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  • 40 year old rookie

    Anyone else out there get into hunting later in life? I started in September of 2019 at age 40, and shot my first deer last week with a crossbow. So...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Coach79 View Post
    Anyone else out there get into hunting later in life? I started in September of 2019 at age 40, and shot my first deer last week with a crossbow. So...
    Congratulations !! Welcome to the fraternity. But being successful so quickly may be a high standard to uphold ! Anyway, good luck in your hunting future. That is, if you need anymore luck lol !

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    • #3
      You're never too old to start, corch! LOL!
      My dad started me hunting when I was 3 years old! I'm 70 this year.

      Coach79, congrats on your first kill.
      There are many decades of experience right here and everyone is willing to answer questions.
      There are others here who started later in life, so come on in, sit down, pour yourself a cup of coffee and relax.
      You're in good company here!
      Welcome aboard!

      Do you mind telling us what state you're in?
      Last edited by FirstBubba; 01-20-2020, 10:27 AM.

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      • #4
        Congrats Coach! May you continue to have success and live to be an old hunter with many stories!

        I hunted small game for 3 years as a teen but quit at 17 years old. Dove, quail, and squirrels. All that hunting was with a 16 gauge bolt-action shotgun with fixed full choke. A couple of times I went deer hunting, loaded with buckshot, but didn't see game. Also during that time I had a 35# recurve bow but only shot at hay bails.

        Fast forward to 30 years old, I didn't even own a firearm or a bow. But I worked with several gun nuts and one took me under his wing. Apparently the asshole had trouble getting people to hunt with him because of his attitude. I'm easy going and most of his abrasive comments just rolled off my back, no problem. Old Sam was very smart though and was willing to teach ballistics, firearm basics, range safety, and duck hunting techniques.

        First, I bought a Remington 870 Express in 12 gauge and we went waterfowl hunting along the Tennessee River. Sam had decoys and a dog so my investment was minimum. It was fun but I discovered duck hunting wasn't that exciting for me. Squirrel hunting with that 870 did prove to be more fun and reminded me of my teens.

        Second, I bought a Ruger Mini-14 and shot enough High-power matches to qualify buying a M1 Garand through the government's DCM program. I carried those two rifles deer hunting but had no luck, not even seeing deer. The problem was in having practically no knowledge about deer hunting. So, I was in the wrong places at the wrong times.

        In the meantime (age 32), my wife bought me a Ruger 10/22 and I started using it for squirrel hunting. That Garand was heavy and I started taking the 870 loaded with slugs for hunting deer in the Alabama thickets. Still didn't see deer but I was learning by getting my hands on any related literature and by observing deer sign while on public land. My brother gave me a muzzleloader (age 33) but still didn't see deer when hunting.

        At age 35, I'd bought a used Remington 788 in .308 Win, finally connecting with my first deer at an in-law's farm in Kentucky. Also shot my first Alabama buck that season... Killed my first pigs at age 38. In the past 25 years I've killed deer and pigs with spear, compound bow, crossbows, handguns, shotgun, muzzleloaders, and various rifle calibers / platforms. I've built some good memories and skills. Now I feel pretty confident about knowing where to find deer and how best to hunt them.

        At 60 years old, I kill a couple of deer each year, squirrels, and the occasional pig. That's really about all I want to put in the freezer each season. I've got two does so far but plan to squeeze in one more deer before the season is over on Feb. 10th. Just yesterday I found a new area for pig hunting on public land with lots of recent sign and two large wallows. Pigs can be hunted year-round on National Forest land and this year I'll be at those pig wallows when it starts to get really hot.

        The guys on this site have inspired me to try Turkey hunting again and soon I'll check the pattern on that 30 year-old Remington 870. CD2 has also inspired me to deer hunt again with just a revolver.
        Last edited by PigHunter; 01-20-2020, 11:46 AM.

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        • #5
          Yes, welcome aboard (didn't you post something last year?). I shot my first deer at age 13 (actually a pair of them standing together ... two shots). Hunted the previous year with my dad and brother but my shooting wasn't up to snuff (but neither was theirs). Also shot my first duck a week after the first deer. There's an Ektachrome slide of me and those two does back at the family home in Montana. I saw it when I was there helping take care of my mom before she died twelve years ago. Also found a black and white Kodak Brownie photo of my first buck shot at age fifteen I think. Very close to the spot where first two deer were shot ... about 400 miles from home. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring those two photos back. Those and one other black & white of a HUGE whitetail buck I shot in 1986 while teaching and coaching near Billings are the only photos missing from my fifty-five year collection. The buck was hanging in the school's bus garage. I'm sure that picture is in my stuff around here somewhere. Are you getting the point here? Hopefully you got a good picture of your first deer. Forget that it's JUST a doe. IT IS YOUR FIRST DEER AND THAT IS A VERY BIG AND MEMORABLE EVENT. Besides, does always eat better than the bucks. I have shot a pile of them over the years. I'd like to see the photo if you don't mind sharing. Some guys on here are reluctant (ashamed? afraid?) to share images of themselves. It's up to you. Or maybe just a photo of the deer by itself? Most of the time I hunted by myself and consequently rarely had a photo taken on the spot that included me. Most were after the game was brought home. Also, in the old days I didn't want to be packing an expensive delicate 35mm camera into the bush. Today's rugged point-and-shoot cameras (and phones) are certainly a blessing for us hunters/fishermen. Attached are the first and last two photos of my outdoors exploits collection. Note the technological advancements ... in camera gear. The same 30-06 rifle that shot those first two does killed this fall's buck and most of my African animals.

          Comment


          • #6
            Coach79,
            Just a little note.
            Not until I was over 50 (2000) did it dawn on me to record my hunting/fishing adventures. By then, my granddad (1973) and dad (1981) were long gone and years of learning the outdoors at their knee was fading recollections. The hunting camps, first kills, big catches, fun stories and surprises were far behind.
            Since you just started, let me encourage you to start and maintain a "hunting" (outdoor activity?) journal.
            You don't have to rewrite "War and Peace", but just enough to bring small, important details back.

            Take pictures, everybody has a phone these days, and incorporate them into your journal.

            Over the years, you will be thankful for your recorded thoughts and memories.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
              Yes, welcome aboard (didn't you post something last year?). I shot my first deer at age 13 (actually a pair of them standing together ... two shots). Hunted the previous year with my dad and brother but my shooting wasn't up to snuff (but neither was theirs). Also shot my first duck a week after the first deer. There's an Ektachrome slide of me and those two does back at the family home in Montana. I saw it when I was there helping take care of my mom before she died twelve years ago. Also found a black and white Kodak Brownie photo of my first buck shot at age fifteen I think. Very close to the spot where first two deer were shot ... about 400 miles from home. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring those two photos back. Those and one other black & white of a HUGE whitetail buck I shot in 1986 while teaching and coaching near Billings are the only photos missing from my fifty-five year collection. The buck was hanging in the school's bus garage. I'm sure that picture is in my stuff around here somewhere. Are you getting the point here? Hopefully you got a good picture of your first deer. Forget that it's JUST a doe. IT IS YOUR FIRST DEER AND THAT IS A VERY BIG AND MEMORABLE EVENT. Besides, does always eat better than the bucks. I have shot a pile of them over the years. I'd like to see the photo if you don't mind sharing. Some guys on here are reluctant (ashamed? afraid?) to share images of themselves. It's up to you. Or maybe just a photo of the deer by itself? Most of the time I hunted by myself and consequently rarely had a photo taken on the spot that included me. Most were after the game was brought home. Also, in the old days I didn't want to be packing an expensive delicate 35mm camera into the bush. Today's rugged point-and-shoot cameras (and phones) are certainly a blessing for us hunters/fishermen. Attached are the first and last two photos of my outdoors exploits collection. Note the technological advancements ... in camera gear. The same 30-06 rifle that shot those first two does killed this fall's buck and most of my African animals.

              Standing with two others I was the only one who saw the deer looking at us. Shot them both. Luckily between us we had two tags.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post


                Standing with two others I was the only one who saw the deer looking at us. Shot them both. Luckily between us we had two tags.
                Something's missing from your story, Jimbo.

                In those days (1960s-70s) two tags were available for almost every hunting district on Montana's East Side (east of the Continental Divide) which is where we were hunting. Second B-tags are still are available for locals. I think non-residents can apply for B-tags for a few districts but only limited numbers on a year by year basis (usually for whitetail does only on East Side). Most places on Montana's West Side B-tags still cannot be used, only A-tag. A great curiosity came up a few years back. I noticed in the regs that B-tag could be used for muley doe deer only in West Side's Flathead Valley. But there are no mule deer in the Valley (well, very rare except a few come down in the middle of the winter after season closes). Up on the mountain tops there's lots of them, but not in the Valley. But mountain districts around the Valley were closed to B-tag. Made absolutely no sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                  Something's missing from your story, Jimbo.

                  In those days (1960s-70s) two tags were available for almost every hunting district on Montana's East Side (east of the Continental Divide) which is where we were hunting. Second B-tags are still are available for locals. I think non-residents can apply for B-tags for a few districts but only limited numbers on a year by year basis (usually for whitetail does only on East Side). Most places on Montana's West Side B-tags still cannot be used, only A-tag. A great curiosity came up a few years back. I noticed in the regs that B-tag could be used for muley doe deer only in West Side's Flathead Valley. But there are no mule deer in the Valley (well, very rare except a few come down in the middle of the winter after season closes). Up on the mountain tops there's lots of them, but not in the Valley. But mountain districts around the Valley were closed to B-tag. Made absolutely no sense.

                  Take your meds, I was in New York.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post


                    Take your meds, I was in New York.
                    Maybe you need to take your meds. Lots missing from your story. How, when, where. You write two disjointed sentences with absolutely no context. How did that connect as a response to what I had just written about shooting my first deer, photographic record, etc? If you are quoting it, I presumed there should have been some connection. Didn't make any sense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                      Maybe you need to take your meds. Lots missing from your story. How, when, where. You write two disjointed sentences with absolutely no context. How did that connect as a response to what I had just written about shooting my first deer, photographic record, etc? If you are quoting it, I presumed there should have been some connection. Didn't make any sense.
                      Because in your story YOU say you shot two deer standing together. Three sentences. I say more in a few words than you say in a page.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My dad was a gun nut, so I started out w decent gear. But he prettt much only groundhog hunted....took me for squirrel a couple times. I was maybe 5th grade

                        So I blasted chucks til college, got a bow and shot a deer ( on the run ) 5th time out.

                        Got into dove/ geese muzzleloading etc. Turkey too.

                        All self taught, before the internet
                        Wasnt that hard. Learn more about self and what not to do.

                        Relax and enjoy the ride. Yeah there are some things to learn, good chunks of info.

                        But its the subtle stuff thats where its at. How to look, where to be, when to move or stay put.....how to move. Learning yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post


                          Standing with two others I was the only one who saw the deer looking at us. Shot them both. Luckily between us we had two tags.
                          So what you're telling us is you shot a deer illegally?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                            So what you're telling us is you shot a deer illegally?
                            It worked out o.k.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Welcome aboard Coach. I've been hunting for a lifetime but I spend my retirement days helping others like you adopt the pastime and enjoy the outdoors. I hope you enjoy it and am happy to see you've already experienced success. The outdoors can be a vast, relaxing and beautiful experience that is often overlooked by many. Enjoy your experiences and don't hesitate to ask for advice from the many well experienced members here. As you will likely see, we all remember our first days of hunting and are happy to help others along. I have several new friends age 40-55 that are amazed at what hunting is all about and having the time of their life.

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