Yeti

How did you take up hunting?

TomTeriffic

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Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
215
Location
SW Oklahoma
Was it something in your family or community?

I first started out by paying a guide to hunt deer on a NorCal private ranch as a 30+ age adult.

At age 13, in 1977, I got my grandfather's Outdoor Life magazines from the early 1970's. My grandfather was only an avid salmon/striped bass/rock cod fisherman on coastal boats, and I had gotten into fishing seriously around that age. My mother told me only to read the fishing articles, but I could not help reading the hunting ones including the African hunting and elk hunting features by Jack O'Connor. Since boyhood, I'd always thought it would be fun to walk around the woods with a nice, beautiful, checkered walnut gun. The wood/blued/checkered long guns looked all so pretty listed in 1970's editions of OL magazine. I asked my father about going hunting and he said there were too many fools out there. I asked him about fox hunting, and he said, "Why do you want to shoot a poor little fox?" My father had told me that he hunted rabbits with a 22 as a boy in rural Georgia. I asked my grandfather, inspired by those OL articles, about my going hunting and he said that hunting would go against my mother's wishes and that when I grew up, somebody would show me how to do it someday. My grandfather only hunted before my time and told me a few stories about his experiences. He told me he gave deer hunting up because there was too much hiking involved. At age 7, we had venison at my grandparents' house as my grandfather knew a hunting coworker, he got the venison from, but I digress.

Hunting seemed so forbidden for all of my life, I finally had to go into my bank account and do it once and for all to see what it was really like. I took an NRA safety course and got my hunting license and a deer tag. I had a nice Pendleton shirt, and I bought an orange vest and hat. I got my new Browning rifle and a Leupold scope with Browning mounts. I went out to my outdoor range and sighted her in before that fall hunt. I found a guide in the back of a hunting magazine in the classifieds section and gave him a buzz over the telephone in the fall of 1996. My Rourke, a NorCal guide and beef rancher, got my feet wet finally in the hunting game at age 32. His wife made nice country meals and his two adult sons helped with the skinning, gutting and quartering. I got my quartered venison to a local butcher packed in Coleman coolers with ice. After the morning deer hunt, Mr. Rourke took me on a ground squirrel hunt on his ranch as a fun bonus in the afternoon. I shot about nine of them with my same Browning A-Bolt II in .25-06.
96 deer hunt.jpg

My mother hated hunting but did not mind eating beef and chicken and pork and fish. My grandmother thought fishing was Ok but not hunting. My grandfather and father gave up hunting before I was born. I had no boyhood friends who were into hunting.

Hunting can be a daunting thing to take up for many. People ask themselves questions. Whom do I know to show me the ropes? Whom do I know to get permission on private land? I was told by an aunt and uncle of mine in Georgia that one has to "know people" to be able to hunt there as most land is private there. I was told by a young man I worked with at my job in Idaho the same thing. I'm an Army Vet and I never had any army buddies that hunted. I never had any buddy coworkers in civilian employment that hunted. A couple of sergeants in my section deer hunted while stationed at Fort Sill, Ok in 1990 but they were from the South. They were good-ol-boy buddies in the NCO league. I, a younger bachelor soldier, lived in the barracks and had no place to keep game and hunting equipment anyway. These deer-hunting NCOs were married men with military housing. Rank and marriage had its privileges and greater responsibilities to boot. I was a Spec4 and had no hunting peers in any of my duty stations. I never got invited into anybody's hunting game while in the service.

There is the question of where to hunt, how to hunt, what to hunt, when to hunt and is hunting within one's financial means. It seems like hunting has more do's and dont's and fees attached to it than virtually any other outdoor pursuit. Some people raised outside of a hunting community, or a family hunting culture, might find a tough go at it. It seems as dove hunting offers the least financial demand over any other game species. It doesn't seem to offer nearly the physical demand that big-game hunting offers. A limit of dove must be much easier to carry back to the truck than a deer.
 
Last edited:

Lilhowie83

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
453
Location
Southeast Idaho
I started tagging along with my dad and uncles when I was seven years old as they chased deer and elk in Southeast Idaho. So it has just kind of been a way of life my whole life. I kind of slowed down hunting when I was first married, but now as my kids are hitting hunting age hunting consumes most of our fall.
 

D4570

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Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
890
Location
In a box under a bridge
No one really STARTED hunting when I was a kid. It's just what you did.
I was out "Hunting" in diapers and could hardly walk yet. Stayed by the car with mom or grandma waiting to see what everyone came back with, Birds, ducks, deer, whatever. I remember the smell of fresh shot-shotshell hulls.
It still takes me back whenever I pick one up and smell it.
That was well over 65 years ago. My kids, grandkids are the same.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,746
No one really STARTED hunting when I was a kid. It's just what you did.
I was out "Hunting" in diapers and could hardly walk yet. Stayed by the car with mom or grandma waiting to see what everyone came back with, Birds, ducks, deer, whatever. I remember the smell of fresh shot-shotshell hulls.
It still takes me back whenever I pick one up and smell it.
That was well over 65 years ago. My kids, grandkids are the same.
I grew up with paper shotgun shells, and then with reloads that spit out confetti that my Dad loaded!
Oh the smell of wd-40 and gunpowder. It brings a tear to my eye! 💥
 

Birdbander

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
72
Location
Langston, Michigan
No one in my family hunted despite living in a rural area. There were a couple of hand-me-down shotguns in the back of my uncle's closet handed down from his Dad, but he only fished.
My uncle raised me. He subscribed to every outdoor magazine under the sun. I loved reading as a kid, still do. I read everything and started wanting to go to all of the places, hunt all of the animals in the articles.
After I passed hunter safety, my uncle took me out to stop my begging. He never became a hunter.
Through a lot of trial and error, I grew into small game. Then on to archery and rifle deer. Turkey later on. Then upland birds with dogs which led me away from deer (no time).
My daughter's never took up hunting, and grandkids live too many states away, so this run will end with me.
 

Farmerj

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Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
280
I remember getting into shooting young at Boy Scouts. Dad started taking us trap shooting at a field approach around age 11. Remington 870 12 ga was my introduction to recoil.

I started small game hunting with my neighbors and cousins.

My parents talked to a friend from church who took me deer hunting when I was 15.

It’s been an on again/ off again thing with guns since. Spent a lot of time outdoors with a camera when I wasn’t chasing food.
 

Brandon270

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Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Central California
My family (grandfather, uncles, dad etc.) had a big annual dove hunt every year that I took part in from bird dogging before I could legally hunt to taking part in the hunting itself later on. We did that until I was about 21 when my grandfather passed away and after that we don't do it anymore.

Other than popping the occasional ground squirrel with my dad that was the only hunting I was exposed to as a kid. My dad used to hunt with friends locally and out of state but lack of time and success he gave up on it before I was old enough to go.

In high school and college the hunting shows on tv didn't spark any interest for me. To me they were all about farming big whitetails with food plots or glorifying big racks and that was it. Later on I was exposed to the meat eater show and then Randy's show and was immediately hooked on their style. Finally a show that is based on the adventure and the meat, not just about showing off how big the animal was. These shows got me into going after big game. Now in my early 30's I have hunted hard for the past 3 years all on public. I don't have much to show for the miles of hiking and days of glassing but I do enjoy the time spent away from everyday life.

My only worry is that my lack of success will make it difficult to get my kids excited about hunting when they are old enough, when in my area just seeing a doe after hunting all day is a "success."
 

Boarmaster

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Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
619
Location
Southwest Florida
I started as a kid on our farm. My dad wasnt a big hunter. He would go on Thanksgiving morning. But grandpa used to go out west with his buddies once every few years and kill antelope and mule deer. I guess I got the bug from him.
 

np307

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Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
625
Location
North Carolina
I didn't go hunting for the first time until I was 19. I grew up around hunting and hearing hunting stories from my dad. He grew up when there were no deer in this part of the state and spent his boyhood hunting squirrels and occasionally doves, rabbits, and quail. By the time there were huntable populations of deer here, his time in the navy and on loading docks meant his knees and back wouldn't allow him to go. I started shooting his bow for fun when I was 18 and the next year I had an uncle who let me hunt his land while he was out of town for a few months. I saw one deer that year and it was enough to get me hooked. The next year I tried out the game lands for the first time and fell in love with having big tracts of national forest to roam. Those were the years of building my confidence being in the woods alone.

In 2016 I started to piece together what deer like and started seeing more but didn't kill one until the next year on a small piece of private land I had access to. Each year after that has been a demonstration of more familiarity with the woods. First turkey spring of 2018, first buck that fall. First trip west in 2019 and an antelope to show for it. Shot a good buck last year, my first elk and a really nice buck this year.

One of the things that I think about sometimes as I'm sitting on the couch, holding my son and looking at those skulls is how much better of a hunter he has a chance to be than I'll ever be. Of course, he may grow up and want nothing to do with the outdoors, but if he does take after what I love then he's going to have quite the head start on me. Hopefully I can teach him a thing or two.

And hopefully the places I love to hunt aren't suburbs by then.
 

Howie

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Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
437
Location
Little Marsh, Pa.
No one at-home hunted, had a distant uncle did but never had real contact with him. I just always wanted to be in the woods.

We lived on the edge of an urban area, not rural, so all I had was a small woodlot by a cemetery. It was plenty to play killin the enemy in the pacific and stalkin pumas.

Pestered my parents once I got to 12 but the fight was rough. No guns for you. They (and I) had no real clue where this desire came from but persistence succeeded as my distant uncle presented me with a single barrel 12 GA. my grandfathers uncle passed down to him. An acquaintance of my pop volunteered to take me for small game. I guess I was an OK student cuz mom n pop were willing to support this new habit for a few years. At 17 I graduated and went directly into basic training. Been supporting this habit on my own ever since.
 

Valley1320

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Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
620
Location
East central NM
Its been part of what I did ever since I can remember. One of the biggest influences to me was my uncle and his love for bowhunting whitetails in ks. Another was my dad when I was barely old enough to remember we started running traps mainly for grey fox and coon the first few years and than started on bobcats and coyotes as well. Also trapped a few lions here a few years back while it was legal to trap them. Shot my first muley buck with his model 70 25-06 when I was about 12 I believe. But my love for bowhunting is my uncles fault. My hound addiction is the fault of a good friend here in NM. My introduction to the elk woods is at fault of another good friend that I bowhunt with every year for muleys here. So thankful for the blessings of the friends and family i have.
 

blindhog01

New member
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
10
Was it something in your family or community?

I first started out by paying a guide to hunt deer on a NorCal private ranch as a 30+ age adult.

At age 13, in 1977, I got my grandfather's Outdoor Life magazines from the early 1970's. My grandfather was only an avid salmon/striped bass/rock cod fisherman on coastal boats, and I had gotten into fishing seriously around that age. My mother told me only to read the fishing articles, but I could not help reading the hunting ones including the African hunting and elk hunting features by Jack O'Connor. Since boyhood, I'd always thought it would be fun to walk around the woods with a nice, beautiful, checkered walnut gun. The wood/blued/checkered long guns looked all so pretty listed in 1970's editions of OL magazine. I asked my father about going hunting and he said there were too many fools out there. I asked him about fox hunting, and he said, "Why do you want to shoot a poor little fox?" My father had told me that he hunted rabbits with a 22 as a boy in rural Georgia. I asked my grandfather, inspired by those OL articles, about my going hunting and he said that hunting would go against my mother's wishes and that when I grew up, somebody would show me how to do it someday. My grandfather only hunted before my time and told me a few stories about his experiences. He told me he gave deer hunting up because there was too much hiking involved. At age 7, we had venison at my grandparents' house as my grandfather knew a hunting coworker, he got the venison from, but I digress.

Hunting seemed so forbidden for all of my life, I finally had to go into my bank account and do it once and for all to see what it was really like. I took an NRA safety course and got my hunting license and a deer tag. I had a nice Pendleton shirt, and I bought an orange vest and hat. I got my new Browning rifle and a Leupold scope with Browning mounts. I went out to my outdoor range and sighted her in before that fall hunt. I found a guide in the back of a hunting magazine in the classifieds section and gave him a buzz over the telephone in the fall of 1996. My Rourke, a NorCal guide and beef rancher, got my feet wet finally in the hunting game at age 32. His wife made nice country meals and his two adult sons helped with the skinning, gutting and quartering. I got my quartered venison to a local butcher packed in Coleman coolers with ice. After the morning deer hunt, Mr. Rourke took me on a ground squirrel hunt on his ranch as a fun bonus in the afternoon. I shot about nine of them with my same Browning A-Bolt II in .25-06.
View attachment 206761

My mother hated hunting but did not mind eating beef and chicken and pork and fish. My grandmother thought fishing was Ok but not hunting. My grandfather and father gave up hunting before I was born. I had no boyhood friends who were into hunting.

Hunting can be a daunting thing to take up for many. People ask themselves questions. Whom do I know to show me the ropes? Whom do I know to get permission on private land? I was told by an aunt and uncle of mine in Georgia that one has to "know people" to be able to hunt there as most land is private there. I was told by a young man I worked with at my job in Idaho the same thing. I'm an Army Vet and I never had any army buddies that hunted. I never had any buddy coworkers in civilian employment that hunted. A couple of sergeants in my section deer hunted while stationed at Fort Sill, Ok in 1990 but they were from the South. They were good-ol-boy buddies in the NCO league. I, a younger bachelor soldier, lived in the barracks and had no place to keep game and hunting equipment anyway. These deer-hunting NCOs were married men with military housing. Rank and marriage had its privileges and greater responsibilities to boot. I was a Spec4 and had no hunting peers in any of my duty stations. I never got invited into anybody's hunting game while in the service.

There is the question of where to hunt, how to hunt, what to hunt, when to hunt and is hunting within one's financial means. It seems like hunting has more do's and dont's and fees attached to it than virtually any other outdoor pursuit. Some people raised outside of a hunting community, or a family hunting culture, might find a tough go at it. It seems as dove hunting offers the least financial demand over any other game species. It doesn't seem to offer nearly the physical demand that big-game hunting offers. A limit of dove must be much easier to carry back to the truck than a deer.
Squirrels with my dad at 4-5, got a BB gun at 6. Moved to country at 7 with varmits, snakes fish a boy paradise Had several great squirrel dogs so friends and family were there often. My uncle took me to his lease in Iowa TX when. I was 10 and shot a small spike that lit the fire living in the pine woods of Texas near a working rice\crawfish farm I stayed buried in the outdoors thru college. Along the Sabine river in those days you could catch red fish or specs south of orange, shoot ducks, deer, hogs,geese or squirrel north of orange all in 1 day


,
 

geetar

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
3,165
Location
North Carolina
Mid 90s there was finally enough deer in our area to start hunting them. My dad who had small game hunted as a boy and teenager started hunting whitetails with a few friends from work and that led to later taking me and so goes the story. My dad is sort of a workaholic type that always seemed busy but hunting was one thing he slowed down to do with me and I’m forever grateful for that.
 
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TomTeriffic

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
215
Location
SW Oklahoma
Much of one's hunting experience has to do with the parts of America one hails from. There was not much hunting connection for me suburban raised and educated near the northern California coast near SF. In the 5th grade, one boy in class mentioned out loud that he went hunting over the weekend. Fishing, crabbing and abalone diving, not hunting, was all the rage there. Politics plays into it too.
 

tarheel

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Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
2,158
Location
Piedmont region of North Carolina
Born into it! Some of my first related memories are of the smells of Hoppes solvent and spent shotgun shells. I grew up surrounded by relatives on neighboring farms and my cousins and I would roam the woods and fields in the winter with our Red Ryders in pursuit of squirrels but mostly birds and field rats. That progressed to our first shotguns and there was no stopping us now, we were hunting with the men folk and in our minds we had made it to the big time.
 

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