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Hunting With Pop
Unread 02-11-2024, 04:24 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, 04:34 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, 04:44 PM   #3
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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.
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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Unread 02-13-2024, 03:30 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 02-14-2024, 05:10 PM   #5
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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, 09:13 AM   #6
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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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Unread 02-15-2024, 01:41 PM   #7
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Okay—so what is your childhood squirrel gun…and do you or a family member still have it?
Savage model 24 20ga/22LR. Christmas gift when I was in about the 4th or 5th grade.

I no longer have it, my dad was notorius for selling guns. It was left with him when I went to college, I had not used it in years, so he traded it on some other gun he wanted......

I've debated several times buying one, but the prices on them are high for the quality of gun they are IMHO, and to be honest, I'd never use it anyway.
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Unread 02-15-2024, 01:51 PM   #8
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Dad & I circa 1966 I think....

That should be a JC Higgins 12ga Autoloader in his hand... Polychoke on end..

My first dog, Dutch in the foreground. German Shepard mix.
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Unread 02-18-2024, 06:42 AM   #9
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Okay—so what is your childhood squirrel gun…and do you or a family member still have it?
Squirrels were not on the list for my father growing up in Northern Ontario as they were red squirrels and horrible eating by all accounts and they are also a fur bearer by Ontario regulations so only trappers may take them so Dad grew up hunting grouse. He bought his first shotgun when he was 14(1956), a Mossberg 183-DC in 4.10. He bought it used from an older fellow whose doctor told him he'd have to give up hunting and shooting due to health reasons... Dad said the old fellow was really heartbroken to have to sell his "partridge gun". It was recently handed down to me as my father has shoulder issues and can no longer lift a gun and hold it in place to shoot ... As you can see my father takes great care of his stuff...you should see his old cars! And he had a few boxes of ammo to pass along. Those CIL slugs likely date from the late 50's to early 60's, they sat in the drawer at my Grandparents cottage as long as I can remember and they built the cottage in '61...
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Unread 02-18-2024, 06:51 AM   #10
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My first ruffed grouse. October 1973 at my Grandparents cottage in Northern Ontario. Taken with my Grandmothers single shot Iver Johnson Champion 410. As a young girl my Grandmother and her sister(they were the the 2 oldest of 13 kids) each carried a 410 single shot to school each day to shoot grouse during season. I have the gun now and should take it out to shoot a few grouse with it for old times sake.
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