I miss the old days

HuntingJudge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
88
So, this was my 24th year hunting ( not long compared to some), and I am not complaining about the season I had with my family. I saw four awesome whitetail bucks hit the dirt this season, honestly best whitetail season I have been apart of. I was reminiscing about how hunting has changed and the parts I miss about the old days. I hunted with a old timer, who was part of me being brought up in the hunting world. He told stories of coming out to Montana in the 80’s and spend a month hunting deer, antelope, ducks, upland, and anything else they could draw or had a tag for. Map books, circled hunting spots, phone numbers of ranchers and farmers, bad glass, having to get close to the animals to judge them.

I miss hunting camps where it didn’t matter if you shot a two-point mule deer, and no one made you feel bad about it. I see all the time “it’s not my biggest” who cares you pulled the trigger and should be proud of the work you put in to harvest that animal, and what it will bring to your family. I had an experience at one of the last camps I was at a gentleman shot a “16’ 4 point crab claws on the front” he was super proud of that deer being he has not hunted for years, someone came by when we were gassing up and said “ at least some of you harvest mature deer.” Man, that guy went from cloud nine to feeing like crap.

Instagram, Facebook, hunting websites all talking like the scores matter, and that if you don’t harvest the biggest buck in the state, you are not a “good hunter”. Very few shows anymore even show the comradery, the laughing, the fires, they only show the animals and the bone on their heads. I miss the old days hunting when a person could be proud, for putting meat in their freezers, and a set of horns on the wall without being judged by the peanut gallery.

I miss using an atlas and the mile scale marked on a piece of paper, watching the odometer trying to find some state land we think not many people know about. Now my hands hurt after holding my phone for the entire day, having on X up telling people we can hunt left, right both sides, sign in box coming up. Checking the map 20 times as we are putting a stalk on making sure we are “still Good”. I remember when you could drive by another vehicle and talk for a half hour about hunting, now people hardly wave.

I have seen more people violating the laws/ block management rules this season than ever before. Both locals, Montanan’s, and out of state. I was out one time this season where I didn’t see someone or something that was not right. In one day, I saw 7 different people/ vehicles violating or talking to people trying to shoot deer where the seasons are closed. I don’t know if people just don’t care anymore, or if its such a competition to shoot a certain score, it overtakes general common sense.

Back in the day having a great conversation with a ranch/farm owner, even if they didn't allow hunting. man now you cant even step out of a vehicle with out someone saying NO, or we are leased. I understand why, If I had the ground it would be so much easier to lease the ground to one group or person than have the public not appreciate the land.

I remember packing a disposable cameras around with me and snapping a few pictures here and there, I have photo books full of some decent and some blurry pictures. Now there are thousand-dollar cameras and people set their deer up for photo shoots. Maybe I am just getting old, and cranky but I miss the old days of fires, hunting camp, and just general fun of hunting.


Short story behind my deer, we were on a 10 day hunt, and I was done in the first 25 minutes...
codydeer21.jpg codysdeer21-2.jpg deerhunt21.jpg
 

Corn king 60

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
568
So, this was my 24th year hunting ( not long compared to some), and I am not complaining about the season I had with my family. I saw four awesome whitetail bucks hit the dirt this season, honestly best whitetail season I have been apart of. I was reminiscing about how hunting has changed and the parts I miss about the old days. I hunted with a old timer, who was part of me being brought up in the hunting world. He told stories of coming out to Montana in the 80’s and spend a month hunting deer, antelope, ducks, upland, and anything else they could draw or had a tag for. Map books, circled hunting spots, phone numbers of ranchers and farmers, bad glass, having to get close to the animals to judge them.

I miss hunting camps where it didn’t matter if you shot a two-point mule deer, and no one made you feel bad about it. I see all the time “it’s not my biggest” who cares you pulled the trigger and should be proud of the work you put in to harvest that animal, and what it will bring to your family. I had an experience at one of the last camps I was at a gentleman shot a “16’ 4 point crab claws on the front” he was super proud of that deer being he has not hunted for years, someone came by when we were gassing up and said “ at least some of you harvest mature deer.” Man, that guy went from cloud nine to feeing like crap.

Instagram, Facebook, hunting websites all talking like the scores matter, and that if you don’t harvest the biggest buck in the state, you are not a “good hunter”. Very few shows anymore even show the comradery, the laughing, the fires, they only show the animals and the bone on their heads. I miss the old days hunting when a person could be proud, for putting meat in their freezers, and a set of horns on the wall without being judged by the peanut gallery.

I miss using an atlas and the mile scale marked on a piece of paper, watching the odometer trying to find some state land we think not many people know about. Now my hands hurt after holding my phone for the entire day, having on X up telling people we can hunt left, right both sides, sign in box coming up. Checking the map 20 times as we are putting a stalk on making sure we are “still Good”. I remember when you could drive by another vehicle and talk for a half hour about hunting, now people hardly wave.

I have seen more people violating the laws/ block management rules this season than ever before. Both locals, Montanan’s, and out of state. I was out one time this season where I didn’t see someone or something that was not right. In one day, I saw 7 different people/ vehicles violating or talking to people trying to shoot deer where the seasons are closed. I don’t know if people just don’t care anymore, or if its such a competition to shoot a certain score, it overtakes general common sense.

Back in the day having a great conversation with a ranch/farm owner, even if they didn't allow hunting. man now you cant even step out of a vehicle with out someone saying NO, or we are leased. I understand why, If I had the ground it would be so much easier to lease the ground to one group or person than have the public not appreciate the land.

I remember packing a disposable cameras around with me and snapping a few pictures here and there, I have photo books full of some decent and some blurry pictures. Now there are thousand-dollar cameras and people set their deer up for photo shoots. Maybe I am just getting old, and cranky but I miss the old days of fires, hunting camp, and just general fun of hunting.


Short story behind my deer, we were on a 10 day hunt, and I was done in the first 25 minutes...
View attachment 203695 View attachment 203696 View attachment 203697
Amen brother.I’ve got my 50th year in this season and I miss those old days as well. Just think of the advantage we could give back to the critters we hunt if we just took electronics out of the deal.
 

JEL

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
1,250
Location
Helena, MT
Good post. My father in law and I used to hunt a lot together before health forced him out. I could never talk him out of shooting the first buck he had a shot at. Lol.

You don’t have to look very far to see criticism of shooting smaller or meat deer.
 

MTelkHuntress

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
575
Location
Montana
I miss being able to hunt the same ground my great grandfather did (dang land swaps). Always hoped I would get my first elk where he hunted.
We used to get into elk almost every time and this year I asked my dad if he regretted being so picky back then. He always says no but I think back then he believed that he would always have access to good hunting. Oh how times have changed.
It's easy to get bogged down by the negatives but it's more fun to enjoy what we do have.
Great reflective post.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,208
Location
SW NM
50 yrs in myself and any day is a good one.Someday I will dig out the photographs and scan them.
Taken some great bucks over the years and seen way,way better. A few racks are here inside and there is a stack of blacktail forkies under the tree out back with a bull I took here. I also remember the Big Boy he was mimicking next door.
That would count as a good day. And the bull another HTer and I saw this year was a good deal larger.
I am happy I will be hunting for a cow soon. Any day is a good one for this old hunter.
 

Big Sky Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
270
So, this was my 24th year hunting ( not long compared to some), and I am not complaining about the season I had with my family. I saw four awesome whitetail bucks hit the dirt this season, honestly best whitetail season I have been apart of. I was reminiscing about how hunting has changed and the parts I miss about the old days. I hunted with a old timer, who was part of me being brought up in the hunting world. He told stories of coming out to Montana in the 80’s and spend a month hunting deer, antelope, ducks, upland, and anything else they could draw or had a tag for. Map books, circled hunting spots, phone numbers of ranchers and farmers, bad glass, having to get close to the animals to judge them.

I miss hunting camps where it didn’t matter if you shot a two-point mule deer, and no one made you feel bad about it. I see all the time “it’s not my biggest” who cares you pulled the trigger and should be proud of the work you put in to harvest that animal, and what it will bring to your family. I had an experience at one of the last camps I was at a gentleman shot a “16’ 4 point crab claws on the front” he was super proud of that deer being he has not hunted for years, someone came by when we were gassing up and said “ at least some of you harvest mature deer.” Man, that guy went from cloud nine to feeing like crap.

Instagram, Facebook, hunting websites all talking like the scores matter, and that if you don’t harvest the biggest buck in the state, you are not a “good hunter”. Very few shows anymore even show the comradery, the laughing, the fires, they only show the animals and the bone on their heads. I miss the old days hunting when a person could be proud, for putting meat in their freezers, and a set of horns on the wall without being judged by the peanut gallery.

I miss using an atlas and the mile scale marked on a piece of paper, watching the odometer trying to find some state land we think not many people know about. Now my hands hurt after holding my phone for the entire day, having on X up telling people we can hunt left, right both sides, sign in box coming up. Checking the map 20 times as we are putting a stalk on making sure we are “still Good”. I remember when you could drive by another vehicle and talk for a half hour about hunting, now people hardly wave.

I have seen more people violating the laws/ block management rules this season than ever before. Both locals, Montanan’s, and out of state. I was out one time this season where I didn’t see someone or something that was not right. In one day, I saw 7 different people/ vehicles violating or talking to people trying to shoot deer where the seasons are closed. I don’t know if people just don’t care anymore, or if its such a competition to shoot a certain score, it overtakes general common sense.

Back in the day having a great conversation with a ranch/farm owner, even if they didn't allow hunting. man now you cant even step out of a vehicle with out someone saying NO, or we are leased. I understand why, If I had the ground it would be so much easier to lease the ground to one group or person than have the public not appreciate the land.

I remember packing a disposable cameras around with me and snapping a few pictures here and there, I have photo books full of some decent and some blurry pictures. Now there are thousand-dollar cameras and people set their deer up for photo shoots. Maybe I am just getting old, and cranky but I miss the old days of fires, hunting camp, and just general fun of hunting.


Short story behind my deer, we were on a 10 day hunt, and I was done in the first 25 minutes...
View attachment 203695 View attachment 203696 View attachment 203697
Lot of good points and truth. I’ll add to it.

I miss my naivety to “score” back when all I knew was a 10 point was bigger than an 8 point and the only inches I was aware of were the inside spread. I still remember shooting my first buck at age 16 after having hunted for 7 years and harvesting my first deer, a button buck the year before. It was an 8 point (small basket rack). I was stoked, it was the first time I had hunted completely solo with my dad waiting to hear the shot in the shop. The neighbor heard the shot and came over to check it out. “Just wondered if you shot the big one, guess he is still out there for us.” Or something along those lines. So definitely can relate to the deflation a comment like that can have on a guy (or kid). I miss the chili that would last all week, adding to it each day or so.

I miss the check stations. Whether a gas station or a sporting goods store, pulling up to check in a deer or get some supplies you were either excited to share your story or see the success of others and hear their stories.

I miss my dad being the best hunter I knew, before health and gusto changed to the point he hunts less now as a retiree than he did working full-time as a tradesman sprinkler fitter.

I miss the time before trail cameras when you only knew of the deer you saw or heard of.

I miss the times when open sights were the majority and if you had a scope on your shotgun or muzzleloader that was “really nice.” Now it’s not if you have a scope, but how good a scope you have.

Pretty close to you, I think this is my 25th year hunting so can relate to a lot of what you stated, but I never hunted out west until 2015.
 

HuntingJudge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
88
Wish I would have enjoyed it more, I had no clue it was the best I would ever see.
Late 90’s early 00’s for me…man what a time wall tents, passing several (what we call now “good”) bucks in a morning. I remember passing a 27-28” 4x4 the first morning of a trip, then later a 5x7 heavy, Thinking things would be better the next day. They were but man, some of those days live in my head from time to time.
 

rjthehunter

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
815
Location
Minnesota
Too many people are competing against others. Too many people are hunting for the wrong reason, there's a lot more to the hunt than the rack or horns. I hunt because I grew up doing it and love it. I enjoy the time spent in the woods. I don't need to shoot a deer to make that time worth it though.

Some people have referred to me as a trophy hunter which I wouldn't necessarily agree or disagree with. I'm always hunting for a trophy. For instance, here's a comment I put on Facebook when someone asked why I only shoot big deer...

"To me it's more than just shooting deer. I'm fortunate with where I'm able to hunt that there's lots of deer around. I enjoy hunting more than just harvesting. I could go out and fill my tags in a couple days. But then I'd have to be done hunting. This way, I can hunt for up to 3.5 months. Harvest 1 doe for meat, then just wait for a big buck. I get to hunt, watch deer, and have an opportunity at a big mature deer. It's just always been more than the harvest for me. I enjoy the chase and the serenity of the woods."

It doesn't matter to me what other people shoot. In our property, I like to let little bucks walk to give myself a better chance at a bigger buck in the future. I'm not going to make a big deal if my uncle or cousin shoots a small buck. I'd rather they didn't, but if it makes them happy and gives them a story, that's all that matters. They don't have the luxury of hunting 5 times a week.
 

HuntingJudge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
88
50 yrs in myself and any day is a good one.Someday I will dig out the photographs and scan them.
Taken some great bucks over the years and seen way,way better. A few racks are here inside and there is a stack of blacktail forkies under the tree out back with a bull I took here. I also remember the Big Boy he was mimicking next door.
That would count as a good day. And the bull another HTer and I saw this year was a good deal larger.
I am happy I will be hunting for a cow soon. Any day is a good one for this old hunter.
I think I might have to bust out the photo books later this week and reminisce a little
 

Tikka06

Active member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
513
Location
East Tennessee
I grew up looking forward all year to the deer camp with my grandpa and the rest of the old timers who had been sharing that camp since the 50’s. Now they are all memories and the camp is no more. I would love to hike in there one more time to find them all waiting on me.
 
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Flatrock

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
1,644
Location
Bismarck, ND
IMO, nothing has been worse for hunting than Facebook.

And I don't get the "tactical" and "extreme" with everything. Doesn't make sense at baseline but even so, the VAST majority of people eating that sh*t up are far too fat and lazy to be either.
 
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