My first two deer ever

Brnsvllyjohn

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This is just to point out how things have changed and some things are obviously better and some things are WAY worse.

I grew up in rural Monterey county and could drive a tractor when I was tall enough to reach the clutch. Drove a pickup around by the time I was 12 on my dads property to gather fire wood or handle other chores (possibly to have fun also but my dad my not have known everything about that).

Anyway back then Monterey County didn't stop Fish and Game from issuing a few anterless tags for deer. It was a drawing and we all applied since my family was a meat hunting family. When I was 12 I got lucky and drew an anterless tag for Las Padres forest. We were packed into the forest with horses and a mule and there were no other hunter close to us. Early one morning I went up a different drainage than my father did and managed to find a lone doe feeding near a small creek. It took me forever to get a steady shot from something less than 100 yards. I was not able to hold the 30-06 still and crawled to a rock and used it for a rest. I did shoot her in the neck like my dad told me too. I gutted it and then returned to camp to get the mule. I had the mule saddled and was leaving camp when my dad returned and we went out together. Good thing he did I doubt I could have loaded the doe without help,

Two years later when I was 14 I managed to shoot a small forky on the last weekend of the season. He was chasing a doe around a hillside and didn't care about me. He wouldn't stand still so I took my shot from 100 yards with him walking. As I shot he just disappeared. The doe ran away but I couldn't see the buck. My dad was a few hundred yards away and he returned so he could see me and told me to go look where I had last seen the buck. It took me forever to find the dead buck in the brush because I was about 20 yards off from where he was. Once I got closer there was blood everywhere, I had hit the bottom of the heart. My dad told me to gut it and head back to the trailhead with the buck and he continued on for the rest of the morning hunt. A few hours later when he returned I had maybe dragged the deer twenty yards. He made a pack out of it by putting the front legs threw the back legs and carried it out as I carried both guns. Packing deer that way used to be common but it was a bloody mess.

Now some of you can relate and others will think I am full of it but that is the way things used to be. By 1990 when my son started hunting with us my dad worried anytime he was more than 100 yards away from us. I used to remind my dad how he had hunted with his sons and he had no comment. Since all my grandsons have hunted so far is birds they have never been more than a few yards from my son so it will be interesting how things go on the first deer hunts. Just for comparison there is no way a 12 year old now has the same life experiences as a 12 year old in the fifties or sixties. I doubt my grandson can drive anything and before I took my son deer hunting I had him drive my truck on private property in first gear only in case something happened to me and he needed to get help or drive us somewhere. Times were different.
 



essmanfam2

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Thanks for sharing Brnsvllyjohn. Times sure are different, but that doesn't mean we can't fight to keep the good stuff from the past alive!

I did not grow up hunting or in family that was against it. We were just a city family. I got into hunting in '97, when I was 18. A good friend of mine was really into it and I joined through him. Now I'm almost 42 with 5 kids. My oldest is 14 and my second oldest is 12. Both have their hunting licenses and even have some miles under their belt driving dirt roads for the same reason you mentioned above. This dear season will be my 12yr old's 1 st deer season, but they both have a couple of birds seasons behind them. Thus far, 4 of my 5 love to hunt (5 and 8) and tag along as much as they can. Sadly, we still live in a city, but I get them outdoors as much as I can. In fact, during this lock down, I take them out one day each weekend. My one daughter that isn't into hunting is never forced to go hunting, but I do take her on outdoor excursions all time.

Two quail seasons ago, when my oldest was 12, we got into a covey of Quail and split up to chase them for the first time. It was steep country off HWY 33 but I trust him with a shotgun and to make good decisions. About an hour after being separated I started to worry as he should have made our meet up point. I called, and he couldn't hear me so I headed back to our starting point to retrace his path. By God's grace I found him sitting on a rock and safe. It broke my heart as tears started to run down his face... the being alone part was too much for him. Thankfully he had enough wits about him to not wander and get lost. It was certainly a learning moment for both of us; and one we both needed. For him, he needed to learn to mentally fight off the panic that can set in and work based on what he knows to be true. For me, I learned to ease them into these situations more strategically so they are better prepared to succeed. Also for me, it was a moment with him that I will never forget.

Any ways, thanks again for sharing, it did my heart good to read your story and even to share a bit of mine.

Good luck and may God bless us all as we raise the next generation and pursue the great outdoors!
 

CA_Hunter

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Excellent story Sir and yes you are correct, times have really changed. Nowadays, if you ask a 12 y/o to go find a screwdriver they will ask, what is it, why do you need one and what does it look like. However, ask them how to log in to Instagram and post of a picture of themselves to feed their nascent narcissism, and they will willingly engage and show you not only that but also how many fake friends they have.
 

CA_Hunter

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Awesome essmanfam2. Great to see the young'ns getting out there. We grew up in an urban environment and I wish my dad would have encouraged me to go out and seek nature more. Keep up the good work Sir.
 

P304X4

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Great stories and I love that shirt!! Good luck on your hunts.
 

slamdmini

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i luv these stories and wish i grew up in those days. although im probably half your age i had a lot of the same experiences. i learned to drive a tractor before i was 10, learned to drive a truck before 12, and have worked construction with my dad every summer since i was eleven. he taught me everything about the outdoors, mechanics, hard work etc. im very fortunate that my family owns a cabin in the mountains in utah (which we built) where u can hunt, fish, and do whatever else a young boy/girl could ever want. i used to wake up, with my brother or cousin, before light, ride my bike to the lake or stream and go fishing. come back, help work on the house for a few hours, then leave again and come back who knows when. those are by far my fondest childhood memories, and it is still my favorite place in the world. luckily my wife and daughter feel the same way. if this happened nowdays my dad would be put in jail for child endangerment. keep the stories coming
 

Common Sense

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back in the 1990's, DFG issued 50 Monterey County Private Property doe tags. The Private Property was is bold print in the booklet, but if you read the fine print, the tag was good anywhere in Monterey County except National Forest, Military land, county parks..., but was valid on private property or BLM land. When my son turned ten, I started applying for the doe tag(which I always drew because everyone thought it was only good on private property) and let my son fill the tag. By the time he was 12 and had his own tag, I often just took a nap in the truck while he went out looking for Bambi.

His first deer by himself was scary. He hadn't been gone five minutes when I heard a gunshot; so I jumped up and ran towards the trail he had walked down. I found him crying; and asked what was wrong. He said he shot a deer and his first deer with his own tag was poached. I had a funny look on my face and he pointed at a deer laying on its back with its back legs spread apart. Little Sense had a doe tag, but there was male parts between the deer's legs. He kept saying I am sorry pa, as I walked over to the deer.

I turned its head, and sure enough, it had antlers. Two little nubs about an inch long. So legally, it was a doe.

After he field dressed the deer, we walked back to the truck. Standing right next to the truck was a small doe, so he filled my tag. Turned out it was a little spike too, but since the spiked were under three inches it was also considered an anterless deer.

They were very small, but it was the best venison I ever ate.

Few years later Little
 

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