14 Jun OLD FART HUNTING!!!
Deer hunting is perfect for Old Farts! Like it or not, there is a herd of older deer hunters still afield. Baby Boomers are in their 60’s and up. They were raised eating wild game and hunting. Newer and younger hunters are not subsistent hunters. Old Fart hunters hunted to feed their families. Young hunters today give their meat to the soup kitchens and food banks.
Old Fart Hunters hunt smarter, not faster. What Old Fart hunters lack in physical ability, they make up for in experience and wisdom. Patience is a practiced skill that Old Farts have mastered. Sitting all day in a tree stand or blind is wonderful. Plenty of snacks, and modern gear make hunting a lot easier than decades ago. Old Fart deer hunting rules are simple.
Rule #1 Find the deer
Rule #2 Shoot the deer
Rule #3 Go back to Rule #1
When you think about the old school hunting gear and essentials, they were way simpler. We carried baked potatoes, wrapped in foil for hand warmers, and then lunch. An apple, a can of Vienna Sausages, and a sack of cookies made the meals for the day. A thermos of coffee washed it all down. You could see every hunter in the woods. We all wore red and green plaid wool suits. Military surplus supplied our footwear long underwear, boots, and wool hats.
80% of deer hunters carried a lever action 30-30. Maybe a Winchester or a Marlin. The rest carried a mix of whatever they had. Those who could afford it, sported a 4-power scope. Big sheath knives would handle the gut work. Retro WW2 vintage Mausers were also a big hit.
Technology makes deer hunting different but also safer. Every hunter can stay in touch with each other. If someone has an accident, help is on the way. Old Farts are usually lousy texters. The excitement of sharing hunting successes is a good motivation to learn. New and modern weapons make shooting safer, more accurate, and simpler.
On one evening hunt a few years ago, I was alone in a tree along a creek called Western Run, in Maryland. Another buddy was deer hunting near Bozeman, Montana. Another friend was in his tree near Sparks, Maryland, and another guy was on his stand in the Worthington Valley of Maryland. A final friend was in his tree stand in south central Pennsylvania. We were all bow hunting solo, in 3 different states, but texting and in contact together. We shared pictures of does and selfies. No one tagged out that night, but we were all hunting together.
Old Fart Hunters know how to rough it. Back in the day, you had to rough it. Our gear, clothing, and tactics were simply rougher. Cold, wet, and snowy conditions made for uncomfortable and miserable conditions. Our stick and string bows or less than modern weapons were reliable but limited at best. Tree stands and blinds were rustic and rarely safe. Still, if you could hang tough, opportunities would arise.
Old Fart hunters are smarter than new and younger hunters. Old Farts have already made almost every mistake and learned from them. Most also know how to still hunt if no tree stands are available. Understanding deer behavior and habits comes from experience. You do not always have time to Google “What do I do if the deer does what?”
Faces, fingers, and toes are notorious areas which will quickly end your hunt. New products, fabrics, and materials keep these areas comfy. Our older, thicker, rawhide skin may also be of help. The old style, stinky lighter fluid hand warmers or hot potatoes are no longer needed. Scentless shake and bake hand warmers are cheap and perfect. Liner socks, polypropylene, layers, and Gore-Tex keeps us dry and warm. It is easier to be a tough hunter today than ever. Old Farts appreciate the advantage of the newer and exceptional gear.
With the thinning and lack of hair, proper headgear is always needed. My Dad hunted into his late 80’s using a Balaclava style polar fleece hat. It also served as a facemask. If he could keep his fingers, toes and face warm, oh and had a pee jug handy, he was able to stay in the tree stand all day.
Modern Science keeps us Old Farts in the game. We can still see the bucks but cannot count the number of points. With new scopes, binos, hearing and vision aids, we can still see and hear our goals. Better health care allows us to deal with cataracts, glaucoma, and aging eyes. The same is true with our hearing. For many of us we can hear and see better than ever.
Old Farts move and walk slower, but that is a good thing. They can stalk more stealth fully, hear and see more. Experience has taught them where and when to move. A lifetime of memories keeps them from getting lost. They know every stump and log. Traveling to a stand in the dark is not needed. Old Farts slowly still hunt to their destination and back. Every hunting moment is used.
Old farts take pleasure in everything about the hunt. Harvesting a deer is not the measure of a successful hunt. Being able to hunt is the Old Farts measure of success. We already have walls of deer memorials. Squirrels, birds, critters, and sights entertain them easily. They are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Young Buck Hunters need to embrace Old Fart hunters. One day of hunting with an Old Fart will teach you a lot. They tend to bring all of snack groups and other goodies along. Great stories will keep you interested. You may need to cater to them a bit. You may need to call them up and take them afield. Yes, the day will move slower and not be a speedy hunt, but… Find yourself an Old Fart Mentor.
Having a hunting Buddy is appreciated. Old Fart hunters will pay for the gas and are generous. Many of the Old Fart hunting partners have passed, cannot hunt, will not hunt, quit hunting, or have moved. They are willing and open to hunting with younger and new hunters. If you find an Old Fart Hunter, that can still hunt, celebrate the sport with them. Old Farts will hunt when everyone else cannot.
One day, you will become an Old Fart too!
For more Montana Grant, hunt with him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.