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Mar 25th, 2012
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Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? #6977111
11/30/17 03:07 AM
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Sitting here next to a fire in BFE, got me thinking about the past

Seems like even though we ( personally me) have access to better gear, equipment, etc, that the "good ol' days" have slipped by

Another member posted about how he enjoyed a south texas hunt. Growing up hunting south texas, its pains me to think about how it used to be. It seems the mystic it once held is now a bygone era. Too much human influence and encroachment have changed its look and feel.

It's true, management has never been better and trophy quality is at an all time high, but it seems like we are chasing a ghost so to speak in a lot of other aspects.

I find myself being put off by the overwhelming number of people In what used to be otherwise desolate country. I'm not talking about hunters either. Just people in general.

I find myself seeking more and more remote places to hunt, even at the expense of trophy quality.


Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977122
11/30/17 03:16 AM
11/30/17 03:16 AM
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Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
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I just enjoy hunting every chance I get


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

[Linked Image]
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977124
11/30/17 03:17 AM
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I feel your pain, brother!

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977136
11/30/17 03:25 AM
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Mansfield, Texas
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Not for me. I have always been able to find solace in the woods, whether I am hunting or not. I have been blessed to be able to hunt some remote areas and other areas that while civilization was close, the woods were still mine at that moment.

The quality of the trophy isn't what drives me, it is the thrill of the hunt and the success at the end of it. Every trip, I get to experience some small piece that I have yet to see or maybe just didn't notice before. The woods and the world are still a wonder to me and, as in most things, I still believe that hunting is what you make of it.

If the areas and hunting has lost its mystic, you can blame it on management, people, civilization encroachment, equipment, technology, comfort, or whatever else you feel has changed it...but IMO, it is you that has allowed these things to change your view and perspective. You have also allowed the chase to be hindered by outside forces while you are still in control of yourself and your environment. What you seek is still there, just might not be as easy to find as it once was.

I will also say that I am getting into my "heyday" by watching my kids learn the sport. I get to experience so many "first" all over again, I get to watch them make the same mistakes I did, I get to enjoy the excitement of minor successes all over again.


Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txshntr] #6977168
11/30/17 03:54 AM
11/30/17 03:54 AM
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At age 70, Iíve seen a lot of changes. Shot my first deer at age 8 in Ď55. But I enjoy being in the brush or hills with a rifle in my hand as much as I ever did.

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977240
11/30/17 07:48 AM
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Our camp is 1.5 miles from the gate. I feel solace anytime I am there and enjoy company of others.

I hear what you are saying about S. Tex. I was in an old Texas Hunter blind years ago called End Of The Line. Backed up to the Nueces. Felt a million miles away. Spanish explorers ran through the place. An old oil pad and sign laid down in the brush about 50 yards away. I asked about the sign and oil and was told that was a long time ago... 50+ years. Little did anyone know how fast the Eagleford would hit. Totally different place now. Hard to see stars at night. Cell phones actually work. Luckily a few LF natural places left but not many. Nothing like it.

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977261
11/30/17 12:08 PM
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Oh no, not at all, lol. I'm in my heyday now and have been for the last ten years.

Once you cross the cattle guard it is 7 miles of ranch road to get to our camp. We hunt 10,000 acres that's part of 165,000.

No road noise ever. Vistas as far as you can see are 50+ miles of view in every direction.

Great hunting which is the icing on the cake for me. cheers


Marc C. Helfrich
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Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977268
11/30/17 12:23 PM
11/30/17 12:23 PM
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Texas
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Originally Posted By: txtrophy85
Sitting here next to a fire in BFE, got me thinking about the past

Seems like even though we ( personally me) have access to better gear, equipment, etc, that the "good ol' days" have slipped by

Another member posted about how he enjoyed a south texas hunt. Growing up hunting south texas, its pains me to think about how it used to be. It seems the mystic it once held is now a bygone era. Too much human influence and encroachment have changed its look and feel.

It's true, management has never been better and trophy quality is at an all time high, but it seems like we are chasing a ghost so to speak in a lot of other aspects.


I find myself being put off by the overwhelming number of people In what used to be otherwise desolate country. I'm not talking about hunters either. Just people in general.

I find myself seeking more and more remote places to hunt, even at the expense of trophy quality.


Spot on, but things always change as time passes. The high fence has dramatically changed hunting in texas, and the wind farm has branded a lot of once scenic and remote vistas.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977329
11/30/17 01:33 PM
11/30/17 01:33 PM
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Sounds like youíve been in the same place to long. Iíve only hunted STX once so I donít have a good reference for you. But I hunt the coast every weekend and Iím still amazed how much I see and feel down there. Probably the reason I will never leave Texas. I hope you get your spark back. I know your missing it.

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977335
11/30/17 01:37 PM
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I hate it that my back no longer allows me to go far into the woods any longer. These Alabama hills are just begging me to go for a walk about.


After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977336
11/30/17 01:38 PM
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The old days were wonderful, but they arenít coming back. I miss them, I miss the times we all had, and I miss the people - many of whom are gone now. The only thing constant is change.

But thereís a lot to be said for the new days too. Folks are more management-minded, the deer herd is healthy, and (in east TX) the bucks are bigger and more plentiful.

I love having my own place. I love seeing my wife, daughters, and new son-in-law take to hunting and just being outdoors.

We bought our place with remoteness in mind. One way in/out down a mile long road, no cattle, no farming, no activity other than hay cutting a few times a year. You canít hear any traffic and you donít see anyone coming/going.

When I need a genuine ďremotenessĒ fix I head for the mountains out west or in the north country.

No doubt hunting is changing (see: HF, score-mania, obesession with killing, commercialization, TV idiots, etc., etc....). But not for me, my family, and friends. We are doing our dead-level best to keep the old hunting traditions and start new ones with the emphasis on hunting for the right reasons - to enjoy being together, enjoy the creation God has given us, and enjoy the challenge of hunting wild, free-range animals.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: Aquafowler] #6977337
11/30/17 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Aquafowler
Sounds like youíve been in the same place to long. Iíve only hunted STX once so I donít have a good reference for you. But I hunt the coast every weekend and Iím still amazed how much I see and feel down there. Probably the reason I will never leave Texas. I hope you get your spark back. I know your missing it.


I hunt several places.

But wind turbines, new pump jacks and tank batteries, increased traffic on ranches due to oil activity, etc reels you back to reality pretty quick

Even in the land cut and on king ranch shoreline....freaking wind turbines everywhere


Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: Dry Fire] #6977348
11/30/17 01:50 PM
11/30/17 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dry Fire
I hate it that my back no longer allows me to go far into the woods any longer. These Alabama hills are just begging me to go for a walk about.
I hear you, after two back surgeries.


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977354
11/30/17 01:55 PM
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In reference to South Texas, I think it has, but it would be tough to explain to anyone that hadn't entered the brush before 1975. A good book that references exactly what has happened to South Texas is "Adios To The Brushlands."

I'm 63 and just about missed old school ST. I grew up on what is now the south side of Corpus Christi, Staples and Holly, but at that time was broken farmland and brush. My dad had a place in Zapata County because it was cheaper than hunting closer to Corpus. Then you could afford to run one hunter per 1,000 acres but the properties closer to Corpus would cause you to run hunters at half that rate because lease fees closer to town were higher. It is hard to explain how little the country has become in my lifetime, more on that in a bit.

I've seen two large, non-typical whitetails in my life, both before I was ten years old. The first at the intersection of South Staples and Williams Rd in Corpus Christi, while I was riding a bicycle to first grade which my parents had sent me to at 5 (probably so the nuns would exhibit some type of control over me). That buck has stuck with me hard over the years, and I can see it crystal clear to this day. It was tending a doe at the edge of native mesquites/cactus and milo stubble. To hell with being late, I stopped and watched it and got a licking but it was worth it. Can you imagine letting a five-year-old ride through that intersection now? That's city, but it is also an explanation of what has happened to the brush... people.

The second non-typical was just as massive but a couple of years later when I was eight. I was walking in from a morning hunt on our Zapata County lease. My dad drove a Corvair that we used as a hunting vehicle because the buggy like configuration lent itself well to the sand sheet, it was very easy to stick a truck. A personal pickup with four-wheel drive was almost unheard of then. It has been cold, and as I got to the Corvair, I laid my Savage 340 chambered in 30-30 Win across the top of the car. I no sooner did that a doe cross the sendero about 50 yards beyond, flagging her tail. Immediately I got the gun up, and as that was happening, a non-typical stepped out, it was massive. The problem was that as I looked across the open-sights (yeah, a majority of the hunters I saw as a kid did not have optics), I was looking up a crest in the sendero, and my dad had told me, "never shoot over that crest." In a flash of seconds, I thought about bullet deflection on bone mass or a rock down range and my dad laying dead as a result of not following what he told me. I wanted to be responsible and let him walk. My dad was at least a 1,000 yards away. When my dad came in I related to him what had taken place and I can still see the look in his eye thinking that I should have taken the shot given but he told me I had done good and there is always tomorrow. I'm thinking about that now, an 8-year-old hunting alone in Zapata County but I was not the exception as all my friends were doing the same. My first encounters with illegals were before I was ten but my dad had told me it would happen and to treat them with absolute respect as they would be older than I. I did, "sŪ seŮor y no seŮor." No problems and they told me what deer they had seen and where.

This was before corn feeders and a lot of things, if you saw a buck during a day of hunting, it was a good day. That buck was probably going to be a good one. You see, there was a thing called the screw worm, and it ensured that the"survival of the fittest" rule was in play.

A few years later, that beautiful large ranch in Southeast Zapata County fell to a thing called the root plow. It was actually "chained," and as a kid who loved the brush that seemed excessively violent to watch as we removed our few things. That was a January day, we had gone down to hunt javelina one last time, I was 14 now and the next day I took my first flying lesson so it is easy to remember all the events of that weekend. Adios brush.

When I left the Army 7 years later, I found work out of Corpus as a pipeline patrol pilot. I was airborne over South Texas four days a week. It was a great job, the best I ever had, and I saw some incredible bucks. I also had a bird's eye view of the destruction of the South Texas brush. The harshest I witnessed was 20,000 acres in southern Jim Wells County and eastern Duval cleared in 10 days. That was a lot of belching machines around the clock and brush piles on fire. Humble Pipeline had me patrol the line every morning. Sure as chit, one night, they pulled 8 miles of my pipeline out of the sand sheet. What I observed with that job at that time was there was still a lot of habitat that wasn't being hunted or at least country without the evidence. Year's later, 2000, a friend of mine owned the patrol company but was selling it. He needed a pilot one day a week in South Texas until the sale was completed but hated to hire someone for a job that soon would not exist. My job as an airline pilot allowed it and I was living on my ranch in South Texas which put me in a position to help so I flew the lines that I had flown a quarter of a century earlier. What I immediately observed was that anywhere there was whitetail habitat, there was a blind and feeder. There was no unhunted country left.

The changes I've seen is about people and the deforestation of the available habitat that those people require. Land fragmentation is a key player in how the properties and hunting have changed, we have an ethic that causes us to split the wealth among heirs and that, in most cases, is not good for the land. As part of a presentation I gave on land fragmentation, I went back and looked at the tax records of a pasture that was 1,000 acres in 1968. It is now, 66 different properties.

So yeah, in my lifetime, it has all changed. When I walk back to the house at night, luckily the top of the brush still looks the same against the horizon with the light that is left from the setting sun. It is very easy to see the same horizon that I walked into as an eight-year-old and that does make me smile. My dad who is on his way to 89, had told me everything would change in my lifetime and he was right about that too. He lives on my ranch and this was the first year that he didn't go out. He said he had had enough to last him.


Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977374
11/30/17 02:11 PM
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Nope, as long as I can remember I loved it and still do. It is different kind of huning now than it was then, but I still feel the same way about it. I don't care if someone has walked there hunted there, or worked there before. If you think you went places no one has been I think you were kidding yourself all along.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977385
11/30/17 02:20 PM
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For me, I love to be in the woods, but I find it harder and harder to pull the trigger. I set goals for myself many years ago on Elk, MD and WT, I have met all those goals.


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Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977390
11/30/17 02:22 PM
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I agree with texastrophy85, as I was also raised in South Texas. I still love to hunt the country for predators but too many folks and the dense cover makes my style of hunting extremely difficult. When I grew up down there, brush was not as thick and you could rattle and spot and stalk much easier. Today in most of the country, it is difficult to step out of a sendero. I have photos of the country around Los Angeles to Fowlerton in 1936 and you could drive a pickup across most all of it...and there were very few deer.
For this reason, I hunt in the Trans-Pecos though I am well aware that the deer are not as big. I am much more into the hunt than the kill after well over 55 years of chasing them.
Adios,
Gary

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977391
11/30/17 02:22 PM
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For the guys on here that hunt with their families, well done. But it's a dying tradition. I experienced it and I get melancholy when I think about how I've tried to reproduce it, but it's just not in the cards for my son, son-in-laws, and daughters. Maybe with my grandson in a few years, and I'll give it my best effort, but it's best to have his father's help and assistance in making a true hunter, in my opinion. My kids work, are seemingly happily married, and believe in our Creator, so I am a very blessed man anyways.

Our cabin is seven miles from the blacktop, and on the blacktop it takes a solid hour to get to any sort of town. But it's a working ranch with several other groups of hunters, so there's plenty of activity and noise. AND, the nice pastor in the cabin next to ours filled out his group with some friends of his...from just east of the Sabine grin, so the voices, UTVs and four-wheelers whizzing by at all hours, has increased in volume and frequency exponentially.

I've recently taken to enjoying my evening cigar and a sip from my flask back out on a ridge in our pasture. sleep2


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: Creekrunner] #6977430
11/30/17 02:57 PM
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Not real sure about it. The politics, time, travel and expense in it have dampened the experience somewhat but the idea of getting out and seeing game and the solitude is a fantastic concept. That and other things jumping in to alter priorities has made it a dream I do keep alive.


Brayden (Lazy L's Southern Comfort) you will be missed! You were more than a pet you were my reason to rise and return for many days! You were my rock!
12/26/03-10/25/13
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977469
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Keep looking forward and enjoy the days we still have.



Professionally trained and certified pistol and license to carry instructor.
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: jeffbird] #6977571
11/30/17 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeffbird
These are the good old days.

Enjoy the days we still have.



Yep, for the younger generations it is all they know.
I'm 70 and I get where the OP is coming from.
Back then there were less deer due to the screw worm fly which would lay eggs in open wounds on animals that were injured or giving birth to newborns that would then have to battle to survive maggots eating them alive.
Deer leases were easy and cheap, and all that fancy gear and high fences was pretty much non existent.
The bucks you did end up killing were good ones, and big horns weren't a priority, only a bonus.
You could really get away from civilization because there were no cell phones, and you could brag about your hunting lease to everyone, as nobody had the internet, and your hunting lease was pretty safe from outsiders outbidding you.
Hardly anyone from north Texas hunted down in the "brush country" because it was just too harsh to drive so far.
That meant less people, and cities like San Antonio were tiny, because once you left downtown you were out in the country.
Those days are gone, never to return, but if you lived it, you do miss it.

Last edited by Jimbo; 11/30/17 04:49 PM.
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977578
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I do remember as a kid getting to the deer lease and pulling over on the highest hill a 1/2 mile before the gate and breaking out dad's bag phone to call mom and tell her we made it safe. It was the last cell reception we had, now you can talk text and get on the internet from practically any square inch of that place.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977581
11/30/17 04:52 PM
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I not even that old and I could remember when there where no whitetails, no elk, and no mulies near my place. I can still remember my grandfather wainting to pay a bounty on Antelope first time they showed up.

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977595
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My dad and I got on a lease 17 years ago and have been on the same spot with the same landowner ever since. Still paying what we did 17 years ago. Over the years, we've built our camp into something resembling a second home. My brother started hunting with us after about 10 years, and my nephew soon followed. A couple buddies of mine and I go out during doe/spike to make sure anybody who's low in the freezer gets filled. Soon, their younguns will hopefully show interest, and they'll be coming out as well.

It's come a long way from me and my dad sleeping in a gutted, leaky, rat infested 20' travel trailer and using an outhouse, to staying in a 60' construction trailer with two king beds, A/C, and running water. It's changed. But it's not bad change. One day we'll look back on today and remember it as the good old days.

Re: Has your hunting "heyday" came and went? [Re: txtrophy85] #6977596
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Just turned 58 and diabetes is kicking my butt. This is the first year i havent been able to deer hunt since i was 15 and its really bothering me. Cant hardly walk and definatly cant climb into my stand.Thought about riding the 4 wheeler down and hunting off of it but if i got a deer or hog i couldnt drag him to the wheeler. I just wish for the good ol days when i could enjoy the time in the woods.


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