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BigGrassBass

Kids and Hunting

23 posts in this topic

When do you all think it would be OK for me to take my son hunting with me. He just turned 7 and I think he might be able to go with on a few short trips to the woods but my wife thinks he should wait a couple years.

At what age did you start bringing your kids to the woods with you?

I know there are many different answers and that's good. My wife and I want to hear all the different opinions and reasons.

Thanks for the help,

BGB and family

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my grandpa and dad did not take me till 9-10, I think 7 is a little young. if its a short walk or a sit and waite hunt see how he does maybe he will love it.

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I have four kids, twins girls that are 7, a son that is almost 6 and a son that is 5. they have all been pheasant hunting with me. Just depends on what you are hunting, their physical ability, & your patience. The older 3 have been sitting on deer stand with me & my wife for the last 2 years and the youngest will start this year. It also depends on how important is for you to bag game. If just being outside with your kids is enough for you and you won't stretch the safety limits, then as soon as they can handle the weather & physical part. MY KIDS NEVER LEAVE MY SIDE WHEN IN THE FIELD.

good topic, Ben

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I teach 7th grade and some off those students have been hunting for about 3 years and some just started. I would think that a 7 year old would not have enough patient and might get turned off right away. (thats what happened to my buddies girl friend) On the other hand if you just take him out for a morning or day it may get him interested. I also think that you need results, take him somewhere that you know you will have success.

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My son went goose hunting with us in December just after his second birthday.

He started hunting with a gun at 6 years old and bagged 2 teal on youth day that year.

Never too early to start them.

He is 11 now, and I trust him with firearms better than I trust a lot of adults.

This weekend he is going archery hunting with me, and maybe we'll have some pics to post up of his first deer.

I know some will read this and just be completely appalled with what they see. I assure you, I am no adhoc hunter/shooter. We have gone through every motion a million times it seems. Safety first. And all the rest will come into place nicely.

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I have a 15 month old right now, I think by next year we will be able to take walks in the woods to look for squirrels. Right now he loves to go in the woods and be outside. I think by 5 he might be able to sit in a tree stand with me if its nice, but to start out, it will just be walks in the woods with the occasional shot at a squirrel 9taken by me of course).

I think it really depends on the kid too. Some kids can be outside and sit, others need to run around. No matter what, everytime they go out, it should be a safe, comfortable, learning experience. Be sure that they are dressed appropriately for the hunting, and get excited about it.

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Thanks for the imput.

I think this weekend we might walk some trails in the woods and look for squirrels. That should keep him active and I can see how he reacts to the sights, sounds, kills, etc. After a couple hours in thwe woods with him I will be able to make a better judgement call. He's an active kid so sitting in a deer stand will not be the appropriate way to get him involved but I think a walk through the woods or fields for some phesants might do the trick.

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Deer hunting would be tough but I've taken my kids bird hunting since they could barely walk. Didn't go very far, just took them out to tag along. I even had my two daughters walk a few feet to the side to help flush birds when they were as young as 4. They had fun just tramping through the grass and brush. We didn't flush any birds but they enjoyed it as long as the grass wasn't too tall or tangled.

Bob

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My 7 year old started with youth waterfowl day last year (age 6) and had a blast with his .410 with me closely monitoring if not holding part of his gun during each shot and in between shots. He shot up 2 boxes of bismuth 20 rounds $40 (best money I've ever spent by far). During the down time he plunked my older only decoys with the BB gun and ate lots and lots of treats. By the end of the duck season he we had gone out 4-5 times and he even managed to shoot a couple of birds.

Here's the best part, no TV, no work, no playstation, no chores to do (till we got home), basically no distractions. AWESOME father and son time that to me is priceless.

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My daughter is 4 and absolutly loves our drives around home watching deer. She even tells me to be quiet when we stop to watch, so she's already catching on.

This fall as we practiced shooting bow she asked if she could hunt too, I explained she couldn't actually hunt but I would take her out with me one day this fall. Although I have not yet I plan on setting up a blind on a heavly used field edge and bring some books and crayons with to pass the time. I have no intention to harvest a deer (as she is IMO to young to expierence that) but rather just have she see and watch the deer.

Her enthuseasum(sp) to go hunting with me is so great I can't pass up the opportunity.

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Bring them early and often. My dad had me on the stand and in the duck blind at 5. Like others have said try not to have them out too long or go out in miserable weather, make it fun. My boy is only 7 months but I can't wait to get him out in the woods.

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Son is 6 now and he has been hunting with me in South Dakota and up north for grouse since he was 4. Always shorter trips but he loves it. Next year he will be getting his own layout blind for North Dakota. Get em hooked young.

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my daughter is 9 and my boys are 6,4 and a 8 month old thats you can see is chomping at the bits to go with.they have all been bear baiting and hunting since the start of the season. they like it so mutch that i cant get out of the house for a trip by myself and there is nothing wrong with that. I bought a ground blind that we all sit in and it works great for covering up the movements. like others said above bring them early and often just not for to long . dont forget the treats and juice boxes

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I've got a 6 yr old daughter that I'm looking forward to take out both in the duck blind and the deer stand this year. Both situations have weather permitting of course. She talkes about it all the time, and every time we've went into a sporting goods store, she wants to head to the hunting section to find herself hunting clothes to wear.

I personally am going to take the opportunity to to make it fun, low key, and look forward to each second we are out. If we see game, that will be a bonus.

Those of you first time dads and mothers out there, that are planning on taking a newbie out...Start a new topic and lets hear your stores and see the pictures.

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My dad was taking me out deer hunting at ripley when I was so young I dont even remember walking out but I do remember being wrapped up in a blanket to stay warm (before snomobile suits) and my eyes playing tricks on me in the dark, my daughter started fishing at 4, ice fishing at 5 and going duck hunting at 7 and even popped a couple of rounds out of a .410 but for now she prefers the bb gun and thats ok I dont want to rush anything so this year she gets a bb gun to shoot at the dekes while their bobbing around for practice plus she see the bb hit the water and keep her occupied, and I'll let her bring it where ever we go so she can plink to her hearts content, kids are cute in camo grin.

Tom.

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Jake, my son started with me when he was 4, nothing spectacular, more of a picnic, lots of snacks, throwing the dummy for the dog, BB gun and did I mention, lots of snacks! The key is no pressure, blow on the calls, it is just like taking a kid fishing, you have make it fun the whole time. Jake is 10 now and pushing to go all the time, I don't know if there is an absolute age that you say they are ready to go, if you know your kid, you'll know when they are ready. There are a lot of kids 12 - 15 with hunter safety certificates and aren't READY IMO.

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My son is 8 and he has gone out bowhunting with me in a blind for the last 2 years and I give him the bino's and he is good to go.

I still remember when he was 6 I took him to my only hunting spot and we just sat on the ground I really didnt care if we saw anything or not. It was all about spending time together outdoors.

This was the first time I ever put fox pee on my boots and lo and behold as we were walking out that night Here comes a fox hot on my boot trail and my son saw him and says " Dad look at that fox in the field and that has to be one of favorite memories in the field.

Last saturday evening I took him out to some public land with the ground blind and as we were hunting we had a squirrel come really close to the blind and he said dad remember the first time you took me hunting at Roger's house and we saw that fox.

That right there was why you take em out when there young, but for short trips only 2-3 hours if they can make it.

To me if there able to walk decent bring em out. Actually he was ice fishing with me in his play pen when he was just shy of a year old and till this day he loves to fish.

The thing that really puts a damper on this subject for alot of moms especially is the whole turkey hunting accident by Belle Plaine and to top it off moms nowdays are way too paranoid about stupid stuff around the house.

Heaven forbid if the kid falls and there isnt 5" of foam rubber for the kid to land on.

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The kids were out in the woods with me pretty early, around age 3 or so. At first, the trips were short, with easy trails and a chance to see a bird or two get blasted. The kids were issued slingshots, and had a blast.

By the time Jr. was 5, he was a bloodthirsty little monster, refusing to be left home while the Old Man went out and had fun. When the going got tough or the trails a little too long, we carried him a Duluth pack, as he munched cookies and drank a juice box.

His first Duck Opener was an adventure, where he ended up on my left side, feeding me shells as I blasted ducks - and then he took charge of the dog, handling him for the retrieving. In the heat of battle, I let them take off after a cripple, and Jr. slid off a beaver dam, squalling in terror. The dog beat me to the kid, grabbed the oversized jacket and held on firmly until I arrived to set things right.

With a shake of his head a look at his muddy hands, Jr. yelled "that duck's going to get away!" and he and the Old Dog continued the chase.

A pic from that morning.

TheKid3014.jpg

Jr. is closing in on 17 now, and is as good a partner as I've had, or could ever hope to have. He is safety conscious, has a nose for game, and will go all day and half the night if I let him. He can clean ducks and geese and partridge and pheasants and skin deer - and do so with a smile.

Start 'em young, keep it fun, and the rewards are shared.

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For those of you like me who haven't had the kids just go nuts for it at any opportunity, just keep trying.

My son's 10 & very moody when it comes to what he wants to do. He has a BB gun that he rarely uses. He has had no appreciable interest in hunting. I've taken him with for a couple of short duck hunts when he was younger, 7-8 maybe & let him shoot the decoys. He had fun, but didn't want to go again, fishing's been like that too. Sometimes he'll be gung ho for a few weeks & then not interested. We went bowhunting once I think when he was 8. We took the BB gun too, but the hunt still only lasted 30 minutes...

A few weeks ago I bought a .410 & told him we could go look for mourning doves at our place if he wanted to. He was all psyched about that. We went out to shoot at a target to get him used to the gun & to understand how much more lethal they are then a BB gun. I shot first & explained the gun, he was psyched. Then he shot it, it still scared him, & then he didn't want to hunt. He was afraid I'd be mad at him. I told him it doesn't matter, we don't have to go.

A few days later he wanted to shoot the gun again, which he did, & then he wanted to go hunting. We've gone a couple of times now. I found a tree by a waterhole where they'll land sometimes & station him there against a clump of brush. The first time out he got one & was very excited the next time out he either missed or it was a hair farther then I thought, but at least he's interested & learning.

So my word of encouragement is hang in there & give it time. They may still come around. I didn't get real interested in hunting until I was probably somewhere in that age range either.

Sorry I got so long.

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Quote:
Heaven forbid if the kid falls and there isnt 5" of foam rubber for the kid to land on.

LOL, I figure I have to be tougher on the kid, just so he doesn't grow up to be a gigantic pansy. Moms are funny like that, I have to keep telling her that kids fall, and that its OK if he crys, he has to learn sometime. Right now, the kid has no fear of heights and we have a two foot ledge off our porch, she keeps asking when is he gonna figure it out, and I keep telling her "when he falls" Unfortunately its a concrete slap, so we have to be careful not to let him fall, if it was grass, it wouldn't be so bad. I really can't wait to take him hunting. I'm not going to pressure him to go, I think when the time is right, he will just want to go.

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I've been bringing my son along consistantly and it looks like he might be ready to hunt deer by the time he is 12(mentally, emotionally, and mainly safetywise). We would set up ground blinds in our living room at around age 3 or 4 and he would shoot the TV screen with dart guns while watching Monster Bucks videos. He started tagging along with me out in the field at age 4 carrying a Daisy BB gun then graduated to a pellet gun at around age 7. Last year, at age 9 he was ready for a single shot 20 gauge and managed to drop 3 ducks and rolled some snowshoe hares. I am having him stick to the single shot 20 gauge for this fall hunting season even though he started shooting my 12 gauge and is breaking a few clay pidgeons with it. I will continue to measure his progress and maturity not by how old he is but by how he is handling himself in the woods each step of the way.

Bottom line - Expose kids early but each kid is different. Some are ready for the next step earlier than others. Don't compare them to other kids but move them along in the sport of hunting at their own pace.

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I remember going with my dad as long as I can remember. I know I was plinking at rabbits, squirrels, and grouse way before I was old enough to take firearms training and go deer hunting. I also remember going with my dad one or two days out of the deer season to sit on the stand with him. He'd make a thermos of coffee for him and hot chocolate for me. I bet I did that at least 5 years before I could hunt, so it would've been around that 6-7 year old stage. My dad would hunt seriously the rest of the season. I remember in firearms training class how surprised I was that some of the kids had never shot a gun before. All those firearms rules were being taught to them for the first time and, even at 11 years old, I felt like this stuff should be common sense. I say, "the earlier, the better." Having posted this question tells me that you're a thoughtful person and will probably be the best teacher for your son.

Having said that...being a teacher myself, I look at my students and would have no problem taking about 3/4 of them out in the woods hunting or on the water fishing. The other 1/4.... eek !

He's your son and you know him better than anyone else. I'd say go for it. He'll learn more from you than anyone else.

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Thanks for all the responses. As it has been stated, this is a great topic.

I think the boy and I are going to go for a walk through the woods on Sunday. (Hopefully if I don't watch the game the Vikes will win!) I'll bring the .22 with just for a purpose but I don't plan on shooting it. We'll just do some wildlife observation and general conversation and maybe a little plinking/gun training in the process. Either way, it's quality father/son time and I'm looking forward to that more than anything. If he likes it, great, we'll go again soon. If he doesn't like it, that's fine too. I'm not going to force the issue on him. He's the one that brought it up over dinner the other night so I know he has at least some intrest.

Awesome insight and discussion on this topic!

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