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Walking Away


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The recent discussion on varmint rifles posted by Greg Hartman and Mike Campbell’s comments about how he was so much into it but doesn’t do it any more got me thinking about passionate pastimes I’ve given up.  Back in the late 60’s I too was into varmint hunting in a big way, going out several times a week pretty much all year long;  put a real hurt on the local woodchuck population, and foxes were viewed as trophy big game animals.  I satisfied my blood lust and walked away from the sport in 1970, and while I’ve killed the odd ‘chuck here and there since then, it doesn’t have nearly the appeal it once had… and I can’t envision any circumstance that would have me shooting a fox, they’re so pretty to look at.  Haven’t killed a coyote yet, though, and will happily pull the trigger if the opportunity presents itself, I guess showing a dichotomy in my thinking.

I bowhunted in earnest from 1970 to 1978… whitetails, black bear, moose, elk… even was lucky enough to kill a P&Y black bear.  There was a time in that period when I didn’t even own a firearm (hard to believe, being the gunrunner that I am now).  I did own a bunch of nifty bows though (surprise, surprise). I fell in love with bird dogs in 1977, and gave up bowhunting altogether in 1979… pretty much never looked back, although when I found a hot scrape while birdhunting I would look around to see what tree I would’ve put my treestand in if I was carrying a bow.

I doubt I’ll ever give up my passion for shotguns and bird dogs now, too old to start something new (I stay away from golf in fear I’d become addicted to that).  How about you folks, have you given up prior passions (not talkin’ ‘bout wimmen!)?

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Lost trout fishing to dog training. Now I am trying to get back into it with my son.

Catching more fish but hacking more dogs :p

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Rugby.  Played in the Marine Corp and in college.  Absolutely lived for it.  Haven't played a side in 15 or so years, have watched it on tv but not that much.
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I went sking once and I am glad I did.  Hit the bunny slope, moved up to beginner's slope.  By then I knew my skis would be off before lunch so I went to the top of the mountain and took the long gentle (marked by two smiley faces) timberline trail to the bottom.  I took off my skis and walked away.
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Passionate pastimes include - baseball, then softball, then drag racing, then bass fishing (tournaments) and now - dog training and bird hunting. I outsource all dog training and bird hunt less than a 1/4 of what I used to. Just this morning, the wife and I even talked about whether or not it was worth keeping the hounds we have.

New passions - I'm into my kids - whatever their passions are and when there is time left for me big game bow hunting. I'd give up 30 days of top notch quail hunting for 5 days of a back country bow hunt chasing elk or mule deer.

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I used to like to shoot woodchucks and once while putting the sneak on one, I looked beside me and there he was, not ten feet from me frozen like a scared rabbit..  I raised my rifle, put him in the crosshairs and just laughed and lowered the rifle. Never killed another woodchuck after that.
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Motor cycling and bicycling love them both but too dangerous

weight training due to congenital heart defect they found when I was 48 ( 10 years ago) that one was real hard to give up, I miss it and can't seem to get into any other fitness regimen something I desperatley need to do.

Rifle hunting big game although I bought an muzzle loader this winter and plan to give it a go with the black powder.

Duck hunting I've killed way more than my lifetime allotment of waterfowl way way more, I still buy the stamp.

Fishing I use to fish a lot but when my kids grew up I kind of got out of it, I'm going to get back at it.

I am also going to get back into shooting my revolvers on a regualr basis but thats more of a duty than a pleasure although I do enjoy it.

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Ice Hockey.  I lived on the ice for about 5 years.  Two teams a season, summer leagues, goalie training camps.  My senior year of high school between teams and practice I was on the ice about 12 -18 hours a week.   I graduated, the rink burned down, and that was it.  That was 1994 and I think I've been on the ice 4 times since then and that was just public skating.

Scouting was another.  I am and Eagle and when I wasn't playing hockey I was woods bumming and doing scout stuff.  Haven't participated in about 10 years.

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Like Mike, I used to live to get out bowhunting.  When I got dogs, bowhunting was something to do the first couple weeks until the real season started.  Wasnt long after that I gave it up altogether, and used that extra time to work the dogs.  No regrets.
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Guitar.

:down:

Tried to keep up on it during college, but it is far too jealous a mistress.  Decided the piece of paper was a better bet, so sold my beloved Strat I had customized myself.  I miss her still.

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Climbing.  Used to be crazy.  Did all this A4 nailing and long routes.  I've taken the kids out toproping a few times, but just this year gave my rack away to my niece.  

Whitewater boating.  Just a little bit now and only fairly safe rivers.  

Backcountry skiing.  Avalanche danger in the cascades is terrible.  Not like Utah where I used to hang my hat.  Not to mention the snow sucks.

I've retreated to the pastimes of my youth: Archery, shotgunning, flyfishing.  I took up some new hobbies that are more appropriate to someone in middle age: Beekeeping, extensive gardening, small orchard.

Rob.

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Downhill skiing, used to do a lot of it when my boys were at home, both of them were avid skiiers and racers, both downhill and gates, hubby was a ski patroller. Blew out both my shoulders, gracefully retired from anything that might involve losing my balance and falling on my shoulders.

Since I took this job as a newspaper editor, I've given up pretty much all types of fishing and all hunting except spring and fall turkey, a couple of days of dove hunting in Ohio, and bird hunting. I get out a day or two for an antlerless deer during the deer season. I just don't have time, but when it's turkey or bird season, I take the time, the newspaper writes itself and a lot of press releases tend to appear.

I miss squirrel hunting, terribly. Got out twice last fall. I miss getting to podunk a worm for a nice brook trout meal. I miss salmon fishing on the big lakes. I miss a lot.

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Baseball years ago.  I played the same position as the coaches son, and needless to say, I felt like I was wasting my time day after day going.  Finally, I walked away.  I didn't play again for about 5 years till my Jr, year in HS.  That was the last I played too.  Spent my Sr year season in a cast from a ski injury from Spring Break.

 Hockey for sure.  I can say though I didn't walk away really, I haven't lived anywhere that has hockey really since I left Michigan.  I played from Age 5 up through High School. I got a look from Michigan State, though I was really out of the running from the get go.  Returning SR goalie was the best in the Conference, and Freshman redshirt was the #1 HS goalie in the county that year.  I coached a year before the Army, and I haven't been back on the ice since Jan 21, 1996.  Last night before I left for Basic Training.

 Salt water fishing to some extent.  When I got orders to go back to GA, I knew I was getting a Boat.  19 ft Sea Ray, center console, and spent the $$ for all the fishing goodies to go with it.  I fished all I could when we first got there, and then my first trip overseas came.  I only got out on the boat maybe 3 times between deployments.  I just found myself feeling a bit guilty about not spending that time at home with my family after being gone, and knowing another trip was coming.  Not sure what the plan yet will be when we get new orders.  I guess it depends on where we go whether I get back to Salt Water, or take up Fly fishing.

There are others, though these are the ones I really miss the most.

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I too was addicted to rugby. I started playing in college and continued until just after my 35th birthday. I got hit in the head during a game on a Saturday and still could not focus while sitting at work on Monday. I figured that was enough. Had a good run though.

I also got into competitive sporting clays for a while. Gave it up to spend more time concentrating on dogs.

There are a number of things I would like to do but there just isn't enough time.

Of course, there is always time for bird dogs and bird hunting. It's just the damn weather that is geting in the way lately.

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Elk hunting for me is in serious decline.  On the plus sign my bird hunting continues to gain ground as a result.
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