50 years ago - pheasants

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,377
498
Came across this old photo, opening day of pheasant season, about 1970... Fifty years ago...

I'm the kid in the back row, far right, with a 20 gauge double barrel Ithaca. Maybe 13 or 14 years old in this photo. Dad is kneeling in front of me, far right. Don, the big strong fellow next to Dad. Tom is the kid in the striped shirt in front. Dad had a 12 gauge Browning Auto-5, and Don had the old Remington version of the same gun. They were probably our two best wing shots, though Tom and I got pretty good by our late teens.

The group hunted together for 40+ years, changing over time. Dads, sons, grandsons... We almost never had a dog. We almost always limited out by noon, then there'd be a big lunch break in that old metal building. We'd make steak sandwiches, a huge salad, and my mom always made wonderful cookies for dessert. Sometimes we'd have to go back out in the afternoon to get a few more birds, but often we'd be done by lunch time. Lots of wild birds in those days!

This was on a 5,000 acre farm in the Sacramento River Delta. Tom's dad managed the farm. He and my dad were good friends and business partners for decades. Tom ended up managing the farm until it was sold a few years ago, and he was ready to retire by then anyway.

No hunter orange in that photo. Everyone used lead shot. We almost never had a dog. Good memories. Tom and I are still friends. Dad and Don are in their 90's now, and still shoot. Dad hasn't hunted pheasants in a couple of years, but he wants to go again. Perhaps we'll make that happen. He prefers to "hold" at the end of the field now instead of walking the fields. I understand.

Ya, I've enjoyed pheasant hunting for a long time now. My son uses that 20 gauge double that I'm holding in the photo. Came across the photo and it brought back a lot of good memories.

3emHeWCh.jpg


Guy
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,449
421
Guy,
That's a pretty cool picture and a snapshot back in time.
Good times.

JD338
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,676
724
Great memories, without a doubt. Thanks for posting. This stimulates some rather pleasant memories of my own, though I lack photographic evidence.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,377
498
I remember that Tom's dad was a bit of a photographer and almost always took a photo or two sometime during opening day.

BTW, Tom's dad jumped in on D-Day, along with the fellow who owned that big farm. They're both in the book "Band of Brothers" - and made it through the war. Nixon's family owned the farm, Tom's dad managed it, then later Tom managed it. Connections since the 1940's. Dad and I started hunting there about 1966, and the group had been hunting together for a long time before that. I don't know when they started, but I'd suspect not long after WWII. Generations linked by war, work, friendship, family ties, and pheasant hunting.

Guy
 

Rol_P

Handloader
Nov 23, 2013
691
2
This is a great picture Guy.. Thank you for sharing. About the same time frame I was hunting wild pheasants in western NY with my Dad and a school buddy carrying a an Ithaca 16 gauge double which I still have. We managed to get a fair share of birds in those days. Very fond memories.
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,782
46
The photo of Dad below must be circa 1975 or so...


The first sighting of Blaze Orange too.... :) CL
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,449
421
Troy,
Great picture of your Dad reflecting the times.
JD338
 
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