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Well lads...
After reading the responses to my last topic, it got me thinking back to my youth and just who my hunting heroes were and still are. My dear old dad, long gone, taught me much about hunting and hunting ethics, proper techniques and tactics to use, how to dress and handle the meat and survival skills in the woods. I also learned about hunting from a couple of uncles. Even now, I am forever learning something about the sport I cherish and many of you offer ideas and opinions that I appreciate...after hunting for fifty plus years and guiding for more than twenty! So today, tell me who your hunting heroes were/are and what was one major hunting lesson you learned from them. In my case, My dad taught me much as I stated, but one major lesson that has always stayed with me was to respect all life, and not to ever shoot anything I wasn't prepared to eat.
 

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My Father,
for getting me interested in the outdoors, teaching me to respect the land and of course buying me the guns...

And One Uncle in particular, who had the patience to allow me to follow him around alot in the fall...


Both gone but never forgot.
 

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My Dad without a doubt has had the biggest impact as a hunting mentor. He allowed me to tag along all fall even if it meant missing out on opportunities at game.

I had a flash back this week when I was out scouting with my 3 1/2 year old daughter in tow. She was having trouble keeping up when going through the thick stuff and started getting frustrated. To distract her, I started showing her the deer tracks and sign as we went along. Her frustration dissappeared and she could not wait to crawl over the next blow down.

I remember being in tears trying to keep up with my dad when I was 5 years old and him teaching the same lessons. It all comes full circle.
 

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My Dad got me started but really didn't "teach" me anything other than to sit still and shut up, which was good advice then and still is today. When I moved to Alberta I got hooked up with a couple of fellas, Terry Koski (the mountain man) and Pat Johnson. They kind of took me in as a 3rd wheel and over the course of 20 years taught me things that I don't even know they taught me. I suppose there is a lot of stuff that I think I figured out for myself that they probably pointed out to me without making it look like they were pointing it out to me. They let me make mistakes and laughed at me when I did and then let me figure it out, but they always invited me along. I learned an awful lot sitting around campfires in front of a tent at the bottom of some gawd awful climb without anybody doing any teaching. Learned a lot of stuff about things like, field repairs to vehicles, how to rig pulleys and snatchblocks properly, what and how to pack for an all day climb in the back country, whats good usful gear and whats crap that you don't need, how to pack an elk or a sheep down a mountain in as few trips as possible, how to stay warm in a tent at 10 below, how to look after horses in the field, how to rig a pack horse (or atv) properly and on and on and on. Even some stuff about actually hunting and animal behaviour between the getting in and getting out of places. Best times of my life and 2 of the best friends a guy could ever have.
 

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I didn't have any real personal "family" hunting mentors growing up. Dad did not take time from farming to "hunt" much. His idea of a deer hunt was maybe taking a "hope in hell" pot shot at a deer with a slug from an old 20 gauge single shot...while out driving the tractor in the woods. And usually missing it by a foot or two! I know he shot a few deer before I was born. But I do not remember him ever getting a deer while I was growing up.

My "mentors" if you will, were in the pages of my favorite hunting magazines. I had a subscriptions to many publications back when I started hunting at 16 years of age. Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, And my Favorite Petersen's Hunting magazine. I would spend hours, especially in the long cold winter nights following my hunting idols on trips all over the world in search of game. Old Jack O'Conner, John Whooters, Jim Carmichael, John Sundra, Clare Rees, Bob Haigle, Russel Anibel ( Great hunting stories from Alaska) Col. Charles Askins, Bob Milek, Peter Hathaway Capstick ( Great African Safari tales).

All of these outdoor writers, and many more not only gave me many hours of reading enjoyment and escape. But I also learned a great deal from them about Guns, Ballistics, Hunting, great hunting places around the world. And some valuable tips that I would add to my own self taught knowledge over the years. Those writers and their stories kept me sane through the trials of my teenage life. And gave me the drive to succeed at this hunting game.

But … I have left the most special outdoor writer mentor to me for the last. This guy was ..and still is (although he has become a little bit too "commercially motivated" now I would have to say) the one guy who gave me the most enjoyment reading his articles. And he is also the reason I got as "nuts" about hunting as I have.

His name is "Chuck Adams"! No one could write a hunting tale quite like Chuck. He was usually writing bow hunting articles, but way back, I read many articles of his pursuits of everything from waterfowl to rabbits.

I guess you can't really blame him for taking what endorsement $$
he can from the big company's now a days.
The way I see it.. he 's earned it for the many years he put in as a hard working outdoor writer. (dirty Job.. but someone's gotta do it.. right?)

So…"Thanks Chuck"!..Where-ever you are right now..(probably sharpening his broadheads).. for the many hours of enjoyable reading that helped make me the hunter and person that I am today.
 

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I am lucky to have grown up with a hunting family and hunting community.It seems like it was always around me and it filled my veins from an early start.I personally thank my dad for getting me out in the woods and the rest of my mentors for all the stories that are ingraved in my mind and help me hunt even now.I have learned some of my best techniques from an uncle i cant thank enough (ArcheryNut) gave some hints on hunting the big woods bucks of central NB that changed my hunting life forever.I seen the multiple large bucks he had hanging from every wall in his house and knew he was taking them the way i wanted too.I asked him for his secrets and the very first season after he gave me his stratagies i seen and ( shot at) one of the biggest bucks i ever saw and it continued year after year using a combination of techniques including his.Many of my mentors i'll never meet but whenever i need a lil help remembering their insight i have them in my library.RR
 

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My mentor was a family friend,sadly he passed on just a few short weeks ago.My dad didn't really hunt much so I didn't learn much from him,but our next door neighbour (family friend) was an avid hunter and fisherman.I learned a lot from him about hunting and fishing but most of my tactics I learned on my own.My friend will be missed dearly...may he rest in peace.
 

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I am lucky to have grown up with a hunting family and hunting community.It seems like it was always around me and it filled my veins from an early start.I personally thank my dad for getting me out in the woods and the rest of my mentors for all the stories that are ingraved in my mind and help me hunt even now.I have learned some of my best techniques from an uncle i cant thank enough (ArcheryNut) gave some hints on hunting the big woods bucks of central NB that changed my hunting life forever.I seen the multiple large bucks he had hanging from every wall in his house and knew he was taking them the way i wanted too.I asked him for his secrets and the very first season after he gave me his stratagies i seen and ( shot at) one of the biggest bucks i ever saw and it continued year after year using a combination of techniques including his.Many of my mentors i'll never meet but whenever i need a lil help remembering their insight i have them in my library.RR
"Thank You" Nephew.
There is something very special about taking a Big Mature Whitetail, in his big woods home turf, with just a compass(or gps)your rifle,..and your wits, and patience. I am glad you got to experience that thrill, because the big woods deer numbers dwindle more every year. Many years ago I traded that form of hunting, for bowhunting over bait. And even though I have to say I enjoy the bow and stand hunting immensely, I still at times truly miss stalking bucks one on one the old way.

You also became a skilled and successful Buck "tracker" as well, something that I never taught you, or perfected myself. So you should be proud of those accomplishments. Not everyone has the sheer dogged determination to pursue bucks in these ways in all kinds of weather, and conditions. This is the true essence of the hunting spirit.
 

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My Dad started me hunting by taking me with him starting when I was 5-6.
He let me shoot his guns every once in a while, and signed me up for hunter safety when I was 13.
2 of my uncles got me into bowhunting and were there when I shoot my first deer on my first evening hunt on the first day of deer season.
 

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For hunting it was my father and grandfather (moms father) and for flyfishing it was my father and my papa (dads father)

The all taught me how to respect the land and the animals on it. Also taught me 1 other thing that has stuck with me and always will and I will also be passing this on to my kids

fishing and hunting is much larger than just harvesting an animal or catching a fish. There is way more to hunting and fishing than just that.

Words to live by IMO.

As for shooting itself my best friend (brother I never had) is one of the best shots I have ever been around and he has taught me alot and in doing so we sure do punch alot of holes in paper but hell its fun and makes me much more confident when that heart starts pounding cause the animal you have been watching presents itself. The day my heart doesn't pound like crazy I will stop hunting.
My heart races even if its game I know I am not shooting.
 

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It was my grandfather who introduced me to the great outdoors at the age of 2. That was the year I got my first pair of camp boots. He would take me on a lot of hikes as a kid. I grew up with my mother and spent a lot of time by myself in the woods roaming around. My father was a hunter but I can only remember going out with him once as a child. At the age of 12 I started hanging out with a new friend. He didn't hunt himself but his father and mother who loved to hunt that got me hooked. I was always mesmerized by his big bucks that hung on his wall. From then on I have never looked back.
 
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