Contributors to this thread:
Christmas presents as a child
I am sure some of you guys ,received Christmas presents as a child , that helped spur your interests in hunting , as an adult . Let's hear them. I started a thread earlier,about getting a fiberglass bow i got at 11 years old, way back in 1966 . Surely i am not the only sentimental person here . LOL. It's not all about what you are killing now , but the adventures of life .
Peter Hathaway Capstick books as a kid in junior high. Made me dream of Africa and big game
“Bagged this 9 footer” reminds me of the 1970’s. My kids were small. I was running a trap line along the river we lived on. We lived in a mobile home at the time. My wife said it was time to get a Christmas tree. I said I know where there are few nice ones. I had seen them while checking my lines. I always carried my shotgun with me. This wasn’t planned , but probably the next day or so, I found myself near those trees. I forgot to bring a saw. I got this bright idea to shoot the tree. Can’t remember if it took one shot, two shots or more; but if you get a few inches from the tree with the barrel, it works like a charm. I shot the Christmas tree for the year. Whenever I came in from the trap line I would knock on the window. My wife would hold the kids up to show them what I caught that day. That day of the “tree killing” became a family tradition . When you live in a mobile home, it doesn’t require a big tree, so it worked great. My wife and I were both working at the time. When someone at work would ask her where we are getting our Christmas tree, my wife would say “ my husband shoots ours every year.. as our family grew, so did our houses. I continued to “harvest”; trees using that method for years. Can’t remember how long I did it, but it was fun..anyone else out there ever try that?? Merry Christmas everyone.
This is the kind of responses i was looking for LOL
The priceless looks on my sister in laws faces when gave my nieces and nephews BB guns for their 1st Christmas gifts.
I did get the daisy red ryder at 5or6 and had quite a bit of fun with that. More so than the BB gun was the excitement I had hoping for new fishing stuff every year. I remember putting one thing on my list one year and it was a double sided taklebox like my stepdad used. None of the boxes under the tree fit the shape of that tackle box and I had prepared myself for disappointment. Christmas morning came and there were no new boxes. How is a ten year old boy supposed to pretend to be excited when the one thing I wanted wasn’t there? We got all done and my stepdad “realized” he’d forgotten one last gift in the backseat of his old ford. It was a fully loaded double sided tacklebox just like his! I organized and reorganized that thing daily and couldn’t wait until spring so I could put it to work. Best gift ever and he actually took the time to take me fishing pretty much ever single weekend. I sure miss him and I still use that tacklebox!
When I was about 10 years old I got a Bear Red Fox bow for Christmas. I'd buy 49 cent wood arrows, the kind with the crimped-on steel point, from the local hardware store. Man, I shot the daylights out of that bow in the back yard. I'd take it down to the local creek and try to shoot carp. I don't think I ever came close to hitting one, but that didn't stop me from trying like crazy. In the spring, when flocks of birds would fly over the house heading north, I'd stand in our front yard and fling arrows at them, aiming so that (hopefully) the arrows would land in the back yard. Didn't hit any of those, either...lol. Years later I gave that bow to a young kid who lived next door, who used to watch me shoot and ask if he could try. Later on, I bought another Red Fox bow on Ebay, just for nostalgia.
I had dart guns and toy guns of all kinds. As an only child, I'd make paper targets to shoot darts at in the house on days when the weather wouldn't let me get outside. Anytime Mom had an empty plastic bottle, which weren't as common in the late 60's and early 70's, I'd claim it to tape my targets to. Made a great sound and went flying when hit solid with a dart. I stalked all kinds of big game, from lions to dinosaurs. We also had plastic blow-molded versions of cartoon characters. Some were kids shampoo bottles in the shape of popular cartoon characters. Top Cat and his buddies ended up on the wrong end of many a suction-cup dart back in the day.
Good times and great memories. Thanks for starting the topic. Merry Christmas to all.
Bear Kodiak hunter recurve when I was about 10. Marlin 336 35 Remington when I was 11. Every year since then it’s been something hunting or fishing related.
I got my Dads old single shot .410 when I was about 10 and a Browning Micro Midas when I was about 7....was hooked before that chasing critters since I could walk with my old man. Passing it down to my boy with a Red Ryder in the morning, and the .410 in a few years.
I would get a year’s subscription to Wyoming Wildlfe magazine from my grandparents when I was a kid. Kinda fell by the wayside through the years. Nearly 60yrs later, I recently subscribed again.
My BB Gun, probably 7-8. it was under teh couch wrapped and my sister found it. I was so excited, my Dad said are you sure it is yours, there is no name tag on it. I was crushed momentarily. Then he said it must be yours. I smiled form ear to ear.
when I was 11 years old Santa clause brought me a Shakespeare Fiberglas bow with 3 matching Fiberglas arrows for Christmas. Within a week I had my first kill, a barnyard chicken. Got an unbelievable butt whipping for killing my uncles’s chicken. Been hooked on bowhunting/archery ever since. That was 60 Christmases ago !!
Daisy BB gun at 4 - Harrington & Richardson single shot 16 gauge at 10.
Yep, got the BB gun and later on a 35lb fiberglass bow. I lived out in the country on a small farm. Had a blast killing things.
While it wasn't actually a Christmas gift, I did want a bow so badly that I sold personalized Christmas cards door to door when I was 10 or 11 in order to earn enough credits to buy a 35 LB fiberglass bow kit through a catalog, which started my lifelong interest in archery and bowhunting.
40 years ago my uncle gave me a hatchet that he engraved my initials into, still makes it along most every camping/hunting trip. Uncle Vic rescued me from the farm a couple weekends a year. He is 84 now and I can't wait to pay him a visit next week.
I’d say my uncle giving me my first PSE now that could go to 40lbs when I was 11. I could finally bow hunt in Arkansas for deer. I’d rifle hunted already but I wanted to be just like my uncle and hunt bow season too! I hope someday soon I can get him up to Alaska to do a dream hunt to pay him back for sparking that fire in me that has never left.
I grew up pretty poor with a family of 6 and my Dad being a career Military man (Air Force), so we would make crafts for gifts, one year we made stick bows out of branches and arrows too.
Man, I wish I had those pix from back then but those old 110 camera's didn't take pix that wouldn't fade over time.
Good luck, Robb
Leg hold traps were always under the tree Christmas morning. Snowshoes were a big hit one year.
And of course, a couple 100 rounds of 22 bullets were always in the stocking.
My brothers and I always got fishing gear for Christmas and we were gone from dawn till dark fishing all year round. Then we got our first all fiberglass bows at around 20#, mine was the heavyweight at 25#. We and Our Nieghbors were like a band of mongols roaming the woods and creeks. Shooting at anything that moved. There weren’t many deer around in the 60s and early 70s so when a friend shot a doe it was a huge deal. I went to help him go find it. We had no idea what to expect or a clue what we were doing. When we got close it would run off before we could see it making a mortifying sound. I was scared silly. I asked if he shot a sheep because I had no idea Deer made that sound when hit in the wrong spot. We eventually found it dead. He was the Bwana of our little tribe for years to come. Killing a few deer with his recurve before any of us ever had a chance. We didn’t have any money but man did I have a great childhood.
We grew up on blueberry barrens. Every a Christmas we got a dungaree jacket to wear while burning and a pair of work boots. That was it. Christmas was mainly church and a huge meal with two geese and all the fixings. An old lady down the road would give my brothers and I a toy each year because we helped her out. We really looked forward to that. Guns and bows were hand me downs or we bought them with money from selling blueberries we picked after the main crop was harvested. I grew up in a poor area and though my father was a wealthy doctor and landowner, he didn’t flaunt it. He and my mother started out dirt poor and never forgot it.
Some great responses here. Got your memory banks flowing. Seems like so many of us grew up in the 60's and 70's, that are on this forum. Many of us here grew up ,not given everything we WANTED ,but I think that made us want to achieve in life and be self sufficient. Maybe some of the young people today ,would be better adults ,if they grew up like we did. Not saying all younger people are not workers but things are different now ,than when when we get up. Seems like what he had when younger was appreciated more then. Got a folding Buck knife when I was a teenager one Christmas. Still carry it to this day when hunting . Still have my first two bows and my hand me down guns that my Dad gave me over the years.
BB gun will make everyone’s list. It’s like a right of passage.
Next was my first pocket knife, again a right of passage. We were out shooting my brothers new Christmas shotgun when it fell out of my camo vest pocket in the middle of a hay field. When most would say screw it, it’s lost, I spent hours looking and finally found it. Still have it.
Bolt-action Sako .22 that was built like a big game rifle. Scope and all. It taught me to shoot a rifle well. Upgraded to a Leupold VX-3 with turrets and shoot it regularly in a friend’s .22 shoots where we shoot out to 150+ yards. Still shoots like a dream.
.308 Win Jarrett custom rifle on a Mel Forbes’ ULA action. Local oilman donated it to a local RMEF banquet and no one knew what it was, so it went for a song. Family friend bought it because he knew someone would want it. I shot a lot of animals with it over the years. The rifle went to Botswana 1x, Zimbabwe 2x, Vancouver Island in BC, multiple Western States, and Alaska.
The oilman got such a kick out of me having his gun that we developed a small friendship. He had Superior Ammunition load my rounds for my first African trip to ensure I had the best hunt possible. He passed some years ago but when I meet his relatives, I am proud to tell them I have one of his rifles and it has done quite well for me over the years.
As for the friend who bought the rifle at auction, fast forward 15 years and he helped me develop loads and set my turrets for my Dall Sheep hunt. We laughed and thought you never dreamed you’d be doing this after stumbling upon this rifle all those years ago. After we got it dialed-in, he was quick to say he regretted getting rid of the gun! Yes, the Dall hunt was a success.
Like so many others on here, my Red Ryder BB gun was the first weapon of significance, however, I got a .177 single pump pellet gun the following Christmas and it was a night and day difference maker accuracy and power wise. I was pure death on sparrows and pigeons, along with the occasional rabbit or squirrel and song bird. I remember walking out to the barn after dark with my older brother, flashlight in hand. There would be 4-5 cats following close behind us, knowing that a feast was soon to follow.
The other one that sticks in my mind was my first .22 rifle when I was 10. Winchester model 9422 with a not-so high dollar Weaver 4x scope on it. My dad would have gone broke had he not rationed out the shells for that thing! The limit for squirrels growing up was 6, so that’s how many shells that he would divvy out to me. Once in awhile he would give me a full box and it would rarely not come home empty. Some great memories, guys!
Edit: Just read kscowboy’s post and reminded me of one other early gift. I got a Kampking pocket knife. Similar to a Swiss Army knife. I decided that I wanted to try whittling. Dad cut me some Basswood, which is pretty soft. I was going to make a spoon. Ten minutes into my first whittling session I sliced my index finger pretty good. After getting bandaged up and a fairly minor butt chewing, I was back at it. 15 minutes later Mom was bandaging up the second self inflicted wound about an inch further up on the same finger! I never DID see that knife again......but still have the scars!! :-)
I was raised on a dairy farm and we never had any money , but there was a couple Christmas that the farm had good years and the gifts at Christmas were way above the standard. One was when I was about 8 years old . Both me and my brother got fiberglass bows from sears . I have been hooked every since. Great year .
I got an old Jennings compound bow for Christmas when I was 10 and it was my 1st big boy bow. When I was 13 my brother and I got a small aluminum boat with a 9.9 Chrysler outboard motor on it As a present from mom and dad for Christmas. We spent many hundreds of hours on small lakes and rivers in that rig.
My uncle, when I was about seven or eight bought me a book. The complete book of hunting. I was already a hunter at that time although I didnt come from a family that hunted. I read the book so many times as child that the spine is worn through...I think this was actually after my first bows and pellet guns ect
Some food for thought on what my dad told me after I came home for Christmas after graduation and having my first real job. “Christmas doesn’t mean what it used to mean for you going forward. See, now if you really want something, you can get it yourself. Christmas was always the opportunity growing up for others to provide you with something you couldn’t possibly obtain yourself. It was beyond your reach. Now, if you want it, go get it.”
I thought those were some quality words of wisdom. I still think about these words.
Got my Red Ryder at age 10. Went out and shot a Sparrow, held it in my hand and cried. In hindsight it was reverence for the life I took but sure did create a flood of emotions.
Lever 22 at age 8. Changed life
I have one more, When I was 18 times were tough. We never wanted but always had what we needed and Dad and Mom, always found a little more. I worked my butt off that year, at home, logging with a John Deere A and home made wood dray, trapping to help out, prices were good. For Christmas I wasn't expecting much, there was one package left under the tree. It was for me, i opened up and it was a brand new pair of Chippewa Minus Forty Boots. Top of the line and $100.00 a pair. If I recall I was so proud and happy, just couldn't believe it. Still own them, had them resoled, don't really wear them but to me the best gift Mom and Dad ever gave me. Thanks Mom and Dad.
I was 11 or 12, I got a very used Bear Whitetail, after my Dad watched me have so much fun at a friend’s house shooting a old Jennings bow. That started a lifetime of bow hunting and archery lifestyle. My Dad still bowhunts at 77 and he just left my house after exchanging hunting related gifts, while my 16 year old son is in a tree stand about 200 yards from here with a bow in his hand. Funny how one gift 40 years ago can change history.
The most memorable present for me was a bear recurve when I was 10 or 11. That was in the mid 70s and Fred Bear was on TV from time to time. That is what has motivated me as a Bowhunter.
I got a wooden stick bow with wood arrows when I was 6 or 7 (1951 or 1952). I shot that bow just about every day of the week for years. Use to kill gophers and small birds with it.
When I was 13 my Mother and stepfather bought this browning nomad XL for Christmas. Without it, I might've never started bowhunting when I got out of the Navy in 1990. A year later, I took this button buck on public land East of Norman, OK. The fire was lit. I still have that bow! Forever grateful!
I got a new catchers mitt for Christmas when I was 9! Trying to delay new knees for a few more Christmases!
Remington 870 youth model 20 ga. when I was 12, I’m 36 now and it’s still the only shotgun I use for everything.
When I was 12 I was saving up to by a Schwann 10 speed which I had on layaway at a local bike shop. As I recall it was $110 which was a whole lot of money for a kid with a small paper route. Think I had $50 toward it at Christmas 1971. Was hoping to pay it off by the next June1972. Christmas morning no presents for me. After all my brothers and sisters were passed their presents out my Dad says John think I forgot yours downstairs. I ran down the cellar and there was my Schwinn continental 10 speed in cool lemon. I was on top of the world!!
Remington 870 Express 20 Gauge when I was 11. Still have it 25years later.
When I was 11 ish I hinted for a 22. Box showed up under tree just the right size. Turned out to be a pogo stick! I remember being really disappointed and not hiding it well. Got a nice lever action he next year.
Had a grey Fiberglas dual shelf bear recurve many years before that that was a Christmas present. Don’t know how old I was but I’ve been an archer since.
Remington 870 Express 20 Gauge when I was 11. Still have it 25years later.
My dad made my brother and I a wooden bow each one christmas. Two more brothers in the family but they weren’t as in to the hunting thing so it was me and Adam with the bows. Boy were we excited. We shot them in the basement, and I believe it was the very next day, a neighbour kid, quite a bit older than me, came over and pulled mine back to his ears and the bow flew into about 100 pcs. Not too terribly long after that, adams broke too. We got fibreglass replacements, but I wish the wood ones would have held up. Having your dad make you something is pretty special.
Black Plastic Roy Rodgers lever action [non working]win. 94 5th grade. Always been my favorite gift and I'm 76 y.o.