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Author Topic: I miss the old way of deer hunting.  (Read 11691 times)

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #75 on: July 23, 2019, 03:38:05 PM »

Im sure I've told this one on here before but maybe not :dunno: This is not my Story but one that was told to me by my cowboy friend, backed up with a picture that hung in his living room for years. I will try to tell it as best as I can remember. He was asked years ago to take some photographers and a writer from Outdoor Life magazine up into an area to get some pictures and write a story about a small little "turf war" I guess you would call it between Canada and the U.S about deer that were migrating from Canada into the U.S way up around the headwaters of the Chewuch up in 30 mile turf. He drove them up there in his truck as far as they could get up there in November, it was a pretty mild November at that point and he thought they could get pretty far in. He said they turned up a particular drainage and went in about a mile when he spotted a HUGE buck down in a hole off to the side of the truck, the big buck was laying down the hill aways and he told the photographer to get out and get some pictures of that big boy. The picture taker had a pretty expensive set up my friend said, he grabbed everything and instead of just taking some pictures he decided to go down the hill aways, sliding in the loose rock and gravel on his way. My buddy said he didn't go to far when the big buck stood up, he said he had a neck on him like a 55 gal drum and was not happy with this guy disturbing him, about 10 does busted out of the brush in all directions but the buck stood his ground. My buddy said he yelled at the guy to "get his a$$ back up the hill, now", the guy did an about face and scrambled the 20 feet or so back up the hill with the buck moving right behind him, the photographer ran around the back of the truck to the other side as the buck rammed the side of the truck leaving a dent and huge holes in the side of the truck. priceless memories.

Offline Alchase

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2019, 05:35:00 AM »
Keep them coming Bigmacc, all we need is a campfire and it would be perfect, LOL
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The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

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Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #77 on: July 24, 2019, 09:29:34 PM »
Paul (the commercial fisherman friend of my grandparents, AKA the superman of the Methow) used to have one spot he would hunt and I mean ONE SPOT. The whole time I remember Paul during his time of hunting and hearing the stories my dad would tell of him when he was in his prime, he had a favorite spot. I mentioned it in another memory of the old camp, he would see over a thousand deer siting in this spot over a 5-6 day period when the weather was kicking the deer in the butt, the draw was in a direct line with one of the best migration corridors in the valley IMHO. I remember as a boy Paul coming back to camp after dark(after being gone since 3 or 4 in the AM), grabbing a bite to eat and me waiting intensely by the fire for him to come sit and tell us what he seen that day. He talked with a slavic accent and had a real deep voice and everyone that knew him could listen to him for hours, the way he talked and how he sounded was captivating. Paul came and sat by the fire and told us he had seen 160 that day with 14 of those being bucks, the weather was dropping snow up high for the last week and the migration was in full swing. Paul continued his story of the day by saying as of that day he had seen over 800 deer come by his spot with over 50 of those being bucks, it was his 4th day at his spot! Nothing was of his liking so far I guess and no one knew why he wasn't pulling the trigger. Pauls spot was about a 4 mile hike directly out of camp and to the north, a few days later I remember playing in the snow at camp and hearing a shot come from that direction, my mom asked "do you know who that was?", I remember saying "Paul got one!". Paul hauled his buck out on his back(nothing unusual, hence The Superman of The Methow nickname :chuckle:) and when we heard him coming down the trail a lot of us young ones couldn't wait to see what Superman was packing out. Well he came through the thicket and on his back was a 230 lb 2 point! Yep a 2 point, it was a huge 2 point I remember them saying it was about 26'' wide and I remember the horns being thick. Paul had seen over 50 bucks come through his spot that week and that was THE ONLY 2 point he had seen, all the bucks he was seeing were 3 points and bigger with a total of 3 or 4 being spikes. He was holding out for a 2 point because a few weeks earlier his wife had given birth to twins, 2 girls and he wanted a buck that would remind him of the time. After time Paul basically just came to camp just to be at camp in his older years, he would just ride his tote goat around from tent to tent and camp spot to camp spot and BS with anyone that would listen and we all did listen, I miss him till this day. I also to this day try to make one trip to his spot every season, taking my grandkids out there and showing and telling them the history of that spot. Years ago I remember going out there after Paul had stopped going, back in the 70,s I remember seeing a few hundred come through there on particular years and I have killed many nice bucks out there with a few being some real dandys. It started slowing down of corse during the 90,s just like the rest of the valley and now days even in mid-late November I will go over after the season has ended and its been dumping up high for days, I'll hike out to the spot and be lucky if I see 20 deer off and on during the whole day, I went out there 3 years ago after a series of storms had dropped feet of snow up high, went out there a couple days after the storms and sat in the spot for 4-5 hours, 3 days straight and seen 57 deer come through and 6 of those were bucks, same circumstances, same spot, same amount of days back in the 70,s, 80,s and 90,s would have produced 300-400 and back in the 40,s 50,s and 60,s would have showed you 600-700. You see the trend.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 08:23:29 AM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #78 on: July 25, 2019, 03:28:25 PM »
My last one for awhile, some of my fondest memories of the Little Bellingham Camp back in the day was how everyone pitched in and how everyone had each others back(as I've mentioned before), from packing deer to helping set up a camp or break one down, it truly was like a community of good neighbors. One year back in the mid 60,s (I believe) my dad brought over a fella who had just married my moms sister, he was from Arizona and had moved up here a year earlier. He was an experienced hunter and had killed numerous bucks in northern Arizona. The weather was perfect for the migration, temps were cold and storm after storm was hitting at all elevation. I remember at camp (about 3300 feet) we had about a 5-6" of snow on the ground, we were about in the middle of the window of opportunity for the migration, it was at peak swing. My dad had an idea for Rich(my new uncle), my dad and 4 others to go hit another area he knew of about 15 miles south of camp, they all loaded up in a couple rigs and off they went. They got to a trailhead my dad knew of(kind of the back way into this area) and they all headed in for about a 6 mile hike, it was about 6 in the AM, my dad wanted to go in at daylight because it was good hunting all the way in to the destination. Sure enough about a mile into the hike they started spotting deer, then more and more, by the time they made it in they had seen about 250 deer, all does not a horn anywhere, 90% of the deer were bedded and never got up, they layed on small fingers about 100-150 yards away on both sides of the trail. The majority of the deer were in about a 2 mile stretch of trail and my dad said there were probably hundreds more they couldn't see that were farther off or bedded in thickets, they were walking through a staging area, my dad knew that but figured the deer would have moved out by then because of the weather, where they were it was below zero and about a foot and a half of hard crusty snow was on the ground. They got to the spot and spread out about 100 yards or so apart watching 2 huge football field sized meadows, each person looking at it from different angles and vantage points, my dad had done the same thing in the same spot a few years earlier with 4 guys and they knocked down 4 huge bucks in a 3 hour period, 3 of the bucks were traveling together and were all dropped at the same time while the 4th one was killed while they were cutting up the other 3 about an hour later! Rich was about 100 or so yards to my dads left sitting on the other side of a small finger watching an entrance into the huge opening, my dad could not see him. A few hours went by and nothing was stirring, lots of tracks in the snow going through the openings but they were days old. All the guys met up to start the hike out except for Rich, my dad walked over to where he was and no one home. They called for him and no answer a couple hours went by and they started a HUGE bonfire they said was visible from miles away, 3 of the guys headed out on a shorter trail to get back to the main road while my dad and another guy stayed back, they had followed footprints in the snow and lost them in a couple different boulder fields and dense thickets full of blow downs. The other 3 went down in record time, rounded up about 20 more Little Bellingham residents along with notifying authorities and headed back in, it was pitch dark and cold. They gathered at the big bonfire while some went out with lanterns and flashlights and those at the fire would sound off signal shots every now and then, nothing. The next day in the afternoon Rich was found on a dirt road by another hunter, wandering down the road dazed, lost and all but naked, frostbite on his lips and cheeks, 2 or 3 fingers and some toes. He was 9 miles from the small finger he was sitting on. They took him to their camp and put him in a tent while someone else hauled a$$ to get help(no cell phones then). The folks that found him said he claimed he had seen "aliens and a spaceship" and fought them off using his rifle as a club the night  he was lost and wandering in the woods, when found he had nothing but his long johns on and a pair of socks, no hat, rifle or his backpack. He fully recovered loosing only 1 finger and a toe and later on in life was very embarrassed by the ordeal but did not remember much of it, probably because of panic and shock. A few days later my dad and a couple others went in the short way and went looking for his stuff, my dad had a good idea of the way he went after he was found where he was. About 4 hours of wandering they found his rifle, completely busted apart laying next to a car sized boulder, about another 200 yards of following his trail his backpack was found then a few hundred yards further were different items of clothing scattered along about a 100 yard path then a few miles more of a zig zagging trail they popped out onto an old skid road and followed it another mile or so to the main road. He was very, very lucky, under those conditions he very easily could have died. A few years later he admitted to my dad he had taken some prescription diet pills for the first time earlier in the morning before they headed out, could have been the cause of the hysteria :dunno:, don't know. My dad said the huge boulder his rifle was laying next to had scratches and signs of being "smacked" with something, my dad figured that boulder was "the spaceship" he had seen in the dark, not a shot was fired from his rifle but it was completely destroyed from pounding on the boulder.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 05:27:06 PM by bigmacc »

Offline HillHound

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #79 on: July 25, 2019, 05:31:17 PM »
 bigmac  your stories are great. They just keep getting better. I find myself getting on here hoping that you have let us see another peek into your great adventures in what was definitely a much different time.
I canít imagine what they put in those diet pills now not to mention what they would have been putting in them then! :yike:

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2019, 08:27:53 PM »
bigmac  your stories are great. They just keep getting better. I find myself getting on here hoping that you have let us see another peek into your great adventures in what was definitely a much different time.
I canít imagine what they put in those diet pills now not to mention what they would have been putting in them then! :yike:

Thank you, like I,ve said before, right around 58 years history for me (that I remember anyways :chuckle:) and 102 years total for my family, yep a lot was seen, done, attempted and sometimes successfully completed during those 102 years, lots of priceless memories and yes it was a different time.

Offline JakeLand

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2019, 09:59:32 PM »
bigmac  your stories are great. They just keep getting better. I find myself getting on here hoping that you have let us see another peek into your great adventures in what was definitely a much different time.
I canít imagine what they put in those diet pills now not to mention what they would have been putting in them then! :yike:

Thank you, like I,ve said before, right around 58 years history for me (that I remember anyways :chuckle:) and 102 years total for my family, yep a lot was seen, done, attempted and sometimes successfully completed during those 102 years, lots of priceless memories and yes it was a different time.
you should really put a book together! Pics would be a total bonus!!! I would just a couple
Thanks and keep on typing
Jake

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #82 on: July 26, 2019, 11:44:48 AM »
Seriousely, this is my last "missing the old days of deer hunting" stories for awhile, you don't know how long this takes, one finger at a time :chuckle:. One of my favorite stories of my great grandparents that my dad told and happened back in the 50,s(I was there but to young to remember it), like I said it was one of my dads favorites , I,ve probably told it here somewhere before but its worth repeating. As best as I remember my dad said it was a beautiful couple weeks in the Methow, it had snowed earlier then cleared up and stayed right around freezing for days and days, lots of sun and beautiful blue skies. One day in the afternoon grandma and grandpa packed a lunch and took a hike out into an area that was very open with sagebrush knobs and nice views, they weren't expecting to see anything but took a rifle with them just in case. They made it out there after about a 3-4 mile walk down a popular trail used by a lot of the Little Bellingham bunch and as they got close they could here motor bikes. They noticed a couple boys from camp that were in there early teens riding in figure eights around a big sagebrush knob. They watched the 2 boys going round and round enjoying themselves on a nice springlike day when grandpa noticed the tips of an antler in the tall brush, he motioned for the boys to come to them. They rode their bikes to them and grandpa asked if either of them had a tag, if I remember right both had already got deer or they didn't have tags and their parents were not at camp, they had went fishing. Grandpa said "theres a buck laying in there right in the middle of where you guys are riding", the boys looked in astonishment at the horns sticking up out of the sage less than 100 yards away. They had been riding around there for quite awhile and the buck never moved and was never noticed. Well grandpa had grandma get ready, he gave a couple grunt sounds and the big buck stood up and grandma killed it, within seconds A SECOND BUCK stood up that they didn't see, could have been a twin to the first, grandma slowly handed the rifle to grandpa and he killed that one. Those bucks must have figured they were hid or trapped and were not going to give themselves away. Heres the eerie thing about "that spot", I and a friend went out to that same knob 30 years or so later, sat right on the exact spot those bucks were killed, we went into it 2 hours before light. I sat on one side of the knob and he was about 20 feet away on the other side, we could not see each other even when its light because of the knob and we were both watching areas the other could not see. We both went to sleep knowing we had a couple hours till shooting time. We actually woke up late, we missed the "golden hour", and then I hear a very faint whisper, "get over here", I crawl quietly the 20 feet to my friend knowing he sees something, when I get to him he is hunkered down hugging the ground, I do the same. He whispers and uses hand motions that "theres 2 bucks laying down the hill less than 20 yards from us". We both got ready, SLOWELY raised up to our knees and killed both 4 points in there beds without them even knowing we were there, both bucks were quartered away looking the opposite direction. They must have moved in when it was dark and we were asleep and bedded down. I have got another story from the old deer camp that is similar that I will tell later, its one that makes you shake your head and say "well I guess that kind of stuff does happen"

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #83 on: July 26, 2019, 05:10:04 PM »


Sorry, I got to tell this one, only because it didn't really happen that long ago and there may be some on here that actually remember the "broad story" of this, my part of the story is actually a reaction to the main story I guess you would say, or at least its a side story. I,m thinking it was during the 80,s :dunno:, it was bluebird weather and had been for a few years, Sullivans was dried up and if I remember right we were in the midst of the "draught" period in the Methow. I remember I hunted the whole season in a pair of Wranglers, a t-shirt and a pair of Pony tennis shoes, only wearing a coat in the wee hours of the morning while getting to different haunts, when the sun was up it was balmy, vacation weather. Well I think there was around 20 of us in Little Bellingham that year, the hay-days were long gone but we did have a few deer hanging when a Game dept fella we knew came up to camp to BS and mentioned someone was stealing deer out of camps, just cutting them down from ridgepoles at night and disappearing, if I remember right it was happening not just up north but up and down the valley. I think it was the last 3 or 4 days of the season and we were filled up despite the weather, I think it was on Thursday 2 fellas pulled in a 100 feet or so away from us with a small tent, they yelled over "ok to camp here", we said sure. After they got set up they came over and BS,d with us, nice guys I remember, they told us they worked for Boeing and were on strike so they had a "vacation" and decided to come hunting. One guy was probably in his 30,s and the other looked a bit younger, they had never hunted the area, heck, they had never been to the Methow, they had heard of it after the pass had opened years earlier and them and there wives had drove over in the late 70,s and they had not been back since. Well they had no idea where to hunt or where they were even at for that matter,  after seeing about 5 bucks hanging(the rest had went home)they flat out asked "where did you get those", I told them of a spot about 10 miles away that was easy to get to, and wasn't giving away any secrets, in fact it was hunted by a few and every now and then a buck was killed there but it was easy to get to and was easy access. The 2 guys spent the night at our fire and were good folks, it was late, we told them good luck and they left to hit the sack. The next day rolled around and we were just "camping" in the beautiful weather, someone said "those guys arnt back", it was late afternoon but I knew they were ok, no way they could get "turned around" were I sent them. Just before dark they rolled in hooping and hollering out the window of their rig, they backed up near the ridge pole and proceeded to pull out a HUGE buck(if I remember right it was a non-typical and had like 14 on 1 side and 12 on the other, just a freak)and it dropped to the ground. We beat feet over there and they were more excited than any one I had ever seen shooting a buck and I have seen many young, old and in between who have killed there first buck but this was the most over the top but it was warranted, the dang thing was huge. They told the story. They had went to the spot I told them of, slipped down the hill aways, spread out a bit a hunkered down, everything I told them to do. Well they fell asleep, woke up somewhere around 10 o'clock because the sun was beating down on them and one of them sat up and was taking his boots off to just sit in the sun with his shoes off when he looked down hill and this monster was laying down the hill at about 50 yards! Looking the other way, the buck had no idea these 2 guys were above them! They were both shooting 30-30,s and shot a total of 17 shots to kill this buck, we heard the whole story. Now this was a huge buck, I've seen many huge bucks but I aint kidding you this was a DANDY. We told them of what was going on with deer getting swiped off of ridgepoles and what happened next was unbelievable. We went back to camp and after awhile one of the guys left and the other stayed at camp, he sat in a lawn chair with his 30-30 at his side, a few hours later his friend showed up, it was late and we went to bed. When we woke up the next morning I looked over to see the monster hanging in the tree, he was still there totally wrapped in about 40 feet of heavy chain and numerous paddle locks, gods truth. No body was gonna steal THAT buck,..... never seen those guys again :chuckle:

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #84 on: July 26, 2019, 05:26:53 PM »

There are a couple guys on here that know some of this, not all, but some, they are pretty quiet and I respect that, but, when I,m gone its all here, so now I don't have to do this twice :chuckle:, you know what I mean, thats dad telling me to "be smart and think before you do something stupid". Everything is ok, no need to call :chuckle: :chuckle:

Offline hardrichard

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #85 on: July 26, 2019, 05:57:46 PM »
Hey Bigmacc am glad all is well :tup: I pipe in from time to time and like many on here love reading your stories and ill tell you folks there legit and special and even better in person around a campfire after a long days hunt and a cold one in hand :chuckle: I know I cherish those days for sure :tup: take care my friend nothing but love brother :)

Offline WildlifeAssassin

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #86 on: July 26, 2019, 06:21:58 PM »
Great stories, thanks for sharing, very entertaining.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #87 on: July 30, 2019, 02:26:18 PM »
I miss those years that made you shake your head and say to yourself or anyone who would listen for that matter, "Man, that will never happen again". Back in the 70,s 4 of us headed over driving 2 rigs loaded to the gills with all our gear, tents ,stoves,  food, etc, etc, etc, the 2 big Fords were full cab high and all the way out to the opened tailgate. Most of little Bellingham had been there for a few weeks and a lot had already went home, the 4 of us could only get a week off that year so we went over for the last week. The migration was in full swing because of a few storms that were dumping up high one after another. Well we made it over the North cascades and somewhere on the east slope I had to "do some "business" so we pulled over and I dropped over the bank about 30 feet and got myself into some thick stuff and while there looked to my right at some movement and noticed a bunch of deer slowly moving across a hillside about 60-70 yards away, the herd had a couple small bucks and then bringing up the rear was a monster, the deer didn't see me so I quietly moved up the hill pulled my rifle from the gun rack and made my way back down the hill, the deer had moved aways up a draw but were just poking along. At this point I had went in and down maybe 60 or 70 yards were I could look better up into the draw when all the sudden I jumped a bigger buck who was laying next to a big deadfall probably 20 feet from me, scared the crap out of me cause I swear it sounded like a bomb went off when he busted out. I threw my rifle up and put a round at the base of his scull, the bullet exited through the bridge of his nose and dropped him in his tracks. We got him out in 2 pieces, we threw him on the back of the tailgate and tied him on with some twine I had under my seat(all our rope was buried) and off we went. We came into Winthrop when my buddy started flashing his lights at me, I pulled over by the old John Wayne building and got out only to look back and see my buddy parked in the middle of the road and my buck laying in the street, the "twine" had snapped. It was about 8 or 9 in the Am and luckily no one was in town to see the fiasco. We got him loaded back up and continued. We got off pavement and I wanted to check and make sure everything was secured before we hit rougher roads so I pulled into the rifle range, there were about 10 or 12 guys there shooting and we parked over to the side, me and another guy started lashing the buck down better(a HUGE 3 by 3, wide, tall and thick) when the other 2 guys came over and said "look up under that tree to the left", we did and could see a buck laying there all by himself less than a hundred yards from the "war zone". My buddy got into his truck, got his binos out and put glasses on the buck, it was a big 4 by 4. This is where it gets good :chuckle:. Well, he got his rifle out of the gun rack, waited for a cease fire and everyone went down to check targets and after everyone got back(about 15 minutes later) one of the guys claimed "the range was hot". My buddy took a chair all the way at the left end, put a couple sand bags down as the rest of us watched the buck under the tree. Everyone was shooting and no one had a clue when my buddy squeezed one off, the buck died in his bed, about a150 yard broadside shot. After about another 20 minutes or so some one asked for a cease fire and everyone headed downrange to check their targets, we did the same, only veered slightly to the left and up hill aways. By now a few guys had noticed us going off track and were wondering what we were using as a target, we grabbed the buck and hauled him back to the parking lot and gutted him there at the range, not a guy there could believe what they were seeing. Now we had to get this buck loaded, we ended up putting him on top of the load in my buddies truck, we looked like the Beverly hillbillies leaving that place with 2 huge bucks added to the mess :chuckle:. This is a true story, you can't make this stuff up, after about driving 2 miles on a pretty rough road we pulled over to check our "lash up" when one of the guys looked up the hill to see what turned out to be a 5 by 5 trotting broadside at about 100 yards, he grabbed his gun out of the rack, dropped a round in to his rifle, and started up hill after him. He got up hill quite aways and we lost track of him and then a few minutes later we hear a boom and then crashing and stuff breaking like a boulder rolling down hill to our right, then quiet. About 20 minutes later he comes into view and walks downhill to the truck like nothing had happened, he checks his rifle, puts it back in the gun rack and says "I missed him" lets go. We got everything checked out, loaded up and headed down the road for the last 6-7 miles to camp, we get up around the corner and theres the buck laying in the middle of the road! He killed the dang thing as it was quartering away from him going up hill, he dropped it about 150 yards up hill and it was steep, that darned thing rolled all the way down hill and over the bank and onto the road just the way my buddy said he planned it :chuckle:. NOW, we load that deer onto the "traveling fiasco" and finally role into camp with 3 huge bucks before a tent was even up, the next morning the 4th guy went out of camp late(we all slept in) and didn't make it 100 yards out of camp when we heard a BOOM, we knew it was him and we took off up the trail to see him off to the left gutting another big 4 by 4. Its a good thing we brought fishing poles that year, we got a lot of fishing in :tup:..........That WAS the Methow folks, pre wolf and  pre predator explosion. Sometimes it was almost unbelievable unless you were there to actually experience some of this, some of the stories my dad and grandparents would tell from the teens, 20, 30,s and 40,s top some of my experiences by a mile. A few of them I have already told, there truly are to many to tell let alone remember.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 03:59:28 PM by bigmacc »

Offline grundy53

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #88 on: July 30, 2019, 06:24:35 PM »
Thanks for the stories Bigmacc! They are great!

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Offline DeerSkin

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Re: I miss the old way of deer hunting.
« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2019, 03:25:49 PM »
Where are all the old school hunting pictures? Come on guys I know you got them, letís see! :tup:

 


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