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Who taught you to shoot?


My first experience with a gun was a BB gun as a kid. We would shoot aluminum cans in the backyard. My first experience with a firearm were trips out to the desert. My brother had a .22, 12ga Winchester, and Marlin lever action, mainly shooting, cans, wood various pieces of fruit. Another influence was my best friends dad, once again camping trips out in the desert. I bought my first shotgun when I was about 19 or 20. My first hunting experience was with my brother-in-law hunting pheasants up in Pixley. I sold that shotgun and then was inactive for a few years and then about three years ago something inside of me pulled me back to shooting. I joined QU and did my first duck hunt in 2000. Haven't looked back since. I am pretty much self-taught mainly from JHP, books, and the people who I have met through QU.


Well-known member
<font face="Tahoma">Mom & Dad both grew up on farms, but neither caught the hunting bug.  I was in 5th grade when a Sears lever action BB gun mysteriously appeared in the garage.  To this day, my dad says he had nothing to do with it (mom?).  Well, I followed the "if if moves, shoot it" philosophy and roamed the hills of then-rural Fullerton shooting every day possible.  One day, my neighbor caught us shooting doves off the wires and yelled at us.  I swear he was nine feet tall ( now, he's 6'6" ).  We were all scared to death.  Lucky us, all he wanted was for us to save the doves so he could eat them (YUCK!!!).  Well, he cooked 'em and I loved 'em.  He gave me a hunting magazine and I was off.  I bought my .22 at 16 and my first shotgun (Wingmaster for an Express price tag - thanks Turner's) at 22.  My Dad went with me to a hunter safety class.  He got 100% and smoked me.  He's never hunted, but I sure appreciate the support that day.  Since I knew of no one my age who hunted, I headed out to the Salton Sea for a dove opener and just copied what the others did.  Now, it's my kids turn and we all shoot as often as possible.  </font>


As many have posted my Dad wasmy teacher and partner early hunting and shooting. We enjoyed the cold mornings of winter duck hunting the rice fields in south Texas by the Gulf. Great times then and awhile ago also. He doesn't hunt now cause of arthritis but I owe it to him for keeping me safe and learning the right ways to handle a firearm. I have also taught all my family the same, 2-boys and wife. MC.


Well-known member
Good ol' Dad. Shot my first gun when I was 4. It was a 10/22 and a Jennings J-22 (crap might I add). I then went on with with my dad's Colt .38 Super.

Russell E Taylor

Well-known member
<font face=arial size=1><blockquote><hr noshade size=1>Quote: from spectr17 on 8:54 pm on June 15, 2001

My first memory of a shooting range was watching my Uncle Bob shoot trap at a range along the Mississippi River near Muscatine Iowa.
<hr noshade size=1></blockquote></font>

Muscatine, Iowa??????????????????  Hell, that's easy artillery range from me in the Quad Cities!  I've been to Muscatine a few times over the years... bought a suit from an Army Reserve friend of mine who runs (maybe "ran" now) K&D Clothiers.  I'm from Galesburg, Illinois, originally.

Damn.  Small world.



My old man taught me to shoot but for the first couple of years I never even fired a live round.  My Dad made me carry a 20 gauge youth model shotgun for 2 years before I ever put a live round in.
He made me carry that shot gun up an down hills for miles chasing sharptail grouse and pheasant all over North Dakota.
It was the best thing he ever did.


Well-known member
I would have to say my brother Jim. He was never really lacking time in his life to show me how to shoot. After school back in the early 80's he would pick me up from school for an afternoon shoot at Grizzly Is. We had the time of our lives, something neither of us will ever forget. We would have the refuge to ourselves.


Well-known member
I received a crossman CO2 powered BB gun for my 7th bday.  Every kid at that party was silent - but then began whispering - he got a gun!!!  I'd known that my family hunted and shot, but until that time my outdoor time was limited to fishing out of King Harbor in Redondo (yes, back then you rent motor or rowboats and fish in the harbor and actually catch bonita and blue crab!)  I grew up in Gardena along the L.A. strip off where the 91, 405 & 110 fwys meet.  There is still a swamp there at the intersections, but my old stopping grounds are now a PACE parking lot and Food Value grocery store.:throwup-yellow:

I shot the heck out of that rifle, but had to follow a ton of rules my dad layed down - not too mention he was pretty smart to get the CO2 to limit the power, as well as the time I could shoot. I was only supposed to shoot when he was home and only across the ravine in the backyard to a target he had set on the hillside.  That lasted about a month until I got tired of punching paper.  I started throwing cans out there and making them hop around the hillside.  I got one warning about shooting lizards, thank God I only knocked his tail off.  I'm pretty sure my dad would have made me eat it if I had killed it.  Our house got broken into and many of our valuables where stolen.  They missed all my dad's guns, but got my air rifle. That weekend (we still had not replaced the TV or  stereo) we stopped by Woolworth's and he got me a pump Crossman. Totally out of the blue, that caught me totally by surprise.  It was not my birthday, it wasn't Christmas - it was the middle of the school year and report cards were nowhere near.  He just replaced my rifle, handed it to me in the store (boxed) and said, "This one has more power, be careful."  and that was it - I was 9 and had full control over when and where I wanted to shoot.  I'd go thru boxes and boxes of BBs.  I was allowed to shoot crows that threatened the veggies in the yard - with which I was given a box of pellets for.  I was expected to pick off a crow with each pellet - not to waste them on targets, since they make the same size hole as a BB.

I then joined the Boy Scouts and found comaraderie with the older guys, since most of them only got to shoot at Summer Camp - but could shoot anytime at my house.  We'd shoot bottles (with a box underneath to catch the glass), cans and army men.  The sparks from the BBs on the concrete where always cool in the evenings.  At Scout camp, I'd always earn the shooting awards by the second day, and then spend the rest of the week shooting targets with the target face turned backwards and shooting the center of blank paper or popping the clothing pins of the guy next to me by accident or competing against the older scouters.

My parents got divorced when I was 10 and that ended my shooting time with my dad.  I saved up $75 in change and my mom's boyfriend bought me my Marlin semiauto tube-fed .22 rifle.  I had to learn how to take that thing apart and put it back together before I was allowed to shoot it.  He would then take me to the range, sometimes with his friends - and I would have to clean everyone's rifles and pistols when we got back.  Good experience, but a lot of work.  I then bought a Ruger 10/22 (isn't that sort of mandatory??) and put a few hundred million rounds through it, teaching scores of friends to shoot in the process.

In high school we would get groups of "safe/sane" friends together and drive 2+ hours out to the Mojave to camp and shoot for the weekend.  One friend did Civil War re-enactments at Tejon and would bring his black with him.  That's where I learned to shoot black and skin rabbits (shot with the .22s)  I knew hunting was in the family, but got my License on my own through Scouting related sources & classes.  I purchased a 12g New Haven pump from a gun show for around $100.  That became a skeet gun, as we would throw skeets in our desert pit at the Mojave.

I stuck to rabbit and coyote in the deserts.  When my friend Dan asked me to go Dove hunting with him back in '96 when his dad moved to Kentucky.  I agreed, since it was familiar terrain - if not 3 hours south.  All those years of instinct shooting with BB gun and skeets in the desert paid off and I got hooked.  Dan has moved on to North Carolina, but my kids just got their hunting licenses.  I did not pressure my stepson, just telling him that when he was ready, I would take the class again with him.  He's watched me go hunting and shooting a number of times, but never stepped up.  When his mom went hunting with me last year - I knew he was ready by the look in his eye when he saw my new Berretta. :heart-eyes-yellow:  We recently had to stop by the DFG in Alamitos to collect 40 fishing rods as part of the Master Angler program to take kids from our church fishing at family camp.  The guys at DFG asked him if he had his hunting license and passed him the book.  He studied on his own, and asked to take the test.  With a 1:1 jam session the night before (which inspired his sister) they both passed their tests with flying colors! :bounce-aqua:

Now we are planning our first family hunt this Sept.  The only thing is that I only have 12g's  ... no 20's  not sure if he can handle it, guess we'll see this Sat at Triple B!

Anyway, I'm really jazzed that I am able to pass something on to my stepson, as my opportunities to do so are limited.  

Cheers all, and thanks for the opportunity to regurgitate all this - it was fun roaming down memory lane.


Well-known member
Awesome tale, Ted! Bravo, both for your own start and for getting the kids into without pressure! Your whole family hunting together... how cool is that?


Well-known member
My dad taught me gun safety with a bb-gun. Started out shooting mice that would sneak the food off the bottom of the pigeon cage. (that dad built).
Took the hunter safety course at 12 and my dad gave me my first shotgun, a winchester 410 single shot. Hunted quail and rabbits on my uncles orange grove in Redlands. But the real excitement came during archery deer season (dad didn't think hunting deer with a rifle was much of a challenge). I had been practicing with a bow for a while but was only allowed to use practice tips. I remember vividly when dad handed me those three arrows with broadheads to put in my quiver. It would be quite a few years before I would shoot a deer with a bow but that didn't matter becouse I was 12 yrs old hunting deer with real broadheads.
I still get excited putting those arrows in the quiver. I guess I am just easily amused...


I learned to shoot with a Daisy Red Ryder BB-Gun in my folks basement at a very early age...maybe 10? After I shot out the neighbors garage window (and every little piece of glass in the frame) my dad sent me to an NRA Hunter's Safety class before I could ever pick up that BB-Gun again. These guys were the one's that really instilled marksmanship into me. The were a very active smallbore and Highpower club within a VFW association. That all started some 37 years of firearm shooting for me. The love of accuracy took and it hasn't left yet.

As an aside: I mowed that guys lawn and shoveled his snow for many seasons as restitution for my stupid act. All free of charge.


You guys lead charmed lives!!
I was told we needed meat for super and dad was working in the woods, He cut wood at that time for a living.
so mom handed me a 22 and asked if I could go shoot a rabbit for supper.
I came back empty, but told her I had missed about 3.

She then went and handed me a 20 ga. shotgun, (her gun) and asked me to try again. I went through almost a full box of shells, but I got one finaly!!

Nobody taught me "how" I was just given a gun & told we needed meat. I did my best and soon was able to get rabbits regulary.

As for useing sights, I got that in the U.S. Army, basic training.

I never could "let go" of the way I used to shoot, and to this day, I have no sight on my bow, and seem to do better if I just look and shoot.

I have got a lot of game, but just can not get used to sighting them in.
I do better by just pulling up and shooting by instinct or whatever it was that I did when I was a kid and needed meat.


Well-known member
My Dad got me into hunting and shooting. I remember him taking me to the local pawn shop just before I turned 5 and buying me a Stevens 72 .22 rifle. I still have the gun and will until I "kick the bucket". He served a few years in the Marine Corps and taught me the same way they taught him. I remember always wanting to shoot his 30/06 and he finally let me when I was about 7 or 8, and one shot got the point across that I needed to stick with airguns and .22's for a few more years. He bought me several air rifles over the years and I would have my own "safaris" on the local tweety bird population every chance I had. I think that is why I like to stalk everything I hunt. Although he doesn't hunt anymore I still enjoy my time in the outdoors and have never forgot the things he taught me. It always seems that his ways work better for me than the stuff I have read in magazines written by "professionals". I can't wait to have a child of my own someday so I can pass on the things that my dad taught me. Who knows, maybe if I have a kid Dad will get back into hunting. Now that would be great, the three of us out there together. That would definitely be a dream come true.


Active member
In days of old, there was an organization called Indian Guides. Anyone remember that? It was tons better (IMO, I have been in Scouts too) than Boy Scouts and I still remember my dad, the design engineer for Boeing, trying to figure out how to teach an ambydex boy with a dominant left eye to shoot right handed (he was the righty). It was great, and the eye dominance thing never held me back. Now, because of (outstanding) USMC training, I shoot all right, but damn if I can't use both eyes in the woods!

North Country

New member
My Dad and older brother taught me to shoot. Started out with a Daisy BB gun when I was about 7, then a couple three years later, a pardner single 20 guage. That was my bird gun until 1st year of college and while working a summer with the MI DNR, I blew my first paycheck on a Remington 870 which faithfully keeps watch over the house (with a special 'welcome to America' load). Just recently I finished rebuilding a Mauser 98 into a beautiful .308 sporter. Gotta work on the reloading setup next. Congratulations to those of you who started shooting without support of the family! Keep the tradition alive.

Common Sense

Well-known member
Dad and both grandfathers were hunters, usually together. I don't remember who taught me to shoot. I can't remember the first time I shoot a BB-gun, .22, or shotgun; but can remember the first time with a deer rifle was dad's doing --- I can still hear him laughing because I didn't hold the rifle against my shoulder. My son shot his first buck with the same rifle when he was 9 or 10, and my oldest grandson (8) shot it for the first time this year.
Dad had to work on Saturdays, so we never went hunting as much as we wanted too. Friday after school my grandparents would take me to the foothills, and grandma would take me hunting. This started when I was in kindergarten, and I had to promise not to tell my mother. Grandma always made me carry the rifle, a pump .22, but she carried all the shells. When we found a rabbit, I would get one bullet at a time and hand feed it into the chamber. I always was in front of her, and she would hit me in the head if the rifle wasn't pointed forward. She must have walked a thousand miles with me before I was able to carry a loaded rifle, and another thousand before she would let me go alone.
Dad and my grandfathers have all passed on, but grandma still lives alone and will be 100 in a couple of weeks. My son had the hunting bug real bad for a long time, but kind of stopped after getting married. He just became a father and is already talking about where he's taking my new grandson hunting.


Well-known member
Make sure to let Grandma know how much you appreciate her!

My Dad and the Long Beach Police Junior Rifle Club taught me to shoot. My Dad with BB and pellet guns, then some .22 field shooting. The LBPJRC taught me to target shoot in the full NRA style competitions and qualifications. This was before the public outcry got the LB Police Range closed to the public.


Well-known member
My dad taught me how to shoot, with an old winchester bolt action .22. The first rifle he ever gave me was a VERY powerful pellet rifle. During the summer I kept the snake population down around the house.

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