Welcome to My Outdoor Tales. Here at My Outdoor Tales you will be able to read about some of my outdoor experiences. I will also provide Hunting, Fishing, Camping Experiences And Other Related Hints And Tips that I hope you will find entertaining and interesting to read and use. I hope that you enjoy reading the articles at My Outdoor Tales.

My First Gun

I'll never forget the day that I got my first gun. This happened many, many years ago as I was only 4 years old, (59 years ago).

This took place on our farm in Ong, Nebraska. The farm house, barn and other associated outbuildings are long gone now, but not the memories. Our farm was about 2 miles north of Ong on Road 4 and east on the south side of Highway NE-74 about 1/2 mile.

Our farm had a low area on the south side of Highway NE-74 as did our neighbor across the road on the north side of Highway NE-74. This created an ideal wetland area for ducks and other aquatic birds. Making it an ideal area to hunt waterfowl. It was a great hunting area. During hunting season we always had plenty of ducks, geese and other waterfowl to eat without having to leave home.

Dad did all the hunting until I got my first gun. Dad had bought it from a neighbor for $5.00. It was a breachloading single-shot .410, meaning it broke in the middle to load it and it had an external or exposed hammer. You had to pull back on the exposed hammer to cock it in order to shoot it. That exposed, external hammer was quite a chore to pull back, especially when your are only 4 years old.

The gun was a complete and total surprise to me as I had no inclination of getting a gun. But I had to earn the right to the gun. My dad didn't just hand me the gun at first. He first set up a test for me.

On a fence post he put a can about 10 yards away. He then said, "If you can load the gun, cock and pull the hammer back and shoot and hit the can the gun is yours."

"You will have earned it", he said.

It was now or never, or I would have to wait until I could shoot it. It wasn't just a gim'me.

Dad handed me a shell and the gun. I got the gun loaded and the hammer pulled back. It wasn't the easiest thing getting the gun ready to fire, especially when you are only 4 years old. Getting the hammer pulled back was the hardest part. But with quite a bit of effort I accomplished the task at hand. After all I wanted to hunt ducks and other waterfowl with my dad.

I raised the gun to my shoulder and prepared to fire, as I had seen my dad do many times. I pulled the trigger and to the surprise of both of us, "I HIT THE CAN". I nailed it dead center.

Boy did I ever feel proud. So proud that I didn't hardly even notice the gun's recoil and kick. I did, however, take a couple of steps backward. But it didn't matter. "I HIT THE CAN".

Dad said, "Great shot. Do you think you can do it again", as he handed me another shell.

I loaded the gun again. This time with much more confidence and pride. I hit the second target again dead center. I was so proud of my accomplisment. I was now a hunter with my first gun.

I fired the gun several more times with great success as it became easier to load, pull the hammer back and fire it.

Dad said, "I guess you're ready now."

That began and was the start of my years of hunting.