I too started hunting in 1958, but not until 1960 for deer (dad's rule).
Different deal there on deer though, as there were almost no deer at all where I started hunting them in 1960. We went miles down the valley to see just a few deer. I still hunt closer to where there were few deer in 1960. Our camp land (since 1970) was part of an uncle's dairy farm and that's where I have seen deer numbers grow.
Deer numbers increased there and by 1972, killed my first one, not far from where camp is now. By 2000, deer were far too numerous there (and many other places).
PGC didn't "hire" a biologist to deal with increasing deer numbers, they just handed that task to Dr. Alt, who had been responsible for increasing our bear population, from the mid 70s when we had no bear seasons, to plenty of bears. Too many now, in my opinion.
Yep, things have changed. What were once good pheasant habitats, became shopping malls and housing developments. Farming practices today, no longer support pheasants and rabbits, like they did fifty years ago.
The generations that mentored us in our youth and got us into hunting - WWII and Korean War age folks - are gone now. My generation is now in their 60s and early 70s, so many of us are dropping out of the hunting ranks.
And for various reasons, we didn't bring our kids and grandkids into the hunting ranks at a great enough rate to keep things heading in the right direction.
More nice bucks around now, than at any time in the 55+ years I have been hunting them. Deer have come back in some places after HR, not so good in other places.
Considering that deer were never equally distributed around the state, so be it. Now we have more deer here in the southern counties than we did 30 years ago and fewer deer in some of the northern counties, where people once went to hunt them - because that's where the deer were back then.
Yep, things have changed since I started hunting. Only complaint I have, is that my feets and knees no longer permit me to range far and wide these days. Can't blame that on anyone, I just got old somehow?