Moving on? Advice needed

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Boardman Brookies, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Boardman Brookies

    Boardman Brookies

    Messages:
    8,102
    Likes Received:
    4,866
    Location:
    Traverse City/Glennie
    Guys here is my dilemma. I grew up hunting the Huron National Forest. Specifically around Glennie, Curtisville and South Branch. I love the area. It is wooded, wild and beautiful. Myself and family member have taken some nice bucks from there in the past. We have great stories and memories. As of late that is all we have is the memories. The camp has dwindled down. Both of my brothers are active duty in the Army, my cousin passed and the old timers no longer go. For the last three years it has just been my dad and I. We have a great time but the hunting has been lousy. I live two hours away but still get time to scout. We set up in good places, put the time but no longer connect on deer like we did in the past. Also we are exclusively rifle hunting. So here is my dilemma.

    Since I live two hours away I bow hunt close to home. I know the land and have had a great season. I have had multiple encounters and spotting of very nice bucks. I just couldnt connect. No biggie. But I am seeing deer each time out. Something I cannot say for the Glennie area.

    I want to break it to my dad that I really have no interest in hunting the old spots anymore. Sure we have found some new ones but we are not connecting on the bucks like we all did in the past. This is a family cabin that we can use when ever we want so we could pull up steaks anytime we wish. I am feeling a little guilty now. There are all the great memories but I am there to hunt, see deer, and hopefully take one. I can deal with getting skunked from time to time but it is very hard when I am having great hunts a mile from my house then spending a week in the woods seeing few deer.

    So what do I do? Dad is 62 and honestly his best years are behind him. I want to make his finally 10 seasons or so very memorable. I don't want to upset him or make him feel uncomfortable but I am just about done with DMU 487. Another option I am kicking around is buying him a cross bow and seeing if he would be willing to go to camp two weeks early and really hunt the rut. Sorry for the long rant but I am frustrated and really want see my dad holding up a few more bucks before he hangs it up.
     
  2. LuckyBucks

    LuckyBucks

    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    9,095
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Tell him everything you just told us.
     

  3. Bomba

    Bomba

    Messages:
    4,292
    Likes Received:
    1,643
    Location:
    Birch Run
    It sure sounds like it's more about you than your dad, I'm sure to him being in camp with his son, hunting land that he has hunted for years and making new memories, deer or no deer is more important to him
    than "holding up a few more bucks". If you talk to your dad and he wants to stay put, I'd stay put with him, bow hunt on your own.
     
  4. Jamorris

    Jamorris

    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    84
    Can your Dad hunt the places near your home with you?
     
  5. jme

    jme

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    718
    Location:
    Ypsilanti
    Two thoughts..... Bounced your ideas, which make perfect sense, off your mom to get her perspective. Who knows, maybe your dad is telling her a story similar to yours about the memories and enjoyment if hunting w you but being bummed by lack of deer. Secondly, when you talk to your dad be clear that the most important thing to you is the time w him. 'Dad, the thing I like most about hunting is time w you. I have an idea that keeps this going AND might get us some bucks like the old days......' Finally, the crossbow idea is great. You get the rut and milder weather, which might appeal to your dad. I'm 58 and while I still hunt when it's cold it does affect me more than when I was younger.
     
  6. Paperboy 1

    Paperboy 1

    Messages:
    4,544
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Harrisville
    62 and his best years are behind him??? If he's fairly healthy and doing things all the time, he's just getting started! 10 more years? My mom is 93! I spoke a friend yesterday who had just gotten back from going to breakfast with his Dad. He's 90 and still sharp as a tack.

    The hunt and harvest are great, but I don't feel that's the whole enchilada.

    Go bow hunt and as long as dad wants to head north for a bit....go. JMO buddy.... I'm awfully happy to in the woods.
     
  7. Whit1

    Whit1 Premium Member

    Messages:
    21,607
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is sound advice. I do understand your feelings and have experienced them, for somewhat different reasons, with both trout fishing and deer hunting. I'd run it by your mom, as suggested above as well.

    Things change even those that we treasure and there comes a time to move on to other adventures.

    The crossbow idea is sound. Your dad's situation is one of the keys that led several of us here in MS to work on getting crossbow inclusion into the archery season here in MI.

    As for 62 being on the downward trend I also beg to differ. I'm 70 and I still can go, not like I did 20 yrs. ago of course...especially trout fishing...., but I can still get out. Last night I shot, gutted and lifted into my truck an adult doe. Large bucks are a different story, but only a few years ago I still could get them up and into the truck.

    You can have Deer Camp at your place.
     
  8. motdean

    motdean

    Messages:
    7,495
    Likes Received:
    8,699
    Some good points.

    My dad is 73. He still bounces around the woods like a kid. This year, while I was hanging my stand, he wanted to help, so he pulled himself up a tree and stood in the crotch of the tree...no climbing sticks. I remember him doing the same about 8 years ago...As they say, age is just a number.

    To your point about hunting....There is no harm in broaching the subject with him. You might also consider splitting time between the cabin and they at your bowhunting spot...maybe the best of both worlds. ;)
     
  9. Fowlersduckhunter

    Fowlersduckhunter

    Messages:
    1,092
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sault Ste. Marie
    Personally deer camp for me couldn't care less about shooting a ratty old swamp deer anymore. I like being at the cabin with my dad and close friends, watching movies we've seen 100 times, playing poker, having a good time.
     
  10. Waxdart

    Waxdart

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    Washtenaw Co.
    Depends how much of hunting is about spending time with you vs. getting a deer in his mind.

    Get him a cross bow for christmas, tell him you want to put him on a big buck during archery out by you next season.

    He going to complain about a new cross bow and refuse to use it to shoot a good buck?

    If you can help get him a good deer during archery maybe you can skip rifle season all together or cut it down to a couple trips for old time's sake.

    If not, you go out to the rifle spot a few times to make the old man happy and have fun hunting with him and spend some quality time together.

    Once he sees he can get a good buck in better weather he might prefer archery season.
     
  11. Rico

    Rico

    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    404
    Location:
    Fenton
    I would buy him the Xbow for Christmas ;)
     
  12. jimbobway

    jimbobway

    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    875
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    X2 on the X bow


    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
     
  13. bkglad

    bkglad

    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    12
    It's all about the memories. Deer should be the last thing on your mind. When your dads gone, you will regret every minute of not going to camp. Do you have kids? Friends? Hell I would even go to camp with ya. I've never been and have never been invited. I have friends who go and I would love too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
     
  14. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Banned

    Messages:
    10,812
    Likes Received:
    8,667
    Location:
    Arenac County
    What you are facing is not unusual. There are tens of thousands of other MI deer hunters in the same boat as you seeing seeing their traditionally good deer hunting areas fall away for a variety of reasons. I'm in that boat too where I hunt in the U.P. I'm not going to give you advice, but I will give you my plan of action to deal with it. I make my property more attractive to deer than any neighboring property and fine tune all my setups to make things the best they can be there. I also hunt public land a lot and have located a bunch of spots that have far better deer hunting than my own private land. I scout public land obsessively and have backup spots all set up in case things go wrong at my plan "A" spots which is inevitable. If you want consistent success on public land, it takes a lot of work and good planning.
     
  15. Paperboy 1

    Paperboy 1

    Messages:
    4,544
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Harrisville
    I'm just before 60 yo. I bought a Darton Terminator II the end of October. Best thing I've bought in awhile. With my wife's graces I might add.... I absolutely love it and its made in Michigan. Good luck with your decision.