Who taught you how to hunt, and when?

TROPHY DESTINATIONS

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Since 2024
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South Africa
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www.trophydestinations.com
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Hunted
South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
I did do a brief introduction the other day, but I felt I should do a better one so that the AH community can get a proper feel for me, my passion, my way of life and thus my company and what we stand for!

I was raised in a family where my father would travel a lot for his passion of hunting. He would go to Argentina for doves, to England for ducks and pheasants and to Africa for big game. He was also part of a consortium of people that had a hunting concession in the forests outside of Zurich, Switzerland. This is where I would go with him whenever I could from as early as I could walk. At first I just went with as a spectator, and later on I would join on the driven hunts as a beater. My father seemed to only be successful on driven hunts when I was there as a beater, maybe he felt the pressure, with me there, to show what he is capable of. Unfortunately I was never able to join in as a hunter, as I left Switzerland before I was old enough to do my professional hunting license there.

As I grew up, and we went to our property in South Africa more, I wanted to start to hunt myself, so my father bought me a pellet gun. But not before he was sure that I knew all the firearm safety rules. I was 6 years old when I started to shoot with the pellet gun and shot a couple of pigeons in our yard on the farm and from then on I was hooked. With 8 I got a .410 shotgun and could pursue “bigger” game, and shot guneafowl, partridges and rabbits with it. I loved plucking and skinning what I shot and then having it cooked up for me. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, and to me it tasted like the best 5 star gourmet meal in the world (I would have given everything 3 Michelin stars). Not soon after I upgraded to a .22 hornet and .222 Remington, with which I started to pursue ever larger game animals, like impala. I quickly progressed to larger calibers, like 8x57JS, and larger quarry.

These days I mainly shoot 3 rifles and 1 shotgun:
A 8x68s, which must be my favorite caliber of all times, and I love renting this rifle out to clients, as I know that when we go out hunting with her she will always perform. A .308 which is custom built for long range shooting. We have got a 600m shooting range on the farm just for sport and to see who is the best shot when we have clients hunting with us. And my trusty custom built .470NE Krieghoff double, which is my gun of choice when I am guiding or hunting any dangerous game. This gun is like an extension of me and it almost feels like the gun instinctively knows what to do in any hairy situation (and there have been a few). My shotgun of choice is my Beretta Silver Pigeon in 12 gauge. Wingshooting is a huge passion for me, even though I don’t get to go out nearly as much as I would want. Luckily I can always go to our clay range on the farm and practice.

South Africa has some great pigeon, waterfowl and upland hunting!

I have been fortunate in that I have been able to hunt a lot of different species in Southern Africa from a very young age. I hunted my first DCA (Damage Causing Animal) elephant when I was 14, my first buffalo and hippo with 16 and my first leopard (which was a DIY solo hunt) with 19. I feel it has been a great part of what has shaped me as a hunter and guide, and given me the confidence to be able to guide dangerous game with my clients from all around the world.

My dream hunts these days are the sheep and goats of the world, and I am hoping that one day I can be lucky enough to be able to go and hunt some of these magnificent kings of the mountains in the far reaches of the world.

Let me know who got you into hunting and what age you found the passion for this magnificent lifestyle that we live!

I like to pride myself in never having more than one group at a time hunting so that you get the full experience and my, as the guide, full attention is solely on you!

We as a company also do very limited hunts in each of our area to keep the trophy quality outstanding and not pressure the populations too much! Since we hunt some free roaming low-fence areas, if we were to pressure them too much the animals would all leave, and that is the last thing we want after we spend countless hours trying to manage them and their habitat.

Hunting is not just my job, but it is my passion and I live it every day! So come and book a hunt with us and let me share my passion with you!
 
I am probably an outlier, but I taught myself how to hunt, and it was well into adulthood. Growing up, I had no immediate family who hunted, though lots of friends and acquaintances did. I gradually warmed to the idea and then went for it. In the modern world there are so many resources at one's fingertips.
 
Arrived in Ellisras now called Lephalale in Limpopo in 1986 when I was 10 years ols back then the town was smal and the bushveld was all around us.

I suppose the Africa bug started bitting when reading Tintin as a young boy my father or no one in my family hunted but one day we visited a farm outide Ellisras about 50km and that is where it all started. Learning about hunting came in the form of a hunting gun magazine Man Magnum and when I was 14 hunted my first warthog solo and from there it snowballed.
 
Started with my dad when I was young (5yr old) with ducks and doves. Then not until after high school (about 20), did I catch the deer and rabbit bug from friends. Eventually went to Africa (32 yrs old) after watching years and years of hunting shows on tv!
 
I grew up in Maryland in a non-hunting family. My Dad never hunted. Not that he was against it or an "anti", it was just never a consideration. After 1 year of college I joined the United States Army. After a few years in the Army I got stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where I would meet my best friend, Richard Quire. Richard was from Kentucky and grew up in a hunting family. At the age of 27 I was invited to hunt the Quire farm in Kentucky. 10 minutes in to my first hunt ever, I dropped a 7 point Kentucky Whitetail deer. I was hooked and have been consumed by it ever since. That was in 1992. 32 years later I have harvested 117 deer.
This June will be first ever trip to Africa.
 
My father was a keen shotgun hunter. I learnt the basics from him as a young kid. Safety, safety was paramount. As a surgeon during WW2 he had seen enough firearms injuries to last him a lifetime I imagine. Growing up in a rural community I imagine he saw the occasional one still.
Eventually as he got older he passed his guns to me, a Webley&Scott 12 and a Browning B2 double trigger. I sold the Browning after several years having a preference for the Webley.
Then I bought a 22LR and dallied with several of these. 22 magnum,22 Hornet and then bought a Ruger No1V in 22/250. I was very keen on shooting foxes then, still am. There’s been a few different shotguns along the way also.
The 22/250 is deer legal here so I got a deer licence and walked in the footsteps of a more experienced stalker for a couple of seasons.
its been a great journey which has taken me to parts of the world I would never have imagined doing 40 years ago.
Next month is the big one for me. A buffalo with Game4Africa in the Eastern Cape along with a Kudu and Impala.
 
I don’t remember a time when hunting wasn’t a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are with my grandfather as I tagged along on a hunt. Whitetail, rabbit, grouse, duck, goose and turkey were the main pursuits.

As for actual hunting, I was cleaning firearms for years and learning proper handling and safety before I was ever allowed to shoot. I think I was 8 or 9 the first time I took a shot at a rabbit with a 20 bore.

Makes me thankful that my grandfather took the time to instill a hunting spirit in me. May he rest in peace knowing I’m doing my best to carry on his legacy.
 
My grandpa, and then one of my uncles. At around 8 years old, I started hunting white wing doves and rabbits with 22s, and then shot my first deer with a Ruger carbine in 44 Mag. Hunting is always on my mind, and I'm always thinking of what to hunt next. Africa was always a dream of mine and did not happen until I was 50 years old.
 
My passionate started early I was born in February and that October I was at hunting camp. From then on its been nothing but a roller coaster for me. When I was little I would take my toy guns outside set up deer and skulls and act as if I was hunting them, then once I had a BB gun I would shoot at pop and beer cans in the back yard from their I got a 22 and began to hunt rabbits at our property and in the hills around home. I would pack my 22 with us on our annual hunting trips allowing me to take squirrels and the occasional blue grouse. I will never forget those days. In 2006 I took my first big game animal in new Mexico on a youth tag, it was a nice 6x6 elk my story on going to Africa for the first time is for a different thread but after that first trip in 2007 Africa has become my obsession
 
First time I went hunting was with my dad at the tender age of 1 years old but then only in a baby carrier backpack when he was hunting capercaille. Learned to shot with BB guns and .22 LR around 7 years old. Real hunting I started with several years later by accompanying my dad and paternal granddad on moose hunting aswell as hunting fox and hare with dog and of course upland hunting. I did not shot my first game until the age of 12. Due to Swedish law I did not got my own weapons until the age of 18 but has hunted regularly since 12 anyway just not by myself until 18 years old :)
 
My Dad started taking me deer hunting, mostly whitetails, when I was three or 4. Elk hunting, when I could mostly keep up, at probably 8 or 9 years old. I couldn't start hunting until I turned 12, by law, but we have continued to hunt together ever since. He turned 77 today and took a spike bull elk and a cow last year. We're planning on elk hunting together again this fall. I teach everything I learned from him to my 2 boys and I hunt with them, mostly for elk, every year.

For you guys who taught yourselves, my hats off to you!

crossone
 
My Dad started taking me deer hunting, mostly whitetails, when I was three or 4. Elk hunting, when I could mostly keep up, at probably 8 or 9 years old. I couldn't start hunting until I turned 12, by law, but we have continued to hunt together ever since. He turned 77 today and took a spike bull elk and a cow last year. We're planning on elk hunting together again this fall. I teach everything I learned from him to my 2 boys and I hunt with them, mostly for elk, every year.

For you guys who taught yourselves, my hats off to you!

crossone

Happy birthday to your father! It is always amazing when multiple generations can hunt together!
 
Honestly my dog taught me. I grew up relatively unsupervised on a farm in Canada. I had a shotgun, a .22 and a good dog.
 
When I was 6 months old, an couple that lived by my parents started babysitting me. Mom and dad both worked, and it was convenient.

The short version is that my parents were both estranged from their parents = no influence from or access to real/biological grandparents. That couple that babysat me? They became my grandparents. By later elementary I was calling them grandma and grandpa. Much of my childhood, it was they that raised me.

Specific to your question, my grandpa taught me how to hunt, shoot, fish, and trap. He was a semi-retired mechanic (he had a small engine shop in his garage) and he had all the time in the world for me. For a kid interested in the outdoors? It was a pretty sweet set-up. Maybe the only story by Patrick McManus that ever brought tears to my eyes was 'The Theory and Application of Old Men" because it reminded me of my grandpa.

To this day, he was the best person I ever knew. I never once heard him raise his voice, and yet there was no one on this earth I was more afraid of letting down. I tell people - and I mean it - that every day I am chasing the man that he was. I cannot imagine what my life would have been without him (certainly less), and I am damn glad I don't have to.

I don't make it back to KS often anymore, but when I do, if I can, I try to go by his grave and listen to a Royals game on radio with him.

Joseph Lewis Root ~ June 20, 1911 - June 13, 1999

A photo of him and grandma, sometime just before coming into my life, and the other three are my kids. The other photo... that's me. He used to pack me on his back when he'd wade the river to fish for catfish, until I was old enough to do it myself.

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I remember riding in the duck boat with my dad and him breaking ice to get to the blind as a young fella, under 10 probably. I shot my first whitetail at 12 and so it began. Doves, deer, turkeys, squirrels, etc. Kept hunting with dad till I went out on my own. We still hunt turkeys together every spring.
 
As a child growing up in the 1950s, accompanying my dear father to the rice paddy fields behind our farmhouse to hunt golden snipe (which could be found in the hundreds of thousands) on weekends… was my favorite part of the entire week.

I was 10 years old when father finally started letting me take his 12 gauge 3” Magnum Midland Gun Co. boxlock ejector side by side “Super Demon Duck Gun” out to the rice paddy fields by myself (accompanied by one of our family servants) to go & hunt golden snipe. Soon, this evolved into hunting waterfowl in the local rivers around the family home. South Bengal (being the home to 700 rivers) was teeming with waterfowl and during the colder months… it was a waterfowler‘s paradise.
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During the Indo-Pak war of 1971, I volunteered as a Freedom Fighter (against my parent’s will) and during the war… I frequently shot Muntjac/Axis/Sambar deer for the pot to supplement camp meat rations (and wild boars for our fellow non-Muslim soldiers). During two random encounters, we also shot an Asian sloth bear and a gaur which had ambushed our unit during patrols. I never thought of it as such (at the time), but you could say that this instilled an interest in big game hunting within my mind. And I always dreamt of pursuing this hobby more, after the war would end.
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In 1972, the war ended and I began a new career as a forest ranger.
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The Ministry of Forests used to rotate our posting to oversee different forested territories once every four years. This allowed me to see and hunt in different forest ranges, all across the country. I hunted big game for recreation for the first time, in the summer of 1972.
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I went on my life’s first African safari to Kenya in 1974, deciding to accompany my former wartime commanding officer (Brigadier General Mahmudul Hassan)
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The rest is history…
 
I learned from a collective group of friends and family members..

My father was an avid (competitive) shooter, and an occasional hunter.. we mostly pursued birds.. quail, dove, occasional ducks, etc.. but every now and then would also chase squirrels, rabbits, etc when I was a fairly young kid..

One of my uncles and his son (a cousin very close to my age) were very serious big game hunters.. they did A LOT of deer hunting (pretty much every weekend from open to close of every season)... while I recall hunting deer with my father a couple of times, it was my uncle and cousin that gave me the most opportunity to pursue big game.. from my pre-teen years through my early 20's I spent most of my time in the deer woods with them.. By the time we hit our mid 20's my cousin had gotten really serious about Turkey hunting, and he began exposing me to that was well..

A couple of my army buddies were very much into all things outdoors (like uncle sam didnt already have us spending enough time outside?????? :D )... one was really into small game and night critters.. we did squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, etc regularly.. while the other was more into deer and pigs.. we sorta taught ourselves pig hunting, a decade before pig hunting was anything seen on TV or really talked about much, at a couple of different properties we had access to in Arkansas in the very early 90's..

everything else sorta took off from there on its own...
 
Some of my earliest memories are watching my dad go for an afternoon stroll on the farm with a .22 shooting rabbits. Eventually I was allowed to try shooting the old single shot .22. Hundreds of rabbits and a few foxes later I moved up to a .222 and started on the pigs and foxes. At 19 I took my first fallow deer. Took me until I was 23 to shoot my first trophy class red stag, 24 for my first Buffalo in the NT, then 27 by the time I made it to Zimbabwe for my first taste of African hunting. Dozens of buffalo and other trophies later, its still hard to beat the simplicity of rabbit shooting with a .22 and remembering where it all began.
 
How many guys do you know whose wife introduced him to hunting and shooting?

It was my wife, her father and older brother that taught me to hunt and shoot the summer of 1980. My wife grew up hunting on her family's farm whereas I grew up in suburban Philadelphia, PA never having touched a firearm. It was city boy meets the farmer's daughter. We were married in 1985. We're STILL married. However I introduce her as my first wife. Always have.:LOL:
 

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