When to take a child hunting?

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When to take a child hunting?

Postby largemouth19 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:54 am

At roughly what age should you start taking a child hunting? My buddies kid is 7 and I think it is time to start getting him out there and away from TV and video games. My buddy doesn't think his son will sit long enough and will ruin the hunt. I want our sport to grow and the only way is to get kids out in the woods. But push too hard or too early and they will turn their backs to it. Wait too long and you already lost them. Any thoughts?

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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby MZS » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:06 am

If he starts taking the kid now on 4 hour hunts, the child might get tired and bored of simply watching. And your friend might be right. They go out on a stand and sit for 2 hours and then the child wants to go home right before the deer get active. The dad gets angry, the kid maybe gets upset, and it is a negative experience that could end up making the kid hate hunting. A child that age may not have the patience to sit and wait. Some kids that age might have the patience, but make sure they know ahead of time the time requirement. At that age, maybe take the child along on a 1 hour scouting trip and also have the child set up the game cam photos and videos for viewing.

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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby kellory » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:44 am

Good suggestions. i would recommend also starting them on targets, with bows, and .22 rifles. show them what they can do, and improve upon. bull-eyes rate an ice cream cone. Let them walk the fields with you for rabbits, and pheasants. a little noise (questions) will not matter much there. squirrels require quiet, and stealth, or patience and quiet. kids has trouble with both. bait at long range though, would be doable. might take them 'yote hunting. serves a purpose, they stink, and kid will not decide it's Bambie.!!!

In my family, the rule is at 12 years, you carry a stick, and treat it as a long gun. carry, point, fences, water, all of it, just as if it were real. At 13 you get your first gun, and it will be a savage .22/.410 over and under, hinge action. teaches accuracy with a single shot, and decision making, shotgun or rifle shot. and is legal here even for deer (slugs only) Savage has just started making these again, they were very hard to find used. Model 24. http://www.gunsamerica.com/979494936/Sa ... der_22.htm

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/Model42/ Newly reintroduced version.
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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby insanityhunter » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:16 pm

I let mine take his device with them in woods in our pack. I let him play when there is no action and get him ready when things start going again. This seems to let us stay in stand or in the blind allot longer. As he has gotten older he plays less and watches and listens more.

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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby Retranger » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:07 pm

Forget about the deer hunting with the young fellow,,,,deer hunting is boring. Take him out after some ducks, rabbits etc. Never mind the sitting,,,,do a little walking, show him signs that are in the woods, tracks, scat, rubbings, feeding on buds, how a compass works and simple things on a map etc. There is much more to getting a young fellow in the woods besides sitting in a blind. A friend of mine was taken to he woods in his dads pack basket. Maybe sounds like I don't hunt deer but I do, bow hunt, muzzle loader and rifle. Back to original question,,,,, if the fellow isn't crawling yet I' say he is too young.

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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby Ohio farms » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:18 pm

I kind of agree that deer hunting might not be the best type of hunting to start with unless you expect to realistically see deer. I'm assuming that you have already gotten him interested in the outdoors, so as somebody suggested show him sign and scat and anything else that indicated that deer have been there. I started my daughter with catching nightcrawlers at night after a heavy rain. She is 36 now and still tells that story to people. Make it fun. One of the greatest gifts that you can give your child is the love of the outdoors. Good luck.
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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby shaman » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:32 am

I raised two boys. Each was different in how they approached hunting. One was out by 4. The other was 9. The youngest, Angus, used to come out with me and sit patiently for hours watching out the window of the popup. The older boy, Moose, would fidget and then fall asleep. The sleeping part was not the problem. The snoring was. If you dig back through my weblog (see signature line) you can read all about our escapades. If memory serves me, one of the first entries is about Moose watching me take a buck. This was his first time out actually hunting.

Seven is as good at time as any to start, but I would ease into it. My kids all had a nature hikes and campouts. My kids all followed me squirrel hunting. My kids had hikes were they carried Daisy Training Rifles and had to treat them as real firearms. By the time they went up in the stand with me, they were ready.

Hunter Ed: I told my kids they could not actually hunt until they had passed Hunter Ed. Nowadays, KY does not allow kids younger than 12 to take the exam. However, my two sons passed at 8 and 10. They had to work for the privilege to hunt. That made it special for them. It also made sure they were taking it seriously. I also required they shoot an adult cartridge from an adult rifle ( Marlin 30/30) and that they could hit a plate offhand at 50 yards. It worked out well, because my kids were both large for their age and grew into the rifle at the right time. It also gave them plenty of time to be out with me and observe.

At 7, that is what's most important for kids. Being out with Dad, being part of the hunt-- this is far more important from the kid's side of things than actually pulling the trigger.
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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby Sailfish » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:22 am

Each of mine were/are different
When they turned 6 they both got to go sit in a ground blind with me.
Daughter was much more patient. Sat well for the entire evening and had deer right outside the window.
Son........................not so much. He was fidgety about 5 minutes in.
Started on a bag of chips,, unzipping and zipping the windows, popping his head out looking around etc.

Then I took them small game hunting. Hogs, squirrel, rabbit. They like that. They get to stalk, walk, look for sign etc. I'd stop and let them shoot the gun at some target when we had the chance. It was a perfect time. The boy likes diving head on into the thick brush to follow a hog trail, the girl likes examining the animal poop, and they both really loved shooting the gun. Its the best type of hunting for my two.
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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby rthomas4 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:31 pm

I started my step-grandson (I've had custody of him since he was 3 months old) at 5, but we were running hounds, so if he was a little fidgety, it didn't make any difference. I also took along snacks for him. The sounds of the dogs getting close was enough to get him alert and paying attention. He started sitting in a ground blind at 8 with his rifle and that's when he killed his first deer. He's been sitting on a stand by himself ever since he was 8 on the hound hunts, also. He killed his first deer in front of the dogs with a shotgun, when he was 9, and has killed deer every year since. He's now 16 and still prefers hound hunting to sitting in a stand with a rifle.
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Re: When to take a child hunting?

Postby Big Horse » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:25 pm

The short answer... as early and often as possible.

The long answer make it a way of life, not just an activity.

As many have pointed out, hunting isn't just about the kill, but all the preparation, learning experiences, practice, and mindset that goes into what we as hunters hope consummates in a kill. I like to think I started my kids preparation for hunting when they were infants as I was lying in my recliner hunting with Jackie Bushman and Bill Jordan. I made watching hunting shows a special time with me and my children, preparing special snacks, always taking the time to educate them about what we were watching and why certain things were being done.

Those lessons continued into the great outdoors at the earliest of ages, taking hikes, checking game cams, scouting new hunting spots, taking the time always to explain why we do what we are doing. Squirrel hunting was among their earliest hunts.

As far as the sitting part, I started taking them in a ground blind with me at about age 3. I took books, paper an pencil, stuffed animals, toys, and most importantly snacks! Cookies and peanuts were required hunting gear and the blind allowed them the freedom of movement. They got to dress head to foot in camo, take their own grunt call, their own pair of binos, and we would go on short hunts in the evening, in spots were even if shots wouldn't present themselves they would at least have a very good chance of seeing deer even if they were hundreds of yards away.

When I made a kill, the kids always came to see what I had taken. They took pictures with my kills, watched field dressing and butchering, and knew from the eariliest ages exactly where their food came from.

My son took Hunters Ed at 7, killed a squirrel the next day, and his first deer the following year. My daughter waited till she was 10. I let them decide when they were ready to kill their own meat, but they had been preparing as hunters their entire lives.

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