Forty years ago a buddy would come up and say go get your gun and lets go hunting this evening. You knew what to get, you got your shotgun. Your shotgun was your gun. You hunted rabbits, squirrel, doves, duck, quail, crows and anything else that was in season or causing problems, like a fox in the hen house. You used the same gun for everything, you just changed what you feed it. Those were fun times. Small game was king. Everyone hunted and no one opposed hunting. It was a way of life in the south. Farmers would allow you to hunt with a warning. Be sure to lock my gates and don't shoot my birds. By birds he was talking bob-white quail. Most landowners quail hunted. The land owner had no problem with rabbit hunters and squirrel hunters. I remember the first deer track I ever saw. I told people about it and even took disbelievers to show them. Little did I know this was the begining of the end of hunting as we knew it. Now we have over 2 million deer in Alabama. Everything is managed for deer. Deer is a money making business for many people. Times have changed to. Gone are the small Farmers, hedge rows, and briar patches. People who row cropped now have cattle or catfish. Farmers today plant every inch of land. No one burns off their land the way they used to. Hardwoods have been replaced with pine trees. You very seldom see a covey of wild quail. Bird hunters buy their birds and put them out. Rabbits are hanging on but hawks and coyote are wearing them out. Squirrels are doing ok where there are hardwoods, but you have to wonder how long the hardwoods will last. I deer hunt now. I own several deer rifles and muzzel loaders. I have many tree stands and boots and all kinds of camo clothes. My sons are both deer hunters, its all they know. Between the three of us we have killed well over 200 deer. I suppose I am a good deer hunter. I know about wind, and scents and the habits of deer and their weakness and strenghts. I know how to read sign and have a nack for picking ambush points. Deer hunting is a solitary sport. You spend hours alone in a tree stand. Sometimes I feel more like an assassin than a hunter. I really miss the days of some one saying Go get your gun. The joking and laughter of your buddys. The sound of a pack of beagles. The sound of a tree dog chopping the top out of a tree. Shooting the shotgun dry and seeing the smoke coming from the hulls laying on the frosty ground. You roll the shotgun on its back and start cramming shells in it from your vest automatically. In some ways those were the days. Do not misunderstand I am not knocking anyones sport. This is just an old mans thoughts when he is in a tree stand watching a place where two hot trails cross and the wind is in your face. Good hunting Guys.