Re: Remember when......
I definitely remember when I got mine.
I had been shooting since I was just out of diapers. I was the only sibling who was practically obsessed with doing anything and everything that my dad did. So when I was about 3 yrs old, he set up some trash bags full of crumpled newspaper in an apartment that we lived in and pulled out a Daisy Red Rider. It wasn't accurate for sh^t, but it got us started.
Later on when we moved back out to the country, I got my first .410. It was a lot like most kids' first .410--a H&R. I still have the picture of that first squirrel that I ever killed---with that .410 while hunting by myself.
Anyway.....Hunter Safety was getting started in Missouri about this time and I was already hunting on my own. My dad told me that if I wanted to continue to hunt on my own, I had to pass the course. I was the youngest one to have taken the course according to the instructors that were there at the time. I think I was five at the time.
What makes the course itself so memorable was when I "messed up" an instructor's example that he was trying to make. He handed me a shotgun and told me to look it over, shoulder it, swing it like I was on a bird, etc....Well, I did all that, then asked him what he wanted me to do next. He said to just set it down. Looking at him very puzzled, I asked what that little exercise was for. He said "ya see, most people that I ask to do that, eventually point it at someone accidentally and I get to point that out to the class. But since you never pointed it at anyone, that idea's dead.....lol."
I laughed and was extremely proud at the same time. I'd learned the lesson of muzzle direction about the same time I learned how to color with crayons. I don't think that anyone was as proud of that little boy (me) anymore than my dad was though. I sure do miss him.............