Episode-1577- Gun and Hunting Wisdom of our Fathers — 44 Comments

  1. That was excellent! Reminded me of my boyhood growing up in southwest Missouri.
    Thanks for the good read.
    Semper Fi

  2. Ahhhhh. The .35 Rem is the worst. Ok, no it isn’t. I am being selfish. The people that know, know. But holy cow is it hard to find ammo and/or components and good, pre-1983 Marlin’s are getting spendy. Apparently, they are making seasonal runs of 200gr and 150gr, but not a lot. Hornady’s 160gr is available but I am really looking for the old school stuff. As soon as I can find components, I am scooping up everything I can get my hands on (i.e. afford). Loved this episode! And the skill is indeed in the butchery and processing. Interesting that I learned, hunting with different family/friends that there are regional differences in how it is done. Finally, had an old timer tell me I had to get this book, Shots at Whitetails by Lawrence R. Koller 1970 Edition with a forward by Jack O’Conner. I have read it twice since Feb. and intend to get another read in before the seasons starts. Did I say great episode!

    • Tried to edit with seconds on the clock. That book is the closest thing I have found to listening and learning from my Grand Father, Great Uncles, and Dad I could find in black and white.

    • C’mon now, everyone know you need at LEAST 500 SMBS (Super-Magnum Butt-Stomper) to take down those tactical deer, especially with the new body armor they wear nowadays.

  3. This show brought back a lot of memories for me. I would spend summers and Christmas at my grandparents farm in South Georgia and do similar activities while I was there. I think I learned more about living in 10 or 12 summers from my grandfather and uncle that I did the rest of my life from my father.

    That is not a knock on my father, but he was a very successful business executive and thought that wanting to be anything other than a successful business executive was equivalent to failure.

    I have an 03 Springfield from my Grandfather that is one of my most prized possessions. I am have a notebook in my gun safe with a section for each of my “keeper” guns. When I remember something or something new happens with on of those rifles I write it down. Once I am gone the notebook will still be there and my daughters will have the story that goes along with the gun going back three generations.

    • Agreed; I’ve been a fan since Tormented days and still a fan of his new country stuff. Unlike most early fans I do like Break The Cycle but agree it is sellout material. Great music, great topic, great podcast. Getting back into TSP after a brief exodus.

  4. lol….they still close school for first day of deer season. At least they do in westmoreland county.

  5. Excellent episode. WWII basically swore my grandpas off hunting, but spending time with my dad and his best friend in the woods made me the man I am today. This weekend I take my boy up to camp to celebrate my brothers birthdays. (Not a typo, turns out the Auctioneers convention was the same weekend every year) he gets to go up for the first time as one of the boys. A big deal for a ten year old.
    This episode really hit a lot of points and brought back a lot of memories. Thanks

    • @Ryan that is an interesting point. Almost every “old man” where I grew up was either a WWII Vet, a Korean War vet and a few were both.

      I have to say now that you mention it there were some that not only didn’t hunt but you could tell they had a reason beyond just not wanting too, I think this may be why.

      Conversely the old men that hunted seemed to truly enjoy being in the woods with other men and guns and knowing no one was going to be shot, shelled or step on a mine. It seems the hunters found peace, at least to me.

  6. Jack,

    I had been downloading your podcast’s and saving them in case I needed them in the future, but, had had stopped letting my children listen to your podcast and I myself had mostly stopped listening to your podcast. I had been listening to sporadice podcasts but lately you came across as very abrasive, bitter about agriculture and society in general and had used such very crass language to describe your frustrations, that I couldn’t allow my children to listen anymore. You and others may decide to roast me on your blog, and in the comments, but I wanted to thank you for this podcast on gun hunting and wisdom of our fathers.

    It was so heart felt and introspective and uplifting that i can’t wait to let my boy’s listen to it, it was so completely void of swearing and bitterness that I was able to understand again why i started listening to you in the first place. Lately your have to me come across as very bitter and condescending about current farming methods and everything else in general and other societal problems, that you don’t feel are changing quickly enougth, and have used very crass and abrasive languague that I am not comfortable with and and am unwilling to let my children listen to.

    I would like them to learn many of the skills, insight and information you have to offer, but am not willing to let them hear that information in that abrasive terminology. I apologize if my grammer is not correct or if I am not making myself clear, but i really want to listen to the ‘information” you have to offer not the rants that others seem to enjoy. I am really trying to get my kids involved but not if I have to later correct the abrasive language, they might hear.


    Thanks John Schelling

    • And may be your children should hear me or BETTER hear you be bitter about things like

      Agriculture – which poisons their bodies and the food and their planet.

      Education – which is destroying the lives of many of its students, conditioning them to live in a world that doesn’t even exist and demands conformity of those who attempt to excel.

      Medicine – Which introduced 28 new drugs last year, 26 of which were simply old drugs under new patents. An industry that is more sickness and death than health. By the way the two actual new drugs, were not made by American companies.

      Either that or when they finally grow up, figure this stuff out they will likely believe as many young people do today that none of us older folks ever gave a shit about the damage being done in our names to their futures.

    • John,

      My father told my brother and I, as we drove the long road home from sitting around the Appalachian hunting club he belonged to, that “we didn’t talk like that.” He still would give us the eye and a nod when sage wisdom was put out by these salt of the earth folks. I honed my foul mouth in uniform. I know if/when and how to use such language, taught by both Father and BiAs. Consider it a teaching moment. Or screen the shows. And he rarely, if ever, uses the REALLY bad ones. Again, consider it. Hope to keep you guys around.

      • Indeed I never say “the F word” which I feel for this show goes to far and isn’t needed.

        Yes I say shit and ass, sometimes bitch, that really is about it and not doing so isn’t authentic to who I am.

        Further me saying bullshit is far and I mean FAR less obscene than most of what is on network TV at this point!

        You can shield children from seeing reality but not from the effects of it.

        • Jack,

          I would rather have provided my input on the topic of strong language via a personal face to face conversation with you.
          I respect your talents and have learned a lot from you and enjoyed listening to many podcast episodes over the past couple of years.

          Unfortunately email type communication is prone to the misinterpretation of a person’s tone and intent since you don’t have the benefit of assessing their body language or tone of voice.

          Please just take my comments as suggestions only and not any kind of attack.

          As for the healthiness of the food we consume we have a very large garden and preserve much of what we eat. As for Television we don’t own one because of the trash it presents and I would rather have my children outdoors being creative, playing, working and interacting with their surroundings.

          I wish you success!
          John Schelling

  7. Jack – thanks for this episode. I didn’t grow up hunting (just getting into it in my mid-30’s) but did spend countless, countless hours in the summer fishing with my father and grandfathers. I related to a lot of what you wrote and realized a few years ago that they weren’t teaching me just to fish. They were teaching me the importance of understanding my surroundings, of persistence and perseverance and of observation. My grandfather has been gone for 18 years now and my father and I don’t get to spend much time together due to geographic locations so it was quite nice to have these memories stirred up.

    Keep up the good work brother!

  8. As for both eyes open when shooting. They are actually teaching this in many venues. The more dominant one eye is over the other, the easier it is. It is a bit easier with lower power scopes than iron sights, and gets harder as magnification increases.

    For me it is easier with a rifle than a pistol, and sometimes I have to wink my left eye to get my sight picture to clear. The leupold scout scope on my 1895g is made for it, as are my eotech and aimpoint. Right around 4 or 5 power magnification is where I have to start closing one eye, depending on the scope.

    • Like I said we all have weak left eyes. Dominance isn’t even the word for it, every man on my fathers side of the family has what amounts to legally blind vision in their left eye. I don’t even notice a difference when I close my left eye. What I do see out of it with both open if I try is almost ghost like.

      The vision is there, if something approaches me, it is sufficient to gain my attention but that is about it. If I shut my right eye, I see, shape, movement, and can recognize everything, can’t read shit though and if you and a buddy were wearing the same colors and about the same height, I would play hell telling you apart at 10 yards.

  9. Jack,
    You threw a nice change up with this episode. I was overcome with a flood of childhood memories on the farm. I hope to provide similar memories for my boys. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Family. Circle of influence. Liberty.

  10. Growing up there were loaded guns leaning in several corners throughout the homestead. My grandfather told me that an unloaded gun was useless.

    I’m assuming this was a widespread practice in the past. I don’t think failing to lock away firearms was irresponsible. What’s irresponsible is failing to train children in proper firearm safety and instead turning them into taboo items of mystery that will tempt them to play with them in secret, unsupervised and without any instruction in how to safely handle a weapon.

  11. Grandad used to hammer 410s in and out of his Springfield 1873 45-70 trapdoor. I’ll never forget, “Only gun I’ll ever need. And it has a bayonet.”

    God bless the old farmers and their “make it work” attitude. Dad hung the rifle on the wall and hangs his hat on the bayonet.

  12. When I was in my early 30’s I went hunting with a friend for the first time in my life. Since it was a special control hunt where we had to use a bow instead of a gun I still learned much those 2 weeks. I learned I needed to control my breathing better so I would not get ” Buck Fever”. I had to get a doe first before trying for a buck and unfortunately the only one I had a chance to get I missed and I am glad since it was not a bad shot that would of caused her pain and suffering.

    To this day I really believe she came back a little bit before dusk, but I could do nothing about it. I made the mistake of lowering my bow and had my partner take it off so I could lower a bag to the ground. As I was about half down on my climber she came back. I looked down and realized my mistake I had no chance to get my bow up to even try to take a shot. I hugged the tree and stayed quite hoping my hunting buddy saw her also. Which he did. It was interesting helping him field dress her. I will Never make that mistake with my bow or even with a gun ever again.

    Here is another mistake I made at the same time I did something right. As I was waiting for a doe I heard something behind me make a rustling noise. When I turn to look I saw a coyote not 10 yards from me. I don’t think the coyote heard me, but I was absolutely sure it hit my scent trail to the tree I was in. I was so focused on getting a doe first I forgot it was open season on coyotes and did not even take a shot. I thought that was cool and reached for my camera to take a picture of it. When I turned around the coyote was totally gone and it new it was the luckiest coyote in the woods that day, since an experienced hunter would have taken the shot instead. It was actually an easy shot if only I had taken it. It was actually closer than the doe was. The coyote did not know where I was exactly until I opened my bag to get my camera.

    I never learned to hunt as a boy from my father and my grandfather that did hunt was a stern man. I do wish I had the courage as a boy to ask my grandfather to teach me to hunt. It was many years later that I learned some of the cool stuff he did that now I wish I had learned to do. Like we could have gone gator hunting. He had pigs and rabbits when I was a kid he could have taught me how to field dress both, but he died before I could ask him to teach me what he knew. It did not take much for the hunting knowledge in my part of the overall family to die.

    If I could have told my grandfather I was interested in what he knew we might of been closer, instead of a quiet boy sitting on the couch behaving himself while waiting for his parents to come back after bowling league night was over.

    Where Jack had a vast forest of knowledge from family member. I am lucky to fill a shot glass with what knowledge I have concerning hunting skills. I will remember your stories and lessons that you told us today Jack . It will still take time, but it will give me a good foundation at being a better hunter. I will not be able to go into the woods without seeing things with the eye of a hunter.

    ALL Journeys begin with a single step.

  13. Your right Jack about Mastering gun skills. Anyone who has mastered basic gun skills should be able to zero any rifle or shotgun handed to him in a half hour or so assuming their is not a problem that is preventing it from being zeroed and a quick instruction on how to adjust the sights if their a kind your not familiar with.

  14. I guess I wasn’t very interested in hunting or the outdoors when I was a kid. I remember going hunting with dad twice.. squirrel and dove. Kinda wish I’d had more of this experience when I was a kid. As it is, my dad and granddad’s guns are special because they were theirs, heirlooms; not because they were tools they used to teach me. Maybe someday I can pass that wisdom alone. In the meantime, I’m busting my ass to make sure I can gain and teach this wisdom now.

    One of your best shows.

  15. Some times my mind wonders when you start talking about guns Jack. Not because it’s not good info, just because the differences just don’t excite me like they do a lot of your audience. That’s not a knock on anyone, I’m sure there are some out there who feel the same when you talk about fruit trees!

    But dang, what a great show this was.

    I have a gun cabinet full of rifles, shotguns, and hand guns but I have never purchased a single one. The cabinet was my great-grandfathers as well as some of the firearms. I have a .270 that was my grandfather’s and then my dad’s. He gave it to me on my 18th birthday. It’s killed many a deer and hog, I have seen no reason to go looking for a new one. When I go hunting, I pull it out. It’s what was given to me and it works. One day I’ll pass it along.

    Tucked away in the corner is a single shot .410 shotgun that my dad first taught me to shoot on when I was around 7-8 years old. I’m 35 now and it won’t be long till my daughter and son will be ready for some lessons….

  16. hey Jack great podcast

    as for the 35 rem. I am glad that I reload them
    stopped at gander in Marquette and checked the price
    45.00 and some change for the 200 gr round nose[box of 20]
    too expensive for the Mod 8 so it gets cast slugs

    I think back of all the mentors in my life and thank full for each and every one and what they added to this wild kid


  17. I have to say, when I listened to the episode. You said “Always trust the dog”. I know this to be true, but didn’t listen. Last night they were trying to tell me something. I thought coyotes or mustangs were close. But no, three horses were out.


  18. Thanks for this! Our girls are being raised like this and we live in suburbia. Our youngest got her first deer two years ago and she was ridiculed because she took a headshot. She was very hurt because being an animal lover she chose that shot so the deer didn’t suffer (by the way she is using her grandpa’s 30-06). We heard terms like brutal and evil when they heard how she killed it. As parents we were happy since much of our meat comes from animals we have killed and butchered ourselves. We were happy that the heart was edible and no meat was wasted. It was then we realized how different we are than most people around us. It was then that we realized we needed out of suburbia.

    • You tell your daughter that Jack Spirko is extremely proud of her and her decision to make a clean kill. And her demonstration of skill under real world pressure. That to do a thing and do it well when it counts, when there are no do overs or take backs if you fail, is honorable and more of our adults could do well to follow her example.

      Also please tell her that I said to never suffer fools opinions about that which they don’t understand, and of course as they are fools that would include most things. Certainly applying to something they never had the skill or courage to do themselves.

      • Oh man I think there is going to be a young girl with her feet hovering about 5 feet above the ground when her old man tells her about this!

        Good on ya Jack! This is exactly why I listen.

      • Thank you Jack!

        She has learned to let it roll off her back in the two years since. She now works on an organic farm that raises pigs on pasture. She loves her job, she still loves animals…but realizes we need to eat. She loves that the animals are treated humanely while they are alive and don’t suffer in death. We are very proud of this kid…very.

      • Jimmy T. you are right…and by the way…this is her old woman! lol….I love this show!

        • My apologies! No disrespect intended mam, you don’t meet many gals that go by mac, but I am pleased to meet you none the less, you sound like one proud mom!

        • Not offended at all. I know it’s unusual for an woman to be on here. Mac(wa) is our dogs name.

          I’m very proud of my daughter. She is a real hard worker and strives to be taken seriously at 15. She has taken control of her future and education. She knows what she wants and won’t be persuaded to quit. Our oldest is the same.

          Nice to meet you too!

  19. Got my first gun at 7, a Daisy BB gun, then a .22 at 10, and then at 12 took the hunter safety course and got my my first shotgun (used of course we were poor) for Christmas. Pretty much all of us in my town experienced the same thing, to include some of the girls. It saddens me that these days are gone in most places, and will never return. I learned many valuable lessons by learning how to shoot and hunt. The biggest was responsibility. Great episode Jack.

  20. Enjoyed the show when it came out. Thought I’d pass along some free Kindle books on Amazon right now –
    Hunting with the Bow & Arrow by Dr. Alexander Pope

    The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John Patterson


  21. My grandfather hunted, but I have no memory of it. I wonder what happened to his gun.

  22. Incredible episode! I didn’t have the luxury of relatives teaching me all this stuff unfortunately, so I wanted to give some thanks to the Army Sgts that beat gun safety into my head. Because of them and their constant “keep the weapon down range! Watch your fields of fire! Know what you’re shooting at!” what could have been a fatal accident when a rifle went off unexpectedly (misfired as the bolt was slid forward) is simply a good safety story for my kids.
    Case in point; we’ve got this annoying dog that killed one of my ducks that returned to the scene of the crime recently. I grabbed the .22 and went out the back door but only had a second or two to make a shoot/don’t shoot decision before he bugged out. I didn’t fire and had to analyze why later. I didn’t have a clear view of what was beyond him – where my neighbor’s house and kids are. I’ll get him eventually… but safely. Well, for everyone but him… Stupid dog.

  23. You think he might belong to anybody close by? Maybe it’s worth asking around and see if he got out of someone’s yard.