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Author Topic: I miss the old way of deer hunting.  (Read 12537 times)

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2019, 11:34:59 AM »
Another thing I miss about the "old ways",  I know I touched on it a little in other posts but it really is and should be a time for friends and family to come together and form lots of memories, its amazing the conversation, memories and friendships that come away from a hunting fire. When my great grandparents started hunting the Methow over 100 years ago they actually knew and were close friends of a lot of ranchers, orchardists and cowboys from all over the valley, some were lifelong friendships that went on for decades. Some of the folks were brought up to Alaska where my great grandparents had some business ties with some fishing and canary operations to hunt bear, moose and caribou. A lot of folks from Alaska that my great grandparents knew would come down and hunt Mulies in the Methow, a lot of them through the years worked for Alaska FandG I remember. My great grandparents passed away in the 1970,s both were in their 90,s and both were in great shape until the last months of their lives, my great grandma was still out picking blackberries up on Mt Shucksin and at the base of Mt Baker well into her late 90,s. I remember as a boy some of the folks, friends, family and some real characters that would gather at the "little Bellingham fires, I remember 2 big bon fires 10 feet in diameter each with 20-30 people gathered around each fire telling stories of the hunt, 20 feet away were 2- 30 ft long ridgepoles spread between 3 big Ponderosas with 15-20 bucks hanging on each pole just glowing in the fire light, then you would walk a couple hundred feet to another big fire pit and there would be another family member with his clan and the sights and sounds were duplicated. I remember as a boy seeing 50 or more deer at a time hanging at Little Bellingham, all hung "head up", my great grandma was a stickler at having them hung head up, she would say "yep, there easier to clean the other way but they are a proud animal, their heads should be held high". My dad has told stories and had pictures from the 1930,s and 40,s of over 100 bucks hanging on the poles. Like I said everyone knew were everyone hunted and all piched in with dragging and packing, when a shot was heard from camp by folks who already had their bucks, 5 or 6 of them would drop what they were doing, gather some supplies and head out, you sometimes had to wait till the next day to see what hit the dirt. There was a friend of my great grandpa that was from Nebraska(where my Great Grandpa was born) who's son used to hunt with us, after WW2 was over my dad said he was back at camp that year, it was like he got off the boat, grabbed his gear and headed to the Methow, I remember my dad telling stories how "different" he was after the war, everyone noticed right away my dad said, it was very obvious. My dad was in his teens and grandma and my dad went out with Henry to hunt one day, a big 4 point came up the side of the ridge from the creek bottom at about 200 yards, Henry asked if "anybody was gonna kill the dang thing before he slips away", my dad said grandma asked if he wanted it, my dad said nope, "I want to watch Henry shoot it", Henry proceeded to stand erect, put his rifle up, put the peep sights on the buck and drop him with one shot. They got over to the buck and the round entered one ear and exited though the other, dead before it hit the ground. Well what was different about Henry that year everyone was noticing was actually a good thing, Henry was confident and had grown up a lot during the early 40,s, his time in Europe(battle of the bulge vet) and his time in the Army actually made a man out of him I guess you could say. My dad said he remembered him before the war being kind of the "camp clown", always making jokes, almost being obnoxious to a point and not being able to hit the broad side of a barn at 50 feet with a cannon, he had never killed a buck, had flat out missed, not hit or wounded but MISSED at least 10 bucks prior, he always had someone with him that witnessed, tree limbs snap, bark fly off trees and dirt kick up all at least 5 feet away from the buck he was shooting at. Henry always laughed it off but my dad said you could tell it bothered him. He came back to camp after the war still happy go lucky but with a new found confidence in himself, he ended up killing over 40 bucks after that up until he passed. Friendships are something to be cherished while letting the memories just happen, many, many of mine stem from the old hunting camps and now on a much smaller scale :chuckle: I am doing it with my friends and family, we are spread out between 2 small camps now and hunt all over the valley but meet up every day to talk about how many deer we DIDNT see, as far as deer numbers go, its a shame what has happened to this herd, the deer numbers are not close, not even a fraction of what they were, most of the group now go out of state to kill their deer but still come to the camp every year out of tradition, myself and a couple are the last holdouts, all of my deer have been Methow bucks and thats the way it will stay. This herd will never be what it was but memories and stories can still be made and told.

I remember another friendship my great grandparents had over there back in the day. I think it was the Late 40,s or early 50,s, my dad was in the Marine corp and received a letter from great grandpa wondering if he(my dad) would like to go in on a real-estate purchase, my dad said a couple other relatives were asked also. My dad said he wrote back to grandpa and basically turned him down, my dad was just married and he and my mom were planning for their future and saving for a home, nobody wanted to go in and it went away. My dad until the day he died a few years ago said it was the worst decision he ever made, the deal was to have 5 -6 family members go in and purchase some property by a lake from a friend of grandpa and grandma  for $17.50(yes seventeen dollars and 50 cents) per acre, the purchase involved thousands of acres(my dad could not recall exactly how many acres were offered up to grandpa and grandma), he thought it was the whole north/west side/end of the lake.......that property is now called Studhorse Mt.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 05:39:10 PM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2019, 05:05:12 PM »
Another great memory from the old deer camp was of a fella named Paul, he was a commercial fisherman friend of great grandpa, he was of Slavic descent and talked with an accent, he was a lot younger than grandpa and grandma, if I remember right he was the son of one of grandpas Alaska buddies. He was about 6.2 and my dad said in his prime weighed in at around 250lbs, my dad said "he was one of the flat out strongest men he had ever met", he had hands like bear paws and forearms the size of a normal mans legs, he earned the nickname back in the day of "The Superman of The Methow". My dad said he packed out numerous bucks by making "back packs" out of them and packing them out on his back, didn't matter how big the buck was, he would just role the guts out, make a few cuts to the legs, run the fronts through the rears and start walking. My dad said that back in his prime he remembered Paul packing out 3 deer in one day, a buck he had shot, one my grandma had shot and one my grandpa had shot, all were roughly 2- 3 mile hikes. I got to know Paul later in his life when he was much older, he was pretty crippled up from years of fishing, his back was shot and he had arthritis in his elbows, knees and shoulders. I remember all the stories he would tell around the fire when I was a young man, and I remember the stories my dad would tell of him when he was in his prime. He would just come to be at camp in his later years, he no longer hunted much  because he couldn't get around much anymore, what he would do for us every year until he passed was to jump on his tote goat and drive the 50 feet from his tent to ours, drive it through the flaps of the tent at 2 in the A.M to tell us "ladies" it was time to get up, he would be in his one piece wool longjohns with a 44 mag holstered across his chest topped off with a big red stocking hat, when he was there we never had to set an alarm clock, never, For the 15 years I knew him, we never set an alarm.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 05:10:42 PM by bigmacc »

Offline tracksoup

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2019, 05:12:44 PM »
Awesome stories bigmacc!!
Thanks for sharing

Offline elksnout

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2019, 09:43:58 PM »
Yeah I get it. I'm bett'n even some of those old timers talked about "the good 'ol days" 100 years ago to some extent. We need to move forward men or we'll perish.....the cup is half full.

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Can't we all just get along?

Offline idaho guy

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2019, 10:57:25 PM »
Yeah I get it. I'm bett'n even some of those old timers talked about "the good 'ol days" 100 years ago to some extent. We need to move forward men or we'll perish.....the cup is half full.

Elksnout
 

 :yeah: donít let the flat bill army get you down! Those Instagram hunters are changing the look of hunting for some but I still hunt the same. i do have a way more accurate rifle and rangefinder though👍 I have had lots of camps come and go over the years. Most of those are great memories and we are making new ones.i have always hunted quite a bit solo as well and still enjoy that. We will be deer hunting a completely new deer camp this year which I am looking forward too

Offline no.cen.wa

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2019, 09:10:59 AM »
I like the posts of longtime hunters on this topic, some are bored I guess, sad.
If topic is of no interest,,, just don't reply.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2019, 10:16:45 PM »
Yeah I get it. I'm bett'n even some of those old timers talked about "the good 'ol days" 100 years ago to some extent. We need to move forward men or we'll perish.....the cup is half full.

Elksnout

You bet they did, and I was there to hear a lot of it, every bit of it was valuable and 100 percent priceless. Listening and paying attention helped me kill a lot of nice bucks in my life,... no Bragg, Just fact :tup:

bigmacc
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 10:38:20 PM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2019, 10:24:20 PM »
Awesome stories bigmacc!!
Thanks for sharing

Thankyou tracksoup.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2019, 10:40:52 PM »
I like the posts of longtime hunters on this topic, some are bored I guess, sad.
If topic is of no interest,,, just don't reply.

Thanks no.cen.wa, man, times are different arnt they.

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2019, 11:03:08 PM »
🤔
"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2019, 11:05:15 AM »
I like the posts of longtime hunters on this topic, some are bored I guess, sad.
If topic is of no interest,,, just don't reply.

This is a great topic I also like reading the old timer stories. I think we need to still look at hunting the way we want too and not worry about the guys falling over themselves trying to get some fame and pimping out over priced product. We can still pass on our own traditions as we see fit. I don't think the old way of hunting has to be gone at all. Its probably overshadowed by the flat bill army though since that's the only hunters really pounding social media etc. Great topic and op said he misses old way of deer hunting he doesn't need to not hunt that way anymore.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2019, 11:27:01 AM »
I may have mentioned this one before or maybe PM,d someone about it but another old story of Paul(the commercial fisherman)I remember was back in the 40,s, Paul had told my dad that he and my mom should park themselves under a certain tree that was in one of the old migration routes we knew of(back when big migrations actually took place in the Methow) because of a big storm that hit a couple days prior, Paul was going to sit on a particular boulder that sat high on a knob with a draw coming up on his left and one coming up on his right, it was one of the best spots to be in the valley during migrations, bar none and like I said "it was". The tree my mom and dad sat at was about 400 yards to the north and west of Paul and was also in a " herd highway", especially after some weather. My mom had never killed a buck up until that day and Paul figured it would be a good spot for her because the shooting in this hole they were in was 50-60 yards at the most from the base of the tree they would be sitting at, they got into the tree and piled old limbs and branches around themselves to form a blind, my mom had her lever action 30-30 ready to go. After sitting in the dark in 6 degree temps for 2 hours and hearing deer after deer moving through the thickets to all sides and directions of them my dad said "your mom didn't come down with a cold sitting in that weather, hearing all the deer moving around and not seeing them gave her buck fever", the sun slowly lit up the area and now they could see shadows moving through the trees and my dad said the numbers were huge, hje figured a couple hundred deer had moved through before they could even start to make out which were does and which were bucks. My dad had hunted this particular tree many many times during storms and migrations but said he had never seen so many deer come through this hole before and he never did after. A huge 4 by 4 came up the trail slowly moving through the trees at about 30 feet to the left and my dad told my mom "theres your buck, he's a dandy", my dad said mom raised her 30-30 and began the deed. Before the dust settled with deer crashing and bouncing all around them, it was total mayhem, my dad said it sounded more like a herd of elk crashing through a thicket of jack pines in all directions. When the dust finally did settle all that hit the dirt was 4 rounds of unfired 30-30 ammo, my mom had ejected all the rounds without pulling the trigger. Well thats only part of the story, Paul had wanted my mom at that tree because of the close shots that would be available, the other part of the story is about all those deer coming up through that hole that day(my dad said he estimated at 3-4 hundred total), It seems Paul had made his way 100 yards or so down hill from his Boulder and parked himself in the draw to the right, soon as he heard or seen deer starting to come up he would blow a whistle and role rocks down the hill, the deer would hang a left and head north, the next draw they hit was the one heading into the hole where my mom was, Paul put in a lot of work that day to help another hunter as he always did, packing, dragging, being a birddog it didn't matter, he enjoyed helping others. Paul got a kick out of what happened that day my dad said and he asked if he could have the four 30-30 rounds to keep as a reminder of that day, he got a kick out of it and for years he would pull out those bullets and tell the story of the "deer detour". My mom killed many bucks after that until she passed away at a young age but she always enjoyed Pauls story of that day when he would tell it around the fire, in his rich, slavic accent, the year before Paul passed he gave those 4 bullets to me and I have them to this day.

Just an add on here, I myself over the last 20 years have sat at Pauls old boulder and at the tree, I have went into these areas after the season was closed with my son or grandkids in the first 2 weeks of November, just to see what we could see moving through while weather was hitting or had hit a few days prior in some instances. Very sad, wanting to show the younger ones the migrations I grew up watching come through some of these areas are only memories now. We went into Pauls boulder for 4 days straight after 2-3 feet of snow had dropped up high(the first big storm of that fall), the temps dropped, wind was blowing and it spitted snow at the boulder all 4 days with an accumulation there of about 8 inches. 25 or more years ago we would have seen a thousand deer come through sitting on that boulder over those 4 days in November, this time 41. Kind of puts into perspective what has become of this herd over the last 25 or so years.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 12:17:03 PM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2019, 11:45:03 AM »

I forgot to mention "that certain tree" in the story of Paul and my mom has many more stories involved with it(as some on here know), "grandpas tree" as it is affectionately known has a lot of history in our camp, someday I may get around to telling a few more of them. 

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2019, 11:46:13 AM »
How many of the Instagram hunters are really out there. Sure if you are on social media you are gonna see a bunch of it but I spend a hundred plus days in the field a year in 4 or 5 states and 95% of the guys I run across whether in the field, at a trail head, at the gas station or grocery store are just regular guys out doing something they enjoy.

Hunting is very personal for everyone and we do it for different reasons. Family, friendship, camp atmosphere, etc. Big part of hunting for me personally is the opposite. I want to retreat from people and life. I crave solitude. I also enjoy taking my dad hunting. Kids are coming of age and that adds that much more enjoyment to something I already love.

Like others have said, if you aren't getting what you want out of hunting you must only look in the mirror to see the cause. You want a big camp life, start one. You want to hunt with family more, press it a bit. I know if i didnt prod my father to go he would likely go fishing instead. You wanna backpack hunt, then get the gear and go sleep in the woods by yourself. There will always be an excuse one can think up not to do something  :twocents:
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2019, 12:08:30 PM »
How many of the Instagram hunters are really out there. Sure if you are on social media you are gonna see a bunch of it but I spend a hundred plus days in the field a year in 4 or 5 states and 95% of the guys I run across whether in the field, at a trail head, at the gas station or grocery store are just regular guys out doing something they enjoy.

Hunting is very personal for everyone and we do it for different reasons. Family, friendship, camp atmosphere, etc. Big part of hunting for me personally is the opposite. I want to retreat from people and life. I crave solitude. I also enjoy taking my dad hunting. Kids are coming of age and that adds that much more enjoyment to something I already love.

Like others have said, if you aren't getting what you want out of hunting you must only look in the mirror to see the cause. You want a big camp life, start one. You want to hunt with family more, press it a bit. I know if i didnt prod my father to go he would likely go fishing instead. You wanna backpack hunt, then get the gear and go sleep in the woods by yourself. There will always be an excuse one can think up not to do something  :twocents:

I got to ask ...what the heck is an "Instagram hunter" and a "flat bill hunter" that I keep seeing be brought up? Man I must be getting old :chuckle:....I really do miss the old way of deer hunting :chuckle:

 


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