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#5681563 - 04/02/15 03:47 PM How to Introduce Kids to Hunting
Dogpaddlin Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 124
I think my son is getting old enough (4yrs) I can start taking him hunting. He has gone to the lease with me previously to shoot and just have fun stomping around. My question is how do you introduce them to the actual hunt? How do you explain the kill to them? It's hard to make a young one grasp the concept of conservation.

I love the outdoors and look forward to having lots of adventures with him. I have been very careful when introducing him to other things (canoeing/kayaking, camping, hiking, etc.) going to great measures to keep each of the outings short & fun. I would like to make sure I don't do something stupid when introducing him to hunting.

Any suggestions?

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#5681669 - 04/02/15 05:06 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
PMK Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 4965
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
my son was eat up with wanting to go hunting with me and my father from very young. My dad and I started taking him to a stand at around 3 years old. We had various conversations over time about "hunting" and conservation outside our time in the field so he had a basic understanding before ever going to a stand during season. We also used the same method on my son as my dad did with my brother and I. We grew up with BB guns and knew safety and how to shoot, so my dad took a magazine picture of a deer and drew a cross hair target on the vital area (heart/lung) that we would practice on with our BB guns later moving to a small center fire (218 Bee) under watchful eye of dad. When we could put 3 rounds into a dime size grouping in the sweet spot, he allowed us to have a rifle in the stand. I was just shy of 5 years old, my brother was just shy of 7. My son was just over 5 years old when he got to take the same 218 Bee to the stand and killed his first deer that season. Each kid is different but it takes a lot of outside hunting season discussions and hands on practice to fully understand and displaying safety starting off with a toy rifle, progressing to a BB gun/pellet gun before moving to even a .22 or centerfire. Some kids just don't have the interest or passion at the younger ages, some aren't even ready by their early teens.

with all that said, hunting season, especially deer season, has always been a HUGE event in our house, at least for me and my dad (deceased 2004) and I have been eat up with it since very young ... it was a way of life (figuratively)
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"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

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#5681711 - 04/02/15 05:43 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
SniperRAB Online   content
GRAMPS!!!

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 21119
Loc: Nurturing Biosphere Mothership
How Cool Sir!
Get that little Fella out, Jasb little guy Fishing cracks me up every time I see the pics up
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#5681712 - 04/02/15 05:44 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: PMK]
SniperRAB Online   content
GRAMPS!!!

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 21119
Loc: Nurturing Biosphere Mothership
Originally Posted By: PMK
my son was eat up with wanting to go hunting with me and my father from very young. My dad and I started taking him to a stand at around 3 years old. We had various conversations over time about "hunting" and conservation outside our time in the field so he had a basic understanding before ever going to a stand during season. We also used the same method on my son as my dad did with my brother and I. We grew up with BB guns and knew safety and how to shoot, so my dad took a magazine picture of a deer and drew a cross hair target on the vital area (heart/lung) that we would practice on with our BB guns later moving to a small center fire (218 Bee) under watchful eye of dad. When we could put 3 rounds into a dime size grouping in the sweet spot, he allowed us to have a rifle in the stand. I was just shy of 5 years old, my brother was just shy of 7. My son was just over 5 years old when he got to take the same 218 Bee to the stand and killed his first deer that season. Each kid is different but it takes a lot of outside hunting season discussions and hands on practice to fully understand and displaying safety starting off with a toy rifle, progressing to a BB gun/pellet gun before moving to even a .22 or centerfire. Some kids just don't have the interest or passion at the younger ages, some aren't even ready by their early teens.

with all that said, hunting season, especially deer season, has always been a HUGE event in our house, at least for me and my dad (deceased 2004) and I have been eat up with it since very young ... it was a way of life (figuratively)


up
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#5681728 - 04/02/15 05:52 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
Wilhunt Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 2337
Loc: New Braunfels, San Saba county
I think you take them with you as soon as they express a desire to go. Let that be the beginning of training for safety, respect for the animals and handling of firearms. A great time in one's life.

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#5681732 - 04/02/15 05:54 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10831
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Started mine at about 4 with a pellet gun in the back yard. Worked her way up to .22. She got her first kill at 7. She let me know when she was ready to draw blood.

I believe they will let you know when they're ready. Until then it should be all about gun safety and shooting skills. And of course teaching about nature and protecting it.

Good luck. up
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#5681752 - 04/02/15 06:04 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
Simple Searcher Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4152
Loc: Helotes, Hext
Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
Started mine at about 4 with a pellet gun in the back yard. Worked her way up to .22. She got her first kill at 7. She let me know when she was ready to draw blood.

I believe they will let you know when they're ready. Until then it should be all about gun safety and shooting skills. And of course teaching about nature and protecting it.

Good luck. up


Same here. My girls were always tagging along. I never pushed them to shoot anything. They both approached me in the same manner when they asked if they could shoot a deer. They had been taught safety and shooting as part of growing up. They decided when to move up. One was 11 the other was 8.

And don't start a 40 pound scrawny kid with a 30-06. They will be gun shy from day one. I like the 218 Bee approach, I did the same thing but .223.
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"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark

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#5682372 - 04/03/15 06:31 AM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
upsslim Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/10/13
Posts: 434
Loc: Cooper, TX
I bought all my kids BB guns for their 6th birthday. I taught them the safety rules just like it was a real gun. If they did something unsafe I'd take the gun away and put it where they could see it but not use it for awhile. I remember one son coming in from school, doing homework, and sitting staring at that Daisy wanting to take it to the woods but not being able to after he put it up with the safety off. Later in their life's came the rifles and shotguns. All my kids are very safe with guns and love hunting.


Edited by upsslim (04/03/15 06:34 AM)
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#5682417 - 04/03/15 07:28 AM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11260
Hunting requires knowledge and skill in multiple areas, so the key is the generate an interest in each one.

As others have mentioned, giving kids a BB gun and teaching them safe shooting skills helps generate interest in the first area, Marksmanship. And likewise, giving a youngster a bow allows them build an interest in Archery. Unfortunately, many parents stop at teaching their kids how to shoot or fling an arrow and say it's all they need do to become a good hunter. And that's probably true if all they will ever do is sit and watch a feeder all day. If the intent is to teach a kid how to truly hunt, parents must also generate an interest that will drive a child to want to learn more about animals and their behavior. Sadly, too many kids today have never been shown a scrape or a rub, or have any idea what animal made them and why. And many teenagers could not tell you how to read and use a compass.

Now granted, there are only so many things that would interest a four-year old. Still, if you want to generate an interest in your kids when they are at that "I want to be like you" stage, show them the same values and interests that you have. And hopefully, for the future of our sport, it's more than siting and watching a feeder all day. Take them on short walks and teach them how to look for deer sign. If you want to see a young boy or girl get excited, let them be the first to find a deer track, a rub, or a scrape. And as they get older, allow them to bring their knowledge together to build simple strategies, and let them determine which stands would be better to hunt that day because of the wind, or the rising or setting sun that aid or lessen a hunter's vision. As the old saying goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
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Spring, Texas

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#5682591 - 04/03/15 09:37 AM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
scratch The debait about the culling . From what i've learned tis all about english flag
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#5682677 - 04/03/15 10:21 AM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
Dogpaddlin Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 124
Thanks for all the replies! My dad also started us off with a bb gun. I am from the panhandle and we only hunted fowl. The first year we went we were not allowed to carry a firearm. The second we carried an unloaded gun. If we showed we had the maturity to hunt safely we got a loaded gun the third year. I am a stickler for gun safety and he will be brought up the same way.

What I am really struggling with is the subject of taking life. While I can have the cull/conservation discussion with an adult I don't think a 4yr old will grasp the concept. We went to the lease a few weeks ago and had a pack of juvenile pigs come to the feeder. I passed on the shot because I didn't want his first experience with seeing blood spilled to be a "baby".

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#5682707 - 04/03/15 10:38 AM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
Originally Posted By: Dogpaddlin
Thanks for all the replies! My dad also started us off with a bb gun. I am from the panhandle and we only hunted fowl. The first year we went we were not allowed to carry a firearm. The second we carried an unloaded gun. If we showed we had the maturity to hunt safely we got a loaded gun the third year. I am a stickler for gun safety and he will be brought up the same way.

What I am really struggling with is the subject of taking life. While I can have the cull/conservation discussion with an adult I don't think a 4yr old will grasp the concept. We went to the lease a few weeks ago and had a pack of juvenile pigs come to the feeder. I passed on the shot because I didn't want his first experience with seeing blood spilled to be a "baby".

scratch Bambi flag
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#5683216 - 04/03/15 04:53 PM Re: How to Introduce Kids to Hunting [Re: Dogpaddlin]
Geronimo509 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 19
Loc: DFW
Seems like you and the rest here have just about everything covered. The only struggle is about the actual kill. I let my son go with me to get meat from the store and then the butcher. I had him watch me cook it and he loved to eat it. I explained that the meat had to come from somewhere. He helped me dress a deer and watch me cook that. I explained the whole time to not kill something just to kill it, but to use it as a resource. It didnt take long for him to be perfectly fine with killing something for food.

Every child is different and only you know what will work. That's just what I did. Also, watching stupid survival shows and all those "Alaska" shows where you need to hunt to survive (C'mon, its decent entertainment). Sure, it's not about survival for us, but it's us putting our own food on the table.
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