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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.
 

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A Pre-64 Winchester Model 94 Carbine in 30-30, when I was 12 years old, was my first "Deer" rifle. Dad bought it to hunt with and then gave it to me. I was manufactured in the same year I was born, per the S/N. I picked it up from the local gunsmith when I was about 30 years old after having a new firing pin installed, tucked it in the gunrack behind the folding seat of my old 59 GMC truck and went to work. I was filling in for one of my line foremen on the 2nd shift and when we all left at 10:00pm we realized that all 35 cars in the parking lot had been robbed, including my old truck. They got my rifle and that was the hardest conversation I ever had with my Dad, telling him about it being stolen. My two grown sons found another Model 94 that was gently used, but hardly any blueing left so they had it cerakoted black and the gunsmith also reworked the wood. Gave it to me on my 50th birthday and Ill never forget that day. Even though I have been hunting with scoped bolt actions in .308 for many years, I have taken two whitetail does and several feral hogs with the 30-30. Brings back lot's of great memories.
 

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My first rifle was a Marlin 70 Greenfield semi-auto .22LR that he bought new in circa-1965. It was given to me be my ‘namesake’ grandfather when I got my first FID card at 17-1/2 years of age in 1978. Shot many a squirrel with that rifle. Still have this classic Marlin rifle to this day. My first deer rifle is also the first rifle I ever bought with money from my first career paycheck in 1984... a JM Marlin 336 CS in .30-30 Win. I still have this firearm as well.
 

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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.
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.
 

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My first deer rifle was a $100 Traditions muzzleloader it was what gave me my name. I had kids to take care of at the time & couldn't spend a lot of money. My buddies always took me to the strip pits to shoot. They tossed bottles down into the water in the bottom of the pit & we would shoot at them. Every time I shot they had to wait for the smoke to clear. So That what they started calling me.
The funny thing is I never got the chance to shoot a deer with it. LOL
 

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Used a Browning Sweet 16 of my Dad’s until I went into the service. When I got out bought a Marlin lever action 30-30. Never killed one with it. Traded it for a Remington pump 30-06. Killed a lot of deer with it.
 

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Mine was a Model 742 Woodmaster by Remington in .30-06 that my dad handed down to me. He got it from a game warden. Dad painted the man's house for it and got with it the 1st box of shells. I still have it and have taken all but 3 whitetails with it. It shoots like a dream. When my granddad died, he passed down 7 of his rifles to his grandkids and I picked another 742 still in .30-06. I harvested a nice elk cow with that rifle and cannot wait to take it back in the woods again.
 

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My first deer rifle was a borrowed Winchester '94 .30-30 when I was nine. My first owned gun was a select-grade Lee-Enfield Mk IV British .303 bought from the Sears catalog when I was sixteen in 1962. The rifle, some boxes of ammo, and a cleaning kit came to around $39. The mailman left it on our front porch.
 

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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 :rolleyes:. 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.
 

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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 :rolleyes:. 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.
Nope, NJ is still shot gun only. Buck shot or rifle slugs only.
 

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I was 15, when I got it, a year older when I first shot it, and still have it. It's a Vz24 8x57 Mauser that my father brought back from his tour just after WWII (get THIS... He was stationed in JAPAN!). I left it unchanged for 2 decades and finally had to scope it due to my eyes. Beyond that, it is essentially the same.
Ironically, it hasn't dropped a single deer, yet, but it's dropped a herd of wild pigs, coyotes, and other pests, usually giving DRT results if I do MY part. I would have no trepidation using it for any deer, elk, or even Moose. I don't know that I'd want to tackle any of the brown bears with it, but my extreme familiarity with it might make me more effective with it under pressure than with a lever action .45-70, .444, or .358 (my other choices, in a perfect world).
Since I find Win.748 temperature-sensitive (or maybe it's just sensitive to western Oklahoma heat) and the Hodgdon/IMR 4320s seem destined for discontinuation, I get to work up a load again, using Varget or IMR 4895. I just hope Sierra keeps making their 175 gr. SPT.
 
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