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Thread: How did you become a hunter?

  1. #1
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    Default How did you become a hunter?

    As the name of this thread implies, Iím curious as to the path each of us took to becoming a hunter.

    As for myself, no one in my family hunted so I began hunting with friends. One of my childhood friends had a cottage and owned a pellet rifle. We started off plinking cans and stuff and eventually moved on to live critters including birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. We eventually graduated to rabbits and thought that we were pretty good lol.

    I learned at that age that I loved the outdoors and relished every opportunity to be out and about. Along the way we learned to snare rabbits and set traps for raccoons, skunks, and muskrats. The best that we could do with beavers and foxes were a few toes.

    My parents were very conflicted when I asked to take the hunter safety course as hunting wasnít in their nature. Eventually, they gave in and the rest is history. Unfortunately I didnít have any adult mentors to learn from so my friends and I learned by trial and error while trying to apply tips gleaned from outdoor magazines and outdoor survival books from the library.

    After getting my hunting licence, I was given a single shot 12 gauge for my 15th birthday and developed an obsession for duck hunting however I never became proficient at it. I spent a lot of time building duck blinds and learning how to call but I could hardly hit them.

    I managed to get out deer hunting for a day or two in my last couple of years of high school and managed to get in on a kill (a fawn). In fact, Iím pretty sure that I was one of the guys to have hit it.

    I continued to hunt during college but didnít have a lot of opportunity to grow as a hunter. It wasnít until after I graduated and moved up north did my growth as a hunter really take off. Luckily, I worked with guys that were successful hunters and got invited on moose and deer hunts. At first I mimicked what others were doing, or did what I was told e.g. sit here and donít move. Eventually I became successful and gained experience. In the case of deer hunting, I became a student and would read whatever I could find and would watch tv shows and videos.

    Iím now 60 years old and consider myself a pretty good hunter. If thereís one thing that helped me become a better hunter was my eagerness/willingness to learn whether it be from other hunters, books, videos, or trial and error. Having an open mind sure helps. Taking time to reflect on what you experience is also important so that you gain an understanding of what did or didnít work. Knowing that animal behaviour is about generalities as opposed to rigid patterns will help you become more adaptable and resourceful, and ultimately more successful.

    Feel free to share your experiences.

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    Enjoyed reading your post Sam.
    My Dad got me started at around 12 years old.
    If I could carry the .22 without getting any dirt in it, I was allowed to shoot it once at the end of his hunt.
    He also bred/trained beagles for many years so that got me onto hunting rabbits , and later enjoying a variety of gun dogs.
    He taught me many morals around hunting- I know that not everyone agrees- but he said , "If you aren't going to eat it ,don't shoot it."
    He taught riflery in the army and I must say I can't ever remember him missing a shot.

    Wonderful how an heritage can do so much good. My brother is now a guide on the West coast and another brother was a Conservation Officer in Hawaii for many years.

    PS I have Parkinson's disease now so they won't renew my license., nor should they.
    Last edited by Sharon; April 13th, 2021 at 03:00 PM.
    " We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
    Enjoyed reading your post Sam.
    My Dad got me started at around 12 years old.
    If I could carry the .22 without getting any dirt in it, I was allowed to shoot it once at the end of his hunt.
    He also bred/trained beagles for many years so that got me onto hunting rabbits , and later enjoying a variety of gun dogs.
    He taught me many morals around hunting- I know that not everyone agrees- but he said , "If you aren't going to eat it ,don't shoot it."
    He taught riflery in the army and I must say I can't ever remember him missing a shot.

    Wonderful how an heritage can do so much good. My brother is now a guide on the West coast and another brother was a Conservation Officer in Hawaii for many years.

    PS I have Parkinson's disease now so they won't renew my license.
    Hi Sharon, thanks for sharing your story. I wish that I had an adult mentor when I was young as I probably would have developed proper ethics sooner in life. I’m very sorry to hear that you have Parkinson’s Disease, I hope that are still able to find joy and wonderment in life.

  5. #4
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    awesome post sam,

    my grandfather, my father, couple cousins, my uncles, and their uncles are all hunters,

    I was brought along when i was a little kid maybe 10 years old. my fathers uncle had a property we use to go to. i use go along and watch them build the deer stands learned alot from all of them , take shots with the .22 at pop cans stuff like that. then he brought me once for the controlled hunt, not going to lie it was hell for me LOL. we stayed in a disgusting motel, and the 1 thing i remember from that hunt is me sleeping in the tree stand beside him, freezing cold, and waking up to my dad taking a shot and missing a deer standing not to far away, his hands were to frozen to get another shell into his gun before the deer started to prance off slowly and into the bush.

    i stopped going after that time for a few years , got really caught up in the technology coming out at the time (videogames). i would go once or twice with him to take a couple shots with the .22 but nothing more than that for a while.
    i then started getting older and older and started going with him more and more, sighting in their shotguns and rifles being able to take a shot with a shotgun was a really cool thing for me. after some of the hunts they would come to our house to skin and process the deer in our garage, and would show all kinds of photos and it started to grow more and more on me, i was never really a confident kid, so i like to think that thats why i waited so long to get my PAL and my hunting license,

    ive only been hunting now for a couple years, i seem to think differently than everyone else we go with, the first year i went i did as i should, i followed my fathers direction, sit here for the week youll see something.

    last year, i did something a bit different, i decided to take my phone gps and walk and mark a trail from one field, to another through a massive part of bush that hasnt been touched or hunted by anyone that i know of, needless to say i found a massive path/ trail that is used by big game daily.

    my fathers uncle likes to give me a hassle saying im doing things wrong, but i cant be doing it that wrong as ive seen deer just haven't had the right amount of time to connect with one.

    i had a camera up last year through that trail only to get pictures of massive bucks that my father was VERY surprised to see. needless to say the NOOBIE (me) of the group found that spot and gets to take it now every year. now just to connect with one

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    I think, like most kids growing up on a farm, you learn how to shoot young. I spent the summers on my uncle Farm, but I guess what we did really wasn't called hunting, it was eradication of the rat population on the pig farm . It was a young boys dream.

    Started 'hunting' them with slingshots, then pellet, then .22s'. It was a daily activity and we honed our skills thru the summers setting up ambushes and learning how aim and kill quick with a well placed head shot using sling shot and pellets. A skill set I still use today for bigger game.

    Then he army taught me to hunt a different target But hey, they gave me free guns and ammo to develop my shooting skills with a wide range of weaponry.

    Got into legal hunting once I was near retirement and bought my own farm. The basic were still there, after dinner sitting out in the barn shooting rats or cleaning the beavers out of the swap.

    My property is part of a local hunt camps area so they invited me to join and for the past 25 yrs have been hunting with Bows, Rifles and Muzzeloaders solo on my own property and with the camp.

    My girls never showed an interest in Hunting or shooting, so I guess the family tradition will end with me.

    Good topic Sam !!
    Last edited by MikePal; April 13th, 2021 at 03:49 PM.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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    literally and figuratively walking in my dads foot steps. From the time I could keep up with him was his shadow.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

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    Got a pellet gun for Christmas when I was 7 pigeons rats blackbirds crows
    22 at 15 high school had range in basement.
    Always had pheasants so easy to hunt back then ducks geese rabbits coyotes
    Still have the pellet gun sold 22 to a buddy bought it back couple years ago sold 16g duh 12 gauge sxs started to hurt so it went
    Then got busy farming
    Then retired bought place Iím at now.
    Deer miss pheasants
    Going to be 61 next month

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    I wasn't really exposed to any hunting in my youth other than my friend's family who did deer drives during the controlled hunt. It never really interested me until I discovered duck hunting through not only living right next to an amazing resource, but asking questions to guys I saw hunting which inspired me to learn more.

    Once I took my hunters Ed course with some very enthusiastic instructors I really started to seek out and absorb information from any source I could find. Books, magazines, or asking random hunters I'd meet through work or social events. Also through forums by reading debates about ethics and practices as well as stories. Of course once I had some success wing shooting it really lit the fuse for me to try new things and different species.

    Now it's turned into a year round pursuit, scouting and learning new areas and learning new skills. I'm mostly a loner by nature so it's the perfect activity for me to unwind and enjoy.

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    Well back when I was very young maybe 9 we needed food, I started with a 10 foot length of barbed wire.
    I would go along the ditches near the railroad tracks find a rabbit hole and thread the barbed wire in and give it a twist and pull out the rabbit.
    I did not call it hunting I called it getting something to eat.
    We were very poor lived on crown land in a one room shack no hydro , no running water and very little else.
    Lived there until they evicted us that was back in 1952.
    But I guess that got me into hunting.

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    I started hunting with a ferret and nets for cotton tail rabbits in Scotland when I was about 14 years old. Somebody stole my albino ferret from the back yard, so naturally back in the day you called the local beat cop over. In came a guy called Peter Cowie and he was right from the Highland's and his father was a game keeper. Well he takes the report, such as it was and told me that he would see his father and get me another ferret.

    Well sure enough about a month later, my Dad tells me there is a box in the kitchen for me.

    I go in and there is a hand crafted wooden carrying case with a leather shoulder strap and a scratching sound from the inside.

    Open up the box and there is a big sable colored buck ferret , you never seen a happier kid.

    I got out that very weekend and found I had a fully trained ferret that knew his business and over the course of a few years caught lots of rabbits.

    The kindness shown to me by that beat Cop sent me right on that career path so I have more than one thing to thank him for.

    I never knew how to thank him as a kid but later on figured I would meet him on the job locally, turned out he went back to

    the Highland's and became Chief Inspector in the Grampian Force he passed in 1997.

    After that early start it was my first single barreled Baikal shotgun and shooting pheasants and rabbits. When I came here I was self taught for beagling and so forth but did have a hunting mentor for deer and Moose. Got to say I have meet some real good people through hunting and fishing pursuit's.

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