Could of would of should of!

TN911

Member
Jun 6, 2018
108
48
Missouri
Wisdom is a powerful thing to have. I am 27 years old and a Missouri resident. I want to address all the guys who have "been there, done that". I currently apply to some simple tags, Colorado elk, Mule deer, Wyoming antelope, and Elk. I am looking for advice from the older guys who wish they would have done things different. Maybe it was applied for tags when they were younger, maybe it was not put a hunt off a year. Maybe i'm missing a bigger picture, such as hunting a species in multiple states over several years instead of having tunnel vision on a certain unit or state. Tell me what you would have done at my age, and why. I am mainly interested in elk, Moose, and Caribou hunts at this time in my life. I don't want to look back on my life at 50 years old and think "man if only I would have done this earlier". Even though I feel like that is inevitable lol. Thanks guys. I think this will be a awesome thread.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,659
1,877
Eastern Nebraska
I should have invested in Apple and I should have bought hunting property when it was affordable... In all seriousness, Make a plan to hunt Alaska for moose and follow through with it. I have always wanted to go but there have always been reasons not to do it at the time. Work, Family, and money etc... I do believe the older you get the harder it will be to make the most of a trip up there.
 

Big Chief J

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
169
50
Texas
Go hunting whenever the time and money are right! I'm 44 and started hunting out west in my 20's.

I try to use points to get a decent hunt every year rather than chasing the "best" units that require lots of points. Apply for states that have random draws too because you might get lucky.
 
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Wyoming Hart

Very Active Member
Oct 10, 2014
824
117
Spring Run, PA
You are about the same age I was when first started getting points for western hunts. That's probably the only thing that I wish I would have been able to start earlier. I'm still young enough to use the knowledge I've gained to really put things together here soon before I get to the age where I start regretting not doing things sooner. Looks like you are in a good situation being 27 with some points built.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
3,414
2,438
I'm not one of the older bucks here either but if there is any advice I can give you its to take more time to go hunting and apply for as many states as possible that you can afford and experience as much as you can afford to experience. Once you have 6 points in everything then start shuffling your way through your points. By the time you get through them all it will have done a full circle and you'll have points to go through again. Currently I have 15 years worth of points to shuffle through. God willing, I'll cycle through them all three times unless something major happens with the systems. So far it is working swimmingly for me. I dont mind "taking turns" on hunting an area. Dont get hung up on hunting the same species year after year on your trips and accept the fact that there are some things that are out of your reach and always will be due to the nature of the systems in place. Focus on what is practical, obtainable, and affordable.

Experience everything you can in life while you have your legs and wits about you.

You will die one day. Always remember that. Dont sit there dying wishing you had experienced more.
 
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Yell Co AR Hunter

Very Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
776
579
Yell County Arkansas
My advice is to go when you get the chance. Here are somethings you can count on.
1. Will never be more affordable.
2. Will never get easier to obtain the tag.
3. If you pass on a hunt it better be for a better one.

All I had to do was make the call to book the caribou hunt in Quebec 30 plus years ago. I had the money, but always worried something major might come up. At the time $2,300.00 would cover all cost but tips for guides. This was for a one on one guide. You know what that hunt cost now? Does not matter. The hunt does not exist. Keep in mind you can always make more money, but you can't buy time no matter how much money you have.
 

Umpqua Hunter

Veteran member
May 26, 2011
3,568
73
58
North Umpqua, Oregon
So I decided in my early 20's (the mid 1980s) that I wanted a grand slam and figured I needed to draw my bighorn and desert to pull that off. I was able to achieve that goal at 37 years old and have drawn three bighorn tags and one desert tag (FYI: All four came as a result of max points). I should still draw Arizona and possibly even another random sheep tag somewhere. My immediate family has drawn three sheep tags as well (all random tags). With that said, researching all the nuances of hunt applications became a hobby that I got very absorbed in, figuring out how to stay ahead of the competition. My research grew into other species and some great tags. Each year the amount of fixed out of pocket costs grew in building points. Years ago I could have turned that research into a business but I was in a great place in my career.

I have come to understand that you WILL become an EXPERT at SOMETHING. That can range from being lazy, to a discontent employee who bounces around to various jobs, to being a video gamer, to being a world class neurosurgeon. You WILL become VERY GOOD at what you invest the most time, finances and energy in.

Things I would have done differently, especially if I was starting today.

1) With the brain power I invested to learn how to draw great tags in the west, I wish I had instead used that to learn investing, valuing companies on their financials and the stock market. I'm almost 55 and am slowing down on my hunt research to draw tags, simply because my family is in a great place with points. I have the family genes to live into my 90s if my health stays good. I think I could have enjoyed investing into my 80s or 90s even. I can only imagine how savy of an investor I could be now had I poured the same amount of energy into investing as learning hunting areas and niche areas to apply. I could have bought some phenomenal hunts with a strong investment plan, rather than investing in "points". I am growing as an investor, but to become truly proficient at something takes thousands of hours.

3) I would have spent far less money on taxidermy. I loved a shoulder mount when I was young, today it is really not a very big deal to me. I get so much more out of a great field photograph and memories. I have grown to prefer a nice European mount.

4) Invest even more in what is ETERNAL. When you look back on your life, stuff will fade and deteriorate, relationships with people and your relationship with God are forever.

Things I would not have changed:

1) Being a husband and father who is loyal.

2) Working very hard when I was young to build a career that will provided well. I chose engineering.

3) Staying out of debt. I've owed on one car for a couple months and paid off my first house in my early thirties. Being debt free is incredibly liberating. My dad always said, "Debt is bondage".

4) My second wife of 10 years has been an incredible blessing. Realize the person you marry will define your life almost more than any other factor.

5) I love God. He has been the one constant in my life. The pain of life has brought more and more realness and authenticity to my relationship with Him.
 
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tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
2,292
878
north idaho
Points are awesome, just look at what Umpqua hunter has done, but with that said.
Don't just wait for that special hunt. Go by an otc tag and go hunting. learn the area and have fun.

Go to Alaska, once again otc will work just fine.

However for me, the most important thing to do is: push your self, and I do mean push your self. Good things come to those who go after them. So push your self to be the better, at anything you want to do. Also, remember you can do more than you think you can. so push yourself.

also, may your dreams exceed your memories.
 

mooretitan

New Member
Oct 18, 2013
22
1
Turning 40 soon and here's what I can say
1. If you are not married or dont have kids yet enjoy this opportunity to get out and do hunts. Kids and a wife add something different. Not bad but as a man they should become your 1st priority.
2. If you can move to a western state that offers general tags. Top of the list for me would be Wyoming or Idaho. You make make less on the pay check depending what you do. But learning to enjoy life and having the ability to enjoy it are important. I got to far into retirement and family to move right now. 13 more years and I will be in one of those two states
3. No matter what hunt, even if its OTC or an unlimited area. Dont put it off
4. Build points and after 3-4 years you can rotate states and animals every year and enjoy so great hunts
5. Dont think you need ever new gun or bow out there. Lots of money that sit in safes every year. Get a good one and use it
6. Save up and get the best glass. It will last a life time. I have great hunting gear and even though it cost a lot it will be used for a long time. By binos are going on 20 years. that works out less than a $100s a year.
7. Build if possible a core group of hunting buddies. Hunting with a trusted friend is rewarding in many ways
 
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JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,605
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Gypsum, Co
Forget about all of the US, save up and head to Africa. It is a lot cheaper and a lot more fun plus you will be treated like royalty while there by your outfitter and PH. A multiple animal hunt can be done for $5-6K, but if you want to bring trophies back home then naturally the price will go up.

But as was mentioned, forget about building points, just go hunt the OTC hunts. You can get any bull tags in Utah for a number of good units, Colorado has a lot of OTC units that you can hunt for elk either archery or rifle. But if you insist in putting in for draws be ready for a long wait. For mule deer Colorado has units that you can draw with zero or 1 point that will give you a great hunting experience in the mountains.
 
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hunter25

Active Member
Sep 8, 2016
494
228
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Everyone has covered all the good points. All I can say is just make a plan and do it.
I started wandering when I was 35 due to my kids being young and no money. I'm 51 now and I know I've lost years of hard hunting at the end due to smoking most of my life, worst mistake there.
I don't have a high paying job but work lots of ot and spend everything I make on trips. I drive old cars to avoid payments and bank that money for trips. I'm not a trophy hunter but live for the experience and adventure. And more importantly I've enjoyed most of the trips with my son.
Alaska twice and soon again, newfoundland moose. Colorado is home, I've hunted wyoming, utah, Oklahoma, arizona, texas, Florida, michigan, Wisconsin.
All those will continue as I can but have started leaning towards fishing trips with the family as I get older.
Also building points in multiple states for bear as I can easily sit and wait in a stand no matter how old I get.
Anyway, just do it.
Live the dream

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

TN911

Member
Jun 6, 2018
108
48
Missouri
Some great advice here. I am lucky to share my life with someone who understands my passion for hunting as well as I could every expect someone to. My wife has joined me on hunts and also supports my desire to go on others. Alaska is a must. This is the first year that bug has bit me but I agree, I think it will be better to do it now rather than later. Sorry Jim, My desire to hunt Africa is very minimal. I just don't see the fun in it compared to the game I can chase in the US. I will take the advice of many and begin putting in for multiple states on elk in hopes of being able to circle through them in a few years. Keep the advise coming! Thank you to everyone who has put in the time to respond. Great info here.
 

280ackimp

Active Member
Jul 4, 2017
163
20
New Hampshire
So many good point in all of the above!

I would say that I am of the age where the could haves, should haves and would haves are a factor.
Hunting ... do it, it does not get cheaper, easier and opportunities do seem to decline. I would also hunt when you can because your health may be an issue as you get older. I started hunting out west in my mid-20s I stopped to allow life events in and just started back, 30 years later ! I would have focused on spending more time with my friends in the field, the mentor and friend who started me hunting elk is gone now as are many of my hunting friends. I would bring others into the hunting world, we as hunters should "pass it on"! I would also keep a journal of experiances, costs, people, equipment, places, emotions and feelings...what it all means to you !
 

Eberle

Veteran member
Oct 2, 2012
1,009
13
47
Sasakwa, Oklahoma
I cut my teeth in my early 20's in Wyoming. Hit it hard and never look back! Hunt the back country pack hunts. The rough terrain and high elevation. Plenty of time later in life for lower elevation easy terrain. Hunt the Man Killer Mountains!
 
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Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
7,760
3,524
80
Dolores, Colorado
Wow, I missed this post when it first showed up!

I was born into a hunting, fishing and an outdoor family. I am 78 and started hunting when there was no such thing as "points". OTC tags were there everywhere and in all states. Some states setup special areas for limited draw, but no points. By the time I turned 30 (graduated from college, married, drafted in the Army and a great job), I had hunted deer in Arizona, Utah and my home state of California. Deer hunting was my passion. Work made it tough (I was an aerospace engineer for 40 years), but financially made it possible to hunt most anywhere I wanted to. Getting time to do it was the challenge.

In the 70's I got the "Baja Bug" and for 20 years spent my spare time exploring, fishing and boating all over the Sea of Cortez. I hunted too, but not my main focus. I caught tons of billfish and tuna and hunted lots of quail in Mexico. As the politics changed, so did my visits south of the border. Havn't been there since the early 90's and don't plan on going back.

I Started hunting Wyoming in the 80's and have hunted Montana and BC, Canada. I wish I had gotten the Alaska experience early on too.

I think JimP"s advice is spot on. I hunt OTC here in Colorado every year that I want to or draw units that require minimum or no points. Luckily I have been retired for 20 years and can do the research on the ground.

A lot depends on what you want to get out of hunting. For me, I was brought up to bring something home to eat. As a result, early on, I took almost anything that was legal. Success was high, trophies low.

I also got my son started when he was 7 or 8 hunting birds. Easier to go when family goes too.....for the most part.
There aren't to many of my original hunting buddies left who hunt, so I do more solo hunting than I have ever done.
If I had it to do over, I wouldn't change much. One thing I would do is work and save for a "blue chip" hunt (to borrow an Eastman's term) so you could do one every few years. Do something out of the box to somewhere you wouldn't normally go. Never know what you will turn up. Above all......keep applying for those tags!
 
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kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
8,825
9,149
55
idaho
Wisdom is a powerful thing to have. I am 27 years old and a Missouri resident. I want to address all the guys who have "been there, done that". I currently apply to some simple tags, Colorado elk, Mule deer, Wyoming antelope, and Elk. I am looking for advice from the older guys who wish they would have done things different. Maybe it was applied for tags when they were younger, maybe it was not put a hunt off a year. Maybe i'm missing a bigger picture, such as hunting a species in multiple states over several years instead of having tunnel vision on a certain unit or state. Tell me what you would have done at my age, and why. I am mainly interested in elk, Moose, and Caribou hunts at this time in my life. I don't want to look back on my life at 50 years old and think "man if only I would have done this earlier". Even though I feel like that is inevitable lol. Thanks guys. I think this will be a awesome thread.
my best advice is . stop hunting , save your money. the bone and memories,you chase now won't mean much to you when you are old ,gray and pissing yourself in a memory care facility, but access to that money will. it will be the difference between clean sheets or s@#t stained bedding.

that is the best advice I have . now if you'll excuse me ,I'm going hunting. ;) :D
 
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