Has anyone out there lost interest in bowhunting and if so is there anything you can do about it? I have this week off to bow hunt the rut and have little interest in going out compared to previous years. I'm not sure what exactly is going on. I hunt public land so there is a certain amount of frustration with that - carrying in a stand and hanging it every time, usually have a further walk in and dealing with other hunters. I think part of it is I bow hunt by myself 100% of the time, I have no one to go with. I just don't have that drive like I used to or the same way I do with fishing.
Losing interest in bow hunting?
Definitely an interesting topic, and I guess I have a little different perspective. Personally, my interest has only gotten stronger over time. I’ve been hunting for about 20 years, and still feel the same rush when I draw back on a deer.
Like many of you, in my teens and early 20’s I was in the woods or on the water easily 300 days/year. I almost took for granted the ability to hunt and fish at will. I was going to college full time, working 40-50 hours a week, and still made time to go.
Fast forward to buying a home, getting married and having a family, and obviously priorities change. Having limited time has actually increased my desire to capitalize on the time spent outdoors. And after spending a couple decades in the woods, I’ve begun to see things through a little different lens. I took a new hunter on a duck hunt this year, and had a great time seeing the spark in his eye. I think the best is yet to come, for me at least.
Hope you all keep the fire burning!
Yeah, mad hit it on the head!
I think as we age, we appreciate family more and more...
I think who you hunt with is more important than the hunt itself.
Good company = a successful hunt!
Such a great topic.....
Our family had property in the north woods for nearly 40 years. When our dad could no longer be in deer camp...…….it became apparent that dad was the main reason why my two brothers and I wanted to be there.
Dad passed away a number of deer seasons ago. We tried to rekindle Deer Camp but it just didn't seem to have the same feel as it did in years past. Dad loved to play cards...poker was is special …..but he'd put up with his three young sons who only enjoyed Sheepshead. We sold the property a few years ago...………...
Today's snowfall has rekindled sooooo many of those great memories in our Deer Camp...…...I can still feel the camaraderie......we miss ya dad.....
Ooopps.....gotta go...…….it's my deal...………...
I agree with madforlabs, some interesting perspectives here, none of which are right or wrong.
I'll suggest ditching all your modern gear, buy a recurve or a long bow. No treestands, no cameras, go primitive! Maybe see if you can learn the skill of stalking animals on their terms, level the playing field.
This is a great topic, I could write a book!
I think overall my interest has waned a bit, but I ultimately beleive it boils down to time constraints, aging, what qualifies as a satisfying hunt, etc. I started bowhunting in the early '90's when I was about 21. Buddy got me into it, and I couldn't get enough. I followed the natural evolution of wanting to shoot anyhing, to only shooting a buck, to only chasing "nice" bucks, to only wanting to shoot a buck bigger than my last. Bought my first climber, bought my first game cameras (you know, the ones that took an actual roll of film, which you then had to take in to get developed!) I think my addiction peaked one year in the late '90's. I hunted every single day of the early bow season, something like 58 consecutive days. This was in the era when the bow season still closed the Sunday before the gun opener, I believe. I only missed four afternoon hunts, but they were on the weekends, and I hunted those mornings to make up for them. I sat in rain, sleet, nasty wind....didn't matter! But about 20 years removed, I can't even tell you if I got a deer that year! I was in my late 20's, single, renting, had a favorable work schedule, could be from my house to my stand in 15 minutes, and didn't have anything else to spend my time and money on. Fast forward to now. I'm in my late 40's. Married, two kids (11 and 9 year old girls). Wife is busy, works 45-50 hours a week, plus every fourth weekend. Girls are busy, summer softball, dance classes four nights a week during most of the school year. Howe owner, so something always needs attention, the yard and garden always take work. Parents are in their mid 70's and take some of my extra time helping them with things they can no longer do themselves. I do not have the urge to shoot anything from Sunday to Thursday night when the weather is warm, as the deer would require immediate butchering, and I'm up by 4:30 on weekdays. Still live 15 minutes from where I hunt, but now, instead of sitting in the stand planning my next move and thinking of my next hunt, I think about all of the work I need to do at the job, or things I should be doing at home. I can no longer tolerate the cold.....that's why I'm writing this! I'm home. I take off the first week of November to hunt the rut. Saw seven deer this morning, two bucks, but got down at 10:15 because my toes were froze (and it's only in the upper 20's!)
So....no one reason, but a bunch of small factors that kind of pre-determine where we are all it with this. I still have the "fire", but it doesn't nearly burn as hot as it did!! I still have to the desire, just maybe not the time to do everything as "balls out" as back in the day. Call it what you will, to each their own. I'm more into quality over quantity at this stage, and everyone's definition of quality is surely different than the next guy. And my definition of a quality hunt tends to change due to many of the factors above.
My time hunting has been an inconsistent arc. From age 26-33, I was hunting pheasants every weekend on private grounds in South Dakota. Throw in a deer, some turkeys, some waterfowl, every year was fantastic. Then my inlaws died, the wife was working 60 hours and the kids were little so I was stuck home. That really sucked. That lasted until 2016, so for 8 years I hardly got out.
I just turned 55 and used to love bow and rifle deer hunting. I just do not care too much about any kind of hunting anymore. I don't have my own land so I either have to hunt public or kiss someone's ass to hunt on their land which I don't care to do. Have two kids in college so leasing isn't an option. Also been dealing with a sciatic nerve issue that takes most of the fun of walking long distances out of the equation. I've gotten more into musky/bass/walleye fishing the last couple of years and would rater fish than hunt but the weather has about ended all of that for the season. Kind of glad to read that I'm not the only guy in his mid fifties that feels the same way.
Age now is mid 40s and 5 years ago lived in a tree from mid October to end of November. Now I still take 10 days off from around Halloween until mid November for rut hunting, but some days I just force myself to go hunting because I'm off. The drive gets less every year. My biggest factor is the cold, seem to tolerate it less every year and if I'm not comfortable it isn't fun anymore.
3 weeks ago I was in Wyoming hunting with 3 friends, it was 65 to 75 degrees. That was enjoyable. Plus we got 4 bucks in 3 days. I would trade 2 weeks of hunting there for 3 months here.
My brother and i just had this conversation. Both of us discussing how hunting has changed for us. We hunted together up until about 10 years ago. We lost our land and kids were wanting to hunt. We both bought some land in different areas of Waupaca county. Bottom line since then kids have gone off to school and moved away. We hunt our own properties usually alone and have both decided it is not as much fun without the kids and actually each other. I think the drive would come back if we would hunt together again. It was always fun doing the prep together. We are both looking at retirement in the next 4 years and I think that old deer camp feeling might be rekindled. Maybe I can see my grand kids hunt someday. Seems like the drive was more about relationships then the deer. Deer were the excuse to spend time together. Wonderful that I have been able to hunt deer since the age of 12 and this is my 38th season. Brother and i got together last weekend and helped each other set up our properties for gun season with our children. That was a great day and I think the planning is more exciting then the actual hunt. Enjoy every minute life moves to darn fast.