Your first game animal?

1967. Whitetail doe. 12 years old. Mid November. Sunny, calm, and warm which are all unusual in South Dakota that time of year. Second day of season on a Sunday afternoon. Walking some cover patches with some farmer neighbors. Dried out sweet clover patch had a doe jump up about 15 yards in front of me going straight away. Raised my dads old surplus Mauser 7mm and shot that doe square through the tail bone and on into her neck. She went straight down and the white tail hair was still floating in the air when I ran up to her. Took a few more seasons until I killed another as quick as that doe. Haven’t missed a deer season at the farm yet.
Well, mine wasn’t nearly so impressive of a game animal, but a big step into the hunting world for me. In 1953 for my 6th birthday I got a Sears single shot .22! That was in August. I thought I was going to die before I got to use it! My dad worked for Convair. At that time the company had a shooting range on their recreation property where my dad took me to give me shooting lessons. After 3-4 training lessons. September came and it was finally time!
We drove the 2 hour trip to my grandparents’ house in the small town of Leonard, TX. I was getting more excited during lunch when my granddad asked me if we would go to the 60 acre farm and get him a squirrel for Sunday lunch! “Oh yes Papaw! I would!”
I was dying!
Off to the little farm we went. As we drove in to the old farmhouse a couple of squirrels were running around the corn crib. Dad and I got out and stalked to the corner of the house. After dad cocked and loaded the little Sears rifle, I rested it as he had taught me against the corner of the old house and took my first careful aim. At the crack of the 22 lr HP one of the squirrels flopped on the ground. My dad said “Is that the one you were shooting at?”
A lifetime of hunting was started.

Damn, idiotic, hateful birds.

I’ll kill every one of them.
I was 16, and had skipped school in order to join my buddy and his family hunt gang for my first Ontario whitetail deer hunt. My father did not hunt, but allowed me to go through the steps and take my Hunter's Safety course and get my firearms permit nonetheless. I think his idea was for me to go out on weekends, not to go hunting in place of school, but I just could not wait. I NEEDED to do this, as if life itself hung in the balance. Well, after three days of being a beater, whacking my way through the bush and pushing several deer towards the shooters, I was asked if I wanted to take a stand that afternoon after lunch. I was humming with excitement, senses on overload, cradling the borrowed 22-250 bolt action as if it were a newborn baby. Eventually, a doe seemed to "pop out" of nowhere in front of me. I took careful aim at the doe, and at the shot, she dropped! I stood up and admired that doe, as proud of myself at that moment as I had ever been. I slung that rifle and started to make my way towards her, when two more does, and a very nice buck came charging out and whipped right past me. I just stood there dumbfounded, and didn't move a muscle, letting them get away without a shot.
My friend's grandfather, who was also blocking, watched the whole episode go down, came up to me and asked, "What's wrong with you boy, they only give you one bullet?" I learned more in those three days of skipped school than I could ever have hoped to learn in any classroom!
I’m not sure I remember, i shot rabbits as a kid, some foxes and then progressed to feral goats and shot a good share of them when there was no market for goats. I got onto a few pigs I time , had a family and limited shooting for a while getting out when I could. In my late 30s work aligned with some bush work and in my early forties I opportunistically shot a Fallow spiked. I had .223 with me and I knew it was accurate so I was just a matter of which one would be the first to peer from behind a , after a few minutes the bigger one put its head out for the last time. Headshot taken cleanly so I was quick to load it and find somewhere to hang it. A local came by and said I picked a good one. It was healthy and fat, well as fat as it would be. He assured me the spiders are good eating. Turned out to be fine. I took a few more Fallow when opportunity presented. So, maybe a Deer was the first “Game” animal
A few years later I found this site, I hunted Africa just before I turned 48 and wondering what else I might want to do.
In the early 90’s there was no market for Feral goat, fast forward a few years and Rangeland goat is an exportable commodity that generates good returns from a self sustaining resource or free range introduced species.
With lots of time on our hands due to the Coronavirus restrictions on travel and public gatherings, I have been reminiscing and sharing stories to help pass the time. I'd like to read about your first successful hunt for large game animals. Please share a short tale, Where & when, what game were you hunting , who were you with, what firearm? etc.

Here's mine, to get us started:

Saskatchewan, Canada, 1973, whitetail doe. I was 15 yrs old, and my family hunted deer the same way we hunted rabbits. Several of us would "push the bush" and a couple of us were waiting "on stand" at the edge of cover to shoot them on the run. I borrowed my brother's .303 #1 SMLE that was "sporterized" by having some of the excess wood cut off. I had sighted in and practised, sorta, by shooting at a cardboard box a couple of times. Hit the box, so I was "ready". Our quota was one either-sex deer each. Meat for the family. And we were "party" hunting, which was acceptable practise way back then, different times. The person on stand was expected to shoot whatever deer came out and the bush pushers would put their tags on the second or third deer. After a few unsuccessful bush pushing sessions and one memorable miss, I was finally on stand again and a doe broke cover and was running hard from left to right at about 120 meters. Missed completely, too far in front the first shot. Reload quick! - corrected my lead, swing with, and I connected on my second shot. The doe went down hard and skidded on her nose. Then a small buck broke cover, and ran past on exactly the same trail at the same speed as the doe. I sent bullets after that buck as fast as I could work the action. But I was so excited that I had shot a deer that the other 8 shots in that old 10 shot magazine were just noise. My brother in law was the first on the scene. He asked me what I shot. I pointed excitedly at the doe. He said it sounded like a battle had just happened. When my brother came up to join us, he asked what all that shooting was about. Brother in law announced "we may have a problem he's got eight deer laying here!" Brother sputtered and said "we don't have that many tags!" It was a a memorable moment. One was enough, and the first one was very good!
Like yourself my first big game hunt was with an SMLE No1Mk111 in 303. It was after pigs out at Hells Gate in New South Wales with a couple of mates. No 4x4s for us back in those days hunting vehicle was the mates mother valiant sedan. Back in the mid 70s pigs were a major problem and we took 100 rounds each for a 5 day hunt.
Rifles were my 303, the mates new Winchester 375 bigbore and a 12 gauge coach gun.
Long story short we had a ball demolishing pigs and had to go home after day 3 as we had run out of ammo by the end of day 2. Should have t a Ken more ammo in hindsight.
Early eighties, I was invited onto a ranch in central Zimbabwe to take an impala ram. I was really green, up to that time just air rifles so the guys with me gave the instructions and i just did stuff. The impala was on a ridge maybe 70 yards off, so a ridge shot was the first error. I remember aiming the 30-06 at the front half and when it boomed, the impala fell right there although it was hit high. We duly collected it, biltong was to be made. The next day the rancher got hold of my buddies to ask why we didn't collect our impala? Apparently the exiting bullet took a second one further on. So my very first game animal was a brace.
My first game animal was also my first time with a gun in my hands. My parents did not allow guns or even air guns at home. I was about 10 yrs old with my 84 yr old grandfather in the Ok panhandle and we were out looking for a jackrabbit for the pot. I spotted one before Grandpa did so he asked me if I wanted to shoot it. I excitedly whispered YES! so he handed me his sxs 10 gauge shotgun. I still believe it was longer than me. I could barely shoulder it let alone get steady so when the front bead wobbled across the rabbit i yanked the trigger. As some of you would guess, I pulled both triggers on a 10 gauge shotgun on a rabbit at 20 yds. All I remember was my grandfather standing over me smiling, concerned, irritated all at the same time. I asked if I got him and he showed me what was left. He was concerned for me, irritated that we had no meat for the pot and that I wasted two shotgun shells. Neither of us told my parents what happened that day. We eventually got a Pronghorn to come in to a silver pie plate nailed to a fencepost, so we ended up with more meat.
Had to laugh at a couple of those. I can remember hunting as a teenager with a couple friends piling into an old Ford pinto that burned oil and blew smoke like a tractor. Later we used a vw wagon and I can remember all of us counting change on the hood to see how much gas we could afford-glad those happy days are behind me!
I'm proud to say my first game animal was a Pennsylvania Groundhog taken in the summer of 1982 with at .22 rifle.

A giant cormorant , which I had shot in 1972 . I used my Laurona 12 bore side-lock ejector and an Eley Alphamax 2 3/4 inch no . 4 shell ( fired from the modified choked left barrel of my 12 bore ) . I was 17 years old at the time . The Bangladesh liberation war had ended on the previous month .
Grey fox at night with my older brothers 12 gauge and some copper plated #4s. Using a Johnny Stewart cassette tape caller and a Nite Lite coon light. I believe I was 12 years old. A year or so later I shot my first white tail doe with my dads Ruger M77 .243. Good old days
Technically my first game animals were squirrels and grouse. 1985 was an important year, because I finally turned 12, the minimum age to hunt in Wisconsin back then. I hunted hard that year, and missed a couple deer, but remember nearly tearing up missing a fork buck on a drive and having to use my tag when one of the other hunters dropped it. The next year I had picked out a spot way down in the wooded valley where two deer trails, beaten down to black dirt , crossed and "helped" my Dad and our neighbor set up a stand there. Opening day of bow season found me all alone down at My stand while everyone else hunted the field edges. At about 5:30 pm I almost jumped off my stand when I heard a loud "meow!" I was certain a bobcat or mountain lion was coming. In the next instant a deer appeared on the trail 20 yards in front of my stand. By the time I got my wits about me and my Browning Nomad II drawn, the deer stepped away, but then his mother appeared. A deep breathe, release my fingers and that doe flew away like no deer I had ever seen run. I heard a brush crash for a little bit and then all I could hear was super heavy breathing that didn't seem to match mine. I climbed down from my stand and probably ran the mile or so through the woods and up the valley to Dad's stand. I told him I think I should have hit one, but it ran away. We went back to my stand and Dad had me climb back up and direct him to exactly where the deer had been standing. I was both surprised and elated when he said calmly, "well I found blood" I climbed down and stood on each blood spot while Dad looked ahead for the next one. After about 30 yards of tracking, Dad got a little tired and suggested we swap- he would mark last blood and I should trail ahead. I found a spot, then another and then literally tripped over my first deer!
Had to laugh at a couple of those. I can remember hunting as a teenager with a couple friends piling into an old Ford pinto that burned oil and blew smoke like a tractor. Later we used a vw wagon and I can remember all of us counting change on the hood to see how much gas we could afford-glad those happy days are behind me!
You may be glad those days are behind you but I bet London to a brick when you remember those days you have a smile a mile wide.
I was 12 years old when my uncle took me out for a walk with his Musgrave 243 on the family farm in Limpopo. We spent several hours out, first sighting in the rifle in the river bed, learning about the wind, and walking game paths through the bush. At last light I shot a huge warthog on the shoulder. I still have the tusks in a frame in my office.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest posts

Latest profile posts

James Friedrichs wrote on Garrett89's profile.
beautiful reel. do you have some room in the price? James
just posted an Buffalo and sable package on the deals page, please have look!

I'm trying to obtain an Australian Visa, but I was arrested over 10 years ago and the government is requesting a state police clearance letter and character declaration letter. Do I need to provide an FBI criminal record check as well?

This is the most difficult place I have ever tried to get into.


doing some culling today for the pot!
Should have recieved it, seems your FFL was a bit of a hassle