What Happened to the Years Between ‘Grow up’ and ‘Getting Old’?

Is it so, or does it just seem like half my life I’ve been told to “grow up” and the other half of my life I’ve been told “you’re just getting old”.  Every now and then I see my sons and wife looking at me sideways , shaking their head when I pull another Norgy.  Most of the time words aren’t spoken but I’m very cognisant of the thought and I certainly can’t argue that my thought process hasn’t changed, because I see it myself.  Its not all bad as it gives us something to talk about, laugh about and brings another dimension to some of our hunting stories.  I don’t have to go back but a couple years to start seeing this trend, and I kind of blame it on trying to learn to hunt with Sue, as I have almost always been a loner when it came to hitting the hills and the woods.   Sue sees it more as an inability to multi task (which I understand is more common with males) in my thinking.  It just seems that since I started hunting with her its added a side of hunting I’ve not had to consider before.

Last year I was hunting Moose while deer hunting season was on at the same time in this unit.  After a couple days of hunting Sue encouraged me to get a deer tag also, just in case we saw a nice buck, so I did.  The very next day I was calling moose when I saw a flash of white down in the trees and my mind said “moose horn palmation”.  When a beautiful whitetail buck stepped out, quartered away and stopped.  I put the cross-hairs on him and said “bang”.  When he had finally run out of patience and ran off Sue asked “whats wrong, wasn’t he big enough?”  All I could do is look a little sheepish as I had forgot about the tag in my pocket, as my mind was still on Moose.

Than this year toward the end of Archery season in a certain area it was legal to shoot a cow elk with rifle in a certain area so I took bow and rifle to my set up one morning.  Sitting in the dawn I had four cows cross in front of me at 70 yards. Since this was to far for my  bow, I watched as they passed.  When they ducked out of sight at about 250 yards, it all of a sudden hit me, I could have used my rifle.

Nice little Five point, pretty as a picture. It's a good thing Sue was there to record for future generations what gramps can't do when offered the perfect situation.

Then how is this one.  This year I decided before archery season to extend my range so moved my 50 yard pin out to 55 yards.  My second son, Todd says “I wouldn’t do that dad, its going to bite you”.  But sure of what I was doing I did it anyway.  I mean who can’t remember that he now has a 20 – 30 – 40 and now a 55 yard pin?  It happened the third Saturday of the season when Sue and I had traveled in a huge circle starting at 5:00 AM that morning and not seeing any sign or hearing any elk movement.  It was now 5:30 PM and we were only 30 minutes from the trail and an hour and a half from the PU when out of the blue a bugle answered my cow call.  He was less then 100 yards off in the brush so we hurriedly made a set up.  That bull we could tell was circling down wind but a second bull started on in on a line from further up canyon.  I ranged a line of brush at 51 yards and just like clock work he came to an opening in this brush line.  When he came through my mantra was ‘turn broadside’.  Low and behold, he did at 48 yards.  My new mantra was ‘now stop’, and again as if he was listening and obedient, he stopped to trash a bush.  With everything going perfect I had no worries, put the 50 yard pin on him and released.  Wait a minute, that was a 55 yard pin, but it was too late to pull the arrow back.  It bit me.  We were able to call him back in but not for another shot.  Kind of makes you sick but there is no way to rectify such a mistake, so I guess you smile and joke about it.

I was sitting ahead and to Sue's left so actually had a perfectly clear path to this fellow who was busy letting everyone know how tough he was.


Then there was the last day of deer hunting this year.  It was a very windy and bone chilling day and I figured the deer would be finding places to hole up.  The bigger bucks wouldn’t like to be caught down in the brush so would find a sheltered spot on the protected side of some ridge.  We decided to hike up close to the top and then start going across the ridges to try find one of these bigger bucks.  We had got our altitude by 10:00 in the morning and on about the fifth ridge we crossed, there 100 yards below us laid our buck laying flat out and thinking he was hid.  I sat down put the cross hairs on him and said, “you take first shot Sue.”  With the wind blowing she didn’t hear me and I didn’t hear her when she said, “shoot”.  This buck was probably the biggest I have seen in the last 25 years and he didn’t get that big by being dumb.  While Sue and I were waiting for each other to shoot, the bucks patience wore out, he stood and was gone around the brow of the hill leaving us to wonder, what happened here?  I’ll guarantee, this never would have happened five years ago.  I think I’m getting to old to make snap decisions too.  Oh well, I’m having fun, especially having Sue hunt with me, so guess there’s no reason to slow down, yet.

Cold clear and windy this day. Kind of miserable to be out on the wind swept ridges but the scenery made it all easier to handle. Some people actually hunt this hard for Chukars.





2 Responses to “What Happened to the Years Between ‘Grow up’ and ‘Getting Old’?”

  1. mike ansel on December 2nd, 2011 9:51 pm

    Geese Gary you almost got me depressed until I start thinking about doing the same kind of things. I have yet to make it out for a hunt (this year) where I didn’t forget something. Left my bow on stand one evening then spent the next morning looking for it! Duh! Your ok buddy we’re just getting a little closer to the last campfire!

  2. Phillip on December 3rd, 2011 9:34 pm

    Great tale! I guess it happens to everybody sooner or later. I’m not ready to be called “gramps” yet, but I can already see the signs.

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