Sunday, June 12, 2011

How I caught the bug

So, this is the reason I finally jumped into blogging.  A friend that has been doing it for sometime (quite well, I might add) was prompted by a gifted blogger named Jennifer to tell his story about how he got into the shooting sports.  Since I was "instrumental in" or "guilty of" his introduction into shooting sports depending on which way you swing, he has been prompting me to post mine as well.  Here goes...

I was born into a hunting family.  The trip is not that simple, but that is where it starts.  I honestly cannot remember the first time I pulled a trigger, but I know it was a Remington 550-1 semi-auto .22 LR.  This is the sick place I am now that it matters what gun it was.  It was and still is a great little rifle.  I do know that my first deer was taken when I was about 8 years old with a Savage 99 lever action chambered in .243 Win with a rotary magazine (yes, I have a problem).  It is just such a sweet shooting rifle.  I eventually worked hard and saved up and bought my own Savage 110 bolt action in .243.  I loved hunting every season with my dad and can't stress enough how important it is to spend that kind of time with your kids.  My dad taught me everything he knew about riflery and I took it from there and ran.  From a solid base of instruction I read books and craved to know more.  I learned how breathing and trigger control was so important.  My love of firearms grew.  Eventually, a friend (you remember the friend that dragged me into this) that I had known since elementary school showed interest in the same passion I had.  He would come to our house where we could shoot just about every weekend and we went through a lot of .22 LR together.  My dad took him under his wing as well and we started our trip down this road together. 

Meanwhile, I was loving hunting local whitetail deer every season and reaping the fruits of wonderful venison and our own homemade sausage.  My interest in rifles grew into an overall interest in all things that launch/shoot/fire anything.  On came the bows.

4H archery led to quite a few trophies and ribbons and I stepped into an impromptu air pistol competition that piqued my interest in pistol shooting.  My dad never really taught me much about handguns.  Back then it just wasn't something a traditional hunting family dealt with much.  I wouldn't understand the huge importance and critical nature of a handgun while hunting until years later.  I was really wanting to get into handguns, so on my 19th birthday my mother bought me a full-size 1911 made by Thompson.  I loved that gun and still own it, though it is semi-retired now.

Off to college and my favorite sport pretty much took a back seat for a while, although I did take archery as an elective class and loved it.  I graduated with a degree in Zoology and started looking for a job anywhere I could find one.  I found a huge local hunting ranch and the match couldn't have been more perfect.  I spent the next few years shooting a variety of firearms that I would never have gotten my hands on in any other profession.  I honed my scoped-rifle shooting skills and bought a couple more handguns for back ups in the field.  A stainless Taurus 605 .357 Mag loaded with .38 Spcl and rat-shot was my bang around gun on the ranch.  It took many rattlesnakes and saved me from serious injury (or possibly worse) while being charged by a huge, wounded 8-point whitetail.  I don't think I've ever hunted without a sidearm since then.  A life-changing event occurred when a client tipped me with a Les Baer .45 and the even more important tip of the high-thumb grip.  That changed everything.

For brevity's sake I had to change professions to a more family-friendly career, but I was essentially "all in" with guns by this time in my life and I was at the full-bore firearm collection stage.  I love them all.  I just can't sell them.  I regret the only time I sold one from my collection.  A S&W model 27 with a tuned trigger in single action.

Now I shoot and train with a great group of friends.  There is nothing better than a group that share this interest.  We get to try out each others' firearms and toys and really enjoy spending that time together.  We learn from each other and train with each other.  There really is no turning back now.


  1. Great read! BTW, that Savage 99 in .243 is the same gun that I shot my first deer with. Great gun, and I WILL own a 99 one of these days.

  2. Excellent post! Guess I need to get around to answering that question too sometime!

  3. Thanks a bunch. I saw she mentioned compiling the stories, so I thought I should stop my normal procrastination and get it done. I recommend it, I really have never thought out how I got here. It's good to have, you know for posterity.

  4. very cool - i would still like to try the .243 but have not yet...i've shot .50bmg rifles but no .243's - odd lol

  5. The .243 is a great little round. It was a natural for me since that is what I grew up shooting and didn't know any better. I highly recommend it for younger or smaller first time hunters going after small or medium game.