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Most every one I know started their hunting history with small game.
My history started with following my dad around when he and a uncle would go out for rabbits at age 5. Those trips behind dad were not long ones maybe a couple hours max. Dad and uncle had certien places they would hunt since neither had a hunting dog let alone a rabbit dog.

About the time I turned 9 I was given a old 410 / 44 lug in one Ivers Johnson dad had got some place. By the looks of it could have been laying along side the road. Not a stick of blueing fore arm held together with the old cloth electrical tape of the times. But it would shoot the 2 1/2 inch shells it took.

I was 12 when I was allowed to hunt our farm with out an adult present with me. I also at 12 hunting alone got to carry dads stevens 16ga single shot plastic stock and forearm.
Dad had bought it when a deptment store was going out of bussiness in 1949 for like $15.00, know it was less than $20.00.


Al
 

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I guess it depends on the definition of "hunting".
I grew up in Massachusetts and my father was anti-gun.
But to clarify, he himself was pro-gun, just anti-gun as far as me having a gun.
That might have had to do with me removing a ball-bearing shooting pistol from a toy and shooting things around the house, when I was about 4YO. And we never seemed to have any paper clips and rubber bands around the house, once I learned to use the 2 together. Or those pens where you push the button to retract the point - but if you held it just right you could shoot the little cap out of the end.
Later, I learned how to make little tinfoil-match rockets. And then how to put match heads into empty CO2 cylinders (kids, don't try this yourselves - I had an overworked guardian angel). And make those paper capgun rolls into "cartridges" that could be put into pieces of pipe and shoot projectiles.
Mom and Dad never figured out that it was all the Popular Mechanics, and Popular Science mags, and encyclopedias and such that gave me the ideas.
In 5th grade, I had drawn up plans for a boat that would be propelled by a V1 type rocket engine. Hey, if the Germans could fly a buzz-bomb with that, I ought to be able to push a boat. I even figured out a "cannon" for it, before anyone had been making tennis-ball cannons (potato guns). I scrounged the town dump for materials - I only lacked metal working tools and the know how to use them.
I was about 13 when my sister's boyfriend asked my dad if he could give me a Daisy Red Ryder he found in a barn he worked at. Dad reluctantly said yes. One of the first things I did was make a new stock for it. the plastic original was cracked and too small for me anyway. After that the bullfrog population began declining. What was left got smarter.
So I increased the effective range of the Red Ryder. I "snitched" a handful of Dad's 22 LR ammo and built an attachment for the end of my gun that would hold a cartridge in a perfectly sized piece of tubing. For some reason I knew that firing an unaltered cartridge would probably blow up the attachment (probably all that cap gun experience from earlier attempts at making a practical gun). To avoid that issue, I pulled the bullets from the case and removed most of the powder. I used tissue paper wad, 3 or 4 BB's, a bit of masking tape for a top wad, and worked up a load that was deadly on bullfrogs. I shot a few sparrows too, but I didn't feel right about that - probably because my grandmother was a birdwatcher and I could imagine how horrified she would be if she found out.
And if Mom and Dad had ever known any of this, I would have been held captive in my room until I was 18.
When I was 15, my brother in law (who gave me the Red Ryder)gave me a Remington 878 and got me into hunting. With Dad's permission. Took the mandatory hunter safety course and all that.
So that's when I really got going on it.
It's kinda funny but back then, like now, I didn't really enjoy having killed the animal so much as the the hunt itself. I enjoy venison, and roasted partridges, and all of that. Squirrels and rabbits and partridges kept my kids fed in the lean years. Some of the most memorable trophies are the ones where I kept my finger off the trigger. I think Grandma had had more influence on me than I thought.
 

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7 or 8 years old. My grandpa would give one 22 short and a little OLD rolling block single shot 22 and I would go out around the hay stacks and graineries and shot cotton tails. If I missed I did not get another round, but if I brought him a rabbit I got another round, and when I got 6 or 8 of them, enough for a good meal for us, he would stop. This would happen every week or so.
 

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my father wasn't a hunter or gun owner. when I was 7 or 8 an uncle gave me and my brother B.B. guns for Christmas. the part of Miami where lived was still lots of woods and my friends and I terrorized all the birds & small animals. I guess you could say thats when I started hunting. when I was about 10, my best friend invited me to his father's hunting camp during the small game season. his father became my "hunting mentor" and I hunted with them for many years. I eventually got my father interested in guns and hunting.
 

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Dad didn't hunt, in fact he didn't like to fish. He did buy us all fishing rods one time after Mom put her foot down. But that was over quick when I caught the biggest fish, he said he would never fish again.
I didn't start hunting until I was in my late 40s when a buddy wanted to take me hunting. He knew I could shoot & had a bunch of guns. He wasn't much of a hunter ether but from watching videos & reading things on the hunting forums I kinda learned to hunt on my own. Since then I have hunted & fished every season, I totally enjoy the outdoors.
 

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Started at age 7 with pest, vermin and varmint control. Squirrels at around age 11 Deer at 16.
My father wasn't anti hunting or gun just that he grew up in town Chicago in the 20's to 40's. And wile still in service was in an auto accident while on leave. Had a broken hip and slipped disc so he did not like to walk much.
As such I learned on my own or with friends and cousins. As a youth I and my cousins had 40acres total family land to roam on behind the houses we lived in here.
That was for small game hunting.
16 or so I went with a friend and his father deer hunting either on their property or out in the Ozark National Forest.
 

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Didn't hunt till I was bout 12. Got a 45# fiberglass bow and with field tips got really good and did kill a lot of rabbits, squirrels and only one pheasant. Would try and shoot frogs and turtles too. At 14 I got a Stevens favorite .22lr. Got it taken away soon after for loading it in the house. At 16 I went down to the LGS and bought a 7 shot magazine fed Marlin .22LR. All they ask was it OK with your parents? I said yes and took it home. This was before the 68 gun control act. Killed a lot of small game and frogs and turtles with that one
 

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My beginning was @4-5 going with my Uncle. Fox hunting with hounds
Many nights I slept on the front seat, on top of truck boxes; being watched over by many
Hunters and hounds
Going with dad rabbit hunting in the snow @5-6yrs
Buying my first 12g @15 after a summer labor. $150.00
I bounced many bunnies-squirrels-missed many dove-quail- missing many ducks
 

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About 6 when I first started going on duck and bunny hunts with my dad and brother. First moose hunt in camp with them at 8 just observing and helping out with the cutting and wrapping in game bags. Killed my first moose the following year with a 270. I have been hunting ever since.
 

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I kind of progressed into hunting inch by inch.I was allowed to shoot groundhogs off a bench on my uncles farm at 10. Do not even remember the gun, all I remember is that it had wood all the way down, and was a bolt action something.
2nd time was at 13 or so when I took a Stevens 410 and went rabbit hunting with a cousin.
3rd time was deer hunting with my brother at 18 using a Mossberg Marine 12 guage Got a deer on my 1st day at sunrise.
Then as a young adult, I kinda just resorted to going squirrel and rabbit hunting over the years, as a way to get alone. Also deer hunting every couple years with family. Now I am really into coyote hunting.
Now my boy is 14 got him a 410. I took him squirrel hunting last year. His first hunt. Plans on going for squirrel this year with me .
 

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I accompanied my brother and the dork my sister was going out with on a fruitless duck hunt at age 7 in 1970.

I own the Model 370 Winchester shot gun my brother bought for his duck hunting career. It was short-lived.

I was carrying the double barrel ( still have it ) he bought back then, in early 1981 when I got a job out west and on a day we couldn't work, it had rained, we were broken down and the boss went off to get parts, and I walked about 75 miles ( felt like it ) over 3.5 hours and didn't see a single living creature.

Buoyed by the success I bought a sporterized .30-'06 Mauser and kicked on from there.
 

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Don't know if this counts, since I've only gone after varmints. I must have been 7 or 8.

Grandpa had a woodchuck that was digging holes in the pasture nearest the house and the barn, and his cows were breaking legs in them. So he called in the clan on them: Uncle Mike, with his scoped .222 Remington; Dad, with his .30-30 Model 94; and my cousin Tom with his micrometer sighted .22 LR heavy barrel target rifle. (Tom later won the state Junior Smallbore Championship with that rifle.) The three of them took turns at the shooting bench Uncle Mike had brought out for the occasion, with me acting as the spotter -- a role they invented for me to make me feel part of the team and coincidentally to keep my hands off the rifles.

We spent the morning glassing the pasture and the walls, and no woodchuck. Finally the womenfolk called us in for lunch. Dad, Tom, and Uncle Mike headed in to wash up, but I stayed out at the shooting bench for another couple of minutes. The woodchuck came out and started running along the stone wall, almost as if he was saying, "Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah!"

I knew I couldn't handle Dad's .30-30, and I had my doubts about Uncle Mike's scoped rifle, but I knew I could handle Tom's .22. So I got into position, chambered a round, sighted on the woodchuck who had stopped for a couple of seconds, and fired.

I found out later all the adults had a cow when they heard the shot. They came pouring out of the house, sure that I'd shot myself. They saw me carrying Tom's rifle, heading downhill for the wall, then come back, shouting, "I got 'im! I got 'im!"

I was really irked when Dad took the rifle, made sure it was empty, handed it to Tom, and then took me behind the barn and tanned my hide. I felt hard done by. After all, the object of the exercise was to get that woodchuck, right? In retrospect, I understand why Dad whupped me; he was scared I'd shot myself, and I had been told not to touch any of the guns without permission.

After lunch, I went out to the barn, feeling a little sorry for myself, and Grandpa found me out there. He patted me on the shoulder and said, "You done good." Dad never did say what he thought of it all.
 

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I think so.
 
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I was first exposed to hunting when I was around 3 years old. Dad brought me out to the deer camp to see Grandpa and the scaffold full of deer.

Two years later, Grandpa took me out deer hunting. We didn't see anything...

After another two years, Dad, a couple uncles, and one great uncle went out grouse hunting. We went grouse hunting every year after that until I was 12 or 13, but I got to start deer hunting when I was 12, and I have missed one year since then. I started bow hunting in 2015, and I have missed quite a few deer since then :D
 

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I used BB rifles since at a young age plinking and shooting birds and squirrels. I actually started hunting on my own at 17. That was with shotguns and rifles. Used break open shotguns and also bolt action Mossberg shotguns. Also had a combo 20 gauge /22 O/U . I bought them myself . My four brothers never hunted. Dad fished and hunted with me a few times. I could find a shotgun back then used for $20-$25. I hunted squirrel, Turkey, Deer, Pheasant, Quail, fox ever since. I have hunted deer every year now for over 44 years.
 

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21. I grew up in the city, the San Fernando Valley to be accurate. Not even a thought of hunting. Then I went to Texas, courtesy of the USAF. There I met my future wife and one weekend she took me out to her parents 'property', 160 acres in the Texas Hill country. We took a walk around the perimeter and spooked a deer, a new and exciting experience for me! When we got back to the house I told my future father-in-law about the deer and he casually mentioned that they hunt them and the season had recently ended. The wheels in my head started spinning and by the next season I was armed with my own rifle and a new wife.

That was 50+ years ago and while I haven't hunted every season I've hunted most of them. Most of my success was in Texas but I've also bagged Colorado and California mule deer. (I prefer mule deer to whitetail on the table).
 
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