When I was a kid, I was driving a truck or pulling a hay rack before I had a bicycle of my own. I suppose one could count the hand me down bike that many of the kids within 6 or 8 miles learned how to ride on, but that is a different story. We didn't shoot a lot when I was a kid, but when we did go shooting, it usually meant fresh meat.
Shot my first 'real' critter - an antelope - when I was about eight. Took the shot from a hay stack with a .220 Swift, and two hours later, my BIL came to check on where I was. He asked how come I was still dragging a critter that wieghed more than I did, looked closer and asked how come I hadn't gutted it out yet. Funny... Ma trusted me to go out with a .220 Swift, but she didn't trust me to go out with a "hunting" knife.
When I was a kid, and times got really tough, we would have "camel's milk", as Ma called it - a mixture of real milk and powdered milk. Further into wintertime, before calves were ready for market, and money was even more scarce, it was straight powdered milk. When money was tight, we would eat snake, prairie dog, crows, pigeons - - whatever wasn't livestock. We ate plenty of foul things, but we never went hungry. I remember the party line telephone too. I remember one of the Cousins needed help moving a herd to a lease pasture, and thinking that it would be a easy job. We started mid-morning on a Saturday, which was a mistake. We should have started EARLY that Saturday. We ended up closing the gate on the least pasture about 11:00PM the following Sunday, soaking wet from an early April rain storm that somehow managed to turn to snow, and ended up being a blizzard. Quite a few of us ended up with a cold. That was also the first time I ever heard my Pop use profanity. Needless to say, it was aimed squarely at our cousin.
After we moved to town, Pop had a job and money wasn't so much of an issue, but we still didn't get to go shooting just for the fun of it. I remember the first time I shot a handgun - a .22LR High Standard Sport King - our Uncle was back for a visit and his eyes lit up when he saw what he called the "Hush Puppy" - he had come back from Vietnam, and come back west to decompress for a few weeks. I think I was 12 or 13 at the time. I don't remember how much .22 shells cost, but I knew they were passed out from the box 5 or 10 at a time, with every kid getting the same number of shells. Shooting order went from oldest to youngest, and I was always last. By the time I got to shoot, all the close in, easy shots were gone. I think it helped me figure out ranges better, and I am sure it helped me to learn good field craft.
Some parts of being a kid were pretty tough, and are better left as "the good ol' days", but I still remember them and the older I get, the more I appreciate them. The kids nowadays, have it easier, but certainly not better than I did.