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Time to retire from hunting #5220652 07/27/14 02:48 PM
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When I retired from the USAF, I once again treasured the hunting trips with my Dad. After the last 12 years, Dad has gotten to a point now that he can't walk much at all and his eye sight is in poor condition. Last year was the first time i ever witnessed him missing a shot.
How can I approach this season without Dad hunting? He knows his limitations, but I still want to keep that spirit alive. Has anyone else had to cross that bridge?


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220677 07/27/14 03:21 PM
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Like it or not time will always win out, as bad as we would like for time to stand still and remain in the good times, it won't.

My wife's Mother used to love hunting season, she was always the camp cook and it was a good time for her and her two daughters and those other two guys (me and my brother in law) and to spend time together. She absolutely loved getting breakfast together while we were out hunting and helping with the evening meal too, not to mention just sitting in the porch swing and looking across the canyon.

Of course, she would get on to my BIL and myself for making a drink at 8:30 in the morning after a kill, we still get a chuckle out of that.

Each year became a little more difficult, up to the point where we had to carry her up the stairs to a wheel chair. She pass away during one hunting season.

Last edited by DCS; 07/27/14 03:22 PM.
Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220700 07/27/14 03:41 PM
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Take him to the deer lease even if he can only sit around the fire and drink coffee.

Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220800 07/27/14 05:32 PM
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How can you not go hunting? You do it for the memories and tradition. It's something that is meant to be carried on from generation to generation. If you don't then that's just one more place it dies. What do you do? You take a youth hunting with you. Take a veteran with you. Those are things you do to pass it on. In In my opinion, hunting is not something that is to be only shared with you and your dad. It's meant for much more to enjoy. Find the enjoyment of sharing it with someone else. It's great that you have those memories with your dad. I know there are tons of kids out there that don't have that. I know adults too that dont have that. Look at it as a new window of opportunity to share it with someone else. The outdoors is too big to be just kept for two people alone.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220805 07/27/14 05:39 PM
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+1 and a bunch on what Curtis just said...
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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220836 07/27/14 06:05 PM
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Build a blind big enough for the 2 of you to hunt together. Set up 2 feeders with one closer for easier shots. It is more about the hunt than the kill to some. I took my Dad hunting when 87 and we spent about 15 days together in the blind hunting. In the end he tooks his biggest buck of his life and I was there to share the time with him. It was his last season to hunt and he passed away this past March 31 and was 88 yrs old. It was time I consider well spent hunting with him. Spending time with him at this point in both of your lives is more important than you realize.



Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: stxranchman] #5220861 07/27/14 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Build a blind big enough for the 2 of you to hunt together. Set up 2 feeders with one closer for easier shots. It is more about the hunt than the kill to some. I took my Dad hunting when 87 and we spent about 15 days together in the blind hunting. In the end he tooks his biggest buck of his life and I was there to share the time with him. It was his last season to hunt and he passed away this past March 31 and was 88 yrs old. It was time I consider well spent hunting with him. Spending time with him at this point in both of your lives is more important than you realize.


I remember reading through those post (StX's) and agree a million %, The part I highlighted in Red, is probably one of the most significant things I have read posted on THF when it comes to family. I would add that, it is still important even if age isn't factored in. We dont know when a family member will be taken from us.

I would be as accommodating as the "old man" wants and needs, some enjoy just being in the camp/hunting atmosphere sharing their knowledge.


Die young,,,,as old as you can....

Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220878 07/27/14 06:51 PM
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Great insight from all! I myself will continue to hunt. My son hunted with me for the last few years, but he too joined the military. My Son and I will hunt together as time permits. I've also introduced hunting to others outside of our family and will continue to invite others along.
I'll keep taking Dad with me regardless, but always get an earful when I insist on staying with him. I feel the getting out is more important than the harvest. We'll see how this year goes.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5220981 07/27/14 08:22 PM
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My dad never hunted until or fished until I was old enough to go along then he took me duck hunting and deer hunting every year. I don't remember him ever shooting anything but he made sure that I had the opportunity. He bought a place in the national forest with a 6 acre lake so I could hunt (in season) and fish every weekend. When I got older there were several boats ranging from a bay boat to a 35 ft sport fisherman which he sold while I was in Vietnam. During that time he never fished but I sure did.

I tried to get my son interested but it did not take, he likes the entertainment in the city, I am now working on my grandson so there is still hope.

Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: stxranchman] #5221263 07/27/14 11:46 PM
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This....

Originally Posted By: Curtis
How can you not go hunting? You do it for the memories and tradition. It's something that is meant to be carried on from generation to generation. If you don't then that's just one more place it dies. What do you do? You take a youth hunting with you. Take a veteran with you. Those are things you do to pass it on. In In my opinion, hunting is not something that is to be only shared with you and your dad. It's meant for much more to enjoy. Find the enjoyment of sharing it with someone else. It's great that you have those memories with your dad. I know there are tons of kids out there that don't have that. I know adults too that dont have that. Look at it as a new window of opportunity to share it with someone else. The outdoors is too big to be just kept for two people alone.


...and this!

Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Build a blind big enough for the 2 of you to hunt together. Set up 2 feeders with one closer for easier shots. It is more about the hunt than the kill to some. I took my Dad hunting when 87 and we spent about 15 days together in the blind hunting. In the end he tooks his biggest buck of his life and I was there to share the time with him. It was his last season to hunt and he passed away this past March 31 and was 88 yrs old. It was time I consider well spent hunting with him. Spending time with him at this point in both of your lives is more important than you realize.


up yingyang


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221381 07/28/14 12:56 AM
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I plan to die hunting. Don't know if your dad is the same way but I hope that if I'm blind and can't walk they will still drag my old carcass out to the woods. I know he probably don't want to hold your hunting back but try to find a way for him to be there even if he isn't hunting.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221424 07/28/14 01:22 AM
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My dad never missed a trip to the lease, I never missed a year in the stand with him up until he passed. As he aged, we'd hunt more out of the truck and out of blinds that I built that were easy to get into. He left this world just as he would have wanted.....we came home from Laredo in January on a Sunday, last hunt of the season, on Monday he went to the doctor sent immediately to the hospital and never came out, his ticker just couldn't make it any longer. We did this for 30 plus years never missing a year. I was never about the kill but the time together and I am so grateful today of the memories that we made.

For me it is now about the kids, I'm trying to build that relationship with them that I have with my father. Being at the lease makes me think of him, so I'll be doing that as long as I can. His hunting hat still sits on the rack where he left it from our last hunt. Enjoy every minute you can with him, you will not regret it.

Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221444 07/28/14 01:39 AM
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I agree with all that said take him along anyway. Mt Dad and I dob't hunt together, he's not real interested in it. But he reads more than another other person I know. He and tend to agree in most things and we ALWAYS have something to talk about. When I hunt my grandparents place, dad will be in bed when I go out and will be the first one to crack open a beer with me when I get back in. I always enjoy sitting around the fire with him drinking beer until we are good and sleepy.

I hunted in the San Juan for elk in November. The elder of a group of Louisiana men was pushing 90. He stil made the trip. He hadn't missed it in over 60 years. He didn't hunt anymore but he stayed in camp and picked on two generations younger than him. You can't replace elders.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221770 07/28/14 04:43 AM
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I am in the same boat, except I am the father, your father will have to learn to accept his limitations. It was pretty easy for me, my health and mobility went to hell in a hand basket all at once. Can't walk without a cane, not safe on uneven ground and totally blind in one eye. I don't even drive anymore, so it was easy to realize I cannot do that I used to do. Our son or someone else takes me hunting, my blind is my bedroom in our cabin, my feeder was moved close enough that I have no problem using a scope. Best part is I get to stay in the cabin, with one of the grandkids. If I shoot something, they come and take care of field dressing etc.. Now watching the feeder is as good as shooting something.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221833 07/28/14 07:48 AM
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Might want to listen to your Dad. Most likely he made some sacrifices for you along the way. Don't push him, to some people the isolation is scary. This might be the year to miss opening day and do something else he enjoys. Guess I'd ask this question, is this trip for you or for him or the others (grandkids, cousins, etc.) I had a friend who enjoyed hanging around the deer processing place on opening weekend. He enjoyed people, and would rather watch them and visit about the hunt, whether stalking, feeder, blind, H/L fence, caliber of gun, etc.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221901 07/28/14 12:17 PM
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As a kid, I couldn't wait for any hunting season because it meant that I got to spend quality time with my Dad. As I grew up, I realized that my Dad went out of his way to teach me as much about the outdoors and hunting as he could. The times he worked so hard to give me a shot and the look on his face when I was successful, the times that he gave up things to give me the opportunity were countless.
As Dad got older he still would go hunting with me and I found myself adjusting the hunt to fit his abilities. His last fall on this world, I took him dove hunting and drove to the place he would sit and set him up. Then, I took the truck back out of range and set myself up close enough we could talk. I remembered the many hunts that we went on and we talked about them all in between taking shots at doves. His eyesight was fading and he couldn't see the birds as far off as he used to but he still took nearly his limit that last day.
Less than 3 months later he was gone.
I treasure every memory I have of my Dad - good or bad. The times we spent out in the field hunting and fishing or just messing around are some of my most treasured memories.
Make the effort to get out there with him. You will never regret it.

I now have a 4 year old grandson that I spend every minute with that I can. The boy's first clear word he could say wasn't 'Mommy' or 'Daddy' it was 'outside. His paternal Grandmother will take him to the range (she's an avid hunter and shooter) for a bit but he gets so excited when I take him there. He'll spend two hours out there and I'm willing to stay longer if he wants it. It's my opportunity to pay my Dad back for all of those times he spent with me.

Figure out a way to make it work, you'll be glad you did.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5221906 07/28/14 12:21 PM
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There's always fishing...

Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5222221 07/28/14 03:40 PM
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Don't let him retire. Find a way to get him out there. Even if it means getting a pop up blind taking him down the road a little and setting him up. I did this with my uncle. I carried a climber and would take my uncle out set up his wheelchair, throw a popup blind over him. Go to the nearest tree and use my climber. I'd sit up there and watch deer walk right past him and he wouldn't ever shoot. He just wanted to be out there. We did that a few times a season until Christmas Day 7 years ago and then he left us to hunt. He was my best hunting buddy because he would always find us a place to hunt as I was growing up. I just tried repaying what I owed him.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5222299 07/28/14 04:29 PM
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Do anything in your means to see that he is with you.
I lost mine last Dec and if it weren't for my son I'd have a hard time mustering up the desire.
Spend all time you can while you have it!

Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5224131 07/29/14 04:31 PM
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Bridge over trouble waters. Best Wishes for your Dad. with me, i just enjoy being out their. Worked in a hot nasty stinken foundry. it payed the bills, roof over head, nothing fancy, old beat up cars & trucks. did splerge after years of paying machanics for repairs, tip my hat ta them, bought a brand new family car for $7,000.00 give or take few $ Wife & Kids deserved better. gonna miss my walk-a-bouts at WMA Lord knows I need the exercise good theropy. its getting cheaper ya go to store. Best Wishes flag
bang Thank U for your service. their is more ta life than hunting. flag

Last edited by colt.45; 07/29/14 07:50 PM.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5224860 07/29/14 11:17 PM
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What Curtis and STX said.


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Re: Time to retire from hunting (Updated - Prayers needed) [Re: Slimpickin] #5397168 11/04/14 12:52 AM
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Dad's eyesight is still giving him issues (Water easily in the wind) so i set him up Saturday with a 20 ga and buckshot. I fixed up a make shift cover out of burlap and also set him up with a shooting Pod. We have hunted in Mills county opening weekend for the last 8 years. This is our annual meat hunt. Dad took a yearling Saturday afternoon and was pleased he didn't end up empty handed.
The wind was too much for him Sunday morning, so he stayed inside. I drove an extra 250 miles to get him home. We talked about the Cowboys, Weather, and how good the young backstraps were going to taste!
I received a call from my Sister Sunday night that Dad couldn't breath and was taken to Dallas by Ambulance. He is currently in ICU, sedated on a respirator. The Doctor feels Dad is suffering from Congestive heart failure. This may have been our last hunt together, but was worth it.

Last edited by Slimpickin; 11/04/14 12:53 AM.

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Re: Time to retire from hunting (Updated - Prayers needed) [Re: Slimpickin] #5397278 11/04/14 01:32 AM
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Dang onions !!Prayers for your dad


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Re: Time to retire from hunting [Re: Slimpickin] #5397304 11/04/14 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: Slimpickin
When I retired from the USAF, I once again treasured the hunting trips with my Dad. After the last 12 years, Dad has gotten to a point now that he can't walk much at all and his eye sight is in poor condition. Last year was the first time i ever witnessed him missing a shot.
How can I approach this season without Dad hunting? He knows his limitations, but I still want to keep that spirit alive. Has anyone else had to cross that bridge?


I'm getting close. Hunting isn't about the deer though. We set up a 50 yard feeder this year on a blind that you can drive up to.

Re: Time to retire from hunting (Updated - Prayers needed) [Re: Slimpickin] #5397328 11/04/14 01:42 AM
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What STX and dogcatcher said......I am sure your dad has recognized his limitations for sometime. Getting him in the blind and closer to a feeder is great. I am betting he did not care so much about shooting something as much as he just enjoyed being there with you. Our perspective changes as we get older...thank you for you attention to him. Make memories and keep memories with no regrets.

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