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Discussion Starter #1
I grew up on small farm mid Michigan roughly 20 miles south of Cadillac mi. As a very young boy we had pheasants that would come into the barn yard to pick in the winter manure pile to gleam food from it.


We also had rabbits running all around the yard easy to see on those full moon winter nights. We made it back in the winter woods to one place, where we were building the buzz saw pile of fire wood for next fall/winter.

We would see lots of deer tracks back there where they came in and were eating the tree tops we had cut down.


Then in the summer we were also going to the woods where the cows pastured during the day. Scaring up flocks of partridges dusting them selves in the sandy spots of the old logging roads.


Yes like most farm wood lots of the late 1940’s early 1950’s all the timber had been cut off. Our place was mostly popple when I was a kid, thick stands hard to see far in.


My folks were not a hunting family, My Mom started taking us fishing as kids about as soon as we could lift a cane pole and bait our own hooks. Learned to love fishing and getting frogs liked to eat either one by the plate full.


About the time I turned 10 I delvoped a want to be able to hunt. Dad had a old single shot 16ga shot gun and some where found a old Ivers Johnson 410 44lug in one shoot gun. As soon as small game season arrived brother and I made it a practice togged out of the house as soon as morning chores were done. We would walk thru the neighbors woods to get to ours about a mile down the road. Then walk the logging roads thru our woods and connecting woods chance jumping pats dusting them selves. Every so often we would luck into a rabbit, in that area could be a cotton tail of a snow shoe.


As kids we were lucky to get 25 to 50 cents a week to spend. As luck would have it there were 3 hardware stores in town, the ace one we did not like the owners and their older college age kids, the Western auto store was out of town about two blocks so we didn’t go there much. The gamble store was our place to buy shells for our shot guns and all or fishing wants we could afford.


The owner would sell us shot gun shells by the piece, try to find a place to do that today?

He would also keep us up to date on when the real hunters we called them were doing and how the game was.


I read every thing I could get my hands on about hunting books on wing shooting, magazines, did not like sports afield but got a copy of outdoor life every month some one got me for a birthday gift or some thing.


By 1963 brother and I were ready to improve our arsenal. Started pestering Santa clause for different shot guns like pump guns we saw in magazines and in gun racks of hardware stores.


In Cadillac Michigan there was a big neat old hardware store Johnsons. Squeaky wood floors place smelling of oil and leather as they still sole leather harnesses for horses used on farms.


They were also one of the biggest gun shops in the area. Even sold used guns. My folks scraped up enough money to buy 2 used shot guns there.

Mine was a western field 16ga with a poly choke and Robs was a Wards western field 20ga pump.

Now we were equipped in high style.

Al
 

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So funny your posting about the old hardware store with the squeaky floor. I was just discussing that with someone yesterday about how as a young lad i would go in to my local Swart's Hardware store , wooden floor and all, and buy bb's and those wooden airplane gliders to put together. Always admiring the guns he had on the rack for sale and fantasizing about the day i might actually be old enough , and have money enough to buy a "big" gun. Mr Swart that ran that store just seemed to know about anything hunting and fishing also. He also extended credit on a notepad to those he knew were good for it, as he knew most everyone in our small farming community. Thanks Al for reminding me of a time when you could trust adults and walk freely as a child with few worries . I only wish the children of today could have had that experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Big foot I agree of the children of today being able to walk free down streets and not be mostlested.

I love Johnsons old hardwear store smelled like leather and oil, floors squeeked and the guns could be handled a rag with gun oil near by to wipe it down with be replaceing it in the rack. They also did lay aways on the guns there. Most likely why my brother and I got shot guns at the same time.

You could take a part in there and fit up bolts and nuts to put them together. and plumbing you could do whole plumbing run there on the floor and once you thought it was right and would fit the house take it apart and take home.

Al
 

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alleyyooper: Sir; you’ve shared wonderful stories :)
Pointed, clear, concise; luring us into your minds eye :)
Collectively; wonderful reading :)

You shared about “Daughter’alleyyooper” and her youngsters and personal adventures

I can imagine; a Living Printed package; :) from You
“Daughter’alleyyooper” and Youngins :).
a heirloom

I for one; do go back and Re-read :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Guess what I am doing is shareing my life adventures while I am still able. My daughter recently got a 14 page book I have written the last couple years.
She seems to think some day she could make a book out of it.

I have found this sort of book before sold in UP michigan sporting goods stores written by a DNR guy of his life arresting pochers.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #11
With a pair of pump shot guns a source for ammo and beautiful fall days my brother and I became small game hunting fools.


We had a dog that went with us to get the cows for the evening milking and she even went to the woods hunting with us. But I do not remember her ever hunting a wild critter for us nor retreaving either.


Even though at one time we were seeing pheasants in the barn yard in the winter there never Was a hunt able population on or near the farm.


We became primary rabbit and partridge hunter, squirrels were also rare other than the pesky red squirrels.


Hunting life continued like the for us till the fall of 1964. My last year of high school but I was not happy as I would not get enough credits to graduate high school. I would not getting the classes I needed because there were already to many signed up for them and other reasons I was told.

Novembers firearm deer season arrived so I started skipping school to go deer hunting. Finally On the first of December I quit school then moved south to live with a cousin.

Got a job washing dishes at a restaurant at night and worked at a car wash on week ends while trying to do a couple classes at school.


When spring arrived I just quit school altogether.

My hunting was put on hold till the late 1960’s.


Got a job as a driver for a seat cover place till spring when I started working at a alum storm window place, building them.

Then the draft got me and had to go in April 1966. A term in SE Asia but a good time to plan my life.


August 1968 my hunting got back on track. I had gotten a very well paying job in may of 1968. Met My hunting partner at a family gathering in July. Not being one who cared for what did you during the war I slipped away and went walking in the fields when he caught up with me and asked me about hunting.


We talked a bit and he invited me to shoot some informal trap within and his brother in laws the next week end.

I had never shot trap and only knew about it from mags. had read.

Went and shot the next week end burning up a ton of ammo but had a lot of fun. Got to doing it every week end then got invited to go small game hunting with him and friends and family.


Bought a Mec 600JR reloader the old one where you change care bars to change the load. My 16ga. Mec was set with a #2 bar red dot powder and 7 1/2 shot.

I still have it today and use it some.


We started trading weekends he came to my place to hunt pats and rabbits I went to his to hunt pheasants ducks and geese.


He had two boys so in the mid 1970’s when his boys were old enough to hunt we parted ways. He needed all his time to spend with his boys.

I still had a brother I hunted with also after he got out of the army in 1972.


Al
 

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alleyyooper: Sir; the human side to our adventures :)

stationed @ Cape Canaveral; my first experiences with hog hunting with a bow
A bust; cause the civilian didn’t know much and me as dumb as a stump :)
I had gathered up runaway hogs before this. Thought I knew something :)

issued k-bar; traveled with me anytime I was hunting or fishing
(Base was too small to have hunting on base. )

me and my k-bar came to terms on the St. John’s river with a sow. (Being young and dumb has its moments) while fishing.
She had got tangled up in a brush pile thing and backed in.
My thoughts. Bacon on an open fire. Maybe 50lbs hog
This was a feral. Not any cross that I’d seen or read about.
She lunged; I paried She ran square chested into said k-bar. Snapping and biting; screaming and it was over

another day; I may share the open fire fiasco :)
 

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continued; memory to butchering beside the St. John isn’t the brightest move (alligators abound)
Of course the bleed-out wasn’t much. (Hung-slung over a palmetto scrub). Sandy soil.
As he emptied I continued fishing.

Now late spring Florida; temperatures and no-see-ems, black flies, bugs Florida has plenty of bugs.

shortly before noon; friends stopped by (bringing beer).
Hog carving starts with drinking military Flair :)
Given; only 1 had some experience with butchering (me). Of course; giggles and stabbing helps nothing

taking charge. Had a couple build a fire. Wrong. Bonfire hahaha
1 had watched a fork stick roller affair. With hog to be rotated over the open fire.

wrong #2. As I gutted and cleaned; throwing waste into the river. Beers consumed. Alligators start coming to see.

Wrong #3 it was getting funny. Throwing burning stick at alligators doesn’t scare them away.

Wrong #4 hog was over the flames; melting; char is a better descriptive.

By now I was back to fishing; returning a few hours later. Poor hog. The flames were still raging. The fork holders were burning. The wire holding hog was surviving
Grabbing some palmetto leaves. Trying to make a table plate (clean spot).
Hog had been over the fire 4-5 hours (really don’t remember) really scorched. Charred. haha

Wrong #5 with trusty k-bar. Carving began. A nasty mess. Since I didn’t drink. I chunked slices.
My chaps did drink. They prepared to feast.
No cornbread, no forks, no nothing civilized.

Wrong #6 several burnt fingers, much guffaws and regurgitate; while now feeding alligators chunks.

it was after dark before we left. We did “police” our setting. The alligators; I assume ate leftovers.
Trust. It was nasty
 
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