Senior Celebration

Senior Celebration

Most of us in hunting agree that we must recruit young hunters. "They're the future of hunting," we say. At Bowhunter we heartily agree, and we have published many articles about starting kids in bowhunting.

At the same time, the hunting community seems to take older hunters for granted, as if they're irrelevant. That's a mistake, especially with Baby Boomers now becoming senior citizens -- and comprising a significant percentage of the bowhunting population. Thus, in this issue we celebrate older bowhunters in a special section called "Senior Moments".

Now, maybe I am promoting this idea because I'm getting old enough to glimpse the Golden Years myself. But I think senior bowhunters merit recognition for numerous reasons:
They are the forerunners, the pioneers who have blazed trails for the rest of us. Many who started bowhunting in the 1950s and '60s bridge the traditional and modern eras.
Seasoned bowhunters can pass on a wealth of knowledge to younger generations. We all would do well to listen and learn.
Many old-timers remain highly skilled bowhunters, and their accomplishments deserve recognition equal to that given to young hotshot bowhunters.
Some aging bowhunters have faced incredible hardships, yet they persevere, enjoy, and excel. If nothing else, their stories are inspirational.
Older bowhunters carry financial clout. Author Cliff Dale wrote: "According to the AARP, more than 78 million Baby Boomers wield an estimated buying power of $2 trillion. Without question, archery and related industries are, or should be, benefiting from this emerging group."
Senior bowhunters get just as excited about bowhunting -- perhaps more excited -- than do many youngsters. If you do not believe that, read "Senior Moments." Those guys are into it! At a personal level, all of these points motivate me to commit even more deeply to bowhunting. At age 63, I'm not over the hill, but, as I've said, I'm old enough to glimpse the golden glow.

Does that mean I should concede my active lifestyle to old age? Not a chance. In past issues of Bowhunter, I have written about my growing interest in exercise and long-distance running. As part of that interest, in April I ran in the Boston Marathon. Sure, Boston is a big event, and I just wanted to say, "I did it!" Yes, I was pleased with my time -- 3:58.

But those are not the main impetus behind events like Boston. Bowhunting is. You see, advancing age has not dulled my spirit for the hunt, only sharpened it. In reality, that medal from Boston is only a symbol of my desire to enjoy every remaining moment of my outdoors life; my drive to climb mountains each fall to chase elk, moose, and bears; my hope to fulfill lifelong dreams.

In regard to that last point, I have applied for certain big game tags for 30 years --desert bighorn sheep in Nevada and Arizona, for example -- without drawing. Given the terrible odds, I'll probably never draw. But the dream lives on, and as long as my heart keeps beating, I will keep applying. Maybe some day I will draw a tag.

What if I'm 75 or 80 years old when it happens? I darned sure don't want to blow it then. I must be ready. And I will be. That Boston medal says so.

No, senior bowhunters are not irrelevant, primarily because every one of us is headed that direction. Like it or not, we'll all have our senior moments. Be ready. And celebrate!

Recommended for You

ATA Show

New Recurve Bows for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 11, 2019

In the market for a new traditional bow? Here are our top picks from the 2019 ATA Show!


Veteran Elk Addict Shares His Bowhunting Wisdom

Dan Evans

Dan Evans shares his tips for tagging bulls after decades of success.


Mental Toughness for Bowhunting

Dan Stanton

Daily workouts condition your body, yes, but perhaps more importantly, they condition your...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 9: Wild Turkey Explosion

Curt Wells provides color commentary on some of the team's best turkey hunts, including this one with his grandson in Kansas.

Season Opener: Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg arrives at Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Kentucky to kick off the beginning of his hunting season.

Spot-and-Stalk Texas Hog Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson spot-and-stalks hogs and whitetails in Texas.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

Big Game

Beginner's Guide to Bowhunting Mule Deer

Ron Niziolek

Follow this advice before embarking on your first hunt!

Arrows & Broadheads

What Are the Best Vanes For Hunting?

Joe Bell - May 24, 2017

Years ago, choosing a vane was simple. You had target vanes and you had hunting vanes, with...

See More Stories

More Stories


Nonresident Bowhunter Hate

Tony J. Peterson - June 21, 2018

Hunters hating hunters is an old, ugly facet of our sport. Vitriol from residents to...


A DIY Quest for a 200-Class Whitetail

Dayne Majeau - July 27, 2016

On a cold day in December 2014, I had the pleasure of viewing an incredibly special whitetail...


A Greenland Hunting Adventure to Remember

Jeff Waring - January 02, 2018

Suddenly quiet, the bright-orange, one-time Danish Coast Guard boat drifted with the current,...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.