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I have been noticing some common themes in today's hunting society that have changed since I was younger that could dwindle ones spirit. For example...many people will say if you dont like the deer numbers you are seeing go to a different part of the state or quit hunting. I think people do not see the larger picture. Picking up and moving may mean leaving your camp behind where you can remeber as a boy listening to Pap's stories up there during rifle season before he had to go into a home, or where you sneaked your first beer with your dad and he would say "don't tell mom" or where you shot your first buck a 6 inch spike and you got to tell your story back at camp to your realatives. These are just some examples. I could hunt somewhere else but I would always leave my spirit back at hunting camp. Some Waterfowl hunters frown upon people jump shooting ducks or geese or making a plan of attack ambushing them. They call this killing not hunting and as you find yourself buying more duck and goose calls and more and more decoys because this is the "right" way to hunt them. you forget your roots and the time when you killed you your first duck, a inmature Woodie Drake walking the creek with your father when you were 12 and it takes something from you because according to some of the waterfowl community you are just a killer not a hunter. Same with archery the recurve guys frown upon the compound guys and the compound guys frown upon the crossbow guys. Does anybody else see these kinds of things in today's hunting culture? or maybe I am to young (26) and things like this have always been around and I am just now starting to notice them
 

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tradition as we all knew it is gone in PA. now we have to pick up the pieces and attempt to start new traditions so our kids have something to look forward to. Hopefully they can see hunting as a worthwhile use of their time in the current PA climate in many areas. We can't do much more.
 

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I think as we all get it older nothing ever remains the same. When I was a kid we hunted from my grandfathers house and it just seemed like there were people everywhere and shots all day long. Today we have a camp we hunt from and find myself (while on stand) questioning if this is the first day of deer or not, due to the lack of people or gunshots. As I sit here and think about, there are good memories of both times in my life as a hunter or maybe it is just the ones who are no longer with us that really make the biggest difference on the changes we are facing in our hunting careers. Myself and a couple of my friends all of very young kids that we all plan to bring to camp and start them hunting and begin a new chapter in our hunting lives. I have a hunch this new chapter I am entering into is going to be the most exciting of all the stages of my hunting career
I also no that at some point long long down the road it will change also, everything changes. So hunting is what we make of it, hold onto the traditions that mean the most to you and make new traditions that you want to see continue on, we as hunters can make hunting what we want it to be and the best is yet to come for me! Hunt safe
 

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as a young boy,i couldn't wait for the opening day of buck season,or trout season.
the times with my dad were priceless.
now i'm in my 50's
my son's too busy to go out with me and my dads health keeps him from going out.
being alone in the woods is ok.
but it is not the same.
i can now have just a great of time sitting around with Dad and talking about our past.where we hunted,what we harvested,what we missed.
Do you remember that? or do you remember this?
I really don't care if I hunt anymore.
To me it was always a family thing,and now it just seems it is just me.
It is not the same to go out alone.
Yes I still enjoy the sport.
But not alone.
There's no one to yell at,"i got one" while i reel in that fish.
no one to yell "HEN" when hunting ringnecks.
No one for the pull or push my finger jokes.
Sorry,,not trying to sound like a wet blanket here.
I just miss the old days as well.
Thank God i got a coworker who wants to fish and hunt together.
at least we the same age and know how to pace each other. lol.
 

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Puppyhunter, I know exactly what you are talking about. The job I quit last fall had a weird schedule. I was always off on Mon and Tue. Except for the deer opener I was always hunting or fishing alone. No one else I knew had the same days off that I did.
Now my dad is retired. Now I always have someone to go with and it is alot better. Just have to find that person and enjoy the time.
Things change. I wish for alot of the old days too, but all we can do is go on, and I will.
 

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kudu58 I love having off Mon and Tues but I do agree going hunting alone does get boring. I'll hunt in the worst weather imaginable as long as there is someone else with me.
As far as the spirit being taken away. I don't know that the spirit is taken away. For me I compare it to Christmas, when I was a kid Christmas meant one thing and now it means something completely different. It's just the way you look at it. I remember when I was a kid and deer camp was pretty much just the old timers getting away from their wives to drink, cuss, smoke and gamble. They always had stories of great hunting seasons from the past and when I was a kid they'd always say how much better they had it 20 years before. I don't think camp changes only the players. I don't drink when I hunt, I stopped smoking, and I hardly gamble at hunting camp. (I still cuss but I'm a sailor can't fix all my problems) I'm 30 years old and I can tell that when my brother, cousin, father and I start telling hunting stories from 20 years ago the new guys that are in camp even the adults( we've introduced about 10 adults to hunting) will stare in child like awe at how it was 20 years ago. The stories get stretched a little every year making them better stories for entertaining rather than historical facts.
We also don't just hunt deer like when I was a kid. Deer season is king but it's reign is beginning to falter as more people pick up bows and find that hunting in a patch of woods out back of their house 25 days a year is better than driving the 4 hour drive to camp for a week just to use a rifle. The spirit hasn't gone away it's changed or maybe you changed your opinion of what you're looking for in a hunting season.
 

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I do enjoy my solo hunting, BUT I love hunting with my children, brothers, or other family. And I really miss hunting with my dad. But he is always with me in spirit.
 

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mattyg123 said:
kudu58 I love having off Mon and Tues but I do agree going hunting alone does get boring.
Mon and Tues were the best as far as hunting goes. Nobody out there!!! It wasn't the days, it was the lack of company. I love taking my dog to camp, but he's not much of a conversationalist.
I still have days off through the week 2 or 3 weeks a months. Weekends here and there are nice. You can always find someone then.
 

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I am fortunate that my son (29) still hunts with me. But because of the way we both work we don't get to spend the time together like we want to and he doesn't have kids yet either. So I do hunt alone a lot. Sometimes it't ok a time to reflect on the past and future other times makes you miss the past. I love being in the woods either way it's just not like it was better yes sometimes worse yes sometimes but as it was stated above we can start new traditions keeping the old ones in our heart and moving forward.
 

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I definitely agree with you in some ways. I miss our old deer camp crew in the ANF. We still go to camp regularly (never often enough though) but not for rifle deer season. What our camp has lost in deer camp spirit we have gained in trout camp and bear camp spirit. When the deer numbers got worse up north, the big deer camp we used to have slowly faded away. Some of my fondest memories are from when I was younger at deer camp. That’s where I cut my teeth and learned the ways of the big woods. I remember sharpening my knife for the first time the night before deer, securing extra shells so they didn’t rattle, everyone getting their packs ready, laying out their clothes, packing their lunches and everyone wiping their guns down as the smell of hoppes and the wood burner filled the cabin. Once I remember getting ready in the morning, and packing the wood burner full of logs before heading out, while grandpa stayed back at camp doing the dishes from the breakfast he cooked. I also remember returning back to camp and my grandpa being madder than a hornet because he had to open all the windows and doors because of how hot the camp was. I remember waiting at the end of the day in great anticipation for everyone to return and see who lucky enough to harvest a buck on the first day. I remember driving down our road to see if the regulars had deer hanging in front of their camps. I also remember stopping at Banks Deer Processing on our way back home to either drop a deer off or to see what everyone else got. My first two bucks at camp were spikes. I remember on Tuesday, taking both of those racks to school in my backpack and showing everyone. I was so proud of those bucks and I still am even though I’ve shot many bigger since. Now you need a "Swamp Donkey" or a "Booner". I never even knew what a score was when I got them. That is truly what is lost and what I miss the most. I miss the camaraderie at camp with family members, especially ones who are no longer here, and when a spike from the Northwood’s was just a buck, period.
 

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Lucky if your tradition lasts ten years. There are a few places that are now the bedroom in a house, on a street in a sub-division. Use to be where my treestand was.
Use to have a lease from a timber company. Company went and sold all their properties in smaller acreage. Saw their product falling off. The timber was used to make paper - for newspapers.


Most that hunted in their youth won't see the same hunting in their forties. The old gangs break up; some move; you move; some just get families and jobs in areas far away.

Some of us had jobs when we were young and found time to hunt. Some had jobs that don't even exist today. So much for tradition.

Saw a diner, still there, on google, hundreds of miles away. Probably will never see hunters in orange in that diner like it was decades ago on opening day.

Remember an old fishing hole used by myself and friends. I moved on, knowing that change was coming.
Went back a couple of years later. None of my old friends were fishing there. The river's flow did change, and the fishing hole was gone. Knowing change would come, didn't make it easier.

And there was never a tradition twenty years ago, to pull up Google maps and check on places you use to hunt and now has buildings on them. No tradition on checking old hunting ground from 900 miles away from your home.
 

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Things change, but I think the spirit is just about dead. You have a whole generation of... I guess I'll call them hunters who only hunt Saturdays or during good weather.They need Sunday hunting because they won't take a vacation day to hunt, but they will use it in a heartbeat to see a Steeler's game and they are too lazy to take a two-day course so they can try hunting.The spirit it only left in a few and will die out all together soon.
 

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I have restarted the hunting tradition at my camp 1st off its a cedar ranch home my grandparents built in 54 on an old homestead . 20 acres and over 300 we have acess. it has a pool table in the living room and a flat screen with a dish for college football after the hunt on sat. we also have a kegulater . we don't ruff it but we love to go up every other or every 3 weeks in off season and every in hunting season. I have friends with kids that liketo hunt and have seen new hunters get their chance at their first anything. so I have introduced young and old to the great outdoors with great times and stories. even with busy schedules there is always inters for some one to go up and partake in fishing shooting work and of course hunting . we may not all get together all at once but we all get the chance to hunt and tell stories and marvel at Gods beauty so that is the spirit that we carry on .
 

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bearhunter jay said:
Things change, but I think the spirit is just about dead. You have a whole generation of... I guess I'll call them hunters who only hunt Saturdays or during good weather.They need Sunday hunting because they won't take a vacation day to hunt, but they will use it in a heartbeat to see a Steeler's game and they are too lazy to take a two-day course so they can try hunting.The spirit it only left in a few and will die out all together soon.
Agree completly
 

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The spirit of the hunt is only diminished if you want it to be. Outside of friends and family, I don't really think it's something that has anything to do with the actions of other people, it's something that's inside you.

Nothing in life ever stays the same, nothing. There are many, many, things that have changed in my outdoor pursuits but I'm confident that the spirit of the hunt and the outdoors will be in me till the day I die.
 

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I disagree entirely. The hunter has changed alot from a decade or two ago. Today's hunter is mostly a deer hunter and maybe a turkey hunter, who may occasionally hunt bear or small game. He is most likely a bow hunter and puts most of his emphasis on that aspect of his hunting. Probably hunts closer to home and often has already tagged a buck in archery. They are more likely rto use vacation time for the rut and that's why they don't spend more time in the woods during rifle, maybe getting out evenings or Saturdays after the opener. I don't believe the spirit has gone at all. Its just undergoing changes. Sadly the deer camps of yesteryear have mostly faded into history but the hunters today havent lost their passion, and seeing the excitement brought to all of the mentored youth I think hunting will be just fine for the foreseeable future . You don't have to go to the mountains to hunt because there is probably as much or more game closer to the suburbs and cities than ever before. Look at archery and crossbow and trailcam sales. They wouldnt be spending billions on the stuff if they didn't love the sport. Spring turkey hunting is growing. Predator hunting is a thriving and more and more are trying it. Waterfowl also seems to be gaining. The passion is there. The dynamic has changed.
 

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The hunting spirits are the deepest i have...my life on earth runs thru those i have hunted with. In the woods I am tasting heaven, I am with those that are gone, I am insuring when I am gone those that love me will go to the woods to be with me. Take away my spirit , I don't think so.
 

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blitzinstripes said:
I disagree entirely. The hunter has changed alot from a decade or two ago. Today's hunter is mostly a deer hunter and maybe a turkey hunter, who may occasionally hunt bear or small game. He is most likely a bow hunter and puts most of his emphasis on that aspect of his hunting. Probably hunts closer to home and often has already tagged a buck in archery. They are more likely rto use vacation time for the rut and that's why they don't spend more time in the woods during rifle, maybe getting out evenings or Saturdays after the opener. I don't believe the spirit has gone at all. Its just undergoing changes. Sadly the deer camps of yesteryear have mostly faded into history but the hunters today havent lost their passion, and seeing the excitement brought to all of the mentored youth I think hunting will be just fine for the foreseeable future . You don't have to go to the mountains to hunt because there is probably as much or more game closer to the suburbs and cities than ever before. Look at archery and crossbow and trailcam sales. They wouldnt be spending billions on the stuff if they didn't love the sport. Spring turkey hunting is growing. Predator hunting is a thriving and more and more are trying it. Waterfowl also seems to be gaining. The passion is there. The dynamic has changed.
Agreed.Hunting has changed a lot for me.Deer season used to be a huge tradition with time spent with my father and older brother.That all went away after my dad passed away.My brother and I both have busy lives and live at opposite ends of the state and rarely ever hunt together.I became more of a solo hunter but the passion,spirit and past memories have never faded.I now have my son hunting with me and his enthusiasm has changed the way I look at hunting.It's now about him instead of me.The spirit has changed somewhat but it hasn't faded in the least.You can't have progress without change,regardless of how hard it is to accept the change.
 

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Sometimes it seems like gadgets have replaced the skill and spirit involved in hunting. This evening I read a quote from Aldo Leopold where he was talking about the same thing in 1940, so I guess that's nothing new. But today I feel optomistic. My 7 yr old daughter and I took a walk in the woods today, and I can see how much she lights up in the outdoors. She says "I love having a dad who knows about the woods and fish, and animals and stuff." I told her I love having a little girl who's interested in all that stuff. I see how excited she gets when we make plans to go fishing. She's been asking when we can go squirrel hunting. Don't know if she'll grow up to be a hunter, but I am passing on a love for the outdoors that I know won't go away.
 

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Jig_Head said:
Sometimes it seems like gadgets have replaced the skill and spirit involved in hunting. This evening I read a quote from Aldo Leopold where he was talking about the same thing in 1940, so I guess that's nothing new. But today I feel optomistic. My 7 yr old daughter and I took a walk in the woods today, and I can see how much she lights up in the outdoors. She says "I love having a dad who knows about the woods and fish, and animals and stuff." I told her I love having a little girl who's interested in all that stuff. I see how excited she gets when we make plans to go fishing. She's been asking when we can go squirrel hunting. Don't know if she'll grow up to be a hunter, but I am passing on a love for the outdoors that I know won't go away.
 
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