36 years hunting with my Dad

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by 6thMichCav, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    Thank you for "perspective". This was a great thread. I see my pops fading. In fact i have said that on a couple of different threads on this forum over the last couple of years. He only hunts one blind - food plot and it is because it is 5 mins from the bunk house. It is a struggle for him to hunt even though he loves it. I need to be reminded that no matter what happens, the experience of being together is the joy not the trophies. Perspective is key!!!

    On Saturday night i sat on the north west side of a food plot with my dad in his typical ne side dog tent (i could see his tent from my stand about 150 yards away. We both have taken 8 pts already and we agreed before we went out that we would only shoot one of two targets in our pics and only if a good shot (broadside, 25 yards, etc.). The two targets are a giant 8 (probably 150 inches) and a nice 10 pt with a drop tine. Both have clearly been hanging around our property. (lots of pics).

    About 5 pm i saw a 2.5 year old 8 pt smaller than the bucks we both have already harvested. I saw him walking down the east side of the plot and immediately thought... oh no...please do not walk in front of his tent. oh no oh no... I knew he wouldn't be able to resist (caused by the combo of his aging/how his mind works now coupled with his 30 years in the 50s-70s hunting up north before I could walk where years went by without anyone in their camp seeing a single antler). He gets more excited when he sees a buck than my 8 year old does.
    I saw the buck turn in to the woods about 65 yards from where he sits and i thought whew... instead of going to the corner he cut in about 3/4 of the way on the east side. I turned my video camera off and watched this young buck walk in to the woods... a giant relief... as i really want my dad to get one of the giants... and as i sat and sighed i heard WHAP! His cross bow... with a glimpse of the bolt flying in to the thick woods (note... he was hunting the food plot which he shot over into the woods with no shooting lanes).

    We waited until right before dark. Luckily (for the buck) it was so thick his bolt bounced around in the woods. no blood on bhead, bolt or vane. clean miss. I was sooo mad. I really grumped at him on all levels.... wasn't the target, wasn't a smart shot, too far, no lane, walking, etc. I estimated the shot at 65 yards. And he said it less and his cb is "money" at 50 yards. Note, the food plot is 50 yards wide. So... it was at least 55 and more likely my estimate 65.

    I cooled off and we were fine by sunday, but this helps me with perspective. I need to remember, him shooting that 8 would of made him happy and who knows when he will see his next one. i need to remember that it could be he never makes it back to the woods... half of the time he misses a hunting sit it is because he is at a funeral for a friend who passed away. He says all of the time, our friends (and my aunts/uncles) are dropping like flies. Even if he does make it out more this season or next maybe he won't see another 8 pt.

    He talks all of the time that he waited 60 years for his first 8 pt. I need to check my purpose/objective of why i bought my place and the joy of just being together. I bought it to be together. bucks are a bonus. And any 8 pt (in fact a 7) is a trophy for him... I need to remember that!!! He has shot 3 now. But his next one that is an 8, even if a 100lb yearling will still be a big deal... I need to focus on that and keep PERSPECTIVE!

    Thanks for the punch in the face!!! I needed it!!!!
     
  2. U of M Fan

    U of M Fan Premium Member

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    I’ve hunted with my Dad for 36 years and unfortunately this might have been the last and the end of our deer camp. This year was an absolute struggle and wasn’t fun for him at all. His best bud had issues as well. It’s hell getting old. I sure was hoping they were gonna score this year especially since I had a feeling this could be the last year. Not sure what I’m gonna do for next year.
     

  3. stickbow shooter

    stickbow shooter

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    It was hard to " like " this post,because of your it might be your dad's last time at camp. But it happens,sucks but it happens. Hopefully he will be able to continue going.
     
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  4. U of M Fan

    U of M Fan Premium Member

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    We will see but I doubt it. He is not in the best of health and everything is just too hard for him. I would love to continue on with a camp up there but you got to have the right guys to do it with and my buddy’s just aren’t interested. So we will see what the future brings.
     
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  5. stickbow shooter

    stickbow shooter

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    Maybe we could start one. Not for sure as money and junk vehicles have been issues for me lately. But things change.
     
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  6. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    Best wishes for you UofM Fan!

    I don't want to get to that day! And exactly why i needed this punch. Life is so busy. it is easy to skip a hunt, prioritize silly stuff, etc. I tell my kids all of the time they need to spend as much time with their grandparents as they can. Time is not our friend.

    Let us know if there is anything we can do to help. My dad is in bad shape physically too. He spends 9 months getting put back together after each 3 months of hunting. Back surgery, hip, elbows, shoulder and even a dance with cancer. I do work really hard to make it as easy to get him in and out as i can. Including putting a blind the closest we could to the bunk house where he sees deer and can also get to the outhouse or inside to warm up or take a break. That blind is off limits to anyone but him.

    I bought him warmer clothes for xmas a couple of years go. I ensure we have those hand warmers..buddy heaters in the blind. propane is full. I even put old hunting mags in there. You name it. It adds years! Before this his sits were ranging from 830 to about 1030 with coffee the whole time (and getting shorter each year). We are back now to him getting up super early and sitting until after 11 before he wants lunch.

    Best wishes to you!
     
  7. sureshot006

    sureshot006 Staff Member Mod

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    He's right. My gramps killed deer with his 7600 30-06 for decades. Always reliable, always accurate. Not a "show" rifle but a workhorse and the wear shows a lifetime story.
     
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  8. In_the_sticks

    In_the_sticks

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    This time of year is especially hard for me. I lost my Dad in 2016, but, he was "gone" before then. Never even got him out in the woods in 2015. Then, my other hunting buddy died from alcoholism in 2017. This time of year used to be filled with excitement. Dad's for Deer Camp, then my buddy coming home for a week and us catching up on the year that was. Now all of it is gone. Reading these types of things really warms this grouchy SOB's heart.
     
  9. Cjs180

    Cjs180

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    Great post! This year will be my 33rd year hunting with my Father. He let me sit with him the year prior for bow season so maybe could call it our 34th year. Still remember seeing a 7 pointer come out that first year like it was yesterday.
     
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