How did you take up hunting?

CRMarks

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Dec 30, 2017
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50
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Arizona
My story is very similar to @Birdbander. As a teenager, saw some videos on the Outdoor Channel that caught my interest, stumbled onto OYOA episodes and got really hooked into "I want to do that!". Living in TX & OK, you're essentially limited to land you own or lease. I got a hand-me-down shotgun from my grandfather, though he didn't hunt. My dad agreed to get into hunting with me as a way for us to spend time together. We started with hunting over feeders on my uncle's place after I got my cousin and uncle interested in it. I hated it, calling it "grocery shopping with a rifle" and it not being fair chase like I saw on OYOA. My dad and I went on a guided ram hunt on a TX high fence ranch and that was a horrible experience (never again hunting a place like that).

We switched gears and started taking an annual trip to KS after Xmas each year for a guided pheasant hunt. Fantastic time but that was essentially the end to my pursuit of any deer until I pick it up again now that I live in AZ. So, I started at 17 with a dream based on a TV show and it has taken me until I'm 36 to get in the position to do it. Learning all of this from scratch and going it solo so far. It's in my soul to fill the table with meat that I catch or kill but it is a slog as a first gen hunter. All set now though and ready to start chipping away at those bucket list items!
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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SW NM
Post WWII, no one mentioned guns in a family of Vet's.
I was born running thru orchards til I ran into the mountains and the wild. I still have some of the nature/animal books given to me. Could read in K.
Mom caught me with a dead bird once & I did eat it...a sparrow. Dad made sure I could fish.
Uncle took me to learn how to shoot & handle a weapon,I was maybe 12? Would hunt gophers for grandpa with bow & bb gun,25 cents each....on the sly from mom.

Rush thru HS and then the Nam. That changed how one looks at things. Hunting,to survive.

1974 I'm in AZ working for $1.25hr and on a large ranch. Bunnies over a fire led to a buck & birds.
1975 MT another buck & a bull,grouse. Late 1975,CA now I go bird hunting with bro...a few times.
Fall of 76 led to 1st of many CA bucks and a life of hunting pretty much alone. Mainly others attitude when they did succeed and how I was treated when I did,alone.
Food and solitude. My mantra now.
 

BearFoot

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Alaska
My grandmother arrived on the last sailing of the Queen Mary, to New York, with her two kids. My mother married an enlisted, American army Irish man from the Pacific Northwest. He was also soon gone, though divorce. As the oldest of three boys, raised by a signal mother. No one was available to teach hunting. All the men, in my history where lost in war. My biggest influence, growing up, was my mind, a spiritual calling to experience the outdoors. I longed for the rocky mountains, the grasslands. It felt like to me, there was unfinished business there. Growing up in California, Ohio, Florida, and Alaska, has gifted me, with many Perspective's. I was presented a fishing pole while very young. Sitting along any water, Ocean, River, Pond, or Lake, brings peace, trains patience and is a form of meditation. Fishing gained me many skills. A school teacher, during middle school in Ohio, knew our story. He took me and my brothers to learn to shoot. We shot 30-6 rifle. I believe his name was Mr. Brundidge. Best that I can recall. I give my GRATITUDE to what this teacher gave me. He loved us as if we where his own. During this time, I delivered news papers door to door, I bought a 40 lb re-curve bow and some arrows, with the money I earned. I killed a lot of small game by arrow. I learned much about wild herbs, nuts, and fruits. I loved the Idea, the ability to live off this land!
As young teenagers, Florida was all about the ocean. We, my brothers, took part in it daily. Eleven years of spear gunning and fishing! Eating sea food! I went camping, a lot. Oceans are special!

In the early 80's, I had an opportunity, to go to Alaska, meet my father, who I last met at age 7. We went hunting early on, with little success. I follewed my heart, follewed my desires. Sometimes it has brought pain, but mostly adventure, new experiance and learning.

Follow your heart, follow your dreams. Express yourself as you are. It does not matter what anyone else thinks

Be true to your calling!
 

Slm864

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Mar 30, 2019
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608
Location
Pennsylvania
My grandpa took me hunting for everything he wanted to chase from the time I was probably 5 or 6. He never lost patience with me no matter what. I remember after I passed my hunters ed course and got a tag of my own he would be waiting everyday for me to get off the bus to go hunting. We hunted together until he was in his 80s and his body started to deteriorate too much to get out. There were times we would do nothing but sit and talk, it wasn’t about the hunting as much when he got older but spending time together. I’d gladly give up hunting days now to relive those days.
If it weren’t for him I definitely would not have as great of passion for the outdoors. He taught me a lot.
 

BigHornRam

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Nov 15, 2004
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"Land of Giant Rams"
Growing up in California, my dad didn't have time or money to take us hunting. We did go on at least one backpack trip every summer though. 1975 and 76 we went on 2 great trips to the Beartooths. Read about the Beartooths in an Outdoor life article. That was the extent of social media back then!! I was hooked. At 15, my parents moved us closer to family in the midwest. Best thing my parents ever did, get us the #*^@#* out of California.

Hunted some in the midwest but didn't care all that much for it. Moved out west after college. More of a flyfisher than a hunter at that time but that soon changed. Bought my first rifle and the rest is history.
 
Last edited:

2rocky

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Jul 23, 2010
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3,631
Tagged along as young as I could. We had/still have an 8 week Deer Season in August and September with 2 tags. The old Timers of my grandfathers generation gave me the out of sate bug with their story of hunting 3 states at one time at the 4 Corners area of the west . UT CO and AZ.

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TomTeriffic

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Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
218
Location
SW Oklahoma
My story is very similar to @Birdbander. As a teenager, saw some videos on the Outdoor Channel that caught my interest, stumbled onto OYOA episodes and got really hooked into "I want to do that!". Living in TX & OK, you're essentially limited to land you own or lease. I got a hand-me-down shotgun from my grandfather, though he didn't hunt. My dad agreed to get into hunting with me as a way for us to spend time together. We started with hunting over feeders on my uncle's place after I got my cousin and uncle interested in it. I hated it, calling it "grocery shopping with a rifle" and it not being fair chase like I saw on OYOA. My dad and I went on a guided ram hunt on a TX high fence ranch and that was a horrible experience (never again hunting a place like that).

We switched gears and started taking an annual trip to KS after Xmas each year for a guided pheasant hunt. Fantastic time but that was essentially the end to my pursuit of any deer until I pick it up again now that I live in AZ. So, I started at 17 with a dream based on a TV show and it has taken me until I'm 36 to get in the position to do it. Learning all of this from scratch and going it solo so far. It's in my soul to fill the table with meat that I catch or kill but it is a slog as a first gen hunter. All set now though and ready to start chipping away at those bucket list items!
In Oklahoma, there are a number of publicly accessible lands (WMA's) and a few private properties that participate in public hunting access program, OLAP. During deer gun, it's pretty much shotgun-only on OLAP's. Precious few WMA's allow rifles for deer. In SW OK, there is Fort Sill open to the public.
 

CRMarks

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Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
50
Location
Arizona
In Oklahoma, there are a number of publicly accessible lands (WMA's) and a few private properties that participate in public hunting access program, OLAP. During deer gun, it's pretty much shotgun-only on OLAP's. Precious few WMA's allow rifles for deer. In SW OK, there is Fort Sill open to the public.
You're definitely right. I was in the Norman area and then Ada. Tried a couple of those few WMAs for archery deer, Sandy Sanders and Blue River. No sightings from the blind in either, but I got some images of a small herd on game cameras at Blue River. Tough hunting with small areas and lots of pressure.
 

ElkFever2

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Iowa
My grandfather grew up hound-hunting rural NC in the 20’s, and my other grandfather took up duck hunting after WWII. I was taken along on deer hunts as a kid, and I found it really exciting to sit statue-still out in the open and watch the deer walk right into our lap. After I got my drivers license at 16 I began going a lot on my own, exploring new areas, camping for multiple days. A lot of trial and error, failure, but not a care in the world. For a few years about the only thing I figured out how to consistently kill was ruffed grouse.
 

gouch

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Jan 29, 2019
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773
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SW Oregon
My dad did hunt a little before I came along, mostly pheasant, but it wasn't a passion. He was a fisherman though and subscribed to Outdoor Life, Feild and Stream and Sports Afield magazines. I guess the hunting stories in those magazines must have poisoned my mind or something, so I bugged the old man until he took me hunting. We pretty much taught ourselves and I got addicted.
 

TomTeriffic

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Dec 26, 2021
Messages
218
Location
SW Oklahoma
You're definitely right. I was in the Norman area and then Ada. Tried a couple of those few WMAs for archery deer, Sandy Sanders and Blue River. No sightings from the blind in either, but I got some images of a small herd on game cameras at Blue River. Tough hunting with small areas and lots of pressure.
There are either too many hunters and not enough places to hunt or not enough game and too many shots fired.
 

Hertervillian

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Oct 23, 2019
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88
A neighborhood friend and his parents when you get right down to it. An uncle hunted casually dad hunted before I was old enough, granddad waterfowl hunted but passed away before I could get involved.

The neighbors bowhunted and we’re always practicing. Dad gave me his sons bow to use and that was that I was hooked. The buddy’s mother or dad hauled us kids out to the woods every weekend before light, and picked us up at an appointed time typically lunch.

5 yrs later dad had time again to hunt and we had lots of good times together. Pictured are my mentors uncle dad and a good friend all passed now. C7CC4E81-0EE8-4530-B8BD-155335C9B4F0.jpeg
 

Goodfish

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Jul 2, 2021
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The Bitterroot
My moms folks were deep sea sports fishermen in Southern California but my Dads folks were all around hunter / gatherers from deer to duck to all manner of fish and seafood. Born into it on my end for all seafood, big game, small game, birds and flora (shrooms, berries , wild fruit, wild asperagas etc! I’ll try anything once!
 

NativeIndian

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Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
84
My dad's dad was a fisherman but my dad would still hunt squirrels. I went with him at the age of 3 and a half using my cork gun. For you youngsters, that's a rifle that had a cork stuck in the end of the barrel and when you fired it, a piston would drive the cork out. Dad would shoot the squirrel and when it hit the ground it got shot again by me! That was my start. My grandpa on my mom's side was an American Indian that would fish, hunt, and trap. I did everything he did and he taught me how to do all those things. I would pour over his "Fur, Fish, and Game" magazines each month. I still have a couple of books on trapping that he gave me that were probably written (I'd have to look) in the 40's. The outdoors is a part of me. I built my home in the "boonies" or "BFE". The great outdoors, whether I'm hunting or just walking, recharges me. I often think back while I'm hunting, to those days as a kid I'd spend out in the woods all day with my Daisy BB gun (later a Crossman 760, then various shotguns, .22's, etc), a pack of peanut butter crackers I had made before I left, and a canteen of water. My son now has that same passion.
This is a great community that @BigFin has going here. Some really good posts to get us all thinking of those simpler days and times vs. the chaos of today. Get those youngsters (hahah I'm in my mid 50's) out there hunting and fishing!
 

buffybr

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Oct 3, 2009
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818
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BozAngeles, MT
Although I was the 4th generation of my family to have been born in Denver, none of my family hunted except my Uncle who maybe hunted a few times, but I don't think he ever shot anything. My family, back to my Great Great Grandfather enjoyed the outdoors, camping and fishing, they just didn't hunt.

My Dad gave me a single shot bolt action .22 rifle when I was 10, and he took me to a range where I learned to shoot it, and that was the only gun that I had until I was 21.

It wasn't until my second year of college in 1965 that one of my roommates who was from Craig in NW Colorado took me deer hunting with him there. The first year that I went with him I shot a spike buck with a borrowed Winchester .32 Special. The next year he took me again and borrowed my Uncle's .30-40 Krag to shoot my first elk, a 5x5 bull, and I was hooked on hunting.

I was drafted into the Army in 1968 and when I came home in 1971, hunting became a big part of my life. I had built a .30-06 in 1967 and until I moved to Montana in 1975, I used that rifle to fill my freezer every year with a dear and an elk and expanded my hunting to include Pronghorn antelope and a Black bear.

My first home in Montana was in the NW corner of the state that had some great deer, elk, and bear big game hunting along with good mountain grouse and duck hunting. Several of the guys that I worked with were avid hunters and I hunted a lot with them. I continued to feed my family every year with a deer and elk, along with another black bear and some "east side" antelope. In 1977 I shot a great 6x6 bull elk that just missed the B&C minimum score for their record book. I had him shoulder mounted so along with the mount of my first antelope and my first bear rug, I started my taxidermy collection that by now has exceeded my farthest dreams. Just before I left NW Montana, I had my .30-06 re-chambered to .30 Gibbs for elk and I built a .257 Ackley for deer and antelope and a .22-250 for varmints.

In 1978 I moved down to the Bozeman area and back then the hunting opportunities here were fabulous! I shot my first Mountain Goat that year, and I continued to shoot a deer, elk, and antelope every year. Bozeman was full of hunters, and in 1980 I was invited on a DIY Alaskan caribou hunt with some of them. That hunt sparked my interest in hunting beyond my home area. The '80 were very good to me as I was able to shoot 3 Unlimited Bighorn rams and 2 Shiras Moose. By 1988 my house was not big enough for my growing collection of taxidermy trophies, so I built a 2,000 sf addition to my house with the upper level a 1,000 sf trophy room.

In 1999 I went on my first international and guided hunt in Canada where I hunted for Dall sheep, Mountain Caribou, and a Wolverine. Then in the 2000s I expanded my international hunting to 6 trips in Africa, a hunt in New Zealand, 3 more Canadian hunts, a hunt in Azerbaijan, and 2 more hunts in Alaska.

I never thought that my 1,000 sf trophy room would be too small, but it quickly did, and now I am looking at expanding my living room.

From a late start of not hunting until I was in college, the hunting bug bit me very bad, and now at 75 there are a lot of hunts that I still want to go on...
 

mxracer317

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Nov 20, 2020
Messages
522
My late dad. Some of my best memories of him came from hunting and fishing.

It also echos @Big Fin recent podcast on teaching kids how to deal with life. It’s served me very well. Thanks, dad! ❤️
 

ClearCreek

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Jul 13, 2017
Messages
377
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.

D4570: Your response could very well have been written by me. Exact same experience!

ClearCreek
 

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