When do Bird Hunters hit their Prime?

Professional athletes’ ages are frequently part of the
conversation when talking about the best players in a country’s
major sports. With millions at stake, team owners want to make sure
they are signing contracts when a player is entering his or her
prime, rather than when they are headed to the ‘back nine’ of their
career.

NFL players’ careers average only three years (according to NFL
Players Association), so most point toward the mid-twenties as the
age of a football player’s prime years. Baseball players tend to
reach their prime a little older. Perhaps it’s the blend of
physical ability mixed with experience and intellect that leads
baseball experts to circle 28 and 29 as the prime years for an
MLBer.

This is the line of thinking that has me wondering when a bird
hunter reaches his or her prime age. When does a person’s physical
ability intersect with hunting experience and intellect in the
moment of peak bird hunting performance?

As a 37-year-old guy, I’m biased in my perspective on today’s
question. I believe bird hunters experience their best seasons in
their mid-to-late thirties when they are physically capable of
walking hard all day, while also being seasoned just enough to have
the patience and knowledge to recognize the signs of an upcoming
flush before the bird busts from cover. To blend two clichés, “This
ain’t my first rodeo and I’m no longer a bull in a China shop.”

However, I haven’t reached my 40s, 50s, or 60s yet. So I must
ask the more seasoned readers, “does bird hunting get better for me
in the coming years, or am I truly hitting the ‘salad days’ now?”
And for all you 20-somethings reading this: you still don’t know
what you don’t know. Your best bird hunting days are definitely
still to come – guaranteed!

On a related note, bird dogs are often considered to be in their
prime at the age of 5. If we take the dog-to-human-year equation of
multiplying the dog’s age by 7 years, then a 5-year-old bird dog
equates to a 35-year-old human – further supporting my theory of
the bird hunter’s prime age being in the mid-thirties.

In your opinion, at what age are bird hunters at their all-time
best?

 

Categories: Bob St. Pierre

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