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#6046635 - 11/23/15 10:45 PM Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father?
Theringworm Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 325
As some of you know I have two boys whom I am trying to groom into being good, ethical hunters while developing a passion for the outdoors. Since they are out of school this week I decided to let them have their time being in "the chair". What this means is, I take a back seat to being the trigger man and do all I can to put them on a deer, no matter the size. Whatever shows up they have first dibs at. Trust me, it's hard and tonight proved to be agonizing.

Got to the lease early today, put out a bunch of coon traps and filled some feeders. My 12 yo was with me on this trip and he did what he could to be of some help. 50lb bags of corn aren't in his wheel house yet but he was there helping as much as he could. It was time to get in the blind. I like parking a long ways away and walking in with the wind in our favor. As we are walking in to the blind he his walking like he has concrete in his boots and dragging his feet kicking rocks. I think I reminded him about 3 times on the way in to "step lightly" and "pick up his feet". He is probably making faces at me as we are walking in because of my constant reminders. Of course, when we get to the feeder and see the doe in the pen, I reinforced the point that this is why we "sneak into our blind".

Once we were all situated in the blind things went well. He is really good about being quiet in the blind and not kicking his feet against the walls or bouncing around in his chair. He hasn't quite gotten the hang of making slow movements however. When I alert him to an incoming deer he pulls his head up out of his book quicker than lightening.

We were after one buck in particular, a very nice clean 8 pt that by my guess would score 120s. He is a great looking buck and I would be more than willing to shoot him myself and put it on the wall. But this was his night. As you guessed it, I spotted the buck coming in from our left at about 500yds out. I knew immediately it was a big buck and so did my son. He said, "dad, he is a monster". I told him to ready his rifle thinking he would head straight for the feeder and give us a shot. Instead he was coming directly to us. He was now 40 yds in front of us, broadside. I glanced over to my son, whom was still "being very SLOW but careful/cautious" at raising his rifle to rest on the window opening. Instead of criticizing him for not being ready I told him to not panic and that the buck would circle around and come in to the pen. By the time he was ready, the mesquite was between us and him. Several minutes passed and he turned around and came back into the pen. He jumped in and presented a broadside shot except for one small mesquite twig right of the vitals. I would have taken it, but it wasn't something I was comfortable with him doing. I kept telling him to be patient and be ready. He takes a step forward and I whisper, "now, shoot when you are ready". Then the deer quarters away and is giving us the ole Texas Heart Shot presentation. Why my son knows this and loves talking about it I don't know. He thinks its hilarious though. The deer walks away and then turns broadside again right below the feeder. I tell him again, "do it, shoot him". Seconds that seem like hours pass and nothing. Now the deer is walking away and unfortunately doesn't return.

I asked him why he didn't shoot. His response, "I was nervous dad". Man I love my kids and love even more their honesty. I can only hope that my boys understand that I am truly "trying to teach" and not nag and do so because I love them and want them to be successful in all that they do. Tomorrow is a new day..........and my 12 yo and I will be in the same blind tomorrow, waiting for the same deer to show.

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#6046648 - 11/23/15 10:52 PM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33685
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
It's not the destination, it the journey that you take to get you there. Trust me, the kid gets it and I am sure is loving every minute of it. Just be patient with him and tell him everything he did that is good. The more confidence he has, the less nervous he will be. Great job Dad and good luck tomorrow up
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#6046716 - 11/24/15 04:30 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19296
Loc: Corsicana
You don't seem like a nagging father to me. Just a good one.

IDK your kid so I can't advise on how "tough" to be on him. My Dad was a kind and gentle man - but by the time I was 12 as a result of some pretty stern lectures ("Boy, you drag those feet or kick those rocks one more time I'm gonna whoop your ***) I had the basics pretty down. Parents were just tougher/less patient back then. And he was serious about deer hunting.

That was a different time though and times have changed.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6046721 - 11/24/15 04:44 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
Longhunter Online   content


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 6312
Loc: Podunk
you done good dad...
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Longhunter >>>-------> Make It Count!!!<><






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#6046814 - 11/24/15 07:04 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
scalebuster Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 1919
We didn't hunt out of blinds when I was a kid. I remember asking my dad if we walked into the wind so the deer wouldn't smell us. He replied yes and you smell pretty damn loud.

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#6046816 - 11/24/15 07:06 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
338ultra Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 1656
Loc: Waco, TX
Sounds like you did well. Just reassure him that nothing he did was wrong. If he felt nervous it's ok to not take the shot until he calmed his nerves. It also makes for a better story in the long run.
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#6046840 - 11/24/15 07:25 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: 338ultra]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11272
Originally Posted By: 338ultra
Sounds like you did well. Just reassure him that nothing he did was wrong. If he felt nervous it's ok to not take the shot until he calmed his nerves. It also makes for a better story in the long run.


He showed maturity that many grown men lack by not taking a shot when he wasn't confident that he could make it. That shows respect for himself, the animal, and you as well. Others would have just blasted away to see what happens.

It also sounds like you want him to kill a deer more than he does. Let the urge to hunt grown in him at his own pace. I would suggest focusing more on those things that make hunting together so enjoyable outside of killing and harvesting. There are many no doubt.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6046850 - 11/24/15 07:30 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
HuntinForTail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Houston
If he felt too nervous to pull the trigger, then he did the right thing by not taking the shot. I'd say that says a lot about you teaching him about taking ethical shots. I know many adults that don't know when to pass on a deer because they can't get their breathing under control or get a clean shot. Now you just need to work on whatever you can do with him to get him comfortable enough to calm himself down and take a shot. For me that was just something that took time.

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#6046876 - 11/24/15 07:44 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
jimbob Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 815
Loc: Carrollton
You are doing the right thing and teaching him right. My son did the same thing When he was exactly 12. He would almost hyperventilate when watching a deer with his gun ready. I had him shoot at turkeys
to get over the nervousness. Took almost a whole season before he was comfortable with shooting. He is at A&M and is senior and he still gets nervous and has to pause to calm down.

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#6046904 - 11/24/15 07:54 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23459
Loc: Texas
More shooting time, my wife is the same way, took her over 90 minutes with the gun out the window to get her first deer and hasn't gotten much better.

When my brother and I started hunting dad quit till we were old enough to sit by ourselves, think sitting with him for those few years were the best years of both our hunting lives!
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It's hell eatin em live

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#6046909 - 11/24/15 07:56 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: txshntr]
SniperRAB Online   content
GRAMPS!!!

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 21153
Loc: Nurturing Biosphere Mothership
Originally Posted By: txshntr
It's not the destination, it the journey that you take to get you there. Trust me, the kid gets it and I am sure is loving every minute of it. Just be patient with him and tell him everything he did that is good. The more confidence he has, the less nervous he will be. Great job Dad and good luck tomorrow up



Well Said
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#6046993 - 11/24/15 08:26 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
Duck_Hunter Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 3386
I don't have kids and I don't deer hunt, but I'd think the most important lesson in being an ethical Hunter is to not take a shot you're not comfortable in, resulting in poor shot placement or a dangerous situation.

Twelve year olds kicking rocks and being fidgety are going to happen, no matter how many times they are reminded and I expect you would have to be patient with them on that stuff. But if he had pulled the trigger before you have him the OK on that buck, that would have been a much larger problem. Kicking rocks and not being ready at first didn't spook the deer, so to me it seems like you might have to keep working on those aspects of hunting.

At least he recognized that he was nervous and didn't take a shot he wasn't comfortable with. That might have been a much tougher lesson for both of you to work through.

Like I said, I don't have kids, but at any age (and even with adults new to guns and hunting) I'm much more concerned about gun safety and ethical shooting than moving around in the blind or flaring ducks.

You know your kids better than any of us do, and you know more about parenting than me, so I'll defer on that aspect and just say I'd be encouraged that he didn't take a bad shot due to nerves or without your OK. Hope this makes sense.
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#6047012 - 11/24/15 08:31 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19296
Loc: Corsicana
Makes sense to me. I wouldn't say a word to him about the buck fever. That's just part of hunting for younguns. A great part. I would applaud him for not just throwing a shot out there.

But IMO by 12 most all boys can learn to be still, not drag their feet, kick rocks, whisper, etc. Stuff that might spook deer. 6? No way. 8? Nope. 10? Depends on the kid. 12? Yep.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6047054 - 11/24/15 08:50 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
cowboybam58 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 1102
Loc: Abilene
Great job with your son. You are doing a good job if he knew not to take the shot he wasn't comfortable with. I've been hunting since I was his age and my dad used to tell me those same things. I listened and over the years have been able to use those skills he taught me then to make the most memorable hunts yet. I still get excited and can hear him coaching me through it ever time I take a shot. Those are memories your son will never forget. Keep up with the positive reinforcement too. Confidence will be his best friend in the field.

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#6047081 - 11/24/15 09:04 AM Re: Am I teaching my son to hunt or just being a nagging father? [Re: Theringworm]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
You are not nagging. You are coaching and doing a great job. Kids don't need to be coddled. Strong encouragement should not be confused with nagging. By following up with explanations and examples on each step of the events (as you did with the picking the feet up scenario), they are learning whether you feel that way or not. I read your post and everything you said sounds exactly like my experience with my daughter, from the kicking the rocks to the not shooting when she wasn't confident/nervous in the shot. Keep doing what you are doing. He obviously loves it and loves doing it with you. I guarantee it. Good luck today on catching back up with that buck!

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