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Did you shoot your first deer with open sights?

Did you shoot your first deer with open sights?

  • Yes and I am over 60 years old

    Votes: 32 15.6%
  • No and I am over 60 years old

    Votes: 7 3.4%
  • Yes and I am 40-60 years old

    Votes: 65 31.7%
  • No and I am 40-60 years old

    Votes: 30 14.6%
  • Yes and I am less than 40 years old

    Votes: 30 14.6%
  • No and I am less than 40 years old

    Votes: 41 20.0%

  • Total voters
    205
My 3 yard shot was no amazing accomplishment - I was sitting on top of a haystack that was along the edge of a closed wildlife refuge along a trail. I watched the doe come down that trail for 1/2 mile and she didn’t even get upright from crawling under the fence and I put a coreloct between her shoulder blades. Was prone aiming down - will never forget it.
 
Outside of a couple with the flintlock, every other deer I've shot has been with a scoped rifle.
1st deer was with a fixed 4X on a marlin 444S.
 
Mule deer, Mountain City Nevada, my dad's model 721 Remington 30/06 with open sights. I was 14 years old. Everything since with scoped rifles, until about 25 years ago, when I started mixing things up with a Knight 54 cal muzzleloader. I now exclusively hunt with a muzzleloader and open sights (Colorado). Trying to distance myself from the snipers shooting at 1200 yards and not following up shots.:) Finding a lot more nice deadheads out in the woods nowadays than sheds! Thanks' hushin....
 
Me -12 years old- open sight 50 cal hawken muzzleloader- 15 yards = dead whitetail doe. I started my two oldest boys at six years old with scoped Marlin 1894's in 44 mag.
 
I learned to shoot with iron sights, but killed my first deer with a scope. My son learned on iron sights early, but killed his first deer with a scope. He’s a Lucky little squirt, by the time he was 8 he had shot more 22 ammo than I could have afforded in my entire childhood 😂. I think he was 8 in this pic…working his way through a case of 22 ammo like most Saturdays with iron sights.

IMG_0156.jpeg
 
9 point white tail. Second year of hunting.

I missed 2 my first year of hunting so spent the summer snap shooting pop cans with my red Ryder. I didn’t miss the next year.

1 shot, 12 ga Remington slugs. Good thing I hit him because the shot blew the front sight off my New England Firearms single barrel…. It was 4 minutes after legal shooting light on opening day.

Learn open sights before a scope.
 
I got together with my father last night to do some reloading, and we were discussing my oldest son (9), being able to hunt deer in the youth hunt next year. He’s a left-eyed shooter, so I was pondering investing in a rifle for him.

As I was voicing options, my dad kind of shook his head and stated his opinion that my son oughta shoot his first deer with a lever gun he owns that would fit him right now. I can buy him a rifle when he grows a bit. I kind of pushed back, wanting the boy to have more range on offer and something with a scope. But then as he does, dad gently pontificated that he, me, my brother, my mother, and my wife - all shot our first deer with open sights, which by way, is more virtuous.

I shot my first deer with an iron-sighted model 94 30-30 at about 70 yards. I don’t think the experience would’ve been any less or more glorious to me with a scoped gun. At the time to me it was just glorious.

View attachment 305296


TBD on what the boy shoots his first deer with, but it got me thinking. Does anyone start their kids out with open sights anymore?

Don’t take the age ranges personal. They are somewhat arbitrary and the demographic of HuntTalk members not being representative of the whole, this ain’t scientific. I also think this poll may not apply as much to adult-onset hunters, though I'd be interested in their answers too.

Feel free to mention what rifle you used (if it was a rifle) for your first deer.
Did we shoot the same deer, with the same rifle?! Wait..... I just saw the time stamp on your photo, they didn't time stamp photos then..... in fact there is no photo, just a petroglyph on a cave wall somewhere. However, it was with a Model 94 30-30.
 
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I was 15 shooting a Marlin 336 30-30, no scope. Heard shots from over the hill to my right and a buck & doe soon came running at full speed slightly quartering away. I whistled hoping they'd stop but it appeared to give them a little more gas.
I slid the rifle along the rail of the pallet I was sitting behind and fired. The deer fell headfirst & did a complete flip. The deer had no business running into that bullet but it did. I fired again as it stood up & missed high. The deer followed the doe into a depression in the field. The doe came out the other side, the buck did not. When I approached the downed deer the hit was clearly visible, a gaping hole through the lower neck.
It was the luckiest, dumbest shot I ever took. I've never fired a rifle at running game since. That rifle was equipped with a scope before the next deer season.
 
Shot my first buck at 14, I think, with my Dad's 1937 Mod 70 30Govt06, rear aperture and gold front bead, pretty steep downhill about 125 yds. I swore for a while that rifle was shooting heat seeking bullets. Have that rifle now that Dad is gone and will have to hunt with it again in the future. Killed many elk with an iron sighted Winchester Model 54. Dad would shoot heads off blue grouse with surplus Army ball ammo with that rifle, always had a few in his ammo holder.
 
I gave up open sights when I graduated from a red rider. I had a 3x9 on my crossman. Made shooting mud swallows much easier. Shot my first deer with a 22-250 and a 6x scope. I'm just a hair over 40 soon to be closer to 50. :(
 
First three deer were with irons. Muzzleloder, Springfield 67 12Ga, and then an 870 12Ga. I’ve been meaning to get back out with my iron sighted Savage 340 .30/30.
 
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