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Thread: Early Memories...

  1. #1
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    Default Early Memories...

    When I was in the third grade (7-8 years old), we lived in New Orleans. I had been hunting rabbits with a 22 for a couple of years during the Summers at my grandparents in South Texas. We always gave the rabbits to families that needed them more than we did, except for one rabbit that I insisted be made into rabbit stew (why rabbit stew? I don't have any idea. It just sounded good, and it actually was good. I ate it all, no one else wanted any). Anyway, hunting and shooting wasn't new to me. My grandfather had given me an Eastern Arms dogleg 410 and my dad told me we were going squirrel hunting. I had seen lots of squirrels (none in South Texas though) and hunting was hunting. We drove up to around Slidell where he had gotten permission to hunt on a patch of piney woods. It was a little cold but not uncomfortable. I was allowed to put a shell in the chamber but was warned under pain of whatever was worse than death, to NOT cock it unless supervised. I was following my dad through some pretty rough brambles when he stopped short, raised his mod 42 and shot almost in the same instant. It was as fast as Matt Dillon drawing on a BG, AND it was real shooting! I followed him on through and he picked up a huge rabbit. Swamp rabbits get a lot bigger than South Texas cottontails. We hunted through the morning without any more luck (but I got to carry the rabbit!)

    About 11:00 we stopped on a logging road and he built a fire (things just kept on getting better and better!), cut a couple of sticks and cleaned the rabbit. He had gutted it earlier by squeezing the guts down into the abdomen and then swinging it between his legs stopping the swing with his elbows on his knees. If you do it right it cleans that rabbit right out. If you do it wrong (like my first attempt much later) then rabbit guts and all they contain gets splattered from the seat of your pants and up your back.

    He skinned it, washed it with a bit of water from the canteen and put it over the fire on the sticks with the ribcage spread open. I don't remember what we talked about (an 8 yr old boy, with a fire and a roasting rabbit has a pretty short attention span), but he'd reach over and turn the rabbit every once in a while, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper from some tin foil packs he'd brought along (almost like he planned the whole thing!).

    Then we ate that rabbit sitting right there in the red clay and pine needles (didn't even wash our hands). To date, I have not tasted better rabbit than that one. All rabbits since have been measured by that one and they have all fallen short. I can still see it in my minds eye, and my dad on his side propped up on an elbow doing something he'd done a thousand times, and not realizing the wonderful memory he was making.

    This is something we all need to remember, young and old; Every interaction we have with our children and grandchildren is making a memory. Make them good ones.

    Alan


  2. #2
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Great memory. I never got to go hunting as a child, that was a man thing and the men didn't want a bunch of little girls out in the woods with them, we did get to go fishing but that was a sport that lent itself better to the group men, women and children alike. As ong as it didn't involve a boat, that was strictly no girls allowed and no amunt of whining crying or questions ever brought forth an answer, why can't I go fishing in the boat with you? And ,y brother finally enlightened me why I was not allowed on thoese 4 am wake up calls to hop in the truck and go to some obscure fishing location ad get to fish out of the boat. "Because you're a girl, and if you have to go pee, you can't hang it over the side." I didn't even know what "it" was at the time.....
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    I know there were folks like that. My dad and grandfather took my sisters hunting or fishing as mush as they wanted to go. My dad took them in the boat too. They just didn't want to go as much as I did (which was all the time. I would have gladly forgone school and Sunday school too to hunt or fish). My sisters learned to shoot and bait a hook early on. It just wasn't something the were fanatical about. I was.

    I make it a point to take my grandson and granddaughter fishing any time her mother will let her go (there's only two of them old enough to go. We'll have six in July).

    Alan

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    Gadget Master oldsoldier's Avatar
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    My fondest memories were with my grandfather. He was full blooded Cherokee. From about 5 years old I spent as much time as possible with hm. ( my father wasn't a very good man! except to his "princess" my sister) But me and grandpa! He taught me the old ways. How his father and grandfather hunted, trapped fish, gathered edible and medicinal plants. It seemed like we could leave before daylight and stay out until it was to dark to see and to me we had only been out a couple of hours. He instilled in me the responsibility to take care of family, to protect those that can't including my country. ( He served in WW2 and Korea) he was one of the reasons I joined the military. I just wish I had more time with him. I honestly believe he guided me towards becoming the man I am today.
    If by what I have learned over the years, allow me to help one person to start to prepare. If all the mistakes I have made, let me give one person the wisdom that allows them to save their life or the life of a loved one in an emergency. Then I will truly know that all the work I have done will have been worth every minute.

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    Great story Alan.
    A man full of grits is a man full of peace.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    All the girls learned to shoot early on, but never to hunt. Except for ginseng, yellow root and mushrooms. A few Wild edible plants also, but hunting animals was out of the question, maybe because girls are notorious chatterboxes and a definite alert system to the wildlife, sad though because I loved running the woods as a kid. always have, and my late fiance shared that with me and he took me hunting and helped me become better at shooting.
    learned how to process animals at a young age,starting with the fish we caught.
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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