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Old 10-14-2011, 05:55 PM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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When was your FIRST Hunting Season?

I recall my FIRST hunting season in 1958 in Chester County, PA. My hunting license cost $3.20 and my first shotgun was a Winchester Model 37, 16 Gauge, single barrel hammer shotgun. My shells cost $2.95 for a box of Winchester #5 loads. I did well my first hunting season trailing behind my loyal Beagle, Whitey. The 16 gauge was borrowed and it is now lost to me.

Last year I found a 20 gauge single barrel Iver Johnson shotgun in mint condition. Tomorrow is the opening day for squirrel and grouse here in Tioga County. My loyal hound, Lori, is half German Shepherd and half Yellow Lab. We will go afield at sunup tomorrow, the single barrel 20 gauge, me and Lori. Yes, I have repeater shotguns, but I did not have them in 1958, so I will "Go back in time" with loyal hound.

Who else has a history of hunting seasons long ago and far away?

Adam
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:55 PM
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toxic111 toxic111 is offline
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My first season would have been 1986 I think when I was 16. I went after mule deer in the mountains of BC. Took a fawn that year as my first deer. I never did get a chance to get another deer until 1996 when I moved to SK. I think I have taken an average of one deer a year since then.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:38 PM
Gil Martin Gil Martin is offline
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Adam

I also stared hunting in 1958 and used a 12 gauge single barrel shotgun Springfield Model 94C. As I recall, the hunting license cost $3.15. All the best...
Gil
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:55 PM
Mr. 16 gauge Mr. 16 gauge is offline
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WOW! Great thread! Brought back a flood of memories!

My first hunt was in 1975.....I was 14 (minimum age to hunt deer here in MI at that time) and a freshman in High School. I had been bugging my folks to let me have a .22; my dad didn't hunt, and my mom didn't want me to have one, saying there was no place in the 'city' (we lived in suburbia) to shoot it. I wanted a Remington Nylon 66, and I did EVERYTHING I could to prove to my parents that I was a responsible kid.....course, every now and then I would do something they disapproved of, and the scale would tip back to zero! I worked at odd jobs and saved my money....I didn't want them to buy the rifle for me, I just wanted their permission to get it...I would buy it myself!
I took hunter safety that year (which was a bit of a surprise that they even let me take that), and then one day a couple weeks before season, my dad called me into the kitchen and asked me if I were to get a shotgun, what would I get...a single shot or a pump? I thought the question kind of odd, but I told him I would opt for the pump. The following weekend we went gun shopping at the local Kmart, and I came home with a deer license (cost me $7.50) and a Mossberg M500 pump shotgun. I didn't have enough cash for the pump, but my folks spotted me what I needed and I paid them back. I went on my first deer hunt a few weeks later, and while I didn't get a deer, I do remember the big doe that just materialized out of thin air while I sat on that stump....Oh, how I tried to put antlers on her. I watched her for a while and then she spooked and trotted off. Two members of our hunting party got deer that year; a three point and a five point.
Now, the kicker: What I didn't know was that my dad had gone out and bought the .22 that I had wanted and was going to surprise me with it.....until he found out (from my grandfather) that .22 are illegal to hunt deer with in MI. So I ended up with that as a Christmas present that year!

Sadly; my dad passed away suddenly two years later.....but I will always remember getting those firearms as a 'right of passage". I still have both the Mossberg and the Nylon 66, although the Mossberg has been modified a bit (the original barrel length was 30" and full choked; I had it cut back to 27" and had a polychoke put on). Maybe I'll have to take that old Mossberg out and take it duck hunting this fall......it hasn't been on a hunting trip in a while.
I didn't bag my first deer until 10 years later; got a little 5 point with my Winchester .30/30.

Adam, it's too bad you don't still have that model 37; they are commanding some high prices for a single shot shotgun, and I would imagine that a 16 gauge chambering might be a bit rarer and worth a little more.
BTW: I almost died from a ruptured appendix in 1976; a friend gave me a Gun Digest from 1975 to while away the time while I was in the hospital...funny, but I was going through it a couple of weeks ago (it had an article on antelope hunting), and here are some of the prices listed in the back: Winchester M94 in .30/30--$122
Colt 1911 Gold Cup in .45ACP--$256
S&W M29--$235
Winchester M70--$235
Colt AR15 Sporter--$297
Remington 1100--$219
Ithica M37--$169.95

Adam, your Winchester M37 cost a whopping $59.95, and Gil, your Savage 94 cost $49.90!
My, how the times are a-changin'
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:58 AM
Gil Martin Gil Martin is offline
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Interesting post

I managed to find two Winchester Model 37 single barrel shotguns in 16 gauge a few years ago. One cost me $59.00 and the other was $125.00. I found a Savage Model 94 in 12 gauge that set me back $75.00. All the best...
Gil
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:37 AM
skeet skeet is offline
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1958.. i got to use a model 12 but it was a bit much for me to carry.. I was only 9.. 2nd time out my father bought me a Win 37 at the hardware store it was a 410 and I literally shot about everything you could imagine with that little gun...including my first Canada goose. I eventually got my fathers M-12 which is a first year 12 ga..I still have it and can tell you it has had at least 1/4 million shells through it. my first hunting license cost 1.25 for a county wide license. Shells for that little Win 37 cost 10 cents each and you could buy 'em by the piece..at that same hardware store...oh and I only bought Winchester ammo(usually 3 inch 5s) for that 37 LOL. My poor mother had to eat rabbit and skwerl wayyy too much and an occasional duck which she loved
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:01 AM
Larryjk Larryjk is offline
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I wish I could remember the first hunting license but that was too long ago. My grandfather taught me to shoot pheasants with a LC Smith hammer SXS in 12 gauge. That was in 1950. I still have it. It is a twist barrel gun that is very clean and I am going to load some black powder shells and shoot a couple sage grouse with it. I want to restore it and teach my 40 year old son about it so he might enjy it when I am gone.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:36 AM
Goody Goody is offline
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Got my first license in 1960 when i turned 14. Bought a Westernfield 12 ga. pump. Spent a lot of time with Dad hunting grouse just outside of a little town called Ceres. Think it is in NY. Where we hunted was. Two years later we moved to Lockport, NY. Dad bought a house out in the country. Everything around there was posted. Dad said he wasn't going to kiss butt to hunt there. He never hunted again. I was old enough to hunt alone by then and got permission to hunt most of the land around there. My grandfather bought me a beagle. That was in the days of lots of pheasants. The dog didn't know what a rabbit was but he sure was good on pheasants. No problem to go out in the morning and shoot my limit. Sorry for being so long winded but that brought back lots of memories. Do to health reasons i no longer hunt. Sure do miss it though.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:46 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Sorry you can't hunt like ya used to but maybe able to get to a gun club to still enjoy a bit of shootin??
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:12 PM
jplonghunter jplonghunter is offline
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Squirrel hunt,1955 with my Grandfather's 32 single shot rolling block rifle.Grandma's squirrel stew was the end result. UMMMMMMMMMMMMM good eatin!!
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:17 PM
Johnny Reb Johnny Reb is offline
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I didn't start hunting till I was much older, but I do remember back in the 60s and early 70s when my dad hunted pheasnt's with his old 20 ga Mossburg which I now have. I'm going to have pull her out of retirement one of these days.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:56 PM
buckhunter buckhunter is offline
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Not sure but it had to be in the late 50's. /Been doing it every year except when I was in the service. I have a lot of memories of my father taking me.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:56 PM
gd357 gd357 is offline
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I started hunting in 89 or 90. Before that "big game" was birds and chipmunks with an air rifle (one crow sat long enough for me to take him down - that was a big day). My early hunting career was a little unorthodox: I shot a deer before I ever got a rabbit or squirrel. Being in the midwest with a high population, we were limited to slug guns and muzzleloaders with a handful of pistol rounds being legal at the time as well (only 5 I believe). 1st deer was taken with a smoothbore 16g slug gun. I've been really blessed to take quite a few deer since then, along with a few turkeys and a bunch of small game.

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Old 10-22-2011, 02:15 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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As a kid I wasn't allowed a firearm...barely able to talk the folks into letting me have a knife 'cause of scouts...I bought a wrist rocket sling shot on the sly at 16...saw my first buck that fall...real nice 14ptr. I drew back when I saw him...and I remember thinking to myself..."what'r you gonna do now?" It musta figured I'd seen enough and turned back up out the creek on the far side and dissapeared into the mountain laurel.

Years later....maybe '89, an old highschool buddy asked me if I'd like to join him and his cousins...he'd lend me a rifle.

I remember sitting in that old rotting 2x4 wood stand maybe 12' off the ground...in a wet creek bed...drizzling rain and cold....all day. I was told to look to the west...hell I even smoked back then. Long about 2pm....smoke drifting behind me I causually turn to my right and saw a huge 8ptr...biggest deer I've seen to date. Problem was that buck saw me when I saw him...he'd been walking in the open on those wet leaves maybe 40yds up outa the creek bed...as I was turning to draw a beed...he stepped it up. I knew I had a chance when he stalled at the fence and I waited for him to fill my front sight.

I missed.....clean...made me sick...still remember watching him go over the side of the hill in that prancing stifflegged gate...white tail wagging a cya later...side to side after every other step.

I knew my mistake after that....never take for granted the accuracy of your fire arms without practice. That old 30-.30 was hard sighted in for a lefty....and I shoot right handed.

I was hooked though.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:09 AM
skeeter@ccia.com skeeter@ccia.com is offline
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Great post by the way. As stated, sure does bring back fond memories. Since I was about 5 or so, dad would take me to the local dump and shoot rats. Then years of whistle pig hunting on his buddies farms..give me the 22 and sit me by a hole a few feet away and wait..thing is dad never went to his hunting trips to the mountains with is buddies without me along...Orange rags pinned everywhere with safety pins.. I would always be looking for IT...still to this day, never did find IT and still look for IT every trip outdoors...lol....but I did spend lots of his archery hunts looking for snakes while I was a pup and remember getting 13 one day to be exact. Memories of us sitting on the side of gamelands grassy road with his bow laying in the middle of it about 10yds away and watching a deer step over it. He had taught me tons and not a hunting day goes past without applying one of his little tricks or passing the info to my kids when in the field. Is why we are always successful. Gave me a Stevens mod 22-410 over/under for my 9th birthday. (wonder what it would be worth today) My uncle had broken the stock and when dad had the gunsmith make a new one, the smith had carved a pheasant one one side and a coon on the other without charge and said Happy Birthday. Still have it. Dad could shoot the speck off a spot but had never shot a deer. Found out later, he had more fun taking us out and never wanted to shoot one but he would go even when I was way too young to hunt..Thanks dad....for introducing me to the ourdoors and all the memories..rats,squirrels,bunnies, beagles..groundhogs..deer ..snakes...and life itself.
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