelming, all-encompassing desire to hunt and fish. And I managed to do it regardless of how crappy, threadbare or out-of-fashion my equipment was.I really don't think technology has changed that fundamental desire that burns in all of us.At least I hope it hasn't.Besides, if the economy gets any worse all those punks are going to find out real quick what it means to get back to the basics, anyway.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I muttered something about the "good ol' days" to my dad once. He was a Depression Era child, born in 1920.He sat silently puffing his cigar and said, "Know what I like most about the good ol' days, Bubba?""No, sir." I replied."They won't ever be back!", he said to me with a smile!Plowing all day, stareing at the back side of a horse. Spending the day with a two man crosscut saw and a double bit axe to cut, split and stack a cord (not today's FACE cord) of firewood for fifty cents!I use a range finder. I can't judge bow ranges accurately anymore.I use a crossbow. My shoulders won't allow me to pull and hold a compound though I still possess one. (and probably won't ever sell it!)I don't need a GPS, I'm never more than one half mile from a road.I use an ATV. I have a metal hip and a crippled foot.I don't buy "Scent-lok" clothing. It's too stinking expensive.I use a grunt tube, rattlin' horns and a "bleat can". They work.I don't use trail cams. I'd rather be surprised!I HAVE a trail cam. Sure did like all the deer/hog/cow/coon/horse/other hunter pictures. They are really neat! But it's too much trouble for an old f**t!When fall rolls around, I'll pack up my Moultrie hanging feeder and fill it with corn. I'll load up my Ameristep pop-up blind and folding chair and set them up with a shooting lane to the feeder about 50 yards away. I'll hack out a spot in a thicket within 20 yards of the blind to park my ATV.Then, some cool, frosty morning, I'll put on my Carhart insulated, camo bibs. My White River hooded camo, insulated coat. Load my Ruger No. 1 .270 Win with it's 4X Redfield scope on my ATV gun rack and trundle down to my blind with my grunt call, rattlin' horns, doe bleat cans, binoculars and insulated gloves with a Thermos of hot coffee and sit a spell. If that big hoary buck doesn't come by, maybe a big, fat doe will. Maybe I'll just sit there and see what all comes to the feeder. Cleaning a deer can be a real chore. But I'll be out there. No doubt! If all the "stuff" out there intrigues you, by all means, go for it. Laugh at me if you like. I'll probably laugh too. But, I'm happy doing it MY way. So, just leave me alone!Bubba

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

So does this mean I can have that sweet little NULA 6.5x55 you showed us all last year?

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hunting was quality time afield with good friends, and I will admit that I've hunted much less since I relocated to the west coast. I'm delighted to have friendships that I value highly here, but the "chemistry" of the old crew was a little different. I now live in Oregon and, despite the excellent hunting opportunities that surround me, my priorities and economy of time have changed. I continue to enjoy varminting and I share that with my son, but our outings are limited to weekend overnighters. I remain in contact with old friends stilll living in the east (NY-NJ-PA-CT) and we often trade memories of past hunting trips. At this point in life, I'd trade the sight of a whitetail or muley for my crosshairs on a coyote. In other words, I spend more time shooting than hunting. I still have two of my favorite deer rifles, a .250 and a .30-30, but they digest significantly less ammunition than my .22-250, .222, .223 and .22 Hornet. There's a time for everything. I expect to move elsewhere in Oregon in a few years, and we'll see what develops.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Have faith Dave, Im eighteen and the thought of people replacing scouting with trailcams and balistics compensating scopes with practise and experience turns my stomach inside out. As long as Im hunting, I hope i do not get lured into the technological frenzy that is engulfing our sport. In the end, it is the major companies that we support that are tainting hunting with technology. We may be a fading memory, but there are still a few young hunters that will adopt more traditional ways.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,You sound as if you feel like you've been cheated -- like you've put so much in and gotten so little out. If I was your boss I'd call you in and say, "What's really eatin' at you?!?!"I agree with Kieth at 11:02 = teach the younger ones the old ways -- or at least be content to tell about the old ways around the camp fire.Incidentally we read about the "worst weather on earth" in Genesis 6 - 8. "...and God said to Noah, make yourself an ark..."

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from Michael wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,You forgot to mention trail cameras. How many times have I heard someone attribute their lack of success bagging a trophy buck (meaning near B&C) because they didn't get their trail cameras up in time, or didn't have them in the right place. What happened to scouting on foot with binoculars and enjoying being outdoors? I know one yo-yo who can check his numerous trail cameras from the comfort of his den via the computer. He is so proud of his high tech prowess as a hunter. BLEAH!

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from Jay wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

If I was a critter I wouldn't want Dave Petzel hunting me. He's cagey. Seems smarter than hell.

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from Dartwick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Check out traditional bow hunters(the guys who dont use compounds) if you want to find a group of hunters who hunt for the right reasons.Im not saying none of them carry a GPS and they often wear modern fabrics- but they hunt for an interaction with nature not for a technology adventure.I have hunted with guns much of my life and enjoy them greatly, but if we are honest hunting with a 300 Win is easy mode compared to hunting with a Sharps in the 1860s. And that was easy mode compared to hunting with a flintlock.We as a species always find ways to make it easier for ourselves - and its not exactly sporting. Becareful that you dont mistake your youth for the golden era justbecause its yours.

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from ricefarm wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Holy smoke, Dave, I would expect someone like PETA or an AP writer to equate us with Neanderthals, but you caught me off guard with this one. Grab an adult beverage and go vegetate on your porch or patio until you feel better. Your readers like you edgy, not depressed.

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from Gruetz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My father has a 300 acre farm up in Northern Wisconsin. It is a beautiful place set in between the Wisconsin River and a Creek. Unfortunately, it is also only a few miles from city limits and land has been developed all around us in the last 20 years. At night, there is hardly a spot you can stand without seeing lights in some direction through the trees unless you in in the middle of it. I love this land. I grew up there. I now have many of my own friends that would die to get a spot on our hunting crew. But my father (in his 60's now) would not have it. He let someone he did not know hunt with us a hand-full of times and it has back fired on him every time. Everything from someone shooting through our party of guys at a deer running through camp to the cops coming because some yahoo hunting on his own decided it was okay to chase a deer down the center line of the neighborhood road firing off shots 200 yards down the road. My father's trust has not only been shaken, it has been devestated. And now my friends and I are paying for it. I am too the point that I might not even hunt there this year because there are so many rules that it isn't hunting anymore, it is more like a simon says that goes on for 9 days. I am going to hunt on public land this year. It is like starting over.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

If you look around I’m sure that you’ll discover that you already know one of these “lost boys”; a neighbor, a co-worker, that awkward kid at church who spends way too much time alone in front of a computer?If you’re divorced, if you’ve been one of those Dads, I’m not dumping on you, you may have been shown a bad example, you may have lost your father. Get to work, make up for that lost time with your kids.Everybody, get out there and take a new outdoorsman (or woman) with you when you go. You probably even have enough old gear that you no longer use (shrank in the washer, yeah right) to outfit an entire party of hunters or anglers, so don’t be stingy. What are you saving it for?I know that it takes work, but for the future of the sport, it’s worth it. My brother and I hunt with a 14 year old boy whose dad is deceased. He sometimes doesn’t have the smoothest gun-handling skills, but anyone who catches him unintentionally pointing a gun anywhere it doesn’t belong gets a free kick to his rear. He was a lot better last fall, than the year before, and he’s an awesome shot. You never know, it might even stoke your ego a little, to give away some of your best outdoor info, or take it to your grave, the choice is yours.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

There is an entire generation of young men out there, my age (I'm 38) and younger who are "lost boys". These young men have been abandoned by the fathers of the "ME" generation, aka Baby-Boomers. Why do you think magazines like FHM, STUFF, and MAXIM are so popular,(other than the near-naked women, but you can find that anywhere)?If you’ve never looked through one, check those out next time you are near the newsstand, and your wife isn’t watching.If you look around (or past) the photo spreads of scantily-clad women, those magazines are chock full of "old man advice" about life, how to do things like land a plane or an interview, grill a steak, or get a really close shave. Stuff guys should have learned about life from their old man, but he was too busy chasing his job, his golf game or his secretary to give those lessons.I was lucky, blessed really, to have an old man as my Dad. He gave me those life lessons and taught me about hunting and fishing too.These “lost boys” are wandering through life, looking for someone to mentor them but don’t quite know how to ask. They may only have a perspective on the outdoors from what they’ve seen in the popular culture, and what they know about guns they’ve gotten from video games and movies (scary).So take one of these young men (or women) hunting, or fishing or hiking next time you go. You might just raise-up an outstanding hunting buddy, who can probably show you how to make that GPS work, or set the time on that clock in your truck.

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from DavidS wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

a map and compas is what has guided me in and out of the woods since i was 12 years old. i do not own a gps, and proabaly never will. same with a range finder. if it is over 2 foot ball feilds away, i simply dont shoot! it's not that difficult. now, i really couldnt do without the scope on my rifles, as the $#@** open sights are just 2 fuzzy anymore. as for the neandertals, they didnt die off, they just mutated into big foots. you just have to go to the northwest wilderness to find them!

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

We're grumps because:No. 1We've been there, done that! It didn't work then, it won't work now!No. 2Instead of aluminum shafts with inserts and razor sharp, screw in broadheads. We had cedar shafts with clunky, glue on, dull as a froe broadheads!No. 3You walked to the back side of nowhere, shot your deer with your trusty, rusty (because it was made of REAL ordinance steel!) Mod 94 Winchester in .30-30 Win and iron sights. Attached your buck to a "smoke" pole and made your third trip of the day out of the woods. (one to hunt, one to retrieve your buds for help, one to help tote your deer out!) NO ATV!?No. 4All No. 3 activities were performed wearing umpteen layers of Sears Roebuck, JC Penney or Montgomery Ward wool/cotton union suit, overalls, wool/flannel shirt, wool socks, denim coat, etc, etc.... Alternately sweating down, freezing to death, sweating down, freezing to death!No. 5You got lost walking to the "Backside of Nowhere". Your map and compass are soaked with swamp water/sweat. Not that it matters, the only way to find land features would be with a 'copter. If you had that, you wouldn't be LOST!!No. 6 ETC, ETC, ETC......!!!!!Look, lots of us complain. Lots of us are grumps. Most of the time, it means, "I can't believe we usta do it THAT way! This is so much easier!"The more I practice the "NEW", the more I remember the "OLD". Sometimes, with the batteries dead, fecal matter occurs. The old way will get you out!!Bubba

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from semp wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Genetics on the Gun Nut Blog ... ponderous man ... just ponderous.

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from Jeff wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

You know Dave, there a lot of young hunters who would love to learn the old ways. I'm one of them. Maybe you should open up a clinic. What do you say Dave, come out of your cave. Ha, that'll be the day. Dave you would be one hell of a man if you weren't such a grump.

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The GPS is a tool like so many other things people hunt with. The next time you are caught in a sudden blizzard white out in the mountains it might just get you back to camp alive. That bread crumb feature comes in handy when you can no longer see the tracks you left 3 hours ago when it was dark out. Or is dark because you shot you deer just before sun set. I keep mine tucked in to my shirt hung around my neck. Then turn it off at my blind. I don't always need it but it is there in case I do. That and a old cell phone. I may not be able to call some one on it but 911 works in case something happens. To some one else or my self. Nothing like coming across another hunter with a arrow stuck in his arse because he dropped it out of his tree stand and climbed down to get it or so he said. I guess he got his Christmas Goose early that year.Tom the Troll

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckInNYI know the feeling.I lived near a large metro area for about 10 years. I did get the opportunity to go hunting a few times. Problem was, I was so near the city, the local farmers had already been accosted by "city slickers" until they wouldn't let anyone hunt. They didn't hunt because neighbors were too close and they didn't have time (according to them) to hunt.When I did get a spot to hunt, I had to be cautious. The adjoining property, twenty acres, had been leased by SIX metro area firefighters! THEY ALL HUNTED AT THE SAME TIME!!!!Sad part is, the best buck I saw while living in the area was within the city limits of the metro area! The property belonged to a gravel pit on one side of the road and a landfill on the other side!If you're just getting started, be patient. Rome wasn't built in a day. Never having even been close (Charleston, W. Va.) to New York, I don't have any idea what to tell you except. Hunt the rut when you can. Rise early, be on the stand before sunrise. Be back on stand by 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon and stay until dark. Watch for tracks going to "camp" mornings and back out in the afternoon. You might find out that you need to be on stand in the middle of the day!A fantastic spot today will be a dud tomorrow, and vice-versa. As the seasons change, they (the deer) change. Pre-rut, rut and post-rut all bring on similar but different behaviors. The monster buck that wanders in and out of certain area will become a ghost opening day of season, or not! What deer do today, they may or may not do tomorrow.If something isn't working, try something else!Just don't give up! And "Good Luck!"Bubba

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from ray wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Precisely! had an uncle that retired at 70 an his best fishing buddies died before he was 80 and he just gave up. Doctor said he just started eating so little that he starved to death.. Just because he didn't have anything to look forward to.

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from RedneckInNY wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Bubba, as my name implies, I'm in NY; Long Island to be exact. I've got bowhunting and muzzleloading opportunities here, but it's not the same as the "big woods" up north (Catskills, Adirondacks, etc.) for rifle. The Adirondacks are 8 hours away. I do have two properties lined up on which to hunt south of the Catskills. I just have to get the permission in writing. I'm also looking to purchase 10 acres next year as well. I've done the networking and it's been good so far. It's just that I'd like someone experienced to teach me the finer points of hunting. If not, I'll just have to learn as I go. Thanks for the advice.

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from Dan wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I live in a state with wonderful natural resources, and an awful political situation. So far, our State Senate is dominated by upstate republicans, who block almost all of the anti-gun anti-hunting legislation that might come down the pike. We are a precious few seats from having a Democratic Senate, which would rubber-stamp all the NYAGV bills that they want to pass on anti-gun orgy day.I find as I have just past the 1/2 century mark that more of my time is tied up with various aspects of trying to keep the opportunity to hunt -- and more, that our right to keep and bear arms is preserved, and less time free to go to the woods.Even so, some of my most precious older friends have called it quits. It breaks my heart to see it.Dan

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I am 59 years old and have been hunting since I was six. I lost my only son when he was 16, but still have a handful of hunting partners ages early 40s to early 70s. My problem is my legs--two hip surgeries last year and now I am debilitating arthritis in my knees. Six years ago I was packing elk quarters on my back; nowadays I hobble around the house on crutches. I hope things improve with the medication but thus far they have not. I'll still be able to hunt whitetails from a stand and maybe shoot a pronghorn over the hood of my pickup, although I am not happy about hunting that way. Pheasant hunting, which is my favorite, will be out of the question unless my joints get better. Thank God for Laurie, my wife and hunting partner of 25+ years. She takes good care of me and still hunts with me too.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba,I know what you mean, but get anywhere close to big cities and it gets tough. Real tough.Where I used to live hunting was a walk in the park, just walk outside and hunt. I would have bet my firstborn that couldn't happen here. Where your at, you may not see it in your lifetime but the next gen. will. Hope not.Also, your advise on courtesy and the willingness to do work to help the landowner goes a long way. A workin man can tell another workin man by more than a smile and handshake.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I first met my friend Charlie in 1968 when he invited me to go quail hunting. I knew he was the best bird shot in Dixie according to some. He had polio as a child and it left its toll all his life but never interfered with his hunting. I made a point to visit Charlie and his wife, who was almost blind, every summer when I returned down south from Wyoming. We talked about hunting and guns for hours. Year before last he killed 2 bucks and 2 does by himself which was a record low. Last year he told me that he didn't feel well enough to hunt the previous fall and that it was just as well as all of his old friends and hunting buddies had passed away except for me. I lived to far away for him to visit and leave his wife. He seemed forlorn and I believe depressed. I walked out of his house wondering if it would be the last time I would see him on earth. He died three Sundays ago at the age of 95. If you know an old "Neanderthal" stay in touch with him or her as they probably need you. If you are wise enough to listen you will learn a few things.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Might I add:Don't despair if they only own a few acres. It might just be a "honey hole"!One of my buddies in E. Texas worked his way into a hunting spot of 5 acres. He could only kill the limit (2 bucks) for deer. The spot lay in a woodlot between two enormous pea fields. The deer used it as travel lane between fields. Kit was able to be very selective and took some really "nice" bucks! He just couldn't take guest. His family counted against his bag limit for the area, but he and his son had a blast. They hunted the same spot for nearly thirty years before it gave out when the family sold the property after the landowners death!Bubba

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckinNY, Jim in Mo., RipperIII:I don't know where you gentlemen/women reside, but I'll give you a few hints that might help break the ice.First, there are hunting spots out there! It just takes sweat, shoe leather, gas/diesel, and perseverence. The price of a couple of nice pocket knives (something a farmer would use!) is also a minor investment in a hunting area.Second, knock on doors! We as a society have developed the term "networking". Now, get out there and "network"!Drive back country roads. If you see Farmer Brown mending a fence, stop and offer assistance. Talk to them. Don't ask about hunting/fishing on first contact. Take your child, (at least 5/6 years of age). Older people like kids. Most of the people they don't allow to hunt, THEY DON'T KNOW! Get to know these folks. I don't mean visit every weekend. Mark spots on a county map where you have gotten to know folks. Ask about the local game. They are out there every day. They see the deer, squirrels, ducks, quail and such. IF they allow you after a time to hunt, AND you are successful, offer to share. And I don't mean a neck roast off that hoary old buck; clean up and process part of a backstrap.Don't despair, these relationships may take more than a week or so to develope into hunting/trespassing rights. I worked with one gentleman for nearly two years before gaining limited access to his property.OBEY ANY/ALL RULES the land owner lays out. Leave gates as found, only 1 deer, don't shoot the quail, don't hunt the lower forty (specific area), no camp fires, archery season only. Whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.RESPECT! Mr. & Mrs., Sir, Ma'am, Thank you! I appreciate it!Also, when addressing older folks, I'd say 40 or better, NO EARRINGS, tattoos, ragged clothing (work clothing is acceptable) or suits. Don't knock on a door with a lip full of tobacco or a cigarette in your fist. Be polite!A novel idea, which I've done in my new area, join or attend a small country style church in your area. Not only are the people more acceptable to you, you begin to show them that you really aren't a "pissant"! I have even attended church clad in camo, cutting a turkey hunt short in time for church services!Show the folks that you are human, that you do care!Hunting, on private land, is available. At a price, common courtesy!Bubba

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from JBS wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

As per usual, written as nothing more than the ramblings of a bitter old man.

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from Mike Reeder wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I can empathize with what Petzal's getting at, but tend to view things a little differently. For one thing I have a grown son who's a damned fine hunting companion despite my shortcomings as a teacher and I look forward to hunting with him every year. I also am blessed to have a wife who, while she won't pull the trigger herself, actually enjoys spending a day with me on a stand watching wildlife. Maybe most importantly, I've never been one of those people who felt the need to be part of a big group. In fact, I enjoy the solitude of hunting alone or with my dog as my only companion. Always have. Having bumped off my share of game over the years I do find myself more content to let the average ones walk and to take satisfaction in a good day outdoors regardless of whether I ever pull a trigger or not. On the other hand, if the possibility didn't exist of pulling a trigger it just wouldn't be the same. I suppose it's the difference between sitting in the bleachers and playing right field...

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from Col. C. Askins, Ret. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

In my day, life was a carnival! We entertained ourselves! We didn't need moooovin' pitchurrrres. In my day, there was only one show in town -- it was called "Stare at the sun!" ...and that's the way it was and we liked it!

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from Col. C. Askins, Ret. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm oooooold! And I'm not happy! And I don't like things now compared to the way they used to be. All this progress -- phooey! In my day, we didn't have these cash machines that would give you money when you needed it. There was only one bank in each state -- it was open only one hour a year.

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from SD Bob wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Why is it the older generation always seems to despise the next when advances have made it different? Those of you who look down your nose at gps users and consider them "pissants", look in the mirror! That damn compass was an invention at one time too! Guys before compasses were able to find their way without. Do you suppose they snubbed compass users the way grumpy old men now despise gps users? One thing is certain: I don't think Dave believes what he typed because oppinions like this garner more responses than any other kind he expresses. Case in point....This topic has been out 4 or so hours and there's already a billion responses! Field and Stream must get an advertising kick back for every blog responder which would explain why it seems to be were getting away from rifle talk and more into stuff like this. Enjoy!

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

To the New Blood: [ aka: puissant snots, kids, wood gatherers….. fresh meat.]Don’t mistake this blog being the Experience. We Blogger Mouths can hunting only give you a description of the experience….a poor substitute.Note: Hunting is much different from shooting. Shooting is a fairly easy skill to obtain. Hunting, putting that rifle/shotgun to use, is much different.I dare write every hunter starts out very green and learns as [s]he goes. The skills you desire aren’t bought or acquired in a lecture hall or on bar stool. Much of the knowledge is beyond description……trancidental: in the old vernacular…so it’s no mistake you get a song and dance from the Old Guard.I also dare write you’re entering the realm of Mysteries. You are awakening 30,000years of memory in your genes. A person is never too old to waken these memories.Enjoy the Journey.

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from Dan R. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Well said, AP. It's guys like you that prove that there is a hope for the future of hunting.

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from AP wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with Keith. As another member of the "pissant punk" generation, I'd like to point out that one of the reasons I hunt/shoot is to be more like previous generations and less like the pissant punks with rangefinders and video games. Also, I want you all to know that I at times feel like you older adults, in that there is no one to hunt or shoot with. While more and more of my generation and following generations are ruining themselves with video games, television, and other such crap, it becomes harder and harder to find anyone who has shot a gun, been hunting, or even ate deer meat. It's discouraging at times, but what we have going for us is that we are young, and we have years ahead of us (God willing). We have a chance to turn this thing around. I know that myself and a few of my friends are doing our part. We've gotten younger cousins, younger siblings, nephews, and even girlfriends to go hunting. And what's even better is that many of us don't have kids yet, so there are even more opporunities to come. What we, the younger crowd, must understand, is that we are indeed different amongst our peers. We do something that only us and those like us understand. As that may be, we have something to offer to those that will listen. Something that most people never knew they were missing. Thus, we have a calling. We must pass on what we have. Likewise, we have a resonsibility to uphold the image of the outdoorsman, for both those that are outside, and inside, the hunting community. With this in mind, I would hope that we recieve only encouragement from preceding generations. We're gonna need it, because as I see it, we have a long road ahead.This post kinda took on a life on it's own, and I'm sorry about the length. I just wanted to say to Mr. Petzel, and the rest of the older adults, that we, the youth, are not all lost. Just because we came from the same mill, that doesn't mean that we're all cut from the same cloth.

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just turned 48 and I am about to attempt my first hunting season ever!I am as "green" as they come, and I have no mentor, all my knowledge about hunting to this point has come from extensive reading, long(fascinating)hours watching outdoors shows AND,...the gracious tips given over a few blog sites, this one included. My friends who hunt are dispersed widely through out the Country, this Saturday I plan to scout my property for the first time,...I don't even know if I can handle being out in the woods alone, to say the least about my ability to "spot sign". There is nothing that I would like more than to spend time with an "old-timer", to learn from the seasoned veteran, but as it is, I'll have to rely on my wits, my gps,compass,maps,range finder,camera,scent killers,stands/blinds,...and the Grace of God.I hope everyone here has a "dream season" this year

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave you need children or at your age grand children... instill your ideals in them and you will live forever! Their success will make you happier than your own.

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from Hanson wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Here's something for you to criticize http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6rKgL75POo

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from Happy Myles wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Why bother anymore?I grew up as a raggedy-ass cowboy but one day got on a Greyhound bus and went away to college. Why? Because I wanted to earn an income sufficient to allow me to hunt one sheep and one lion. My goal wasn't wealth but the ability to hunt. At times I was sure I was the loneliest hillbilly in the world. My goal held firm. My goal held firm then and now. I was in awe of O'Conner and Page, but figured if Elmer Keith could do it I had a chance.These days, every now and then, after a social gathering, and the usual "how can you hunt?" verbage, the phone rings. The voice of someone who had listened quietly the night before asks if I could take he and his son shooting - that he had always wanted to take his son hunting. Other times, I'm behind my desk and someone calls I don't know. They apologize for bothering me and say they are hunting some place special and "would I mind giving them some advice?" Bother, mind? I'm thrilled to help. These experiences give me hope that hunters numbers may be smaller but serious hunters, not the bottle of whiskey and one weekend a year type. Female hunters are increasing in numbers. Hunting organizations are increasing and becoming more professional getting their messages to the public.I mentioned in an eariler post I was a dinosaur, I could have easily substituted the word "Neanderthal". I hope I'm not the last one, but I'm proud to be a member of the tribe.

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from Jackson Landers wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

On the topic of Neanderthals, note that there is a rule governing all ecology stating that no 2 species can occupy the same ecological niche in the same place in the long run. Starlings push out native songbirds in the quest for food and nesting sites. As the range of the imported American grey squirrel spreads across England, the native red squirrel disappears. Etc.Neanderthals made artifacts and had a true culture. They were intelligent. So even if Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals started out specializing in different food sources, shortly after those early humans showed up, both groups would have started learning from each other's behavior. It would only be a matter of time before they were competing for the same sources of food and shelter.Alternatively, let's ask what would have happened if the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals eventually learned to communicate and regarded each other as mutually 'human.' We're talking about 2 closely related, yet distinct species. Like horses and zebras. It is entirely possible that Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals eventually began to interbreed, but the offspring produced were sterile 'mules.' Eventually, such intermingling would result in one of the 2 species completely disappearing with it's genes no longer represented at all in the population.I bet that you could run a computer simulation to find out what the thresholds would be in terms of initial populations and rates of interbreeding to determine how long it would take and which group would die out.

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from Brian T wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My condolences to you all who even contemplate hanging up your guns. I can't imagine living in such circumstances. Proper etiquette predicts that we all share in the kill. When the "young punks learn this, I don't mind showing them some sweet spots. In the meantime, I have to wait 5 weeks more before we can begin once again to harvest the finest, organic, food on this fair earth.

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from jes wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

And more challenging! And that's what it's all about! Or maybe you want one to walk up and sit on you...and complain....

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckInNY,Most of us are encountering the same situation as you. I think it's mostly the lack of private hunting land these days and the expense to lease. Too many large organizations are gobbling up tracts of land and raping the hunter. Watch a hunting show this weekend.Those hunters are nothing more than shills for these companys. Looks like public land is the only thing remaining for the common man. Scary and dangerous.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I "usta" belong to one of them ol' "Redneck" camps. No women, I was the only "kid" there because my dad was primary "leaseholder". He maintained contact with the land owner, collected the annual lease money, paid the lease, allowed/disallowed new hunters to openings, passed on new rules, etc, etc..... Basically, the one that was held ultimately responsible!Opening day rules, (not necessarily a weekend) Members (it really WASN'T a club, per se!) only, no spouses, NO WOMEN(!), no guests for the first seven (7) days of the season and after the first shot, legal bucks only!These rules were both good and bad. As a "bachelor" group, no women in camp meant no "monkey" business. No guests meant each paying leasee got his selected spot!The bad part! Leaving the women at home meant they (IF they were hunters!) couldn't enjoy the most productive and best "days" of the season! The "kids" (well, except me!) only got to hunt "after" the woods had been pretty much stirred up.I have a wife and two daughters now and they all hunt. No women in camp would exclude my entire immediate family! I ain't doin' that!Guess I gotta give up somma them ol' Redneck ways!Bubba

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from RedneckInNY wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Keith made a very good point about having someone teach the next generation. Hell, I'm 39 this year and only got started hunting 4 years ago. To this day, there isn't ONE single experienced hunter that has offered to take me out to their neck of the woods on a hunt. When I ask, they're all like, "Well, we already got X-number of guys in the group and they already have spots where they hunt, so sorry." I've heard just about every god-damned excuse as to why I can't go hunting with a group of guys I met at so-and-so club. It's this attitude that pisses me off, and that's the main reason why there aren't as many hunters as there should be these days. These selfish jerks want to keep their hunting spots to themselves. Fine! But don't complain that we're losing hunters.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hope you’re not depressed and in sorrow, Dave.Reminiscing about the “good Old Days” is a sign although reminiscing does seem to be a sign of advancing Age. I seem to fall back on memories more and more as I grow older. Many things are gone never to return. i.e. Bird covers, Hunting the Mountains, Good bird dogs, good horses. …But I think it’s a sign of mortality and vanity returning too often to memories.Neandorthals likely disappeared because as a group they hit the Wall. They lacked an ability to cope and to adapt to Change…the only reality. This is something for all of us to pause upon.Enough navel gazing.

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from jes wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hell, Dave, if I knew you didn't have any old buddies around anymore, I would have offered my old fogey hand along with a Osceola turkey hunt on public land, with no trimmings but a sit on the tailgate to jaw on old times some....for sure I'm serious, too...there ought to be at least one other fellow around to sit and swap stories with! Here's your offer and no excuses...

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from Dan R. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Umm, Dave, do you, by chance, suffer from bipolar disorder? After the last post complaining that parents with young children are too busy with other things to teach their children to hunt, you now complain about those young "pissants" who don't hunt the way we do? You can't have it both ways. I love the traditional ways as much as anyone, but let's face it, unless we embrace younger hunters, it won't be long until there aren't any younger hunters. Maybe, just maybe, we might even learn something from them. GPS and rangefinders and the lot are nice to have around, but shouldn't we be teaching the younger hunters how to survive and hunt in case the batteries give out? Keith was dead on point. It's up to us older hunters to mentor and foster the younger guys and gals and teach them the ways of the woods. Some of my fondest memories of my grandfather are when I would propose some newfangled idea to him, and he would kind of smile, give it a try, and quickly point out to me the limitations of my newfangled idea, and show me how to get by without it, but if it was a good idea, he would wholeheartedly adopt it. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be hunting. Thank God for the old-timers with the patience to put up with all of us when we were the young pissants and teach us to be the next generation of "old guard" hunters!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Just read Diehl's comment and I think I was trying to say what he said too... There is a vast difference in walking through the woods at dark thirty all by your lonesome. You are much more aware of your surroundings and the noises and every little movement. It truly raises the hair on the back of your neck and heightens your senses. It's called being alive and returns you to the basic animal instincts we are on our way to losing as we become more "civilized".

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The Cro-Magnons killed them Dave... and if men had any sense they would have killed off the blabbermouth women too. Give me good looking and mute and I'll instantly fall in love.My friends and I had a hunting camp complete with a dilapidated old camper someone had dragged there twenty years earlier and a fire pit and not much else. On the night before opening day there would be anywhere from ten to thirty people pitching tents and playing poker and winching out trucks that had got stuck on the way back there. It was an experience like no other... no women, no rules, just a bunch of rednecks doing what rednecks do. It was basically the only time we were all together and we reveled in each others company. As we got older and married and had children suddenly fewer and fewer were there until I was there with one other person one year. It signaled the end of an era but I didn't stop. In fact I built a muzzle loader and spent more time in the woods and actually began to kill deer. A lot of deer. Hunting to me is about being alone or with my children or brother in law but still sitting in a treestand hundreds of yards away from them and enjoying the wildlife and solitude of nature...

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from Jay wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm going to be a little facetious here but the only person who likes change is a wet baby. Fortunately the hunting and fishing adventure stuff can be so interesting that if a person sometimes can make enough effort early on (usually with someone's help) or a lot of effort (as the case may be), then it can take root for a lifetime to a varying degree.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Years ago when I lived back east I had a couple of reliable hunting partners in a friend, my father, and his friend.Since I've been hunting out west, however, I've often been out there on my own. One thing that is new is that I seem to be more -- errrm --"aware of being aware" -- more into being in the experience in some inexpressably different way.I think this means I'll hunt until my arms and legs stop working.

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from jstreet wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm entering that stage a bit now.My friends (we are all close to 50) like to "talk" about hunting and still go deer hunting the opening weekend of the firearms season, but very little (if any) after that.My son is entering the age where he can go hunting this year with me and I hope to pass it on.I've also found that killing a deer is less exciting and a hell of a lot more work than it used to be (gutting, dragging, loading), but I think it's the natural cycle of things.Old men teach, young men do.Jim

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from Max wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Damn it Dave I had to take a Zanex after reading you today. More and more kids are asking their dads to go to scouts and camping and hunting, the bloody baby boomers and their "got to be loved by everybody" crap spoiled a generation but we are coming back. I live in an Urban area and half the kids last Haloween were hunters and soldiers. The hunter Genes run deep Keep the faith Dave and have a good weekend....

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Off topic a tad;I read an interesting piece years ago about how certain genes and traits among men and women are still in existance today as they were in the neanderthal. Men needed to be quite to be successful hunters, to be able to get close to their prey. The quieter the stalker was the better hunter. And those genes were passed on. The women needed to incessantly talk and chatter as they gathered the green stuff so as to alert toothy animals. The noisier the woman the longer they live. And the genes were passed on. I showed this article to my girlfriend and she talked for twenty minutes how full of crap I was.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Due to the fact that I/we (wife and I) chose to raise a family on a meager income, precluded me hunting in a society that excluded hunting unless you could afford a lease. Since then, I have relocated to an area that has hunting, (my own land) and other spots available through the good grace of church family and friendly neighbors! The church family has provided me with one or two young men whose parents are in the same situation I was in 10/15 years ago. Since all my old hunting buddies still reside in the state of my previous residence, I hunt mostly alone. These two young men, provided not only an opportunity to see a young man develope into a sporting hunter, they have also provided places that, without their presence, I would have been unable to hunt. One has already assisted me in slaughtering a hog and is a real joy to be around. The other is still a bit shy and though a good companion, doesn't talk much.I have greatly enjoyed the company of these two promising young men (and their parents!) and I'm looking forward to the fall so that I might get them both (one at a time, please!) into the woods!As long as I can find young people to mentor, I'll continue hunting!Bubba

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I've begun my annual 'Shape up for hunting season' rituals again this year. It gets a little harder to do every year, largely because there are fewer of the 'Old Guard' out and about. I am a couple years shy of 50 but consider myself born out of time with respect to hunting especially, as such I look to partner with guys (and the occasional lady) in my dad's generation, more and more of those folk are not hunting anymore or have gone on to that next hunting ground."The pissant punks who can't remember before GPS and Gore-Tex and laser rangefinders will never understand how older generations view things." DEP. There is one key reason for that; Us! If we didn't instill the values we hold so dear in our next generations it is on us! We can cite the encroachments on available time from the likes of sports, 12 month school in some places, less time off of our work in others, pressures to earn more to buy more to keep up with the boob tube set... But in the final analysis it (it being the responsibility to pass on our values) comes right back home! It does NOT take a village! It takes parental commitment and a passion for what we do value!Am I close to that point of saying "Screw it! I don't have any reason to do this anymore!"? Hell NO! But that is just me, as I said above; a lot of the 'Old Guard' have already called it quits. Hopefully I will see you all out in the field this fall, with a member of the next generation!SA

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from TommyNash wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Point very well taken. Some of us still remember the joy of life before gadget-hell broke loose. What did a map and a compass ever do to anyone?

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from Keith wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

As a member of the pissant punk generation I would like to take offense. I enjoy it as much you or anyone else ever has, I have a compass not a GPS, and I love wool and down. You would be able to identify with us more if you stoped complaining and started teaching. Had I not had a person from the previious generation to learn woods skills from, and an appreciation of simplicity I would likely be using a laser range finder.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I feel the hair growing on my back as I speak.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Its true that hunting is a tribal thing. Sure I get away by myself quite often but look at the hunting camps, the more friends that gather the better. Hell, just look at this blog.

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from Mike in Kansas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My immediate thought after reading was "That, in my mind, is what the Apocalypse would be like". Heaven help us if we all decide to give up.

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from Wade wrote 5 years 19 weeks ago

Here's an idea. Instead of sitting around complaining (could it even be whining?), do something productive. I took a kid on a youth day spring gobbler hunt in WV last April. No blind, no decoys, no fields to watch. Just moving by foot through the woods to set up on gobbling birds. The kid took a beautiful mature bird that I took several nice photos of and printed for him. I have also helped young kids, whose fathers are not serious hunters, take their first deer. Some of your articles are taking the tone of not wanting to kill as much any more. I can understand and respect that feeling. But, insteading of pissing and moaning, why not help some young hunter have a good experience in the field while at the same time helping the way of life we love endure.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Put a set of glasses on that man, a hand to his chin and who do you have? Oh I give up.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Punch my name to see why Dave has a fascination with Neanderthals... I think I found his great great great great grandpa. One of the theories is that Neanderthals actually interbred with cro-magnons and share a common ancestor a half million years ago?

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from O Garcia wrote 5 years 35 weeks ago

Wait here, Mr. Petzal, what are you doing suggesting the Earth is more than 8,000 years old? My neighbor says he's counted back the years from now to Adam, using St. Matthew's gospel, and he believes your numbers don't add up.My friend also believes those thousand of dinosaur bones being dug up are either clever hoaxes by prosthetic artists in Hollywood, or remains of unclean animals that Noah couldn't bring in the Ark.

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from Skyler wrote 5 years 36 weeks ago

omg i just spent 2 hours reading all of that touching writing above. i am on the verg of tears and you guys can't even stick to a givin topic. you're treating this like a chat room for the holy ones sake.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Dr. R,Just read my last post and boy I sure wasn't trying to insinuate anything. Just joking on the original post which caused you to reply and then was trying to comment of the folly of 'dry counties'.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

I lived in a dry county in N. Carolina. Many drunks lived there too.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Show me Jim, you can't even get a sniff of the real thing at the factory... Kinda like the D.C. security dude who couldn't have a weapon at home, Old No. 7 is made and aged in a dry county. No free taste and no sales period.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Dr. R,Did you pay a recent visit to the Jck Daniels factory?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Best living gun writer... I had decided this a while ago but thought it best not to fill the man's head with delusions of grandeur. Reminds me of Twain... tells it like it is, makes fun of people, has an air of superiority that cannot be denied and makes no apologies for his observations which are bitter, hateful and as accurate as that sub-MOA Vanguard he tested last month... we would not be America without free thinking honest men in positions of power with millions of readers such as DEP and Sammy Langhorne. Perhaps the First Amendment is more important than the Second. Anyways just forget I said this crap because tomorrow I will be calling him and his six points shy of genius thoughts idiocy.Take this one Dave, you'll probably get in the 160's. It's nothing like MENSA's

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Still thinking about Monkey Wards... I used to hang out at the gun counter in the 60's talking to the old timers and heard an amazing story. Seems the elderly gentleman I was conversing with had shot a German soldier in the head killing him instantly but the bullet ricocheted off the helmet and came back and hit him in the leg. Claimed he could see the projectile coming towards him but just couldn't move fast enough to get out of the way.

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from Wags wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

You want to talk about hopeless........try passing on your love of quail hunting in SE Indiana to your children!! Big game hunters have it a ton easier than us Uplanders. Your prey is at it's highest population in recorded history. Even wild turkey numbers are through the roof. There are elk in Eastern Ky. But very few still pursue old bob, and those of us that due spend more time pursuing than finding. Very hard to develop a good dog, nie on impossible to develop a good young hunter.

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from Stan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

nice waste of time ... now lets go outside...

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from Ryan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

PS Since you have an 'unnatural fascination' with prehistoric man you should check out some new resources on the subject other than dusty National Geographic issues.There is nothing physical about Neanderthal bone structures to indicate that they are anything less than human, in stature, speech and locomotion. In fact they on average have larger brain size than the current global gene pool.The remains, mostly found in France, were largely considered just stocky-build old men or occasionally humans with specific ailments before Mr. Darwin showed up. And consistent with Darwin science they reinterpreted the facts based on a gross assumption that there is no God and natural causes have to explain everything. The predetermined search for the monkey man connection artificially created the need for the Neanderthal man, complete with early 20th century descriptions about his brutish thoughts and behavior. Who knew they could portend thoughts from a skeleton?No. The Neanderthal man used tools, buried the dead in graves, took care of the elderly and blind by most indications. There is nothing about his physical structure outside the parameters of what we now consider human. He was a man, like you and me. The Neanderthal myth is just another evolutionary hoax.Old timer, you are of the first generation that was brain washed into pure Darwinian evolutionary thinking from first grade. Sometimes old way doesn't mean better way, and vice versa.R

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from Paul wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

I am new to hunting and I do take a little offense to the piss ant punk comment. I do not think name calling does anyone or the sport any good. I do understand the old school traditions and mantality and there is nothing wrong with it, just as there is nothing wrong with GPS or Range finders or Gore-Tex. It is important that the hunting traditon and culture gets passed down from generation to generation or WE all will be like our dead extinct ancestor. As for the GPS and Rangefinder these are just tools used to have a more successful hunt and to help us directionally challenged and people who have a hard time seeing myself included into those two groups. We need to stick together and never give up. Like Charleton Heston said "From my cold dead hand". Everything we hold dear is under attack from the liberal socialist left. Name calling does not help our cause.

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from Ryan wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

My little boy is two. I was raised with no guns, no hunting and no fishing. I've taken to value real sports and real activities that put ones self to the test, and builds character and manliness. Now I've got the task of learning everything myself before I start teaching my boy.Let me tell you - if you don't have friends and family that do it - it is a lonely and frustrating pursuit and I doubt many men would undertake even if they wanted.Thankfully I have a neighbor who has taught me how to fish, went with me on my first deer hunt, and we have plans for salt water and waterfowl yet this year. In return he gets my sincere gratitude as I have little more to offer.A lot of you on this board could be that guy - if you suspect someone has an interest ask them. You might be surprised how willing people can be to learn and try something new.R

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

Nothing wrong with GPS. It helps these tired knees get back to the truck with the fewest steps possible in the dark!

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from Ben wrote 5 years 37 weeks ago

so you're trying to get me (a barely 25 year old piss-ant punk) to become more interested in your hunting traditions by addressing me as a piss-ant punk?Anyway...Certainly the younger generation aren't the only people using rangefinders and GPS. Plenty of the old guys are too - or else the manufacturers would have gone out of business because college students and entry-level employees don't have the jack to afford this stuff. Additionally, the people - young and old alike - use these products because it makes life a bit easier. I think the difference is that the old guys probably know what to do if the GPS or rangefinder fails and the young folks may not.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba, Bubba, Bubba.... don't mess with my Mongomery (monkey) Wards. They were the only store in town that would sell this twelve year old shotgun shells. The man behind the counter knew my dad and would always wink when he said you're sixteen right?

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

DaveThe "good ol' days" will be around as long as there are good ol' gunwriters. Litera scripta manet.

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

DaveThe "good ol' days" will be around as long as there are good ol' gunwriters. Litera scripta manet.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hell, Heavey. I hope that I last another 30 years! That Petzal feller is one of the best Yankee's I have read.

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from bill heavey wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

ungentle readers,you should know that DEP was born old, as this incident shows. many, many decades ago, when he was just a toddler, dave's mother found him looking very dejected and morose (even for him)."what's the matter, sweetie?" she asked.dave looked up from the "1886 Shooter's Bible: The World's Standard Firearm Reference Book," fresh from the mailbox, with tears in his eyes. "i just read that they've invented a smokeless gunpowder," he said."it's going to be the ruination of the shooting sports. you mark my word."DEP complaining is our best living gun writer hitting on all cylinders. even his blogs have a heft seldom seen elsewhere, in newsprint or glossy magazine. enjoy him while you can, guys. and hope, as i do, that he lasts another 30 years.

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from matt wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

"We interbred with the Neanderthals? Wow Matt that explains a lot... Bill Heavey and most Democrats are fine examples."I was thinking along the lines of Michael Moore, specifically, but I degress... :) That is one of the thories offered by science to explain their extinction, but as any semi-educated zoologist, naturalist, etc will tell you, subspecies rarely if ever interbreed naturally.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.I think so, except there is no longer a catalogue dept. You must visit their store to make a purchase!Bubba

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Ishawooa, Thank you for your nice comment about my Dad. I think he (now 91) is an amazing guy. When we were visiting him last January, I got to talking about his various varmit rifles. I asked him how his mauser-action rifle that had been re-bored to .257 Roberts shot. He said that it shoots pretty good. He said he had shot a 5/8" group with 5 shots at 100 yds with it. I said, "You have got to be kidding"!He proceeded to take out an old tattered notebook from a desk drawer. Leafing through the pages he found an entry that identified the gun, type and weight of the bullet, type and amount powder, etc.that used to reload the shells. Included was a notation, "5 shots, 5/8" circle, 100 yds." The year? 1991! (when he was 74!) He also retired from farming at 74, but still lives on the farm today.

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from dale freeman wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm 68 yrs. old and enjoy theoutdoors as much, if not more,than ever.I must admit that it is getting smaller as we speak.I must admit that my companionsare gettin younger and fewer.However, the outdoors is not the only thing in change.I started to look for a new270 remington fiberglass andwas shocked.They look like space guns.I feel like remington has forsaken the old timers andtradition.No wonder old farts say "enoughis enough.

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from hardwoodjdc wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just wanted to share an incident with all of you that happened to me today. I went out to shoot with my son in law and his best friend ( both in their low 30's) in northern Mi. near a college town. We were shooting in an open area and a car pulled up with out of state plates and a group of upper teen agers came over to us. One with piercings and tatoos everywhere, two guys looking fairly normal and an Asian decent gal in a mini skirt! They very politely asked if they could shoot in the same area we were and of course we said certainly. I watched them for a bit and they were having trouble throwing the clay pigeons so I went and showed them how to use there thrower. They had several guns with them so I went back and offered to let them shoot one of our handguns which they were all over. I helped them with how to use it and safety precautions etc. and they had a ball! Turned out thay were a great bunch of kids trying something new and enjoying themselves. The gal was the first to shoot the handgun and hit the tin can she was aiming at the first shot, one of the other guys said she had never shot a gun before. As for me, I was very happy to be out and share my knowledge and equipment with these "pissant punks" as well as spend time with a couple of the new shooters which I have helped into the sport. Share your knowledge, give your time, it is your legacy!

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Coming from a young adult....I just wanted to say YOU ROCK. And if I had a campfire ..you would be welcome around it:-)

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I dont see really any trouble with the new technology...like GPS...or say...a rangefinder..but...where does it stop and start. Maybe in the future they will just have a trail camera with a built in gun...then you program what kind of animal you want it to shoot....and it does all the work for you.Its always fun to handle the new toys. Weather its a new gun(my personal weakness) or the latest bow or trail camera or whatever.....but just so long as hunting remains ...well ...hunting...so that we dont forget our woodsman skills and instead rely upon technolgy to do all the work for us.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba,That was a 'blast from the past'. I was a child the last time I heard the term Monkey Ward. Are they even in business today?

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Back in medival(sp?) times, some "black smith" came up with the idea of a cross bow. It might not have been as quick to reload as a long bow, but penetration was unbelieveable. Then some Chinaman mixed carcoal, sulphur and nitrate together and "BOOM"! Gunpowder was born. Somebody decided that if they could put some "BOOM" in a pipe, a projectile in front of it, the projectile could be directed in a specific direction. Armour soon became irrelavent. The next gunsmith decided that making the projectile spiral in flight, it became more stable and more apt to contact the target. Then came sights, flint locks replaced matchlocks, then here came breech loaders which soon gave way to bolts, revolvers, pumps and autos.Our entire world has been developed by "change".Change happens!I'll take the Timberline hiking boots over my clunky Monkey Ward brogans any day. Bibs beat union suits hands down. Were I younger and in better physical condition, I'd have a GPS and go places I'd never dreamed of in the past.Change is good, but I don't have to embrace it if I prefer the old way!Bubba

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

There is more to life than hunting (or so I'm told..).Never leave a man down behind. A lifelong principal to live by. (Scott's post above)

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from Reno wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I know what you mean, Dave, and share your sentiments, Brother. But I want you to know that as long as the two of us are alive, you're more than welcome to share a fire, a hunt, and days afield with me. I'm 52, and have been blessed to have had a foot in both worlds, it seems. Yonder years where intangibles were embraced call much to my heart and mind. I, too, yearn for them... I met you a few years ago at the Harrisburg, PA, Eastern Outdoor Sports Show (or something like that). You put on a seminar, and I not only thoroughly enjoyed it, but knew I'd met a kindred spirit, just by listening to you. I've kept up with your writings, ever since, and have enjoyed this sight as well. I wish that I had taken notes on what you said during the seminar. You basically told us to get a rifle along the lines of a 7-08 and shoot it, and a .22LR weapon, alot. You gave advice on which targets to use and ranges at which to shoot them. Good stuff! Do you think that you can do an article here on it? Just wishing... Keep up the good work, Brother-hunter! I'm proud to know you!

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkeyVA, My point exactly when I posted earlier about the GPS with a bread crumb feature. I have been out in the woods and had fog and snow fill in. During the daylight hours it is not bad but come night fall it is downright spooky not to be able to see 10 foot in front of you. My big down fall is that I hunt alone and I would not be missed at Deer Camp if I did not show up.Tom the Troll

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkeyVA:Give you dad a pat on the back for all of us as no doubt his is our kind of guy. I wish I could shoot 18/25 with my 28 ga now at age 60. Well maybe on a good day, maybe...

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.--another option is to check with Show-Me Gunstocks in Warsaw, MO. I am sure they'd fix you up.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

AlaskanExile,Thanks, I'm going to go to web address you gave after I google Numrich and call Rem. tomorrow.This guns not much to look at anymore but with a very slightly bent barrel and the front sight tapped 1/4 inch to right I haven't shot a .22 that can beat it. Now that I've got extra money (unlike 5-6 yr ago) its time to get her back in the woods.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

We interbred with the Neanderthals? Wow Matt that explains a lot... Bill Heavey and most Democrats are fine examples.I'm not about to quit hunting. EVER... My dad grew up during the depression and had to hunt as a very small child just to provide meat for the table. His father had polio and was unable to walk more than about fifty yards. You would think being forced to kill to survive would make it a job but it turned into his lifelong passion. Often he hunted alone as our town had no jobs and all his children moved away, plus his best hunting buddy was in an accident that left his arm paralyzed. If anything he hunted more. He was not a quitter and if hunting to you is sitting around a camp shooting the bull go to a bar... you don't understand what hunting really means.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Stop hunting? NEVER!!!

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in MO;Visit this link, it's just "electriccitygun" and then add a dot-com to the end of it.Contact my brother, he runs a small gun store, he does stock repair, and he has a stock duplicating machine. He can make you a new one, just like the old one. As long as the pieces can still be glued together or missing pieces simulated with Bondo.Alaskan Exile

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Last winter, I had an opportunity to go quail hunting on my Dad's farm in cental Illinois where I grew up. Things have changed a lot in that area of Illinois over the past 50 years. Mostly loss of habitat with neighboring farmers taking down fences, pushing out osage orange hedge rows and small stands of timber. It was only the 2nd time in the past 30 years that I'd hunted on the farm and was not sure if there was any game left. However, a double hedge row that always held at least one covy of quail 50 years ago was still standing and it still had a covy of quail in it! What a thrill!Dad (now 91) doesn't hunt quail any more (too difficult to walk the fields for hours), but he still enjoys dove hunting and shooting an occcasional round of skeet or trap. His hands shake so bad that you can't read his writing, but put a gun in those hads and he still does pretty well. Last year, on his 90th birthday, he hit 18/25 skeet with his 28 ga. Beretta O/U using his reloaded shells with 1/2 oz of shot instead of the standard 3/4 oz loads. He was a little irratated that he didn't do better. I'm 65 and I just hope I am able to hold a gun at 91.

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I hunted a lot with my Dad (mostly quail, rabbits and doves) while growing up on the farm in central Illinois. I went to college, got married, moved away and concentrated on my own family and career. About the only time I went hunting or shooting for that matter was when we would go back to Illinois to visit family once or twice a year.Now that I am retired, I look for every opportunity to hunt upland game. Two friends have taken me deer and turkey hunting a few times (haven't killed any yet) and some other friends (all younger than I) have invited me to go duck and goose hunting on several occasions.Thankfully, my duck hunting friend has a GPS, because the last time we went duck hunting using his boat blind on Back Bay in Southeastern VA, dense fog rolled in. Without his GPS, who knows how long it would have taken us to find our way back to the dock.

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from hillbilly hunter. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The way I feel, if you don't like to use a GPS or RangeFinder, then don't use your modern firearm or compound bow....Make your self a stone axe or club.. or do you only want to use the Technology you see fit. Everyone else has gone HOG WILD with this modern stuff... What, smokeless powder?, How could you even think of such stull, Really.

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from Scott wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Gun nuts: shotgun nuts, rifle nuts, handgun nuts, bb gun nuts, are we. Hunters and beer drinkers and whiskey drinkers and tobacconists etc., etc., etc... Neanderthals we are, however, not. We are "smarter than the average bear." To quote a classic, Boo Boo.I, for one will never give up. I will never leave a man down, either. Dave, you worry me. Will someone close to him please smack him one, give him a stiff drink, and drag him back to the fire, please!

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I dont remember who wrote it...but ..they were talking about how alot of younge people were probobably like him in his teens and early twenties ........broke.....LOL..ya man...im there. So even if i wanted to buy some nice stuff.....i couldn't...

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

It seems like I'm finally going to stop hunting with my Rem. 572Fieldmaster. She's got a broken stock. About five years ago I went to the Rem web site and could have bought stock and hardware. Today can't find a replacement from Rem. Do they have a completely different site for this? I searched their site for repacement stocks.

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from Peter H. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal...ill put myself in that Pissant Punk Category....but.....um...lets think a little bit...about everyone of Field and Streams articles towards gear.....including yours sir.....are all about how great this new gear is....how useless "the good old stuff" is compared to it...though not in those words...but deffinitely in mood....Isnt that talking out of both sides of your mouth...you sell gear as like the best stuff and go buy it now if you really want to be a good sportsman..then you turn around and talk about how sad it is that people are using the gear that you just got done selling.. instead of the old stuff.

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from Mark (A) wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Who are you referring to? Canadians?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

PSI didn't mean you!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

PS,I didn't mean you!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

BarkyVA,Don't do anything, maybe their testing a new way to keep those filthy wierdos off here.

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just tried posting a relatively long comment again and got the following message:"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author." What do I need to do???

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from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Test comment. I tried posting twice. Both times my comments were were held up as "Spam" to be reviewed. Not sure what is going on.

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from AP wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

matt has it right. Most of the guys I hunt with, and myself included, can't afford the really nice clothes and toys. However, I do have one pair of gore tex boots that I saved up for. Previous to those, I had Timberland hiking boots, with no insulation, no gore tex. As of right now,I need to save up for a Marlin XL7, not a rangefinder, or anything else for that matter.

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from Mark (A) wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,I share your thoughts, but maybe not your feelings. Like everything in life, advances in science and technology have unalterably changed the outdoor and hunting experience. Changed it in the same way the invention of firearms unalterably changed hunting and warfare and law enforcement etc. Every generation eventually believes the next will not respect, appreciate, admire the way things were done in the past, and the new ways will, in some way or another, be inferior. Undoubtedly, the next generation of hunters utilizing GPS, sattelite imagery, rangefinders etc. will eventually feel their own young will not have/share the same experiences as them. God only knows what the next generation of advancements will be!I often wonder what other people, like you and I, in our generation, feel is lost in time and gone forever from the way hunting was. I remember from the time I was a boy of 8 years old and embarking on a 1200 km journey to what seemed like, and was then, a remote area in Canada where all game and wildlife was so abundant, and sucking up every bit of knowledge my father had to on, from survival to botony and meteorology and biology and how that knowledge would equip me well in any situation relating to hunting and the outdoors. Those trips seemed like a true northern safari and conjured up all the feelings that go along with a great adventure. The feeling of remoteness and survival and paring our own situation down to our own rudimentary instincts. Seeing the vastness of the sky at night absent of any incidental light and the comforting hissing sound of a naptha lantern and the smell of the canvas of a wall tent and the way the sound of loons and wolves and moose would travel in such a sterile, soundless environment were truly awe inspiring. Logistical preparation was so essential to a successful hunt, as was knowledge of the lay of the land and habits of the animals and map reading and how to drive, I mean really drive in the bush. Many of the skills seem to be giving way to things like GPS, satellite imagery, quads and trailers and cell phones and range finders and fish finders. These advances to me seem to have shrunk the world and abbreviated the hunting experience and hastened the chase. Then, of course, the same could be said by the generation before ours, of the technological advances we utilized, like gas lanterns and wall tents and rifle scopes!This year I am returning to those hunting grounds for the first time in 20 years and I wonder how my father would have felt about scouting with google earth, and emailing hunting partners and logistical providers the way that I am now. The way I feel about it is that it no longer feels like the great safari that it once felt like. To have that feeling again would I have to go further north? No, I think not. Because the world has shrunk. Unalterably. By all the "modern advances".I can only hope that ,despite all the advances, my son and, and his son, and so on, can somehow feel that same sense of adventure in hunting that I found as a younger man.What do you and other readers feel has been lost?

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from Bryce wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My hair was too long for my father's taste but we hunted together till age stopped him. My son's pants are a bit too big and we hunt as often as possible. I don't plan to stop for a long time and he will always be welcome, as will his son. Oh, I gave him a compass some years back.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

You want Gore-Tex?The Army, Air Force and Navy are all now in the process of trading out their woodland camo and three-color desert uniforms for new green-gray, high-tech, all-purpose camo uniforms for both desert and garrison wear. Right now, the manufacturers can't keep up with the demand for new Gore-Tex jackets and pants, but when they catch up, expect to see the old stuff piling-up in surplus stores and at garage sales.I am betting that in the very near future you will be able to buy tons of woodland or desert camo Gore-Tex jackets and pants for extremely low prices because the market is going to be flooded.I know it's not Realtree, but it will keep you warm and dry, and if you sit still the animals won't see you.

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from matt wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Don't worry folks. There are enough poor, young hunters too destitute to afford the fancy equipment (i.e. myself) still out there. We are never going to disappear entirely. The question is will we remain numerous enough to survive POLITICALLY.P.S. Concerning the Neanderthals (by the way people, please don't pronounce the "H"), my two cents worth is they were wipped out by H. s. sapiens (that would be us) in history's first case of genocide. They may have been far stronger but were completely unable to derive projectile weapons. I've also heard theories that H. s. sapiens and H. s. neanderthalensis interbred and so they became extinct in a more subtle manner. I'll have to reconsult my horde of National Geographic magazines...

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm not nearly as old as Dave, but probably not quite as young as the aforementioned "pissant punks" he refers to.Maybe a proto-punk.At any rate, Dave, I think you're a bit mistaken in assuming said pissant punks can even afford Gore-Tex and rangefinders.I suspect there are a lot of younger guys out there now who are in the same boat I was in in my teens and early twenties, the one christened SS Abject Poverty...Gore-Tex? Not until I took a chunk of my first Stafford Loan in college and bought a pair. Up until then it was surplus leather boots, a roll of Saran Wrap and a fervent desire for mild weather.What I did have was an overwhelming, all-encompassing desire to hunt and fish. And I managed to do it regardless of how crappy, threadbare or out-of-fashion my equipment was.I really don't think technology has changed that fundamental desire that burns in all of us.At least I hope it hasn't.Besides, if the economy gets any worse all those punks are going to find out real quick what it means to get back to the basics, anyway.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I muttered something about the "good ol' days" to my dad once. He was a Depression Era child, born in 1920.He sat silently puffing his cigar and said, "Know what I like most about the good ol' days, Bubba?""No, sir." I replied."They won't ever be back!", he said to me with a smile!Plowing all day, stareing at the back side of a horse. Spending the day with a two man crosscut saw and a double bit axe to cut, split and stack a cord (not today's FACE cord) of firewood for fifty cents!I use a range finder. I can't judge bow ranges accurately anymore.I use a crossbow. My shoulders won't allow me to pull and hold a compound though I still possess one. (and probably won't ever sell it!)I don't need a GPS, I'm never more than one half mile from a road.I use an ATV. I have a metal hip and a crippled foot.I don't buy "Scent-lok" clothing. It's too stinking expensive.I use a grunt tube, rattlin' horns and a "bleat can". They work.I don't use trail cams. I'd rather be surprised!I HAVE a trail cam. Sure did like all the deer/hog/cow/coon/horse/other hunter pictures. They are really neat! But it's too much trouble for an old f**t!When fall rolls around, I'll pack up my Moultrie hanging feeder and fill it with corn. I'll load up my Ameristep pop-up blind and folding chair and set them up with a shooting lane to the feeder about 50 yards away. I'll hack out a spot in a thicket within 20 yards of the blind to park my ATV.Then, some cool, frosty morning, I'll put on my Carhart insulated, camo bibs. My White River hooded camo, insulated coat. Load my Ruger No. 1 .270 Win with it's 4X Redfield scope on my ATV gun rack and trundle down to my blind with my grunt call, rattlin' horns, doe bleat cans, binoculars and insulated gloves with a Thermos of hot coffee and sit a spell. If that big hoary buck doesn't come by, maybe a big, fat doe will. Maybe I'll just sit there and see what all comes to the feeder. Cleaning a deer can be a real chore. But I'll be out there. No doubt! If all the "stuff" out there intrigues you, by all means, go for it. Laugh at me if you like. I'll probably laugh too. But, I'm happy doing it MY way. So, just leave me alone!Bubba

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

So does this mean I can have that sweet little NULA 6.5x55 you showed us all last year?

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hunting was quality time afield with good friends, and I will admit that I've hunted much less since I relocated to the west coast. I'm delighted to have friendships that I value highly here, but the "chemistry" of the old crew was a little different. I now live in Oregon and, despite the excellent hunting opportunities that surround me, my priorities and economy of time have changed. I continue to enjoy varminting and I share that with my son, but our outings are limited to weekend overnighters. I remain in contact with old friends stilll living in the east (NY-NJ-PA-CT) and we often trade memories of past hunting trips. At this point in life, I'd trade the sight of a whitetail or muley for my crosshairs on a coyote. In other words, I spend more time shooting than hunting. I still have two of my favorite deer rifles, a .250 and a .30-30, but they digest significantly less ammunition than my .22-250, .222, .223 and .22 Hornet. There's a time for everything. I expect to move elsewhere in Oregon in a few years, and we'll see what develops.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Have faith Dave, Im eighteen and the thought of people replacing scouting with trailcams and balistics compensating scopes with practise and experience turns my stomach inside out. As long as Im hunting, I hope i do not get lured into the technological frenzy that is engulfing our sport. In the end, it is the major companies that we support that are tainting hunting with technology. We may be a fading memory, but there are still a few young hunters that will adopt more traditional ways.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,You sound as if you feel like you've been cheated -- like you've put so much in and gotten so little out. If I was your boss I'd call you in and say, "What's really eatin' at you?!?!"I agree with Kieth at 11:02 = teach the younger ones the old ways -- or at least be content to tell about the old ways around the camp fire.Incidentally we read about the "worst weather on earth" in Genesis 6 - 8. "...and God said to Noah, make yourself an ark..."

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from Michael wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,You forgot to mention trail cameras. How many times have I heard someone attribute their lack of success bagging a trophy buck (meaning near B&C) because they didn't get their trail cameras up in time, or didn't have them in the right place. What happened to scouting on foot with binoculars and enjoying being outdoors? I know one yo-yo who can check his numerous trail cameras from the comfort of his den via the computer. He is so proud of his high tech prowess as a hunter. BLEAH!

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from Jay wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

If I was a critter I wouldn't want Dave Petzel hunting me. He's cagey. Seems smarter than hell.

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from Dartwick wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Check out traditional bow hunters(the guys who dont use compounds) if you want to find a group of hunters who hunt for the right reasons.Im not saying none of them carry a GPS and they often wear modern fabrics- but they hunt for an interaction with nature not for a technology adventure.I have hunted with guns much of my life and enjoy them greatly, but if we are honest hunting with a 300 Win is easy mode compared to hunting with a Sharps in the 1860s. And that was easy mode compared to hunting with a flintlock.We as a species always find ways to make it easier for ourselves - and its not exactly sporting. Becareful that you dont mistake your youth for the golden era justbecause its yours.

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from ricefarm wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Holy smoke, Dave, I would expect someone like PETA or an AP writer to equate us with Neanderthals, but you caught me off guard with this one. Grab an adult beverage and go vegetate on your porch or patio until you feel better. Your readers like you edgy, not depressed.

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from Gruetz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My father has a 300 acre farm up in Northern Wisconsin. It is a beautiful place set in between the Wisconsin River and a Creek. Unfortunately, it is also only a few miles from city limits and land has been developed all around us in the last 20 years. At night, there is hardly a spot you can stand without seeing lights in some direction through the trees unless you in in the middle of it. I love this land. I grew up there. I now have many of my own friends that would die to get a spot on our hunting crew. But my father (in his 60's now) would not have it. He let someone he did not know hunt with us a hand-full of times and it has back fired on him every time. Everything from someone shooting through our party of guys at a deer running through camp to the cops coming because some yahoo hunting on his own decided it was okay to chase a deer down the center line of the neighborhood road firing off shots 200 yards down the road. My father's trust has not only been shaken, it has been devestated. And now my friends and I are paying for it. I am too the point that I might not even hunt there this year because there are so many rules that it isn't hunting anymore, it is more like a simon says that goes on for 9 days. I am going to hunt on public land this year. It is like starting over.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

If you look around I’m sure that you’ll discover that you already know one of these “lost boys”; a neighbor, a co-worker, that awkward kid at church who spends way too much time alone in front of a computer?If you’re divorced, if you’ve been one of those Dads, I’m not dumping on you, you may have been shown a bad example, you may have lost your father. Get to work, make up for that lost time with your kids.Everybody, get out there and take a new outdoorsman (or woman) with you when you go. You probably even have enough old gear that you no longer use (shrank in the washer, yeah right) to outfit an entire party of hunters or anglers, so don’t be stingy. What are you saving it for?I know that it takes work, but for the future of the sport, it’s worth it. My brother and I hunt with a 14 year old boy whose dad is deceased. He sometimes doesn’t have the smoothest gun-handling skills, but anyone who catches him unintentionally pointing a gun anywhere it doesn’t belong gets a free kick to his rear. He was a lot better last fall, than the year before, and he’s an awesome shot. You never know, it might even stoke your ego a little, to give away some of your best outdoor info, or take it to your grave, the choice is yours.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

There is an entire generation of young men out there, my age (I'm 38) and younger who are "lost boys". These young men have been abandoned by the fathers of the "ME" generation, aka Baby-Boomers. Why do you think magazines like FHM, STUFF, and MAXIM are so popular,(other than the near-naked women, but you can find that anywhere)?If you’ve never looked through one, check those out next time you are near the newsstand, and your wife isn’t watching.If you look around (or past) the photo spreads of scantily-clad women, those magazines are chock full of "old man advice" about life, how to do things like land a plane or an interview, grill a steak, or get a really close shave. Stuff guys should have learned about life from their old man, but he was too busy chasing his job, his golf game or his secretary to give those lessons.I was lucky, blessed really, to have an old man as my Dad. He gave me those life lessons and taught me about hunting and fishing too.These “lost boys” are wandering through life, looking for someone to mentor them but don’t quite know how to ask. They may only have a perspective on the outdoors from what they’ve seen in the popular culture, and what they know about guns they’ve gotten from video games and movies (scary).So take one of these young men (or women) hunting, or fishing or hiking next time you go. You might just raise-up an outstanding hunting buddy, who can probably show you how to make that GPS work, or set the time on that clock in your truck.

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from DavidS wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

a map and compas is what has guided me in and out of the woods since i was 12 years old. i do not own a gps, and proabaly never will. same with a range finder. if it is over 2 foot ball feilds away, i simply dont shoot! it's not that difficult. now, i really couldnt do without the scope on my rifles, as the $#@** open sights are just 2 fuzzy anymore. as for the neandertals, they didnt die off, they just mutated into big foots. you just have to go to the northwest wilderness to find them!

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

We're grumps because:No. 1We've been there, done that! It didn't work then, it won't work now!No. 2Instead of aluminum shafts with inserts and razor sharp, screw in broadheads. We had cedar shafts with clunky, glue on, dull as a froe broadheads!No. 3You walked to the back side of nowhere, shot your deer with your trusty, rusty (because it was made of REAL ordinance steel!) Mod 94 Winchester in .30-30 Win and iron sights. Attached your buck to a "smoke" pole and made your third trip of the day out of the woods. (one to hunt, one to retrieve your buds for help, one to help tote your deer out!) NO ATV!?No. 4All No. 3 activities were performed wearing umpteen layers of Sears Roebuck, JC Penney or Montgomery Ward wool/cotton union suit, overalls, wool/flannel shirt, wool socks, denim coat, etc, etc.... Alternately sweating down, freezing to death, sweating down, freezing to death!No. 5You got lost walking to the "Backside of Nowhere". Your map and compass are soaked with swamp water/sweat. Not that it matters, the only way to find land features would be with a 'copter. If you had that, you wouldn't be LOST!!No. 6 ETC, ETC, ETC......!!!!!Look, lots of us complain. Lots of us are grumps. Most of the time, it means, "I can't believe we usta do it THAT way! This is so much easier!"The more I practice the "NEW", the more I remember the "OLD". Sometimes, with the batteries dead, fecal matter occurs. The old way will get you out!!Bubba

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from semp wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Genetics on the Gun Nut Blog ... ponderous man ... just ponderous.

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from Jeff wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

You know Dave, there a lot of young hunters who would love to learn the old ways. I'm one of them. Maybe you should open up a clinic. What do you say Dave, come out of your cave. Ha, that'll be the day. Dave you would be one hell of a man if you weren't such a grump.

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The GPS is a tool like so many other things people hunt with. The next time you are caught in a sudden blizzard white out in the mountains it might just get you back to camp alive. That bread crumb feature comes in handy when you can no longer see the tracks you left 3 hours ago when it was dark out. Or is dark because you shot you deer just before sun set. I keep mine tucked in to my shirt hung around my neck. Then turn it off at my blind. I don't always need it but it is there in case I do. That and a old cell phone. I may not be able to call some one on it but 911 works in case something happens. To some one else or my self. Nothing like coming across another hunter with a arrow stuck in his arse because he dropped it out of his tree stand and climbed down to get it or so he said. I guess he got his Christmas Goose early that year.Tom the Troll

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckInNYI know the feeling.I lived near a large metro area for about 10 years. I did get the opportunity to go hunting a few times. Problem was, I was so near the city, the local farmers had already been accosted by "city slickers" until they wouldn't let anyone hunt. They didn't hunt because neighbors were too close and they didn't have time (according to them) to hunt.When I did get a spot to hunt, I had to be cautious. The adjoining property, twenty acres, had been leased by SIX metro area firefighters! THEY ALL HUNTED AT THE SAME TIME!!!!Sad part is, the best buck I saw while living in the area was within the city limits of the metro area! The property belonged to a gravel pit on one side of the road and a landfill on the other side!If you're just getting started, be patient. Rome wasn't built in a day. Never having even been close (Charleston, W. Va.) to New York, I don't have any idea what to tell you except. Hunt the rut when you can. Rise early, be on the stand before sunrise. Be back on stand by 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon and stay until dark. Watch for tracks going to "camp" mornings and back out in the afternoon. You might find out that you need to be on stand in the middle of the day!A fantastic spot today will be a dud tomorrow, and vice-versa. As the seasons change, they (the deer) change. Pre-rut, rut and post-rut all bring on similar but different behaviors. The monster buck that wanders in and out of certain area will become a ghost opening day of season, or not! What deer do today, they may or may not do tomorrow.If something isn't working, try something else!Just don't give up! And "Good Luck!"Bubba

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from ray wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Precisely! had an uncle that retired at 70 an his best fishing buddies died before he was 80 and he just gave up. Doctor said he just started eating so little that he starved to death.. Just because he didn't have anything to look forward to.

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from RedneckInNY wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Bubba, as my name implies, I'm in NY; Long Island to be exact. I've got bowhunting and muzzleloading opportunities here, but it's not the same as the "big woods" up north (Catskills, Adirondacks, etc.) for rifle. The Adirondacks are 8 hours away. I do have two properties lined up on which to hunt south of the Catskills. I just have to get the permission in writing. I'm also looking to purchase 10 acres next year as well. I've done the networking and it's been good so far. It's just that I'd like someone experienced to teach me the finer points of hunting. If not, I'll just have to learn as I go. Thanks for the advice.

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from Dan wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I live in a state with wonderful natural resources, and an awful political situation. So far, our State Senate is dominated by upstate republicans, who block almost all of the anti-gun anti-hunting legislation that might come down the pike. We are a precious few seats from having a Democratic Senate, which would rubber-stamp all the NYAGV bills that they want to pass on anti-gun orgy day.I find as I have just past the 1/2 century mark that more of my time is tied up with various aspects of trying to keep the opportunity to hunt -- and more, that our right to keep and bear arms is preserved, and less time free to go to the woods.Even so, some of my most precious older friends have called it quits. It breaks my heart to see it.Dan

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I am 59 years old and have been hunting since I was six. I lost my only son when he was 16, but still have a handful of hunting partners ages early 40s to early 70s. My problem is my legs--two hip surgeries last year and now I am debilitating arthritis in my knees. Six years ago I was packing elk quarters on my back; nowadays I hobble around the house on crutches. I hope things improve with the medication but thus far they have not. I'll still be able to hunt whitetails from a stand and maybe shoot a pronghorn over the hood of my pickup, although I am not happy about hunting that way. Pheasant hunting, which is my favorite, will be out of the question unless my joints get better. Thank God for Laurie, my wife and hunting partner of 25+ years. She takes good care of me and still hunts with me too.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Bubba,I know what you mean, but get anywhere close to big cities and it gets tough. Real tough.Where I used to live hunting was a walk in the park, just walk outside and hunt. I would have bet my firstborn that couldn't happen here. Where your at, you may not see it in your lifetime but the next gen. will. Hope not.Also, your advise on courtesy and the willingness to do work to help the landowner goes a long way. A workin man can tell another workin man by more than a smile and handshake.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I first met my friend Charlie in 1968 when he invited me to go quail hunting. I knew he was the best bird shot in Dixie according to some. He had polio as a child and it left its toll all his life but never interfered with his hunting. I made a point to visit Charlie and his wife, who was almost blind, every summer when I returned down south from Wyoming. We talked about hunting and guns for hours. Year before last he killed 2 bucks and 2 does by himself which was a record low. Last year he told me that he didn't feel well enough to hunt the previous fall and that it was just as well as all of his old friends and hunting buddies had passed away except for me. I lived to far away for him to visit and leave his wife. He seemed forlorn and I believe depressed. I walked out of his house wondering if it would be the last time I would see him on earth. He died three Sundays ago at the age of 95. If you know an old "Neanderthal" stay in touch with him or her as they probably need you. If you are wise enough to listen you will learn a few things.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Might I add:Don't despair if they only own a few acres. It might just be a "honey hole"!One of my buddies in E. Texas worked his way into a hunting spot of 5 acres. He could only kill the limit (2 bucks) for deer. The spot lay in a woodlot between two enormous pea fields. The deer used it as travel lane between fields. Kit was able to be very selective and took some really "nice" bucks! He just couldn't take guest. His family counted against his bag limit for the area, but he and his son had a blast. They hunted the same spot for nearly thirty years before it gave out when the family sold the property after the landowners death!Bubba

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckinNY, Jim in Mo., RipperIII:I don't know where you gentlemen/women reside, but I'll give you a few hints that might help break the ice.First, there are hunting spots out there! It just takes sweat, shoe leather, gas/diesel, and perseverence. The price of a couple of nice pocket knives (something a farmer would use!) is also a minor investment in a hunting area.Second, knock on doors! We as a society have developed the term "networking". Now, get out there and "network"!Drive back country roads. If you see Farmer Brown mending a fence, stop and offer assistance. Talk to them. Don't ask about hunting/fishing on first contact. Take your child, (at least 5/6 years of age). Older people like kids. Most of the people they don't allow to hunt, THEY DON'T KNOW! Get to know these folks. I don't mean visit every weekend. Mark spots on a county map where you have gotten to know folks. Ask about the local game. They are out there every day. They see the deer, squirrels, ducks, quail and such. IF they allow you after a time to hunt, AND you are successful, offer to share. And I don't mean a neck roast off that hoary old buck; clean up and process part of a backstrap.Don't despair, these relationships may take more than a week or so to develope into hunting/trespassing rights. I worked with one gentleman for nearly two years before gaining limited access to his property.OBEY ANY/ALL RULES the land owner lays out. Leave gates as found, only 1 deer, don't shoot the quail, don't hunt the lower forty (specific area), no camp fires, archery season only. Whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.RESPECT! Mr. & Mrs., Sir, Ma'am, Thank you! I appreciate it!Also, when addressing older folks, I'd say 40 or better, NO EARRINGS, tattoos, ragged clothing (work clothing is acceptable) or suits. Don't knock on a door with a lip full of tobacco or a cigarette in your fist. Be polite!A novel idea, which I've done in my new area, join or attend a small country style church in your area. Not only are the people more acceptable to you, you begin to show them that you really aren't a "pissant"! I have even attended church clad in camo, cutting a turkey hunt short in time for church services!Show the folks that you are human, that you do care!Hunting, on private land, is available. At a price, common courtesy!Bubba

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from JBS wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

As per usual, written as nothing more than the ramblings of a bitter old man.

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from Mike Reeder wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I can empathize with what Petzal's getting at, but tend to view things a little differently. For one thing I have a grown son who's a damned fine hunting companion despite my shortcomings as a teacher and I look forward to hunting with him every year. I also am blessed to have a wife who, while she won't pull the trigger herself, actually enjoys spending a day with me on a stand watching wildlife. Maybe most importantly, I've never been one of those people who felt the need to be part of a big group. In fact, I enjoy the solitude of hunting alone or with my dog as my only companion. Always have. Having bumped off my share of game over the years I do find myself more content to let the average ones walk and to take satisfaction in a good day outdoors regardless of whether I ever pull a trigger or not. On the other hand, if the possibility didn't exist of pulling a trigger it just wouldn't be the same. I suppose it's the difference between sitting in the bleachers and playing right field...

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from Col. C. Askins, Ret. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

In my day, life was a carnival! We entertained ourselves! We didn't need moooovin' pitchurrrres. In my day, there was only one show in town -- it was called "Stare at the sun!" ...and that's the way it was and we liked it!

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from Col. C. Askins, Ret. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm oooooold! And I'm not happy! And I don't like things now compared to the way they used to be. All this progress -- phooey! In my day, we didn't have these cash machines that would give you money when you needed it. There was only one bank in each state -- it was open only one hour a year.

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from SD Bob wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Why is it the older generation always seems to despise the next when advances have made it different? Those of you who look down your nose at gps users and consider them "pissants", look in the mirror! That damn compass was an invention at one time too! Guys before compasses were able to find their way without. Do you suppose they snubbed compass users the way grumpy old men now despise gps users? One thing is certain: I don't think Dave believes what he typed because oppinions like this garner more responses than any other kind he expresses. Case in point....This topic has been out 4 or so hours and there's already a billion responses! Field and Stream must get an advertising kick back for every blog responder which would explain why it seems to be were getting away from rifle talk and more into stuff like this. Enjoy!

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

To the New Blood: [ aka: puissant snots, kids, wood gatherers….. fresh meat.]Don’t mistake this blog being the Experience. We Blogger Mouths can hunting only give you a description of the experience….a poor substitute.Note: Hunting is much different from shooting. Shooting is a fairly easy skill to obtain. Hunting, putting that rifle/shotgun to use, is much different.I dare write every hunter starts out very green and learns as [s]he goes. The skills you desire aren’t bought or acquired in a lecture hall or on bar stool. Much of the knowledge is beyond description……trancidental: in the old vernacular…so it’s no mistake you get a song and dance from the Old Guard.I also dare write you’re entering the realm of Mysteries. You are awakening 30,000years of memory in your genes. A person is never too old to waken these memories.Enjoy the Journey.

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from Dan R. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Well said, AP. It's guys like you that prove that there is a hope for the future of hunting.

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from AP wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with Keith. As another member of the "pissant punk" generation, I'd like to point out that one of the reasons I hunt/shoot is to be more like previous generations and less like the pissant punks with rangefinders and video games. Also, I want you all to know that I at times feel like you older adults, in that there is no one to hunt or shoot with. While more and more of my generation and following generations are ruining themselves with video games, television, and other such crap, it becomes harder and harder to find anyone who has shot a gun, been hunting, or even ate deer meat. It's discouraging at times, but what we have going for us is that we are young, and we have years ahead of us (God willing). We have a chance to turn this thing around. I know that myself and a few of my friends are doing our part. We've gotten younger cousins, younger siblings, nephews, and even girlfriends to go hunting. And what's even better is that many of us don't have kids yet, so there are even more opporunities to come. What we, the younger crowd, must understand, is that we are indeed different amongst our peers. We do something that only us and those like us understand. As that may be, we have something to offer to those that will listen. Something that most people never knew they were missing. Thus, we have a calling. We must pass on what we have. Likewise, we have a resonsibility to uphold the image of the outdoorsman, for both those that are outside, and inside, the hunting community. With this in mind, I would hope that we recieve only encouragement from preceding generations. We're gonna need it, because as I see it, we have a long road ahead.This post kinda took on a life on it's own, and I'm sorry about the length. I just wanted to say to Mr. Petzel, and the rest of the older adults, that we, the youth, are not all lost. Just because we came from the same mill, that doesn't mean that we're all cut from the same cloth.

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I just turned 48 and I am about to attempt my first hunting season ever!I am as "green" as they come, and I have no mentor, all my knowledge about hunting to this point has come from extensive reading, long(fascinating)hours watching outdoors shows AND,...the gracious tips given over a few blog sites, this one included. My friends who hunt are dispersed widely through out the Country, this Saturday I plan to scout my property for the first time,...I don't even know if I can handle being out in the woods alone, to say the least about my ability to "spot sign". There is nothing that I would like more than to spend time with an "old-timer", to learn from the seasoned veteran, but as it is, I'll have to rely on my wits, my gps,compass,maps,range finder,camera,scent killers,stands/blinds,...and the Grace of God.I hope everyone here has a "dream season" this year

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave you need children or at your age grand children... instill your ideals in them and you will live forever! Their success will make you happier than your own.

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from Hanson wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Here's something for you to criticize http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6rKgL75POo

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from Happy Myles wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Why bother anymore?I grew up as a raggedy-ass cowboy but one day got on a Greyhound bus and went away to college. Why? Because I wanted to earn an income sufficient to allow me to hunt one sheep and one lion. My goal wasn't wealth but the ability to hunt. At times I was sure I was the loneliest hillbilly in the world. My goal held firm. My goal held firm then and now. I was in awe of O'Conner and Page, but figured if Elmer Keith could do it I had a chance.These days, every now and then, after a social gathering, and the usual "how can you hunt?" verbage, the phone rings. The voice of someone who had listened quietly the night before asks if I could take he and his son shooting - that he had always wanted to take his son hunting. Other times, I'm behind my desk and someone calls I don't know. They apologize for bothering me and say they are hunting some place special and "would I mind giving them some advice?" Bother, mind? I'm thrilled to help. These experiences give me hope that hunters numbers may be smaller but serious hunters, not the bottle of whiskey and one weekend a year type. Female hunters are increasing in numbers. Hunting organizations are increasing and becoming more professional getting their messages to the public.I mentioned in an eariler post I was a dinosaur, I could have easily substituted the word "Neanderthal". I hope I'm not the last one, but I'm proud to be a member of the tribe.

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from Jackson Landers wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

On the topic of Neanderthals, note that there is a rule governing all ecology stating that no 2 species can occupy the same ecological niche in the same place in the long run. Starlings push out native songbirds in the quest for food and nesting sites. As the range of the imported American grey squirrel spreads across England, the native red squirrel disappears. Etc.Neanderthals made artifacts and had a true culture. They were intelligent. So even if Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals started out specializing in different food sources, shortly after those early humans showed up, both groups would have started learning from each other's behavior. It would only be a matter of time before they were competing for the same sources of food and shelter.Alternatively, let's ask what would have happened if the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals eventually learned to communicate and regarded each other as mutually 'human.' We're talking about 2 closely related, yet distinct species. Like horses and zebras. It is entirely possible that Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals eventually began to interbreed, but the offspring produced were sterile 'mules.' Eventually, such intermingling would result in one of the 2 species completely disappearing with it's genes no longer represented at all in the population.I bet that you could run a computer simulation to find out what the thresholds would be in terms of initial populations and rates of interbreeding to determine how long it would take and which group would die out.

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from Brian T wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My condolences to you all who even contemplate hanging up your guns. I can't imagine living in such circumstances. Proper etiquette predicts that we all share in the kill. When the "young punks learn this, I don't mind showing them some sweet spots. In the meantime, I have to wait 5 weeks more before we can begin once again to harvest the finest, organic, food on this fair earth.

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from jes wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

And more challenging! And that's what it's all about! Or maybe you want one to walk up and sit on you...and complain....

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

RedneckInNY,Most of us are encountering the same situation as you. I think it's mostly the lack of private hunting land these days and the expense to lease. Too many large organizations are gobbling up tracts of land and raping the hunter. Watch a hunting show this weekend.Those hunters are nothing more than shills for these companys. Looks like public land is the only thing remaining for the common man. Scary and dangerous.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I "usta" belong to one of them ol' "Redneck" camps. No women, I was the only "kid" there because my dad was primary "leaseholder". He maintained contact with the land owner, collected the annual lease money, paid the lease, allowed/disallowed new hunters to openings, passed on new rules, etc, etc..... Basically, the one that was held ultimately responsible!Opening day rules, (not necessarily a weekend) Members (it really WASN'T a club, per se!) only, no spouses, NO WOMEN(!), no guests for the first seven (7) days of the season and after the first shot, legal bucks only!These rules were both good and bad. As a "bachelor" group, no women in camp meant no "monkey" business. No guests meant each paying leasee got his selected spot!The bad part! Leaving the women at home meant they (IF they were hunters!) couldn't enjoy the most productive and best "days" of the season! The "kids" (well, except me!) only got to hunt "after" the woods had been pretty much stirred up.I have a wife and two daughters now and they all hunt. No women in camp would exclude my entire immediate family! I ain't doin' that!Guess I gotta give up somma them ol' Redneck ways!Bubba

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from RedneckInNY wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Keith made a very good point about having someone teach the next generation. Hell, I'm 39 this year and only got started hunting 4 years ago. To this day, there isn't ONE single experienced hunter that has offered to take me out to their neck of the woods on a hunt. When I ask, they're all like, "Well, we already got X-number of guys in the group and they already have spots where they hunt, so sorry." I've heard just about every god-damned excuse as to why I can't go hunting with a group of guys I met at so-and-so club. It's this attitude that pisses me off, and that's the main reason why there aren't as many hunters as there should be these days. These selfish jerks want to keep their hunting spots to themselves. Fine! But don't complain that we're losing hunters.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hope you’re not depressed and in sorrow, Dave.Reminiscing about the “good Old Days” is a sign although reminiscing does seem to be a sign of advancing Age. I seem to fall back on memories more and more as I grow older. Many things are gone never to return. i.e. Bird covers, Hunting the Mountains, Good bird dogs, good horses. …But I think it’s a sign of mortality and vanity returning too often to memories.Neandorthals likely disappeared because as a group they hit the Wall. They lacked an ability to cope and to adapt to Change…the only reality. This is something for all of us to pause upon.Enough navel gazing.

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from jes wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Hell, Dave, if I knew you didn't have any old buddies around anymore, I would have offered my old fogey hand along with a Osceola turkey hunt on public land, with no trimmings but a sit on the tailgate to jaw on old times some....for sure I'm serious, too...there ought to be at least one other fellow around to sit and swap stories with! Here's your offer and no excuses...

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from Dan R. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Umm, Dave, do you, by chance, suffer from bipolar disorder? After the last post complaining that parents with young children are too busy with other things to teach their children to hunt, you now complain about those young "pissants" who don't hunt the way we do? You can't have it both ways. I love the traditional ways as much as anyone, but let's face it, unless we embrace younger hunters, it won't be long until there aren't any younger hunters. Maybe, just maybe, we might even learn something from them. GPS and rangefinders and the lot are nice to have around, but shouldn't we be teaching the younger hunters how to survive and hunt in case the batteries give out? Keith was dead on point. It's up to us older hunters to mentor and foster the younger guys and gals and teach them the ways of the woods. Some of my fondest memories of my grandfather are when I would propose some newfangled idea to him, and he would kind of smile, give it a try, and quickly point out to me the limitations of my newfangled idea, and show me how to get by without it, but if it was a good idea, he would wholeheartedly adopt it. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be hunting. Thank God for the old-timers with the patience to put up with all of us when we were the young pissants and teach us to be the next generation of "old guard" hunters!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Just read Diehl's comment and I think I was trying to say what he said too... There is a vast difference in walking through the woods at dark thirty all by your lonesome. You are much more aware of your surroundings and the noises and every little movement. It truly raises the hair on the back of your neck and heightens your senses. It's called being alive and returns you to the basic animal instincts we are on our way to losing as we become more "civilized".

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

The Cro-Magnons killed them Dave... and if men had any sense they would have killed off the blabbermouth women too. Give me good looking and mute and I'll instantly fall in love.My friends and I had a hunting camp complete with a dilapidated old camper someone had dragged there twenty years earlier and a fire pit and not much else. On the night before opening day there would be anywhere from ten to thirty people pitching tents and playing poker and winching out trucks that had got stuck on the way back there. It was an experience like no other... no women, no rules, just a bunch of rednecks doing what rednecks do. It was basically the only time we were all together and we reveled in each others company. As we got older and married and had children suddenly fewer and fewer were there until I was there with one other person one year. It signaled the end of an era but I didn't stop. In fact I built a muzzle loader and spent more time in the woods and actually began to kill deer. A lot of deer. Hunting to me is about being alone or with my children or brother in law but still sitting in a treestand hundreds of yards away from them and enjoying the wildlife and solitude of nature...

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from Jay wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm going to be a little facetious here but the only person who likes change is a wet baby. Fortunately the hunting and fishing adventure stuff can be so interesting that if a person sometimes can make enough effort early on (usually with someone's help) or a lot of effort (as the case may be), then it can take root for a lifetime to a varying degree.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Years ago when I lived back east I had a couple of reliable hunting partners in a friend, my father, and his friend.Since I've been hunting out west, however, I've often been out there on my own. One thing that is new is that I seem to be more -- errrm --"aware of being aware" -- more into being in the experience in some inexpressably different way.I think this means I'll hunt until my arms and legs stop working.

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from jstreet wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'm entering that stage a bit now.My friends (we are all close to 50) like to "talk" about hunting and still go deer hunting the opening weekend of the firearms season, but very little (if any) after that.My son is entering the age where he can go hunting this year with me and I hope to pass it on.I've also found that killing a deer is less exciting and a hell of a lot more work than it used to be (gutting, dragging, loading), but I think it's the natural cycle of things.Old men teach, young men do.Jim

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from Max wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Damn it Dave I had to take a Zanex after reading you today. More and more kids are asking their dads to go to scouts and camping and hunting, the bloody baby boomers and their "got to be loved by everybody" crap spoiled a generation but we are coming back. I live in an Urban area and half the kids last Haloween were hunters and soldiers. The hunter Genes run deep Keep the faith Dave and have a good weekend....

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Off topic a tad;I read an interesting piece years ago about how certain genes and traits among men and women are still in existance today as they were in the neanderthal. Men needed to be quite to be successful hunters, to be able to get close to their prey. The quieter the stalker was the better hunter. And those genes were passed on. The women needed to incessantly talk and chatter as they gathered the green stuff so as to alert toothy animals. The noisier the woman the longer they live. And the genes were passed on. I showed this article to my girlfriend and she talked for twenty minutes how full of crap I was.

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Due to the fact that I/we (wife and I) chose to raise a family on a meager income, precluded me hunting in a society that excluded hunting unless you could afford a lease. Since then, I have relocated to an area that has hunting, (my own land) and other spots available through the good grace of church family and friendly neighbors! The church family has provided me with one or two young men whose parents are in the same situation I was in 10/15 years ago. Since all my old hunting buddies still reside in the state of my previous residence, I hunt mostly alone. These two young men, provided not only an opportunity to see a young man develope into a sporting hunter, they have also provided places that, without their presence, I would have been unable to hunt. One has already assisted me in slaughtering a hog and is a real joy to be around. The other is still a bit shy and though a good companion, doesn't talk much.I have greatly enjoyed the company of these two promising young men (and their parents!) and I'm looking forward to the fall so that I might get them both (one at a time, please!) into the woods!As long as I can find young people to mentor, I'll continue hunting!Bubba

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I've begun my annual 'Shape up for hunting season' rituals again this year. It gets a little harder to do every year, largely because there are fewer of the 'Old Guard' out and about. I am a couple years shy of 50 but consider myself born out of time with respect to hunting especially, as such I look to partner with guys (and the occasional lady) in my dad's generation, more and more of those folk are not hunting anymore or have gone on to that next hunting ground."The pissant punks who can't remember before GPS and Gore-Tex and laser rangefinders will never understand how older generations view things." DEP. There is one key reason for that; Us! If we didn't instill the values we hold so dear in our next generations it is on us! We can cite the encroachments on available time from the likes of sports, 12 month school in some places, less time off of our work in others, pressures to earn more to buy more to keep up with the boob tube set... But in the final analysis it (it being the responsibility to pass on our values) comes right back home! It does NOT take a village! It takes parental commitment and a passion for what we do value!Am I close to that point of saying "Screw it! I don't have any reason to do this anymore!"? Hell NO! But that is just me, as I said above; a lot of the 'Old Guard' have already called it quits. Hopefully I will see you all out in the field this fall, with a member of the next generation!SA

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from TommyNash wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Point very well taken. Some of us still remember the joy of life before gadget-hell broke loose. What did a map and a compass ever do to anyone?

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from Keith wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

As a member of the pissant punk generation I would like to take offense. I enjoy it as much you or anyone else ever has, I have a compass not a GPS, and I love wool and down. You would be able to identify with us more if you stoped complaining and started teaching. Had I not had a person from the previious generation to learn woods skills from, and an appreciation of simplicity I would likely be using a laser range finder.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

I feel the hair growing on my back as I speak.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Its true that hunting is a tribal thing. Sure I get away by myself quite often but look at the hunting camps, the more friends that gather the better. Hell, just look at this blog.

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from Mike in Kansas wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

My immediate thought after reading was "That, in my mind, is what the Apocalypse would be like". Heaven help us if we all decide to give up.

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