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Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

Old 02-13-2007, 07:45 AM
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Default Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

Warning -- long random post below.

A post I just read on here got me thinking. I bet there are two kinds of people on this site. Those that grew up with the outdoors a big part of their family history and those that found it later in life. This got me thinking about my own history.

My grandfather got me my first BB gun at age 4, which I shot in his yard for many many hours. Around the same time we started to go hunting. At the end of every hunt (I didn't carry any gun, bb or otherwise) I would get to shoot the shells out of his Remington 22 Semi-auto. I was small enough that I had to put the stock on top of my shoulder to be able to see through the scope.

At 5-5.5 my dad gave me an old Ithaca Single Saddle Gun 22. I shot it, supervised, probably weekly during the summers. I got my first squirrel with it right after I turned six (missed the first shot, reloaded the single shot and got it off hand though the front shoulders with the second – ammo was Winchester Super X solid). By 7 I was allowed to shoot it semi-supervised, meaning that people were outside w/ me, but not standing by me.

At 9 I had memorized a couple of years of Field and Stream and Guns and Ammo. I could tell you any number on the Hornady ammo catalog ballistic charts. I saved up enough money (I think it was $500-600 that I had, so I bet dad had to throw in some too) from a $5 a week allowance and doing odd jobs for a few bucks each to buy my first gun. I knew I wanted a Browning rifle. The local shop had 2 A-bolts in stock, one in 7mm-08 and one in 270win. I got the 270 and put a cheap Charles Dailey scope on it, also got a box of Remington 100grn loads (I haven't seen the 100grn load since). Dad sighted it in, then I shot it a couple of times, shoulder turned bright blue, then black with a nice brown trim. Mom took and old shirt and sewed in some pot holders. After that I could shoot it 5 times before my shoulder had the pattern of the pot holders etched on it.

At age 11 I got my first shotgun for my birthday. A Remington 11-87 SP 12ga. I learned to shoot trap with this in the pasture behind our house. I was a small kid (am still a small adult at 5'7") but due to it's weight and being gas operated, recoil wasn't bad at all. Apparently I shot this gun enough that I ended up with arms way bigger/stronger then others my age from throwing it’s weight around.

At 12-13 I started shooting the 4H shooting sports events, 12 and 20 ga trap, and bought one of the, then brand new, 50cal Knight In lines with yard mowing money to shoot the black power events with. Shot a couple of years of this, winning quite a bit.

By 14 I was re-loading my own shotgun shells (gota MEC 9000G forChristmas that year)and shootingFriday night events at the local clubs,holding my own against the old guys. Turns out I could shoot for almost free, just had to win enough ;-) I was shooting a Browning A-5 with a 32" full choke most of the time because these were prize money shoots and often the 'shoot off' would be from the parking lot, 50+ yards behind the trap house. I used to shoot 1 1/4 oz handloads of #6 that were HOT from back there, and 1 1/8oz of #7.5 from the normal line.

At 14 I also had saved enough to buy my first handgun, a Browning Buckmark 5.5” Standard. I probably shot several hundred thousand rounds though this gun. Literally wore it out (sold it 10 years later, only to buy a new one the next week).

At 15 got my first center fire hand gun for Christmas (Colt King Cobra, stainless, 357, 6") and shortly after got a used press from an uncle and started hand loading pistol rounds.

I still shot a lot, and hunted quite a bit until I got out of high school. Then I lived several hours away, and couldn’t have guns on campus, so I spent 4 years w/o much shooting or hunting. Since then, I've been working on balancing work/wife/home and hunting/shooting.

I think shooting taught me a lot of responsibility as a kid. Both in handling guns, and also in handling money. Being able to work and save up for things I wanted, new guns, as a kid really taught me the ability to make sure that I do have money though careful savings. I think this, plus the early math skills I gained, set the foundation for me professionally.

Today, I am also still lucky enough to have all of the guns mentioned above (and have added a lot more to the safe), I can't wait to pass them on to my kids and hope they gain the same things from them I have. Many of my guns have memories attached to them which are irreplaceable, such as the Browning A-5 Light Twelve (non-vent rib, 28” mod, Belgium) that my grandfather was given when he retired from ‘the factory’ and that he carried so many hours and miles with me in the woods.

I know that when I have kids they won’t really care about the stories of the times their dad spend with some old folks they never met out in a couple of hundred aces of woods that don’t exist anymore. But I hope the same pieces of wood and old blued steel can mean something to them.

So, what’s YOUR story?

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Old 02-13-2007, 09:09 AM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

when i could walk i was on the water. we got pics of me in diapers at 1 or 2 yrs old reelin in trout dad hooked for me on his fly rod. then soon after i had my own fishing gear and was going with walks with dad. on the walks he was always showing me game sign, diffrent nuts, crab apples etc etc. 4 or so i started shootng a BB gun..then or so was a 22 and a 38 wheel gun. somewhere between 4 and 6 dad started taking me hunting..i couldnt legally hunt but he would take me to watch him shoot groundhogs and squirrels. at about age 10 i started shooting everything under the sun. by 14 ive shot more guns then most people know exsist and burned up more ammo in four years or so than most will in a life time. my friends dad owns a large gunshop in the area. i went to their camp every weekend with them. wed take fully automatic weapons and cases of ammo and just goto town. any gun in the shop that wasnt brand new i was allowed to take with us. but my buddy and his dad owned most everything FUN like mp5s, m16s etc. i think once he brought me a CZ bolt gun from the shop rack to shoot.

at 11 i got my first gun. a single shot 20 ga with a full choke..then 12th bday i got my own 22 bolt action. since then ive aquierd many many guns..most all of mine are "hunting guns" except for a pistol and a 22 semi auto. still got that 20 ga single shot. havent shot it in years but i kinda wanna hang on to it..

hunted from 12-16 with dad. but at 16 i wanted a car so i started working..workaholism runs through me and dad..if he aint workin i certainly was. i worked 2 jobs most of the way through plus school. i started hunting alone at 16 and me and dad kinda slowly faded..he works alot..i worked alot..just never got times to match up to hunt..

now im 20 in a couple weeks..and still love to hunt and fish. i was brought up right and think i turned out alright! saftey was always preached until i started preaching it back. when i shot my first squirrel i didnt work the bolt and COULDNT put the saftey back on. thats how the bolt works on that gun. dad about whacked me tellin me never hand someone a loaded rifle not on safe etc etc. after we both calmed down i showed him that it wouldnt go on safe and he rifle was empty. we were both pretty excited over my first kill. im in college now...time to hunt and fish with dad still doesnt come..hopefully one just trying to keep him interested in hate to see him give up on it. sometimes he likes it..other times he doesnt and says im the only reason he kept hunting this long.

one day me and did will get to hunt and fish again. i miss getting out with him. we had fun...he taught me alot and always got more tricks up his sleeve..when i graduate college id like to go on a dream hunting or fishing trip with him.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:28 PM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

well im on the other end of the a city boy... however the counrty is in my blood(well sort of) since i can reacall guns and hunting have been the father son ideal...i often wish i was out in the boon docks b.c the local laws are so stricked b.c of cosntant violence i would have to travle at least an hour just to legaly shoot a rifle.....its rather depressing....i am 17 and am just buying my own rifle i jot my first bb gun at 9 and shotgun from my grampa at 12..i am just now buying a center fire rifle.....but i plan to pass the joys of shooting to my kids in the future...i hope the laws wont be so strick b.c im 17 and by the time i have kids the world will be in havok...yet local laws are loosening more and more countys are alowing rifles in NY
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

My father bought an Ithaca SxS 20ga for me when he found out my Momma was expecting me in 9 months. So I was a firearm owner before my first breath of air.

Being born April 19th, smack in the middle of the first week of VA turkey season, at the ripe old age of 7 days old, my dad wrapped me up in a wool blanket, strapped me to his back, and carried me into the spring woods after turkeys. The first noises I made as a baby were mimics of his calls, and Dad said it nearly made him cry. He knew I was destined for poor grades, divorce, and financial ruin in pursuit of game and fish.

At age 5, I was given a BB gun and proper firearm instruction (safety wise). After having no safety violations for one year, and not shooting any thing I was not supposed to (I was a good kid), I was allowed to graduate to the real thing.

For Christmas when I was 6, I was given a Chipmunk .22, with which I roamed the countryside for many years after; killing beer cans, crab apples, milk jugs, ground hogsand a feral cat or two from under the barn.

At 7 1/2 years old, I used that Ithaca 20ga to swat my first slickhead. The gun was a bit too long, and too light to shoot comfortably (heck it still kicks right stiff with 3" loads), so Dad bought me an 1100LT 20ga that Christmas, and I took off running with it. It was a cut down model, and I still need to get a Decellarator for it and have a smith take it out to 14.5" so I can use it on clays again.

At 8, I went on my first dove hunt, and having never shot at a moving (read: flying) target before, managed to shoot a limit of birds inside of two boxes of shells. Not bad for a youngin'! That same year, I started working on calling turkeys with a diaphram call, which is what I learned to call on, and is still my call of choice. Took a few years to get the hang on it, but I tried mightily, and managed a few squeeks and squawks.

At 10, I tagged along on a duck hunt with a friend. HOOKED! I dedicated every free moment (that was not occupied by girls, turkeys, surfing or fish) to the understanding of waterfowling.

I have always been a self-taught sort of guy, and refused to allow anyone to call in a turkey or a duck for me. So, when I started turkey hunting alone at age 10, I had quite a learning curve in front of me. School of hard knocks was now in session, and I finally killed my first turkey (and still one of my biggest) on my 18th birthday. In the 5 springs since, I have tagged exactly 29 more birds, in 6 different states. I guess the light finally came on.

With regards to ducks, I managed to luck into a drake mallard at age 12 on the farm pond. Then, finding a few wood ducks in the mill swamp creek, began to study the game intensely. I'd consider myself better than average, but considering where I live geographically, we will never have hunting like the other three flyways, especially with short stopping and global warming.

I started bow hunting when I was 19 only for the reason that I was offered access to a Mecca of game, and it was archery only. With only 3 weeks worth of target experience under my belt, and a used $60 pawn shop PSE in my hand, I used my climber and took my first archery deer on my first bow hunt (remember, I was in a very target rich environment). My next three hunts yeilded two more does and a wild hog. I was hooked on bow hunting, and it is still my prefered hunting method for deer and hogs. I found that I became a much better hunter when I started using stick and string. Made me pay attention to things I never had before.

I guess I was sorta born into it all.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:20 PM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

I lived in Jamestown Ohio for the first part of my life. My father hunted rabbit,quail,and various other game. He raised hunting dogs. He had the best Weimer bloodline in three counties. I tell you all of this to set up the real story. With all of these things in place; my father never took me hunting. He took me fishing maybe three times. I fire a single shot 12ga. with him but I was only five. I think he let me shoot it to discourage me.It sat me on my buttand left my shoulder sore for a week. I found the outdoors on my own[something Jacob will never need to do]. Jacob is my new little boy. I will make this promise to him in front of all of you.... I will always do my best to make time for him and the outdoors.

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Old 02-13-2007, 09:41 PM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

My Grandparent bought all the Grandsons a BB gun for their 6TH birthday. About 2 years later I got a .22 caliber pellet gun which I used for cottontails and squirrels. My Dad who was not a hunter gave me his old bolt action 20 GA shotgun when I was 12. ASlso that year he bought us an old Eddiestone 30-06 which I used for my first deer season. Had to be 12 in our state to get your first deer permit
When I was 14 my Grandpa gave me his old Winchester pump 22 with the exposed hammer.

I was raised on a farm and hunted almost every day from the first day I got my bb gun until the day I joined the Navy. I hunted on the way to school and on the way home and almost every weekend. In 1975 I got into reloading. My dad didn't hunt much but I had lots of Uncles and cousins who did and a couple Uncles that were PH's who I worked for several summers.

Enjoy it while you are young because it gets harder every year as you grow older. You can still do it but the mornings get earlier and everything gets heavier and harder to do. However its been a hugh part of my life and my wife hunts with me. She loves it too. Just another old farm girl.
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:34 AM
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Default RE: Your shooting history (spin-off of "age for starting" thread)

Dad took me frog gigging and quail hunting as soon as I could ride on his shoulders to do it !!

He bought me a BB gun at 4 , gave me his youth .22lr Win. at 5, gave me a H&R .20 gauage single at 6, Browning .22 auto at 8 .............and I slayed a bunch of stuff as a kid with that stuff !! Everything from Lizards , to rabbits, to ducks !! But the ole whitetail was elusive to me until I was in my later teens !!

Once whitetail hunting got had me and I hunted with a gun for several years ........then I picked up the bow and have been at bowhunting hard for 10 years !! The end of this season I decided to rifle hunt again and bought a new gun and killed a was a lot of fun !!

So next year I will probably gun hunt more and start trying to teach my boy about some deer hunting !!
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