"GO HUNTING NOW WHILE YOU ARE PHYSICALLY ABLE!"

It pays to get a complete medical before heading out on a rigorous or strenuous trip and if +50 of vintage, even if a person in great shape. I went tahr, feral goat and boar hunting in New Zealand, South Island, in mountainous terrain last February and all without issue. I hunted the pig with a knife and it was quite extreme to keep up with the guide and the dogs.

I'm 60 years of age and used walking sticks on the steep stuff as knees were giving me a little grief on the climb down (going up wasn't too bad and kept up with the guide). After getting back, I had a routine stress test (in May) and went 12 minutes on the maximum gradient and speed to reach the target heart rate and pulse, given the good shape I'm in. Unfortunately, I then had a call from the cardiac doctor the next day to immediately cease rigorous activity and had an urgent angiogram completed (within 10 days of the stress test). Apparently, my proximal RCA is 100% blocked (total occlusion) and heart has rerouted ("excellent collateralization from the left sytem.") I'm now on beta blockers and a statin medication but can maintain the same level of fitness but with future heavy, sustained strenuous activity not advised. I guess my mountain hunting days are over...but at least I finished with a good (15" tahr). The downside, is that I had priority for local bighorn (Alberta) sheep in a great zone that I'll only be able to complete in my head. Future African hunting and local prairie/foothills deer and elk hunting not an issue, but I'll get help to haul the harvest out of the bush when hunting locally.

I totally agree with to have adventures while you can and a preventative medical check is in order for those planning on going on a strenuous hunt and if you're of an older vintage.

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About a year ago a Wall Street Journal article stated that, at 65, a person typically has 5 to 8 good years before health problems interfere with retirement plans. Unfortunately I read it two years after retirement at 71 and just following a triple bypass open heart surgery in September 2023 that caused me to miss the entire fall 2023 hunting season. Now that I completely recovered from that, I am dealing with severe plantar fasciitis related to very severe heel spurs that will probably require surgery. I am hoping that some of the fall 2024 hunting season will be left after recovery.
It is amazing how prescient the WSJ article was, or maybe it is just statistics. I wish I knew it at 65.
 
Do you need a Dall or any North American Sheep? I myself and another member of this forum have been discussing how prices south of the border are coming down a DBH (formerly the most expensive hunt) are now in the same price range even below some of the cheapest Dall hunts. Be careful to avoid HF hunts for them unless you’re ok with that type of experience for a sheep hunt.
I’ve been looking at those desert bighorn hunts as well. It looks to me like that and Dalls is all I’ll ever be able to afford.
 
I'm 59.

My elk hunt last fall was tough because of lumbar issues. I'm in good condition (cardiovascular), but age takes it's toll and you never know what health conditions may come along.

Heck, I pulled a hamstring last week helping my wife round-up chickens and I've been limping ever since.



My recommendation is to take hunts as soon as you can afford to, while meeting all your financial responsibilities. But, never, ever, borrow money to fund lifestyle.


I'd rather sit on my porch in a rocking chair and tell tales about the adventures of my youth, than will my heirs big money they didn't earn.

If it were me... I'd rather have stories, photos, and trophies from my parents or grandparents, than a million dollar condominium that I couldn't afford to buy on my own.
 
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Yeah but you are tough, I wouldn't try to outlast you in the mountains. Besides I am pretty sure if I said there is a bushbuck at the top of that mountain, you would be climbing before I finished the sentence.
I’m
This is why I decided to do my cape buffalo hunt last year at the age of 60 with a bow. I knew my time is fast approaching when the ability to draw a heavy poundage bow may be too much for me and my shoulders.
So glad that I went to Zambia with Strang Middleton and got my buff. He's not the biggest, but I couldn't be happier with him.
View attachment 614409View attachment 614411View attachment 614412
looks pretty big to me!

Well done.
 
I’ve been looking at those desert bighorn hunts as well. It looks to me like that and Dalls is all I’ll ever be able to afford.
Dall Hunts have definitely spiked in price due to both demand and population numbers, which is what is leading me to book one sooner rather than later. Good news is every outfitter I've spoken with has said sheep are very cyclical and are very hopeful to see better herd numbers in a few years based on recently observed lamb crops.

Several of the Dall Sheep Outfitters I've spoken to in Alaska and Canada have been very helpful on information and leads towards a DBH Hunt as well. They've all said it's a significantly less physical hunt. I'm waiting on a bunch of calls back from several of the leads but will say every one of the Dall Outfitters with insight has cautioned me on picking location very carefully.

My takeaway has been DBH Hunts are the newest version of CB vs Wild Managed vs Wild hunts. Ones "DBH Sheep Hunting" experience might be a few hundred to thousand acre high fence vs a couple hundred thousand acre high fence vs a couple hundred thousand acre ranch with a fence through the mountains, to completely free range. When you get into free range there are hunts for released rams, reintroduced rams, self sustaining herds of rams from reintroduction, to completely wild herds in places like Tiburon. Certain pricing tiers lend themselves to one hunt or the other.
 
"Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one" .. young or old.

You're as young as you think & wisdom "should" come with age.
 
Dall Hunts have definitely spiked in price due to both demand and population numbers, which is what is leading me to book one sooner rather than later. Good news is every outfitter I've spoken with has said sheep are very cyclical and are very hopeful to see better herd numbers in a few years based on recently observed lamb crops.

Several of the Dall Sheep Outfitters I've spoken to in Alaska and Canada have been very helpful on information and leads towards a DBH Hunt as well. They've all said it's a significantly less physical hunt. I'm waiting on a bunch of calls back from several of the leads but will say every one of the Dall Outfitters with insight has cautioned me on picking location very carefully.

My takeaway has been DBH Hunts are the newest version of CB vs Wild Managed vs Wild hunts. Ones "DBH Sheep Hunting" experience might be a few hundred to thousand acre high fence vs a couple hundred thousand acre high fence vs a couple hundred thousand acre ranch with a fence through the mountains, to completely free range. When you get into free range there are hunts for released rams, reintroduced rams, self sustaining herds of rams from reintroduction, to completely wild herds in places like Tiburon. Certain pricing tiers lend themselves to one hunt or the other.
I would love to hear who you decide to book with for DBH and why. Sounds like you have put in the research.
 
Thanks for sharing that quote—it's a great reminder to start planning and make those dream hunts happen. Life’s too short to keep putting them off!
 
Great posts regarding booking hunts, age, and physical abilities. Go when you can, as soon as you can, and as often as you can!

Luckily, in the past 24 months, I’ve hunted Arizona desert bighorn sheep in the Kofa’s, free-range tahr in the mountains of New Zealand (no aircraft utilized) on the South Island, and bongo/forest sitatunga in the equatorial jungles of Southeast Cameroon, Africa.

All hunts are manageable to anyone in descent and good shape and without bad legs and joints. I would have to vote that the African jungle hunt was the most challenging physically and mentally over time. The African jungle is some of the most difficult hunting on the planet. Very fun and rewarding, nonetheless.

Best of luck and happy hunting to all. TheGrayRider a/k/a Tom.
 
Great posts regarding booking hunts, age, and physical abilities. Go when you can, as soon as you can, and as often as you can!

Luckily, in the past 24 months, I’ve hunted Arizona desert bighorn sheep in the Kofa’s, free-range tahr in the mountains of New Zealand (no aircraft utilized) on the South Island, and bongo/forest sitatunga in the equatorial jungles of Southeast Cameroon, Africa.

All hunts are manageable to anyone in descent and good shape and without bad legs and joints. I would have to vote that the African jungle hunt was the most challenging physically and mentally over time. The African jungle is some of the most difficult hunting on the planet. Very fun and rewarding, nonetheless.

Best of luck and happy hunting to all. TheGrayRider a/k/a Tom.
I used to live on Yuma Proving Grounds, and knew where all the big Rams were in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge. Had names for some of the bigger ones, but even as a a Resident because I was on Active Duty, drawing a tag wan never gonna happen. :cautious:

Dreams come and go as we age, and in many ways this is part of the enjoyment of hunting. At 12 years old, I dreamed of the day I'd have my first real rifle. Those bushy tails in the woods behind my parents house, boy would they be in for it. ;) Every year I get just as excited when I hear those leaves rustling and I get my first look at those big fat gray squirrels.
 
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I turned 65 in November so definitely hit the fourth quarter as far as my trips around the sun but I agree with the Atcheson philosophy that one should continue to go while they able! I did the Altai Mountains at age 64 and while I didn't run up any slopes, slow and steady won the race (coupled with Mongolian ponies). So eat right, watch your weight, walk every day you're able and keep planning those trips... the only person that can make you stop is the person you look at in the mirror every day!
 
The post about the mental part being important IMO is spot on. Enduring some pain and discomfort, sooner or later, will be part of the game. I inherited lower back issues and had back surgery at 38. By sheer luck, a top sports neurosurgeon did the work. Contrary to all the BS I’d heard about or was advised about on how to deal with the lower back weakness, I discovered by another coincidence, after sustaining compound fractures in my left foot and ankle, it is torso and upper body strength that helps most in mitigating lower back weakness. Almost counterintuitive but something to consider for those with lower back issues.

Having grown up in or near mountains and altitude, the timberline or steep terrain hunting for sheep never seemed a hurdle. Scree slopes/chutes… under, over or around hanging glaciers in the Wrangells seemed normal to similar terrain I’d hunted deer in growing up in the Rockies farther south. Wet, soggy, marshland laced with deadfall and impenetrable willow, packing 150-200 lb bone-in moose parts for me was the most physically demanding hunt. So sure enough serious moose would be one I would recommend doing sooner when younger and stronger rather that later. Of course some raghorn meat moose can be easy killed by simply running major river side sloughs and popping them from a boat… if you are into that kind of “hunting” ;)
One of my daughters was a top 30 Tennis pro in the world of women singles. She put me on to a sports physical therapist. I had suffered from lower back pain. She was magic!!! She said most people don’t know lower back pain is caused by weak pelvic muscles. She gave me a rubber ring I use for two type of exercises then two more type exercises. I do them every other day and my lower back pain is gone
 
I turned 65 in November so definitely hit the fourth quarter as far as my trips around the sun but I agree with the Atcheson philosophy that one should continue to go while they able! I did the Altai Mountains at age 64 and while I didn't run up any slopes, slow and steady won the race (coupled with Mongolian ponies). So eat right, watch your weight, walk every day you're able and keep planning those trips... the only person that can make you stop is the person you look at in the mirror every day!


Great post from someone who gets it done. Respect to you!
 
Do it whilst you can, getting old seeks up on you, at 78 this year my rough country hunting trips with long walks are over.I have had a heart valve replacement , left wrist fuzed, right knee replacement & suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, but i will not give up hunting, my 2 sons are hunters & my grandson who is 13 put my 200 meter targets out at the range last saturday . i have just purchased a Howa 1500 in 204 Ruger to shoot feral cats , in Australia this is done at night out of a 4x4 with a light i would rather die out in the bush than in some smelly nursing home.In the 1960s prior to my deployment to Vietnam
we run 5 miles in 55 minutes with all our gear every morning, after a few weeks it was no effort at all ,
those were the days when you thought you were bullet proof. Men do it whilst you can time waits for no one.
@rdog - you “sir” have got it RIGHT !!! AND at 78 you still have MORE time left to have FUN. Agree with the “smelly Nursing Home” —— my “ideal” is to die while dragging out a good buck….hopefully at 80-95 years old but doing something I enjoy (sex might be Out-of-the-Question !!!)
 
Great post from someone who gets it done. Respect to you!
Walking might be ”the key” because your LEGS will get you where you need to be (Not your biceps)……but Biceps look GOOD !!!
 
Love this quote by John Barrymore… “a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams!”
 
I also like this quote…none are old until they quit learning…some are done at 20 and some are done past 80.
 
I would love to hear who you decide to book with for DBH and why. Sounds like you have put in the research.
I’ll let you know if/when I decide. I’m likely going to book a Dall first but weighing the options. My feeling is Dall prices are going to continue to climb while DBH price may come down a little more or stay relatively flat for a bit. This way, if/when I go after a DBH its cost hasn’t climbed and my all-in cost for both the Dall and DBH are less than if booked the other way around.
 
At 61. I have been diagnosed with severe arthritis in my lumbar and thoracic spine along with a knee that causes some pain at times. Exercise and weight loss are helping and, although there is no cure, I am getting better. I plan to continue hunting pheasant, quail and dove as long as possible. A trip to Africa is in my plans for retirement as well as an elk hunt with my brother. Money is a factor so we shall see.
 

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