60 years hunting groundhogs in Penna.

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by drags, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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    I went out this morning for the first time this year my 60th years hunting groundhogs in Penna. It was a nice morning for weather and hunting I shot 6 groundhogs with my .223 Tikka 8 twist barrel using 69gr. STMK, the other rifles I will use this year are a Sako 222 and a Rem. 700 Krieger barrel 22x47 Lapua.
    Drags
     
  2. Mark McMahon

    Mark McMahon Silver $$ Contributor

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    Outstanding!!
     
  3. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    Sounds like a great morning for another old fella like myself (also 60+ years of varmints), but where's the pictures? You know we all like to see the adventure.
     
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  4. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thanks Mark and Rick. You are right Rick I am going to have to learn to post pictures.
    Drags
     
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  5. 5spd

    5spd

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    Its a great time when you can celebrate the many years spent shooting varmints and still go out and continue on.
     
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  6. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    We may well be tied. This is when I was in college at Slippery Rock. Not sure when I got my first Pa. hog but probably sometime in the 1950's.

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_1155 by Larry Malinoski, on Flickr

    Built that rifle with a Herter's laminated stock, Enfield action, Douglas barrel and RCBS dies. Reamer came from Tony Vitale in Branchton, Pa. 6mm/284 - quite unique back then. Oh - that is a Unertl 2" Ultra Varmint. Built it all way back while I both worked at a gun shop and put myself through school.

    This topic brought back memories so I dug the picture out and others.
     
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  7. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Love that pic AND that camo shirt too! a-thumbs-up.gif
     
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  8. K22

    K22

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    You may have me beat - I started in the mid 60's with a hand me down 22 Rim fire Marlin Rifle. The main objective was keeping the ghogs out of my father's garden. I was budgeted to one box (50 rounds) of 22's per month. Used Remington Hollow Points - good ammo in those days. Quickly learned to go for head shots with the 22 rim fire.

    A few years later I graduated to a 243 Winchester which became my all around hunting rifle, i.e varmints, predators (foxes in those days) and deer. Took up handgun hunting in the late 70's and hunted them extensively with a Model 27 S&W 357 magnum. Got pretty good at stalking to within 50 yards or so.

    Went through a hiatus of about 12 years from 1987 to 1999 then I resumed hunting ghogs with a passion after I retired and have been doing it ever since but only with a rifle.
     
  9. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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  10. 357Mag

    357Mag

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    Drags -

    Howdy!

    60 years, huh ? Nowhere’z even close to having had “ enough “ !

    Keep on ‘em !


    With regards,
    357Mag
     
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  11. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    Drags,

    You win!

    I retired in 1999. Immediately rented and then bought property in Florida. Did keep my place near Apollo Pa. for a couple more Summers and did shoot groundhog regularly until maybe 2004. Now in Florida, even when I return to visit kids and grandkids, I long for those days. Of course time has removed the days I drove around, hunted with little success and returned home with few shots. Still keep the experience of those days and evenings when I would take 20 "hogs" or more. Even wrote articles for Varmint Hunter on kills with the 17 HMR when it came out in the 90's. Also did one called "Garden Hose for the 500 Yard Club". It was all about groundhogs in Pa.

    Remember I used to pin a license in a plastic holder on my belt as it was tough to ruin a shirt pinning the darn thing on my back. Then when we started to have to wear an orange hat, did. Memories.

    Been maybe 15 years since I shot a Pa. hog or had a Pa. license. Lots of fun hunting in Georgia, out West and a little in Florida. Shoot armadillo, coon, possum, turkey , hogs and deer here. Just not the same as hunting this groundhogs used to be. You keep enjoying reality today while I only have the memories.

    You win.
     
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  12. Woodchk

    Woodchk Gold $$ Contributor

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    50 years for me never tire of it look forward to spring every year . Only difference is I use all specialty pistols .
     
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  13. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Captain Mal, you got me beat. First hog in '67 with a 22-250. Used 4064 and H380 with 52 SMKs. Those were the good old days before the over regulation micro managers took over at the game commission.
     
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  14. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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    We are very lucky in SW Pa. for hunting and shooting, I also shoot paper groundhogs (groundhog shoots) At the lawrence Co. Sportsmen club near New castle Pa and the Mcdonald Sportsmen Club (having lived in Apollo you are probably familiar with the Mcdonald Club). We also have many long range shoots in other clubs within driving distance from Pittsburgh out to a 1000 yards and beyond and our gunsmiths are second to none. So this Summer I will be shooting live groundhogs during the week and paper groundhogs on the weekends and might even shoot a 1000 yard match too.
    Drags
     
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  15. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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    Almost forgot I went hunting this morning and shot 9 groundhogs using the .222 and .223 between 118 to 202 yards. I has been years since I have shot that many groundhogs in one sitting (10:30 AM to 12:15 PM).
    Drags
     
  16. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    NOT familiar with the McDonald Club. Heard about it. Used to shoot state archery shoots all around, including the state championships. Went to school at Slippery Rock and hunted in that area west to Ohio. Mostly hunted Westmorland, Indiana and near Dayton, Pa. Also owned a hunting camp in Centre Co. and hunted both hogs and big game there. Got a bear there also. Belonged to Crowfoot Rod and Gun Club in Murrysville plus Chieftain Archery near Leechburg and one, forgot the name, in Washington Twp. near Apollo. Also a 1950's member of the long defunct Wilkinsburg Sportsmans' Club.

    At no time did I ever shoot competition but did Coach and traveled the state regularly with my team, Penn Hills Rifle, to win many Championships. Trinity was a great team at that time as was Butler and Woodland Hills. We beat them and a whole lot more. Those 1970's to early 90's were prime shooting and high school competitive times.

    I did not start long-range competition until I came to Florida and started to go to Manatee Gun and Archery Club.

    You sure dug out the memories with your thread.
     
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  17. snert

    snert Gold $$ Contributor

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    Isn't Mcdonald closed for the season as they build new range with the gazillion bucks they made selling some land?

    I bought bullets to attend a score shoot or two and then heard they were not open...

    If any of you SW PA guys want a younger partner for a hunt or two, i started in 77 with a 222...just moved back and all the places I used to hunt are now covered with houses
     
  18. drags

    drags Silver $$ Contributor

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    The McDonald range is closed this year because of a new road going through. At Lawrence Co. sportsmen www.shootlcsa.com we added a extra shoot this year because McDonald is closed this year. We have three matches 100,200,300 - 200,300,400 and 300,400,500. They are groundhog shoots new shooters are always welcome.
    Drags
     
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  19. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    Reminded me of a recent trip I took to visit kids and grandkids just east of Pittsburgh. Used to hunt in a place we called "Pheasant Valley". It was located just east of Murrysville and south of Delmont. All through the 60's and '70's I hunted ringnecks there. It was the most exciting small game hunting I ever did. We would limit each opening day and near do that each hunt the following weeks through the season. Great fun.

    Rode there one day just to look. There was NO Pheasant Valley I could find. Square miles of houses, some businesses and even a shopping plaza. I struggled to locate the few farm houses that still stand with no property of any consequence around. Looks like the barns were gone leaving just old houses renovated for the yuppies.

    Surely the spectacular pheasant hunting is gone now, even as a distant memory.
     
  20. urbanrifleman

    urbanrifleman Site $$ Sponsor

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    Please forward your home address and I will get the tickets and head your way :)
     

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