Got my first deer rifle at age 14. A Model 96 Swede sporterized by a budding "gunsmith". Still have it; my only bolt gun. Wish I had left it alone.
I had the same, a 94 in .32 Special at 12 years old. When I started hunting my dad got himself a new gun (BLR in .308) and I got his 1954 vintage Model 94. I've still got it and take it out to play once in a while. One of the funnest guns I own and one with some of the best memories attached.Model 94 Winchester, .32 Win Special. I was the proudest 12 year old you ever saw. That rifle was stolen what I was 15, my Dad bought me a Model 70 30-06 to replace it.
You might recall me posting back in September that I finally replaced the Model 94 Still makes me smile.
Nope, NJ is still shot gun only. Buck shot or rifle slugs only.When I was growing up in NYS the deer heard was still trying to recover and I was still learning how not to scare them all away. So the hunting I did in the 1960s and early 1970s never put venison in the freezer. Then we moved to NJ and the buckshot only regulations. I remember using Grandpa's old Savage 311? that he had about half a dozen notches in the wood. The first deer I shot with that had one pellet in the knee, enough to bring it down along with others in places you'd never want to shoot. I believe they have finally dropped that regulation after I left there for Illinois, another shotgun only state . States on both sides of us allow rifles but not here. My first deer gun here was the evolution of a field gun that would shoot slugs well. My first attempt was with an Ithaca 37 with mod choke and double beeds. That was good for a miss on a rather long shot. Then and 870 ribbed with a mod choke with some clamp on adjustable sights. That gave it the accuracy I needed and won me some cash at a club slug shoot using plates at 25,50 and 75 yds. I won over folks with scoped shotguns and custom bolt shotguns but never took a deer with it until years later when I got to hunt a family farm. I borrowed a rifled 870 barrel and put a nice Burris 2x on it. Lightfield was the hot brand back then even though they changed the load every year for about 3 straight making me have to buy more to sight in. I eventually put a 24" Mossberg rifled barrel on it along with a beautiful stock and forearm I bought while passing through Illion, NY that must have come off a competition trap gun which worked well with my scope. That combination took many deer in Pike County, Illinois until I discovered the range and accuracy of an in line Knight Disc Elite. I wish they would have allowed at least lever action rifles for deer. We all had our hopes up a few times but they never could get it passed.