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Hunting With Pop
Unread 02-11-2024, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default Hunting With Pop

I took my annual "Hunting with Pop" trip yesterday out at the farm. My father, long passed away, introduced me to hunting and instilled a love for the hunt that has not dwindled since those early days in coastal Virginia when, at age 6, I was Pop's squirrel "dog." I did service as dog -- the guy who worked around the tree so that the squirrel would move to Pop's side for a shot -- for a season until he gave me a Sears push-button .410. Pop used a J.C. Higgins .22 with a high powered rifle scope and would only take head shots (using .22 short hollow points).

Once a year I go just to be sure I remember. This year I blooded my new VH .410. I think Pop would have approved my using a Parker...but would likely have used his .22. I like to think we were a good team.

I'm sure I'm not alone in what I owe my father for taking me hunting. Here's to all our parents who took the time to take us hunting.
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Unread 02-11-2024, 05:34 PM   #2
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I grew up “still” hunting squirrels and/or with a redbone hound. I remember my relatives using mainly single barrel hardware store shotguns in 12 gauge. They used to claim that a .410 would not kill a squirrel in the top of a Tennessee hickory tree.
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Unread 02-11-2024, 05:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggie Bishop View Post
I grew up “still” hunting squirrels and/or with a redbone hound. I remember my relatives using mainly single barrel hardware store shotguns in 12 gauge. They used to claim that a .410 would not kill a squirrel in the top of a Tennessee hickory tree.
Ya gotta hunt in the short stuff! (I will say, based on my hunt, my little VH has some pop to it, even at decent ranges.)
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"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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Unread 02-13-2024, 04:30 PM   #4
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I started out hunting squirrels with my father and uncle , using a Mossberg 20 gauge bolt action shotgun . My father bought it for me with the money I saved up from mowing lawns all summer. We went down to the True Value hardware store in Hellertown Pa and picked it out. I still have it today and started my sons hunting with it. My oldest son took his first pheasant with it on his second hunt .
Those were the days, going down to a hardware store and there was a good selection of shotguns and rifles to choose from , right around the corner from the paint. I miss those days.
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Unread 02-13-2024, 04:52 PM   #5
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My dad was an avid squirrel & rabbit hunter. Later on, he got me into ducks & geese.

Not too many deer around when I was a kid, so we didn't spend much time chasing them back then. My dad died way to young, he'd love my place in Macon MO, as it's full of squirrels, which was his favorite. Season closes Thursday, I don't get up there til Saturday so maybe next year.
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Unread 02-13-2024, 05:18 PM   #6
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Great post Garry and wonderful gun!

This world is a much crappier place because we can't do what we once used to do: get home from school at 4 o'clock, throw on your jeans and plaid wool coat, walk up the middle of the street to the woods with your dog and shotgun and hunt squirrels until dark, then get asked by neighbors if you had luck on the dark walk back. Now you just get pulled over or reported for carrying a gun.

The world today sucks.
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Unread 02-13-2024, 10:21 PM   #7
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My first day in a blind. Not shooting yet. Chester River, Chesapeake Bay, 1953/54?
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Unread 02-13-2024, 10:41 PM   #8
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I love these reminiscences, thanks for adding them here. Does it strike anyone that we likely sound like our parents?
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Unread 02-14-2024, 06:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggie Bishop View Post
I grew up “still” hunting squirrels and/or with a redbone hound. I remember my relatives using mainly single barrel hardware store shotguns in 12 gauge. They used to claim that a .410 would not kill a squirrel in the top of a Tennessee hickory tree.
Thats the truth. I traded a 28-gauge single for a 16 gauge single when I was growing up because the 28 wasn't powerful enough. I wish I had the 28 back. (I do still have the 16)
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Unread 02-15-2024, 10:13 AM   #10
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Okay—so what is your childhood squirrel gun…and do you or a family member still have it?
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
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"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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