Getting Old

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by Augustus, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    I know I am on the downhill slide in life as evidenced by deteriorating eyesight and other bodily functions that I once thought was important. The decline has become critical now. I was shooting at a mile yesterday, the wind was a little cantankerous and it took three shots to hit a 12 inch gong with the 338/408.

    I decided to let it cool off to air temperature so I started picking up pecans while I waited. I got distracted and spent about an hr in this endeavor before returning to the gun. I wiggled the rifle deep into the bags and was waiting for the sweet spot when I saw movement. It was a big dog coyote with his nose in the air working into the wind. Suddenly he froze dead still and stared intently at a big pile of rocks. After a little bit he began to sneak and stop, sneak and stop. Suddenly he rushed the rock pile and a very vigorous chase took place.

    He caught whatever he was chasing, a rat I suppose, then carried it a little ways and had dinner. He ate most of it then picked up what was left and trotted over the hill.

    The moral of the story is that my killer instinct has gone, I knew I was slipping but this is ridiculous.
     
  2. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,385
    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Dont know if this will help but here goes.
    When I was youg I killed everything legal I could,burned barrels out of prairie dog guns trying!! As I got older I was content to take only the exess.....If they where plentifull i would take a couple and when the numbers where down I was content to just watch the few go about their business.
    Now that the hair is graying and thinning I dont even mind eating tag soup all that much:rolleyes:
    Dont be too hard on yourself watching a coyote hunting has always bought them time for me=fun stuff to witness!
     

  3. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    620
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Agreed. Just because you can shoot a yote does not mean that you must or should feel guilty because you did not. Personally, I prefer watching red and grey fox or yotes to shooting or trapping them.

    But, that does not mean you are not getting old... we all ARE, I'm just being nice. :D

    Have a happy holidays Terry.

    Jeffvn
     
  4. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    And a Merry Christmas to you and yours, also I forgot to send the info on the Smithy. PM on the way.
     
  5. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Don't feel bad. Not so many years ago I was such a rabid hunter that I filled not only my tags but my freezer full of venison usually by the end of the first week or so of the season.

    Now I spend most of the season working then I run out and sit in the truck or just go sit on a fence line watching fields for the last half hour of daylight.

    Tonight in less than a half hour I had 22 does and five pretty nice bucks all in range. The closest I came to pulling the trigger was just getting steadied up and fingering it a little.

    I tell my wife the same thing every year, the perfect deer hunt is one where I see lots of deer, maybe some other citters, and come home with a smile and a clean knife.

    This weekend I was watching a herd of 11 including one pretty nice buck and two youngsters on a wheat field when they started acting odd... The kept looking back to the southwest like something had them buggered. After a minute or two a 300lbs plus boar came screaming across the field, right through the deer and into the yearlings my neighbor had just turned out and he and a couple of hundred heifers all left northbound at warp speed.

    I never did figure out what inspired him, say no one over there and heard no shots. I found out today though the poor hog comitted suicide on the highway shortly thereafter HA!

    Sometimes nature is just an adult (for grown ups, not porn) comic book and the nice thing about Texas is you never know what you'll see till you start looking.
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Agustus,

    I can relate. I too have learned that some body parts are not as important as originally thought. Loosing some of them result in hugh scars and constant reminders that they are there. Other parts seem to slowly go south leaving one up north feeling kind of sluggish. :rolleyes:

    I received one of those eye opening comments from a young shooter yesterday. "Your that old and STILL doing this?" :)

    I too let some things pass mostly by simply not taking game/predators where I don't think its needed. However, behind the house where the yotes out populate the deer I let nothing escape. It's fun to observe the whitetails and muleys raise their young after they get to keep them. I haven't shot a buck back there in years.

    I have my MOA size gong on the mountain. May take the goats and make a first serious trip up there an see if I can ring it a little later today. :)
     
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,035
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Last hour of the season a bunch of does were feeding around one of my backstops. An un shot pumpkin sitting on a hay bale in the middle of them. Shot the pumpkin just to let them know I could have.
     
  8. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    418
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    On the opening day of whitetail season this year, a 2 or 3 year old buck with 4 good points on one side spent 20 minutes prancing with the does in a small field ajacent to my stand. The other side of his rack was partially broken off but there was a drop tine, a trait that seems to be in the gene pool around here. He certainly wasn't the biggest deer I've seen and since I was looking to fill the nearly empty freezer in the basement, he got a pass. Haven't seen another deer since then. That reminds me, I'm gonna have to buy a few more cans of beans soon if the trend continues.

    Anyhow, in the few afternoons I was able to spend in the stand since then, I learned I have a pair of red foxes and at least one gray in the woods behind the house. Last Saturday a small black bear passed through as did a fischer (sp). I've never seen a fischer before and if I hadn't been looking in that direction, I still wouldn't have seen one; they move that fast and quiet. They're probably looking to den for the winter in a rocky area to the south west.

    The coyotes passed through but didn't present a clear shot. Coyotes and porcupines are the only things that will get my attention every time because each has cost me a bunch this year at the vet. One of my Labs got torn up last spring by a coyote. She's ok except she won't go to the back of the property anymore. And in August, both Labs came back from the woods with a snoot full of quills. Another trip to the vet that evening; on my aniversary no less. That went over well.

    I've thought similarly to what WildRose mentioned a few posts back, "Sometimes nature is just [a] comic book." There is a definite satisfaction to getting out in the woods. I didn't draw the bow or squeeze the trigger. The freezer is still nearly empty. Bean and Marilyn, my Labs, still carry on like I've been gone for months when I return home after an hour or two. My wife still yells at me to take my boots off before entering the house yet still makes dinner for me. This time out, and for me, it is a 'time out,' lets me know everything doesn't have to get done as quick as I think of it. Often, the best things go slow, take time, require another ounce of patience, are fleeting, and usually right in front of you. While one will usually recognize the good things in life, I am still learning to take the time to appreciate them.

    This by itself has been a good 'time out." There's still a few days of late bow season here and my tags are still not filled. Maybe I can get something done about that freezer.
     
  9. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Sounds like you boys are also getting old.
     
  10. Old teacher

    Old teacher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Augustus: sooner or later, we all have an experience like that, and as we go along, they become more and more frequent.. A couple of years ago, my partner and I drew doe tags for southeast WA. My partner punched his tag within an hour, and I was sitting a mile away above the breaks of the Snake river watching a group of does below me , some lying down and some feeding, and I was relaxing in the unseasonably warm weather in just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. A couple of fawns were hopping around playing with each other, and I was tremendously enjoying just watching them. They were about 150 yards away, but almost straight down towards the river. I watched them through my scope, picked out a big doe, but never took off the safety. My partner returned with his deer and was befuddled that I had not shot one of the does. Shooting one of those deer would have meant three hours of hard work just getting her up from the canyon where she was feeding, and I don't particularly like venison anyway (except the backstrap and the liver), and I just didn't, on that day anyway, feel like killing something just to kill something. A true hunter is just that, a hunter who enjoys the out-of-doors and the hunt itself, and you do not have to kill something every time you go out to enjoy yourself. If you do, you are not a hunter, you are just a killer. I got far more enjoyment spending an hour in the sun watching those deer do what deer do than I would have gotten out of killing one just to punch my ticket. There was no doubt in my mind that I could have shot any one of those deer, and on that day, that was good enough, and I went home empty handed, but heart-full. Your decision not to shoot that coyote was the morally correct decision. He was just out trying to make a living and doing nothing to bother you, and having watched a number of coyotes, they are interesting animals to watch hunt. Your reward was that enjoyment and your decision to let him go his way is a feather in a true hunter's cap.
     
  11. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,035
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Like that famous philosopher Chill Wills once said I'm so far over the hill I don't recall seeing the hump on the horizon!
     
  12. Canvsbk

    Canvsbk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    I look at the price of the tag as my ticket to the hunt. I'll still shoot one now and then but tag soup is only an issue if you desire it to be. Just glad to get out there and be a part of it all now but in days gone by the story is quite a bit different....
    Enjoy it in your own way.
     
  13. Old teacher

    Old teacher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    LOL! I never regarded Chill Wills as a famous philosopher. A mediocre actor, maybe, but a little short of being a philosopher. But I can't argue with his philosophy.
     
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Some great thoughts above. Fortunately none of us here apparently are forced into a subsistence hunting situation, at least not often.

    I must admit I still have a desire to go out and kill things with frequency but usually I just take it out on the vermin, predators, etc which we have to control anyhow.

    I was actually thinking of this thread this afternoon as I was driving out to finish chores when a very young, extremely ratty looking coyote ran across the road. Poor thing obviously sick as hell, almost hairless with bloody scabs from scratching himself and being as it was the middle of the day the odds he has rabies are very high since we are having a massive rabies outbreak in the state right now.

    He got out to about 500yes and just stopped below a terrace apparently thinking he'd "made it".

    Dispatching him with the .220sw was a kindness and a public service. For the most part the coyotes and skunks more than take care of whatever desire I have to just go out and kill something.gun)