My dad didnt hunt but he loved to fish. He died while we were returning home from a fishing trip. He pulled over to sleep then had a massive heart attack. I was 11.
I really dont know why but my brother decided to take up hunting and for my 12th bday I was given mod 94 win. Open sights- I shot at and missed deer the 1st 9 years of rifle hunting. Couldnt afford a scope lol still cant!
Anyhow I LOVED squirrel hunting and hated bowhunters, I couldnt understand why they should be in the woods that early in the year!! I couldve cared less about hunting deer. There were a zillion of em but you couldnt shoot em without a tag...
I just wandered along the path of predation until I sit here today waiting and wanting more adventures! I can offer this... I wouldnt be here today if it werent for hunting. It kept me on the right path during some terribly stormy times. I also think I was being guided lol I KNOW He was steering me!
For the most part I have taught myself and maybe the pride and satisfaction is what kept me coming back. Almost like a painting, a book, a song, an everchanging story it is for me....
I thanked my brother by having him hunting with my son when he shot his 1st deer. That satisfied me immensely!
Be thankful for having spent time with yer pop and if he's still around take him out to the woods.
-------------------- "So long as the new moon returns in Heaven a bent, beautiful bow, so long will the fascination of archery keep hold the hearts of men" Posts: 471 | From: Latrobe, Pa | Registered: Apr 2003
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MY DAD WAS A REAL HUNTER.HE STARTED ME HUNTING WHEN I WAS 8.WE HAD MANY HUNTS AN MEMORIES TOGETHER.HE WOULD SAY GO FIX YOU A SANDWICH WE GOING TO HUNT ALL DAY.I AM 65 BUT I STILL MISS HIM.BE HAPPY DO NOT WORRY WE COME FULL CIRCLE IF WE ARE LUCKY.
Posts: 24 | From: frankfort,kentucky u.s.a. | Registered: Mar 2010
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My dad started me at an early age into hunting. He is now almost 70 and still hunts almost every day of our 60 day deer season. He doesnt bowhunt but that doesnt matter he hunts with his gun and I hunt with my bow, I cant and dont want to try to imagine what it would be like to not have him to hunt with. When that day comes and I hope it is a long way off there is no way that I will be able hunt without him being on my mind. I thank God every day for being blessed with such a great man in my life.
I lost my Dad when I was 18, just before I got into serious hunting. But he lit the archery fire for me in the sixties, and let me tag along with him on many "woods" outings and hunts. He also steered my formative years towards outdoor activities, boy scouts, and various outdoor activities. I led a very active outdoor life. After my Dad's passing, as I began to get into hunting for myself, many of the lessons he taught me made me what and who I am today. Funny, I only remember him killing one deer ever. I guess his enjoyment of the outdoors was much more of spiritual or therapeutic thing...he certainly had the skills to kill game, he just did'nt care to.
I killed my first deer with a recurve, and was instantly hooked on bowhunting. Although I had learned a lot of woodsmanship skills growing up, the field dressing, and many of the little things about bowhunting correctly I had to learn on my own. I mostly hunted alone, and still hunt alone quite a bit....but I've been blessed with two boys that have grown to be fine bowhunters in their own right, and I must say I enjoy every minute I can spend with them afield...and with the fine friends I've made that I hunt with nowdays. We often go afield alone, but we keep track of each others outings constantly. Nothing like the special time alone in the woods...and nothing like the sharing of those times with others that know just how you feel.
-------------------- My head is full of wanderlust, my quiver's full of hope. I've got the urge to walk the prairie and chase the antelope! - Nimrod Neurosis Posts: 1905 | From: Livingston, Montana | Registered: Mar 2003
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When I first saw the title this thread, I thought you meant having to cope with hunting without your Dad, due to his passing or something.
I actually read your entire thread and I too share this with you. We lived & I grew up on 7 acres in West TN and my father was a college professor. Since I can remember, I have had a deep desire to enjoy the outdoors. At 10, I got my first BB gun by saving up my extra money and ordered it from the local Sears outlet in Henderson, TN. A ton of birds and coke cans fell to my bb's!
When I was 12, I asked my Dad for his 12 guage J.C. Higgins shotgun. He said "if you can shoot it, you could have it". So the night of my 12th birthday we went out in the yard and I shot it. It was a big gun for a puney 12-year old, but at that point I was "armed and dangerous". I hunted what ever was in season, mostly squirrels, rabbits and doves. I hunted mostly alone or with my buddies, but never my Dad.
When I was about 15 I took my first buck with a 30-30. That same year, I got my first bow, an 45 pound Indian compound, took my first doe with a Ben Pearson compound bow when I was 17.
I have been hunting with bows now for most of my life now, but over the last few years have gone pretty exclusively to TRAD.
I have always wondered what it would have been like to have the companionship and bond of having spent time in the woods pursuing game and having time alone with my Dad during my formitable years. But he never cared at all for hunting; it just wasn't his thing. Not to say that he didn't appreciate God's magnificant creation, as we did a hand full of float and fishing trips.
I think that hunting and killing, the blood and guts that goes with it all, well it's kinda a personal thing. Even now as a 46-year old father of 4, despite my attempts to pique my 2 sons interests in hunting over the years, well they have little or no interest in the endeavor. Maybe one day they will come around and we can enjoy some special times in the woods and I must admit that I envy those folks who share this bond with other family members.
-------------------- "Carpe Carp" ... Seize the fish.
Buckster, I'm glad people have taken the time to respond. Many of these stories are very nostalgic. Again, as I said before, hearing the stories of those that learned on their own is encouraging, but I also love to hear about all those that had a dad or mom that loved the outdoors. Especially if they imparted that love to their kids whether it be fishing, hunting, hiking, bird watching or shooting a bow.
Somehow this thread got me to thinking how my grandpa would sometimes sit with me and watch big thunderstorm clouds roll in from the west out on the front porch.
My dad loved to fish, but he did not care much for hunting. When I first started taking an interest in hunting and shooting, he offered to coach me a little bit. My initial thought was that he could have nothing to offer, but it was truly a surprise to learn that he was a good shot.
As I learned, he grew up during the Great Depression, and when he went hunting the number of animals killed plus the number of rounds left over were expected to exactly match the number of rounds he left home with,which considerably dampened his enthusiasm. This was a big responsibility, because his mother died when he was three and his dad died when he was fourteen, making it difficult to afford both ammunition and groceries. Also, he worked part-time at a low rent slaughter house. The animals were killed by shooting them in the head. Yep, that was his job. Consequently, he just did not care much for guns and hunting. He was never exposed to archery as a youngster.
To his everlasting credit, he encouraged me to pursue hunting, bought me several firearms, but he only took me hunting two or three times. However, when I got my license at age 16, I began to hunt on my own and have primarily been a lone hunter all my adult life. But when I killed my first deer, he was genuinely excited and proud of me. He also thought it was good when I expressed an interest in archery and bowhunting. Unfortunately, he did not live to see me really become deeply involved in archery.
So, even though he did not actually participate much in my hunting adventures, he was still a very positive influence. God, I sure do miss him...
Had my Dad, and a great one; but he did not hunt in his older years though he hunted as a youth. He did not hunt with me - he did not ever bow hunt either. He would take me to a friends farm and drop me off - heck even when I was just a little thing barley handling a squirrel weapon. He had gone through Korea and Vietnam I know and was shot up bad in the later. I really think he didn't hunt due to the wars, he mentioned he was through with shooting and killing. I often think about kids that need someone to drag em out and get em in the woods or want to go but lack the figure to take them be it male or female. My daughter will be old enough this coming yr - she'll be out ther hunting, trappin, and fishing.
-------------------- Always be stubborn.
Captain hindsight to the rescue! Posts: 1568 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Jul 2005
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My Dad passed away on Sept. 22 a few years ago. Our season opens on the 15th of Sept. That year I just didn't feel like going in the woods to hunt. It was not until last Dec. when one day something was telling me it was time. The first evening out I had a BIG 9 pointer come in like he was on a string. I shot him and remember the presence I felt of my father on the recovery and dressing of that deer. I sat there and cried my eyes out. I still miss him A LOT. BILL
Posts: 764 | From: Maryland | Registered: Oct 2006
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I had to figure it out on my own.my dad rolled out on us when I was young.I started bow hunting in the 90's when things wernt going so well with it I would get resentful I needed help with hunting skills an bow form.but guess whatI got throught it.I take all the deer I want.I got two sons who have a dad that teaches them how to hunt an fish.I will help anyone or point them in the right direction. After taking my frist deer I realized that I did not have to be resentful anymore.there are other ways of getting things done .I could stop blaming my dad for my failurs an take care of my self.somethings that I failed at I would just let go .hunting had that internal burn I just had to figure out.I love it.It was one of the greatest days of my life seeing my 10 year old take his 1st deer an on the other hand it was a little sad knowing that my dad wavied his chance at days like this.
Posts: 1496 | From: Sykesville, Maryland | Registered: Jul 2008
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My dad liked to fish and he hunted birds and small game, but never hunted big game. My interest as a kid was always big game; luckily, I had an uncle who loved to hunt deer, and he was my mentor, along with stories from Jack O'Connor and other great outdoor writers of the time. I never knew anybody who bowhunted, though, so I picked that up on my own. My son never gave a hoot about hunting, much to my disappointment. He certainly had every opportunity, but the desire just wasn't there. At least he enjoys fishing.
-------------------- People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf Posts: 2535 | From: WY - East face of the Bighorns | Registered: Oct 2007
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The day started out like many others. A long, quiet walk in the pre-dawn darkness, taking in the smell and feel of one of my favorite places in the world. The Big Woods.
Between family owned land and the generosity of adjacent land owners, I am blessed with access to a large tract of northern Wisconsin woods. Teeming with game and abundant cover, it makes for my own private paradise.
What made this hunt different was not only the equipment I carried, but the attitude and spirit that was with me every step of the way. Gone was a bow described by the manufacturer as a weapon constructed of space age alloys and technology for the archer of the new millennium. Gone was a backpack with a laser guided range finder and a global positioning unit. No longer was I wearing screen printed sweat shop camo with patented scent proof fabric and charcoal filtering. Most importantly, no longer would I clutter my brain with useless thoughts of G2s, G3s, beam mass and inside spread. I would simply hunt. I would rely on woodsmanship and my bow made of wood.
How could I fail? With my longbow and a light weight leather quiver holding my homemade wooden arrows I was the " King of the forest"
As I slipped through the woods, I stopped and checked on and old friend. One of my ladder stands. A quick inspection showed the pull up rope, safety belt and swivel seat in good repair and ready for action. This spot has provided me with numerous deer over the years. With my trusty 35 year old Remington rifle and various wheel bows, many memories and meals were a slam dunk.
I must admit, walking from my proven hot spot left me questioning my new approach to hunting. I have put in many hours perfecting my tree stand hunting. Never would I simply "hang a stand". Concealment was always my primary concern. Wedging a stand into a multi trunked tree while wearing head to toe camo was standard procedure.
This day would be different. Today I would hunt on the ground in a well worn but functional ground blind. Not just any ground blind, but one constructed by my Dad.
Over the years, he has become a master blind builder. Using a combination of natural materials and burlap his blinds are a work of art. With his favorite hatchet and a ball of twine he can transform a blowdown into a blind wortht of it's own name. Spots like the "Ridge Stand" and the "Fort"are house hold names throughout the year.
Elderly and fighting terminal illness, Dad would remain at our cabin in the woods. While my first instinct was to skip hunting to care for him, I was informed that nothing gets in the way of hunting season. Since he was not there with me, I knew he would be anxious to hear every detail of the hunt. This somehow heightened my spirit and mental computer as I tried to soak in all that was happening around me.
Much has been written about a barebow shooter's confidence and the Zen like state of visualizing the arrow in flight, but deep in the woods I could not help question my decision to kill a deer with only a barebow and my strong shoulders. The hours and hours spent shooting at targets and tweaking my gear seemed like a life time ago as I headed towards Dad's ground blind. As I walked the partially over grown logging road, I saw numerous rubs and scrapes which quickly took me off my backyard range and back into the woods.
A short distance from the blind I heard the deliberate " crunch crunch crunch' of deer moving through the area. Though still dark, I was able to spot a large doe with her two fawns in tow. With the wind in my favor they worked their way along a well worn trail oblivious to my presence. Encouraged by already seeing deer I was anxious to settle into my blind.
Prior to heading out Dad remined me to watch for the large white birch that looks like a slingshot. " Head west from the slingshot and pickup my trail. You'll see my blind halfway down the hill. Watch to the right, they will be heading south to their bedding area. Perched over looking a well worn trail was a large blown down oak top that had been transformed into a perfect ground blind complete with a padded swivel boat seat mounted on a five gallon pail.
As darkness faded away it was easy for me to see why this could be my new "hot spot". A combination of young poplar and scrub oak made for an ideal spot to set up on the trail, while taking advantage of the abundant natural camoflage that had been turned into an awesome ambush site. I took as many quick calculations as I could to determine distances and openings on the trail that I hoped would be the one to provide me with an opportunity to loose one of my cedar arrows.
Well it must have been my day!! As the planets aligned and the hunting Gods smiled down on me, a fat fork horn walked and sniffed it's way right down the trail, just like my dad predicted. In one smooth motion minus sights, stabilizer and release my cedar shaft hit it's mark and my trophy forky was down quick and clean.
Like every deer my family harvests, this one was celebrated in the form of tenderloin shish-kabob over our fire ring. While Dad's appetite for venison was not like he had hoped, his appetite for ground blind stories was as strong as ever.
On a cold and stormy night in October, Dad lost his battle with cancer with my brother and me at his side.
And yes, gun season found me tagging a nice 6 pointer from Dad's ground blind.
Posts: 16 | From: Cross Plains, Wi. | Registered: Mar 2005
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I read everyone of these posts. Thanks to all. My Dad was a small game hunter,only shot one deer as they were scarce back then. He had a stroke when I was 5 and couldn't move his left arm or leg from that time till his death at 46 yrs. He let me buy Outdoor Life mags. when I was 8 yrs. old Jack O'Conor was my hero. I got a bow with haybaleing money at 15 (50lb.). My first year deer hunting he said he would eat the deer hide and all if I got one. He didn't have to eat one that year and he was gone by the next year,when I shot my 1st. God I wish he could have seen that. My boys bowhunt and are my BEST friends. Good hunters and good men.