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Dad was pretty big into rabbit hunting in the 60's. Owned beagles and went every Saturday. Deer hunting was a trip to Cadillac for a few days at my uncle's 80 acres. Dad never saw a buck in all the years he went.

By the time I was old enough to hunt, Dad was drifting away from it. Too much work and responsiblity I suppose. Back then, there was only one bread winner and I remember him working a lot and never taking a vacation.

I dabbled in deer hunting as a teen. Went out a few times with some friends, and that was about it. My hunting interest faded with no one to guide me. A renewed interest in being an outdoorsman came about in my thirties. I got some property to hunt and slowly began learning about deer hunting. I say "slowly" because finding someone to learn from is tougher than stalking a trophy buck. Most of the guys I'd run into were unethical and poor hunters.

I spent a lot of time in the woods, read books and articles and soaked up as much information from this site as possible. I'm still learning and have a long way to go to reach the standard I've set for myself. But...I'm on my way.

One thing is for certain: Not all of us have had the fortune of having an ethical, law abiding mentor to guide us to being a good sportsman. For some (most, actually), the mentor they inherit has bad habits of their own and don't know any better as they pass them on to a new generation. The cycle then repeats.

For men like me, it can be a long journey to become the sportsman that others look up to and respect. I've had to shed bad habits and misinformation that I've picked up along the way and gain new factual information and good habits from sources that I've chosen.

I only hope that I can pass on the information that I've had to search high and low for. My son, hopefully, will not have to filter good information from bad and will learn ethics and sportsmanship right from the start.
 

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My grandfather had a cabin in Frederic, near Grayling. My dad, grampa, and several brothers would make the trip 'up north' from Detroit every year. As I recall, you got to go when you were 12. I went 5 or 6 years before grampa sold the cabin. We never got a deer. Dad worked in the powerhouse at Ford where it was very hot and deer hunting was his vacation. He didn't want to get up real early and sit out in the cold. So, we mainly walked the woods. Great fun but not very effective. Still, the ethics were there and a strong foundatin was built. College, then work kept me away from hunting for about ten years. Then some friends invited me to join them and I've been an addict ever since. I've devoured books, videos and really become a student of deer and hunting. It seems to me that most guys who hunt had a dad/grampa/uncle introduct them to the sport at an early age. I've found few who get into hunting, especially as adults, all on their own. So, let's all make it a point to take a kid huntin'. John-Ypsi
 

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I am the only one in our family who took up hunting. My father never hunted nor fished. I started hunting in the 50's and still haven't learned much, but I keep trying over and over. Been lucky a few times.

Between skill and luck, I'll take luck every time! All kidding aside, I like to get other people talking about hunting and pick up little pointers from time to time. Some work, some don't. After we got our own hunting land, that's when everything came together nicely.
 

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I'm also the only one that hunts in my family. Both my dad and brother fish, but only once a year, when we go on our annual Ontario fishing trip.
I always wanted to hunt deer, but after listening to some of the stories that I heard at a factory I used to work at, I was fearful to set foot in the woods. Let's just say he was bragging about taking something that severely alters your mind. Other guys talking about going up north and staying in the bars all night, then going out to their blind drunk off their butts. Not good publicity for the hunting world. Finally when I was 28, I decided that screw those losers, I'm not going to let them keep me from doing something that I've always wanted to do.

It wasn't until a freind of mine told me that he wanted to learn to shoot a bow, well, I've shot bow since I was a kid, in fact when I ran out of arrows, I cut down my bike flag's fiberglass pole into arrows for my red bear recurve and took a few chipmonks with it. So he wanted to learn how to shoot bow and I wanted to learn to hunt. However, when I asked how many years he hunted as a kid, he said 8, I asked him how many deer he'd taken and he said none. So, I basically learned on my own. A lot of hands on and some referencing of Woods n Water and the internet filled in the gaps. I guess I haven't done too bad for a self taught guy. I've seen deer every year, some haven't come in close and I used to pass on any does I saw. My first deer was a 5X2, and that was taken 3 years into the process. The following year, I had a thick 6pt come in, but before I could pop him, he ran off when a BIG BRUISER came in and chased him off.

I'm hooked on it and glad I got into it. I've only run into one real A-hole and that was on private land, and he was trespassing w/o permission. I've yet to meet a rude bowhunter, and the one's I've met have been soem really good people.
 

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Dad was a hunter from day one. I started going with him as soon as I could walk. I shot my first pheasant when I was 10 and my first deer at 14. Received a 22 single shot for my tenth birthday and 2 boxes of shells. We lived in the country and there wasn't a crow safe on our property after that time. Think about it, giving a ten year old a rifle and telling home to go outside and play with it. Never got into trouble with it and went on many big game hunting excursions with that little rifle. Mostly in my mind but never the less those squirrels I was stalking could have been lions or tigers.

Heck by the time I was 10 I knew what fields held pheasants, what part of the fencerows or swamps held rabbits and what a deer scrape was and what they played in a deers life. And back in the early 60s around Jackson Mi. it WAS a big deal to see a deer. You could hunt for days and days to find a deer or two. Times have changed.

Now days I can't walk very good so my excursions are short lived but still get a thrill hunting deer. Shot a doe yesterday with my muzzleloader and still felt the same excitement as when I was 14. Any time you can take a kid into the woods and teach him correctly the life and death issues they will be better off.
 

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Backwoods-Savage said:
I am the only one in our family who took up hunting.
:yeahthat:

Got into bowhunting from a high school friend. Unfortunately, he passed away from Leukemia 15 years ago. I think of him every time I hit the woods.

Other than that, ask people and visit ms.com all the time.:D
 

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I was lucky my dad and the rest of my extended family all hunted and still hunt.

I have been hunting since I was 12 but I was going with my dad and grandfather since I was around 5.

I have a friend his dad was killed in a work accident when he was an early teen he had started him hunting after that he quit and hadn't really done that much. We started fishing together and now we hunt but my whole family takes it upon ourselfs to make ourselfs available to teach and pass down our knowledge to our friends and younger family that didn't have the family opportunities we've had.

Now I have A few new neices and nephews that are getting the benefit of the family. If someone goes fishing or hunting it is our responsibility to take a young one with us. I have a second cousin whose boy is 3 and he will be going fishing with me next spring.

Now you can take it upon yourself to take a young one with you there is no reason you cant learn together, and he/she can learn to be safe.

My dad used to get a little frustrated at not getting a deer at times and he said it all changed when I was 12 or 13. We had come in from bow hunting deer one evening and he hadn't seen anything. He asked me what I had seen and I told him Squirrels and partridge etc. no deer. But at that point he remembered what it was all about again its not all about killing an animal its more about companionship and being out in nature and enjoying it. The wild game dinner is a very good benefit of it.
 

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I grew up in the country. It was the thing you did when growing up. I was taught most by my father and my best friends brother-in-law. The rest my best friend and I learned the hard way. We went hunting and payed attention to what was going on around us. Now I get more satisfaction getting a rookie their first deer than when I get mine.
 

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My father hunted, both deer and small game in the '40s. He drifted away from it sometime in the later part of the decade. While he had taken small game he never shot a deer.

When I was in the 7th grade Mom and Dad got me a J.C. Higgins (Sears) .22 auto loader.

I was one excited lad as I had dreamed of deer hunting and used to marvel whenever I saw a car topped with a deer or two. "Those guys have been Up North, an area I was sure was wilderness.
In the fall of my 8th grade Dad took me squirrel hunting north of Grand Rapids in the area of 20 Mile Rd. and Algoma. The woodlot was off Simmons Rd. and was owned by the family of a guy Dad worked with at Keeler Brass Co.

We small game hunted and as I got into high school the guys I ran with, Harry, Jim (Shreds), Mike, and Terry all hunted to some degree. Harry and I were the main organizers of grouse hunts north of Baldwin off Peacock Rd.

My dad taught me a bit about hunting squirrels and rabbits and I can still picture what happened when I took my first squirrel (in the above mentioned oak woods) and rabbit (out near Childsdale). That rabbit by the way remains, in my mind anyway, the largest rabbit I've ever shot. I was using a single shot 16 ga.(J.C. Higgins again) and the my Dad and I bounced the bunny out of a tangle of low growing shrubs and grape vines along the railroad tracks.

Deer came later.

This post is already too long...........:lol:
 

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I too am pretty much self taught. No family members hunted. I started hunting by escorting younger friends who 'used' me as a guardian. I then bought a shotgun and started hunting with them. This was before hunter safety classes were required and I'm proof that they are a good idea. I thought when you went out bird hunting with your shotgun you took the safety off when you went into the woods. Not surprisingly my gun went off one of the first times I was out in the woods. :yikes: Fortunately I was smart enough to keep the muzzle pointed away from others.

I've learned a bit about hunting and safety over the last 30 years, thank goodness.
 

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bvanzalen said:
Dad never saw a buck in all the years he went.
Uhmmm... was your dad really hunting up there? :D
 

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bvanzalen said:
......it can be a long journey to become the sportsman that others look up to and respect

That would be a great topic for a book!
 

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Started hunting squirrels in southern Indiana with a single-shot .22 at age 11 with my dad. I learned a lot of hunting skills doing that (when to move, when not; when to shoot, when not) and killed my first buck at 17 when there were less than 10,000 deer killed in the entire state in that year.

I advocate hunters starting out the same way I did. I know guys that have decided to start hunting in their adult life. The first thing they do is go after deer, in some instances with a bow. These guys have no woodsmanship skills and make some of the stupidest blunders you could imagine. I wouldn't tell them not to hunt, but learning "one shot, one kill" on small game is like learning to walk before you try to run.
 

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i was another that self taught, i remember when i was 10 i wanted a 22 for plinking on the farm when we spent the summers there, well i got the 22 on my 11th bday and i killed more tin cans and junk cars on the farm with that gun, well when school started the following year i asked my mom if i could take hunters safety, she was against it but ny step dad was all for it he figured if i could handle my 22 with such extreme caution and yet shoot so well i deserved it, well i passsed but that season i had noone to hunt with and at the time it was ilegal to hunt at 12 in nj by myself, had to have an adult with you,, well the next season i bribed my uncle into going rabbit hunting with me and opening day of small game i killed 3 rabbits, so when i asked my uncle to go deer hunting with me he was actually more excited than i was, he went out and bought me my first shotgun a 410. and i killed 3 deer with that gun,, but i always hAD some sort of hunting mag or book with me,, and i learned how to stalk and everything else from reading, and it seems today i still hunt most times by myself but that is ok as well because i enjoy as well as look forward to my alone time in the woods
 

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well i remember taking hunters safety when i was 10 (dad lied on my birthday) to get me out hunting a year early...shame on him! Can't say that i got where i am today without my dad having alot to do with it. His main attraction was ducks....every day of the season we duck hunted, and maybe a couple days of rifle/deer. He stopped deer hunting when i was like 15 and from there on i took bow hunting on my own..from there on I was hooked for good.
 

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I started hunting when I was 12.My dad was not really into it at that time but he encouraged us ( my 2 brothers and I ) to try it.My uncle was the one who really got me into it.He and I would go small game hunting quite often in the fall and winter.When I was 13,1983, I asked my dad for a bow for Christmas and got it.Im sure the neighbors got a good laugh at me trying to learn how to shoot it in the yard at snow balls I rolled up.I went deer hunting for the first time with my bow and gun for the first time with my uncle.He took me to Drummond Island for a week.I never got one with my bow but did get a buck with a gun that year....I was hooked from there on...My dad got back into bow hunting a couple of years later and finally back into gun hunting about 5 years ago.My uncle eventually gave up hunting about 5 years ago when he sold a piece of land he and some friends owned.Not sure why because he loved to be "out there" with us but in 25 years of deer hunting he only got 2 bucks.My brothers got into deer hunting about 10 years after I did, I guess they got tired of me telling them all the cool stories and decided to try it out.They both got hooked after their first year out.As a family we have taken over 40 bucks in the past 15 years,I think it is a nice number.There are no "TROPHY" bucks per say but I can tell you details about everyone that I took that makes them all trophy's to me...
 
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