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It was in the mid 1960s, so I think I was about 10. I was given a .22 pellet rifle. Rather nice looking, pump type with a wood stock. About a year later, I was gave a 410/44 single shot. I hunted with it for a couple of years. But a friend was always after me to sell him that pellet rifle. Finally he offered to trade me a 4 shot bolt action 410 for it. Man I thought I was in hog heaven, I could fire 4 shots without having to reload and it would shoot 3in shells, lol. I had this shotgun for well over 40 years before I had to let it go. Even after I moved on to 16 gauges that old 410 was still my go to gun for rabbits, squirrels and varmints that got too close to the house. Thinking about it, it was probably the gun that saw most action over the years. I regret having to part with it

Growing up in the country back then had its perks. I could hunt at an early age, go out back and blast tin cans anytime I wanted. The neighbors would let me hunt on their lands. So I had hundreds of acres of land to hunt or fish on. Sometimes, one of them would join me and give this young boy tips on hunting, shooting and life. I remember an old farmer telling me, “All one really needs is a 22 and a shotgun”. That’s all he ever owned, but he helped fed his family thru the great depression and other hard times. His “deer rifle” was the 22; his shotgun was a double barrel. To him hunting wasn’t a sport; it was about putting food on the table. He was a slow talker and never spoke a whole lot, but he was full of knowledge and wisdom. We listened when he spoke.
 

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Small game and varmints with .22, about 8 or 9. Deer I was about 17 I think.
 
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