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Your first game animal?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 7,930 Senior Member
and whatever else you wish to share about how/when/where you took it.

For me, it was a whitetail doe taken near Sonora, Tx. I was a freshman in high school, hunting with my dad. For those not familiar with the area around Sonora, it's fairly heavily wooded with mostly different species of oak. The county is also somewhat hilly, but most of the hills are what one might call rolling hills. In other words, it's not especially hard country to hunt.

I was walking up a wooded hill at mid-morning. I looked to my left, and there she stood, maybe 50 yards away. She presented a perfect broadside shot, and didn't seem the least bit leery of me. One shot from my Savage M340 30-30 and it was over. All things considered, it was pretty anti-climactic.

My first buck was much more exciting. I already posted some of the details on the latest .270 thread in the shooting portion of the forum, but might as well share it here.

It was a year after I took the doe, which meant I was 16 and a sophomore in high school. I had worked all summer long at a gas station and saved my money. We had the opportunity to get on a great lease near Pandale, Tx for $100, but Dad didn't have the money to swing it. He told me that if I wanted to go in halves, we could do it. I jumped at the chance and gave him $50 without a second thought. It was money well spent.

Pandale is between Ozona and Del Rio, near the Pecos river. The country can be described as desert, and features mostly small canyons that may be a mile or so long and 200-400 yards deep. It's possible to stand on one side of a canyon and have a makeable shot at a deer on the other side. There are some bigger canyons, though.

I was shooting a Sako .243 bolt action rifle my dad borrowed from his cousin. We didn't reload at that time, so I was shooting 80 grain factory ammo. It was Thanksgiving weekend, and the man who oversaw the lease invited me to hunt with him and his family. He had two sons a little older than me, and I considered it a great privilege to hunt with them.

I don't remember if it was the first or second day of the hunt, but I was placed on the rim of a canyon while the older of the two brothers walked the bottom in my general direction. The idea was to push deer to me and the younger brother, who was watching a bit further down. Sure enough, the plan worked, as I saw a 6 pt. buck step out into the canyon bottom. He presented about a 200 yard shot, and it was pretty much broadside.

On my first shot, I noticed it twitch its ear and start walking in my direction. I got excited and shot again. It then started running, so I shot three more times. The last time it was running straight away from me, and going around a bend in the canyon floor. I can still remember the sight picture I had in my scope. The dot in the scope was positioned right over its head when I pulled the trigger. The deer then disappeared from sight and I was extremely disappointed that I had blown such a great opportunity for my first buck.

Shortly after all my shooting, the older brother came into view. I told him what I had done, and he quickly found a good blood trail. He found the buck a few yards from where I had last shot at it. I had hit it on all 5 shots, but only two were fatal. The first shot, I believe, punched a hole it its ear and explained the deer twitching its ear immediately after the shot. It field dressed about 75 lbs., which was about average at that time.

Those are my memories, and ones I've kept for nearly 50 years. Please share yours.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    My first edible kill was a cottontail with a H&R Topper, Jr. .410 shotgun, with a 3" No.6 shotshell. I was probably about 10 or maybe 11, because that's when my dad started letting me go to the woods, alone, when we were visiting my grandparents in Durant, OK. I was supposedly squirrel hunting, but I inadvertently sneaked up on a sleeping rabbit, who was lying on his belly, at about 25 yards. He was nestled in leaves, in a low spot, but I could see the shadow of his head and shot him. He jumped straight up in the air and landed flopping. I loaded another round and started easing up on him, but he was dead by the time I got there. My grandmother fried him for me, and he was very tasty, with not too many lead pellets. I thought it was the coolest experience I had ever had.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,146 Senior Member
    My first deer was a whitetail doe at about 75 yards with a borrowed Savage 99 in .243. I was about 13 years old or so, and on my best friend's lease near Mountain Home, TX. It came into the feeder (a 5 gallon bucket with holes in it. Very sophisticated setup), and presented a slightly quartering to broadside shot. I aimed right at the spot behind the shoulder that I had practiced on, and hit exactly where I aimed.

    Of course, that was a complete noob mistake. The bullet clipped through the lung, back through the diaphragm, and scrambled some of the guts. So I ALWAYS remind new hunters now that they are not aiming for a spot on the outside of the deer, but on the inside.

    Anyway, deer hit the ground where she stood, but the head was up and looking around. I cycled another round in the gun, and had the crosshairs on the back of the deer's head, and was debating if I should finish her when she took off at ludicrous speed.

    Noob mistake 2. Bullets are cheap, tracking sucks. If the deer is still alive, put a round in it and stop it's suffering.

    Well, as the deer just made it to the brush, I cracked off a shot. I exploded out of the blind, cycling another round in the chamber.

    Noob mistake 3- let the deer find a spot to lie down and bleed out. Don't charge after it like you are going to run down a deer and tackle it.

    But luckily, my snap shot (I was still tracking the head in the scope as she ran) plowed through her neck and she piled up about 2 feet into the brush she was running for. Dumb luck I hit her with a kill shot right then since I had no idea about leading on running shots.

    The buddy I hunted with is still my hunting partner, and I am on a lease with him now. He has taught my wife to shoot, and our kids hunt and play together now. Hunting is a lifetime friendship thing.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    My first deer was a whitetail doe at about 75 yards with a borrowed Savage 99 in .243. I was about 13 years old or so, and on my best friend's lease near Mountain Home, TX. It came into the feeder (a 5 gallon bucket with holes in it. Very sophisticated setup), and presented a slightly quartering to broadside shot. I aimed right at the spot behind the shoulder that I had practiced on, and hit exactly where I aimed.

    Of course, that was a complete noob mistake. The bullet clipped through the lung, back through the diaphragm, and scrambled some of the guts. So I ALWAYS remind new hunters now that they are not aiming for a spot on the outside of the deer, but on the inside.

    Anyway, deer hit the ground where she stood, but the head was up and looking around. I cycled another round in the gun, and had the crosshairs on the back of the deer's head, and was debating if I should finish her when she took off at ludicrous speed.

    Noob mistake 2. Bullets are cheap, tracking sucks. If the deer is still alive, put a round in it and stop it's suffering.

    Well, as the deer just made it to the brush, I cracked off a shot. I exploded out of the blind, cycling another round in the chamber.

    Noob mistake 3- let the deer find a spot to lie down and bleed out. Don't charge after it like you are going to run down a deer and tackle it.

    But luckily, my snap shot (I was still tracking the head in the scope as she ran) plowed through her neck and she piled up about 2 feet into the brush she was running for. Dumb luck I hit her with a kill shot right then since I had no idea about leading on running shots.

    The buddy I hunted with is still my hunting partner, and I am on a lease with him now. He has taught my wife to shoot, and our kids hunt and play together now. Hunting is a lifetime friendship thing.

    And that right there is worth more than a whole wall of trophies.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    My first animal was a big fat **** in the Guadalupe River Bottom. Shot him out of a big live oak tree with a Mossberg .410 bolt action. We didn't eat it but skinned it and made a **** skin cap. Davy Crockett was big back then.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    My Dad bought an old Ithica 22 auto loading rifle. It wouldn't cycle. I wound up hunting squirrel with an old Remington bolt action 12ga. Used to spit roast em at deer camp while my Dad bow hunted near Cadillac Michigan.

    My first deer was taken in the same area. He was scared to me by another hunter. I had a scoped Deerfield carbine. Put two shots in him on the run. They entered broadside and left a hole out his chest big enough for my fist. Took me till dark to dress him. A bunch of logging was done there that summer. I had a hard time dragging him and figured to camp the night with him and try again in the morning. My Dad and his friends came and found me and lent a hand saving me a cold night in the woods. He was just a forkhorn 4x, but I was a happy boy.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    My first deer that was really mine (When I was like 9 I finished a small 5 point off that my dad had shot and was still kicking around on the ground. Typical dad want's to make his kid feel good so he tells everybody I killed it, hehehe!. I had my grandfather's 22 that I later inherited) was an 8 point I shot on the Welder Ranch outside of Bloomington Texas, about 15 miles north of Seadrift. The Welders are some very rich people that own thousands of acres of land in that area. This particular ranch handn't been hunted in 30 years and they allowed the Boy Scouts to hunt it for the first time in 1966. I missed a 10 point the day before, bad case of buck fever, down in the river bottom a few yards from the Guadalupe River, and this time I had sworn to myself that I wouldnt' allow that to happen again. Hell I could barely sleep that night. There were two of us in that blind and we drew straws to see who would shoot first. I lost. But the winner missed at about 100 yards. The deer ran around a big round mott of rose hedge and stopped in about the same place. So it was my shot. I have no idea how I did it because I was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane and I hit that deer right in the neck. He went straight down, no tracking needed. The adult with me was thoroughly impressed. I was thoroughly amazed. That was the first deer I killed by myself and the first of many deer that Model 70 .270 killed. I still can't believe I killed it that day. That was 50 years ago this coming deer season.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,903 Senior Member
    I did things a little backwards. I had never fired a gun until I joined the Army.
    First assignment was at Ft Lewis, Wa. Bought myself a 30-06, cant remember who made it but took it to the woods, zero'd the scope and went deer hunting.
    Never saw anything close enough to shoot or just a glimpse as it disappeared into the woods.
    Fast forward two years and I was on Weyerhaeuser property sitting against a tree where my FIL told me to sit and wait for an elk to enter the clearing.
    Right about when he said a small fork horn entered the clearing and I waited. A few moments later a 4 by 3 entered the area and I aimed and shot and that dang elk fell over dead, right over the edge into the gully. By the time I gutted and quartered my first game animal I was covered in blood. Got to the house and FIL hosed me off and sent me in for a shower as he began to cut up my elk. To this day it is the one and only elk I have shot. From what I understand the Willapa Hills in Washington have been domesticated and lots of homes in the area. That's too bad cause it was gorgeous wooded hills back in the late 1970s
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,710 Senior Member
    It was probably a fox squirrel and I was 11.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,916 Senior Member
    13 lined Ground Squirrel I flushed from under a cattle guard South of WaKeeny, KS. Running shot with a Daisy Red Ryder....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,710 Senior Member
    OOPS if a red Rider counts was an English sparrow
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    Rabbit in my buddy's backyard with a .22 piston action air rifle (make unknown) sometime in the early 1990s. I was probably 14.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,958 Senior Member
    Not talking small game only big stuff,
    First whitetail deer, late 49 or early 50, Big Cypress Swamp , spike, M-94 32 Win spc.
    First hog , same above
    First Mule deer, 1958 , Owyhee county Idaho, 4 pt western count , M-94 32 Win spc.
    First elk 1958, N.W. Rocky Bar Idaho 5 1/4 pt. M-94 32 Win spc.
    First bull moose, 1960 Pemache River , Chapleau Ontario, Canada, Savage M-99 ftw. 358 Win
    First Black bear Same time and place as above , about 250 - 300lbs
    Second black bear 1961 , Newberry Michigan ,Maybe 325lbs M-70 358 win

    After 61, I just don't remember anymore dates.

    Since 1961 I have been fortunate to have hunted in 16 states, 2 provinces in Canada , and many trips to Alaska

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,710 Senior Member
    The first deer I shot was here in NC the 30 years ago after I retired, I had scouted a spot that would have taken forever to walk into; however,
    I had found a spot off the creek through the swamp that I could tie up the boat and step off on to dry land and only have to walk 2 minutes to get on
    my stand location.

    That morning it was below freezing so I took Damart long johns and put them on when I got to my ground hunting spot.

    I was on a spot I had cleared so I could sit against a tree and watch 2 scrapes. About 30 min after sunup a spike came along
    about 40 yds out and I shot it with 125 gr .30-06. The deer died on the spot, but, I walked over to make sure.

    I then started back to the hunting spot and noticed it had warmed up, I got so hot walking around in those double force Damart long johns I had to take them off
    right then, halfway back to the rest of my gear.

    I actually shot 3 deer that season in that location.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    Not talking small game only big stuff,
    First whitetail deer, late 49 or early 50, Big Cypress Swamp , spike, M-94 32 Win spc.
    First hog , same above
    First Mule deer, 1958 , Owyhee county Idaho, 4 pt western count , M-94 32 Win spc.
    First elk 1958, N.W. Rocky Bar Idaho 5 1/4 pt. M-94 32 Win spc.
    First bull moose, 1960 Pemache River , Chapleau Ontario, Canada, Savage M-99 ftw. 358 Win
    First Black bear Same time and place as above , about 250 - 300lbs
    Second black bear 1961 , Newberry Michigan ,Maybe 325lbs M-70 358 win

    After 61, I just don't remember anymore dates.

    Since 1961 I have been fortunate to have hunted in 16 states, 2 provinces in Canada , and many trips to Alaska

    JAY

    Damn Jay, sounds like that old 94 in 32 Win. Special served you awfully well there. What a great rifle and cartridge!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    I did things a little backwards. I had never fired a gun until I joined the Army.
    First assignment was at Ft Lewis, Wa. Bought myself a 30-06, cant remember who made it but took it to the woods, zero'd the scope and went deer hunting.
    Never saw anything close enough to shoot or just a glimpse as it disappeared into the woods.
    Fast forward two years and I was on Weyerhaeuser property sitting against a tree where my FIL told me to sit and wait for an elk to enter the clearing.
    Right about when he said a small fork horn entered the clearing and I waited. A few moments later a 4 by 3 entered the area and I aimed and shot and that dang elk fell over dead, right over the edge into the gully. By the time I gutted and quartered my first game animal I was covered in blood. Got to the house and FIL hosed me off and sent me in for a shower as he began to cut up my elk. To this day it is the one and only elk I have shot. From what I understand the Willapa Hills in Washington have been domesticated and lots of homes in the area. That's too bad cause it was gorgeous wooded hills back in the late 1970s

    I think that would be all I would require for a lifetime, one nice elk. But then again I killed one really nice deer, in my opinion anyway, and I'm still hunting for a better one. But I don't hunt too hard.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,958 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Damn Jay, sounds like that old 94 in 32 Win. Special served you awfully well there. What a great rifle and cartridge!

    Snake, true story, my buddy Harold and I both bought used M-94s, took them to the swamp to site in, Hal hit the target every time, I couldn't hit a barn from 10', we swapped guns , I hit the target and Hal didn't, went back to the gun shop ,told them it was no good, owner says "what are you shooting" showed him a box of Win. ammo, he says "no wonder its a 32 Win" what's that I asked, so he explained the difference. I was 13 and thought all M-94s were 30-30, had never heard of a 32. New shells and it shot fine.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,930 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    A cute little blonde when I was in 8th grade. Took me weeks to get her... :tooth:

    Let's keep it clean, please.

    Where's the dang mods when you need one! :roll:
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    A cute little blonde when I was in 8th grade. Took me weeks to get her... :tooth:
    ,

    FIFY (Sorta)

    Took you weeks to just get her to talk to you? My gawd man where's your manners?

    :tooth::tooth::tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    Let's keep it clean, please.

    Where's the dang mods when you need one! :roll:
    He's getting his deer/dear mixed up.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    First deer was shortly after I got out of the Corps and moved to Az.

    Was running my 73 land cruiser up a canyon and jumped a batchelor herd of six or seven.

    I got out of the cruiser and took a out 5 steps when they bolted up the hill........took a knee and levered a 30-30 round into my 336 took aim and shot the last buck in line square in the lower jaw.....oops.

    He changed his direction, put his head down and ran like he was trying to win the Kentucky Derby straight away from me......I stood up and ran a few steps to get a clear shot and dispatched him with a Texas heart shot.

    As I started to walk to where he fell I had a terrible pain in my right knee.......seems I kneeled on a ball of choilla cactus and didn't even feel it till the action slowed down........of course the action only took a few seconds but I can remember it like it was yesterday and it's been over 30 years.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    First deer was shortly after I got out of the Corps and moved to Az.

    Was running my 73 land cruiser up a canyon and jumped a batchelor herd of six or seven.

    I got out of the cruiser and took a out 5 steps when they bolted up the hill........took a knee and levered a 30-30 round into my 336 took aim and shot the last buck in line square in the lower jaw.....oops.

    He changed his direction, put his head down and ran like he was trying to win the Kentucky Derby straight away from me......I stood up and ran a few steps to get a clear shot and dispatched him with a Texas heart shot.

    As I started to walk to where he fell I had a terrible pain in my right knee.......seems I kneeled on a ball of choilla cactus and didn't even feel it till the action slowed down........of course the action only took a few seconds but I can remember it like it was yesterday and it's been over 30 years.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

    At least you remembered to park first. I almost jumped out of my pick up while it was rolling once :tooth:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    At least you remembered to park first. I almost jumped out of my pick up while it was rolling once :tooth:

    Well ya know, ya gotta have your priorities straight!...:tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    At least you remembered to park first. I almost jumped out of my pick up while it was rolling once :tooth:
    Actually all I did was turn off the key........4 low did the rest.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Actually all I did was turn off the key........4 low did the rest.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

    Hey that's a pretty important part in the process. Yeah, you could have stopped before shutting down the engine but at that point all that mattered was stopping and putting your gun on target, then pulling the trigger. If the motor dies in 4 wheel drive that thing's coming to a stop pretty quick. Too many gears and friction for it to keep rolling.

    Good Job!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    First animal.... squirrel. With a Sears bolt action single shot with open sights. Shot so many of them with that gun, I do not remember the first one anymore.

    First deer, a nice (for Florida) 8 point that dressed out at ~180 lbs. Shot with a Mossberg 12 ga. bolt-action shotgun using 2 & 3/4" 00 Buckshot with a variable choke at ~40 yds..... and ~35 yds.... and ~ 25 yds. Ran ~75 yds after that, and left a blood trail that looked like it was poured from a bucket from just past the last shot to where it died. My Aunt came to my stand, and helped me find the start of the blood trail, and track it from there.

    She later told me (as did everyone else at the camp) that they were all certain it was not me shooting since the shots came so fast back to back that they were convinced it was someone with a semi-auto... or at LEAST a pump. :tooth:

    It's impressive what you can do all jacked up on adrenaline. LOL

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Jeeper wrote: »
    First animal.... squirrel. With a Sears bolt action single shot with open sights. Shot so many of them with that gun, I do not remember the first one anymore.

    First deer, a nice (for Florida) 8 point that dressed out at ~180 lbs. Shot with a Mossberg 12 ga. bolt-action shotgun using 2 & 3/4" 00 Buckshot with a variable choke at ~40 yds..... and ~35 yds.... and ~ 25 yds. Ran ~75 yds after that, and left a blood trail that looked like it was poured from a bucket from just past the last shot to where it died. My Aunt came to my stand, and helped me find the start of the blood trail, and track it from there.

    She later told me (as did everyone else at the camp) that they were all certain it was not me shooting since the shots came so fast back to back that they were convinced it was someone with a semi-auto... or at LEAST a pump. :tooth:

    It's impressive what you can do all jacked up on adrenaline. LOL

    Luis

    My first shotgun was a Mossberg .410 Bolt Action.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Vic's ViewpointVic's Viewpoint Senior Member Posts: 1,187 Senior Member
    Ground hogs, cottontails, pheasants, quail, deer, in that order.
    Member formerly known as "vlafrank."
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