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How long have you been a hunter?


Grouse

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A lot of you were taking the course before I was born...

If I had to think about it, I probably got my license back in the late 90's. I would say that I've been actively pursuing deer for the past 13 or 14 years. I started getting more into bow over the past 3 or 4 years.

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35 years for me but will be my hardest season by far, I will be without my hunting partner, best friend, my dad, lost him back on July 24th. It will be bitter sweet because I lost my life long buddy but excited for  my 13 year old to take him on  his first ever deer hunt, his grandpa was so excited to get the chance to see him hunt and buy him his first license. I'm just trying to make the best of this season and  passing along what my dad taught me. My only goal is to put my son on a deer and have a good time. It hurts like heck, but I must push on.

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I believe I was about 11 years old when I crafted my first longbow from a hickory stave cut off the hill. I built some crude un-fletched willow arrows and went to the hay mow of our barn to get two pigeons. I plucked them and had my mother cook them up for me. That was my first hunt.

Then sometime around 1960 I bought my first commercial recurve. It was a Ben Pearson that started my archery deer hunting. That also was about the time that I went deer hunting with a buddy using my first shotgun ( an old 20 guage bent-barrel Mossberg.

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Took my hunter safety as soon as I could but I really don’t recall if legally it was 12 or 14 in the mid 70’s.   I thought it was 14……..if so I was 14 in 1975 and that’s be my first year.  That makes this my 46th.  

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I took my hunters safety course when I was 12 or 13 at at a summer camp.  I got my first small game license when I turned 14, as soon as the town hall opened up after Christmas break (I share a birthday with Jesus Christ).

I did some rabbit hunting in January of 1978 (if my math is correct) with my dad. I carried his old Ithaca 16 gauge double with Damascus barrels.   Only the left side worked.  He carried his Browning sweet 16.  We only went out a couple times and didn’t see any rabbits.  Our English setter didn’t do so well with those.  He was big into hunting wild pheasants, but they were mostly all gone by that time.

I didn’t kill anything that first year.   The following season, I killed a few squirrels with my grandfathers Winchester single shot .410.  I may take that out again for those in the next few weeks.  Too many leaves on the trees for my .22.

Edited by wolc123
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39 legal years of hunting for me. Like a lot of you who grew up in the country, I got quite a bit of experience before I turned 14 hunting with my dad. All I can say is that I sure am glad and feel fortunate that I grew up when I did. My family was never very well off, but I sure got to learn the woods and waters.

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I got my hunting license in 1992. That was the year the age in ny dropped from 14 to 12 for small game also. I have hunted every year since. 

I remember going out deer hunting with my father, and mother younger than that. My favorite memories was being 8, 9 years old and going coon hunting with my dad.  I never could keep up. It seemed like I was alone wondering through the woods listening for the dog. Then I would see my fathers light turn on, as he waited for me to catch up. I would get there and he would be off again.

If the dog started howling I would head toward the sound. Great memories. 

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My story is remarkably similar to Steuben Jerry’s. I grew up in the Suburbs of Rochester (Henrietta) on the edge of the fields at that time. No one I knew hunted but camping and fishing and Scouting were all a part of our family so the outdoors was always a big part of my upbringing. I started (legally) hunting 47 years ago with a Sears and Roebuck Ted Williams 12 gauge. That thing was great for pheasants and ducks but wouldn’t throw slugs for crap. Missed a bunch of deer before I picked up a recurve bow and killed my first deer, a gnarly 12 point, with it a half mile from my parents house. That got me hooked on deer. Many deer later I still prefer to bow hunt but have taken deer with just about everything but a spear. Still trying for that bull elk. Three cow elk, but the bulls keep giving me the slip and I’m running out of time for that chase.

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