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Mar 25th, 2012
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At What Age To Shoot #7456714 03/12/19 05:30 PM
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fishdfly Offline OP
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I read posts of what rifle for a youngster, what caliber, what rifle for a recoil shy youngster, etc.

At what age is just too young to shoot deer.

Some of the pictures in the Tyler paper, the kids look to be in the first or second grade. That is just to young to me.

My father's requirement was kids were allowed to go and sit with him at age 7. Even then the attention span was not very long. During those years, you helped gut, skin and quarter a deer. After receiving your rifle at age 11, you were required to shoot it until he was satisfied that you were ready to shoot at a deer.

I did the same with mine.

Was wondering, it seems kids are shooting to young to me?

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456718 03/12/19 05:40 PM
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My plan was similar to yours except I have girls so the gutting part they are still learning...lol.

I wouldnít go by age but maturity, coordination and learning ability.

Thatís just me, I say do what you decide itís your kid.


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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456720 03/12/19 05:43 PM
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Danger Will Robinson! Some touchy, and understandably proud, young daddies on here.

I shot my first buck at 11. In my dad's generation (born 1918), I don't think boys even went much with their dads. It was a rite of passage to manhood. 'Not saying they didn't have .22s and plinked, but a hunt was more of a once a season, two week affair. Men didn't go every weekend, they were too busy working 6 or 7 days a week.

Plenty of pictures of 6 year olds that pulled the trigger on a rifle in a firm, full rest and shot something bigger than I'll ever see, at 200 yards no less. I don't think that teaches them much.


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456756 03/12/19 06:32 PM
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I like a lot of what Creekrunner said.

I started hunting when I was 10. I think individual maturity has a lot to do with it, ive been around tiny kids that seemed calm and well behaved and listened well enough to do it and ive seen teenagers I wouldn't trust to.

If they cant support and handle the gun themselves I think they are too young. I don't believe in shooting out of a sled or fixed type rest.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456763 03/12/19 06:42 PM
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i think a lot of folks need to read these ^ ^ ^ replies ^ ^

maturity is everything when you have a loaded firearm in your hands.
i've seen a lot of "grownups" that are too immature to be out hunting,

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456770 03/12/19 06:45 PM
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I agree with redchevy. If you have to set-up the rifle for them to just pull the trigger that is not hunting and they're too young.

Every kid is different and you'll know when they're ready



Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: maximum] #7456772 03/12/19 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by maximum
i think a lot of folks need to read these ^ ^ ^ replies ^ ^

maturity is everything when you have a loaded firearm in your hands.
i've seen a lot of "grownups" that are too immature to be out hunting,


Boom



Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456779 03/12/19 06:50 PM
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I don't know for sure. I started shooting at age 6. I didn't kill a deer until I was in my thirties :x

I have been after small game almost as long as I have been shooting and I rarely had any supervision. Not saying it should be that way, but that is the way it was. They also tried to teach me to clean fish earlier than that, but it took me a couple years to do it on my own and do it right.

So 99% of what i know of hunting and fishing came from personal experience, Field and Stream, and Outdoor Life smile My grandma always made sure I had a subscription to field and stream. Believe it or not that kept fish in the freezer and kept me out of trouble. So very smart of her to do that. Grown ups worked all the time, Grandma worked until well into her 60's.

I think it's up to you and you gotta use your best judgement on your kids and their maturity level. My girls wants to go hunting with me, I think that itself is a blessing and not something you should piddle around about. As soon as they can place the shot with an adequate caliber for deer, if they have been exposed to dead game and understand you have to take a animal's life and still show desire to hunt then they are ready. That doesn't mean you gotta scare them with talk about death and killing. You will know they are ready by the eay they talk about it.

You have to feed their desire to hunt and fish or they will lose it in their adolescence and may never get it back. So if you want them to be your hunting partners and your grandkids to do it too, you gotta feed that desire and make those good memories.

My dilemma with them isn't a lack of maturity, but they are very small. My ten year old is ready mentally, and her marksmanship skills are good enough, but not quite ready to shoot a powerful rifle because of her physical stature.

My boys are actually my stepsons. Their dad had them in the deer woods very young and they could not shoot any centerfire caliber comfortably, but the desire to get a deer was strong enough that they could handle it just fine. A lot of grown men hunt with rifles they can't shoot comfortably so there is that.. So my boys have a whole lot more experience deer hunting than me. But we're still working on their ability to hunt in general. Their dad put them on deer and made it happen for them before the skills were learned, but I think that is OK. Might be a little bit backwards to some of ya'll but what is important is they have fun times and good memories and they want to spend time with you and learn. That is what you want.

Kids typically won't learn to hunt before they make their first kill I think, because they are not doing it necessarily to put meat on the table. The meat is a bonus of the whole experience. You're not teaching them to hunt to survive, you're sharing it with them and teaching them a way of life, self sufficiency, and responsibility.

Just expect to cut your time in a stand short, they don't have the perseverance or attention span to sit in a stand all day or the perseverance and endurance to spot and stalk all day. You gotta make it fun for them and that means sucking it up and cutting it short sometimes. That has been my experience fishing with them, unless they are really biting good you have an hour or two hours tops before they lose interest. Learning patience comes when the desire to get a big fish outweighs the desire to go home on a slow day. Hunting I think will be a similar experience- maybe I ought to get them on doves or squirrels first on that note.

If your kid has the patience and desire already, good for you.

Me personally, if my daughter could put three consecutive shots on a paper plate with any rifle I already had, we'd have been in a deer stand somewhere this year. I just got her on a rimfire this year and I have no doubt she will bag some squirrels. So whatever opportunity comes up next to hunt I am getting her in the woods, probably with a .410 and a red dot instead of a .22 to go after squirrels so she can learn to manage the recoil a little. She's ten.

Starting them young is smarter in my opinion. They just need constant supervision. You're not turning them loose on their own with a rifle to put meat on the table, hopefully at least. In NC they have to be 17 to hunt alone anyway. By then they should be damn good and ready.

Last edited by regularguy11B; 03/12/19 06:56 PM.

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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456784 03/12/19 06:59 PM
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I definitely support taking kids hunting before they are ready to be the one pulling the trigger. My 4 year old has been sitting with me for the past two years off and on. Been doing a lot better this past season than the one before. He is definitely interested in it, but no where near ready.

I have been trying to get him to start shooting but haven't had much luck with that, he is very sensitive around loud noises and even with ear plugs I have only gotten him to shoot a 22 a few times.


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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: redchevy] #7456791 03/12/19 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
I definitely support taking kids hunting before they are ready to be the one pulling the trigger. My 4 year old has been sitting with me for the past two years off and on. Been doing a lot better this past season than the one before. He is definitely interested in it, but no where near ready.

I have been trying to get him to start shooting but haven't had much luck with that, he is very sensitive around loud noises and even with ear plugs I have only gotten him to shoot a 22 a few times.



Mine are shy of the noise also. I put earplugs in her ears, put peltors on top of that, and used CCI Quiet. She can have fun with that and no problems, although she still thought it was loud at first. Im like... CCI Quiet... the pellet gun is louder than this. There is a psychological aspect to it as well I think.

I am looking for better earplugs to go with the peltors so she can use a louder gun. If I gotta get a suppressor I will, but it's so expensive and you gotta wait a long time. Plus the suppressor doesn't help with the noise other shooters are making at the range.

Last edited by regularguy11B; 03/12/19 07:14 PM. Reason: Lot of typos

-Bryan

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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: redchevy] #7456799 03/12/19 07:21 PM
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fishdfly Offline OP
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I agree maturity is a key.

My youngest son made a decision not to follow ranch rules which were created by his Grandfather. They were posted on the wall for all to read and follow. His rifle bolt managed to disappear.

He asked where it was, I told him his Grandfather had it. it was put away until he matured. It was a long time in coming.

Ranch rules and safety are paramount.

Thanks for folks insight.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456859 03/12/19 08:31 PM
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I agree with many posts above. Some people it may be 4 and some probably shouldn't be shooting at all. My dad told me that when I could consistently hit a quarter by myself at 25 yards (I think it was 25) with a .22, then I could shoot. Shot my first doe at 5 years old. At that age, I had probably shot more BBs than the average 20 year old though, so it really depends on the person imo.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456886 03/12/19 09:17 PM
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Agree with all that say Maturity is the key. In the Texas Youth Hunting Program kids have to be at least 9 years old to participate. I have started some younger ad some older. I was shooting a bb gun at 6 and 22 at 8 but was not released to hunt until I turned 9.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7456897 03/12/19 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
My plan was similar to yours except I have girls so the gutting part they are still learning...lol.

I wouldnít go by age but maturity, coordination and learning ability.

Thatís just me, I say do what you decide itís your kid.



I fall more in this line of thinking and don't believe that there is any specific age that would determine if they were too young or ready. I also agree that I see many kids that are shooting way too young, but it isn't because of a picture that is posted of them with their trophy, it refers to some of the kids that I have been around that are shooting deer.

Both my kids have been shooting guns since they were 3-4 years old. My daughter shot her first deer at 8 and at the rate my son is going, he won't shoot his until he is 14 bang

My daughter was a quick learner behind the trigger. She always pays attention to the instructions and retains them. She has made every effort to become proficient with a gun and showed interest in shooting beyond "doing it because the other kids are." I knew she was ready because she had shown me both in the stand and out of the stand.

My son likes to shoot, actually loves to shoot. But his idea is using a semi-automatic and watching the water spouts as he shoots the pond. I don't push him to do it any different but he is well aware that he won't be shooting at an animal until he can hone in his skills. He want's to shoot a deer worse than his sister ever did. He loves hunting but he isn't anywhere near ready and I have no issue telling him he isn't ready. We will see what the next few years bring or change for him, but it doesn't change the amount of time that we spend in the stand together.

I have a buddy that has a son that is 7 and has been shooting a gun from around the same time frame as both of my kids. His son has shot 6 deer to date and killed 1 of those stalking and resting against a tree for support while stalking. He is as good of a hunter as many grown men that I know.


Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: txshntr] #7456920 03/12/19 10:04 PM
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Agree. I started young, and started all 4 of my kids young. In the stand & bird hunting with me at 3-4 yrs old. All started on bb guns and basic gun safety at 3-4. Lots of bb gun practice then up to 22ís. Practice & more practice, then up to centerfires. When theyíre ready theyíre ready, age doesnít matter. My youngest Son killed his first deer the end of last season at 7, made a perfect 100 yrd heart shot on a doe at 100 yrds with my old 243. My kid rules are simple, safety first, proficiency 2índ. You have to be able to regularly do both by yourself or youíre not ready. Youngest daughter is 4 and on her bb gun now, looking forward to when sheís ready. grin Iím a firm believer in starting them young and starting them right, but again regardless of age if a kid is not ready the kidís not ready.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456930 03/12/19 10:29 PM
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My son proved to me he was ready to shoot a hog this past season at age 6. He is a pretty dang good shot and I made sure of that before I let him shoot a hog. With that said after shooting a hog and doing great i let him shoot a doe and later in the season his first buck. Itís not exactly how I planned it but he proved he was ready and he earned it. If I hadnít been 100% confident in his ability to shoot I wouldnít have allowed him to do so. Age is just a number and each kid is different.

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Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456949 03/12/19 10:52 PM
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My dad started me at 10. I learned the hard way about focus and emotional control when I swung on a pheasant and I wanted it so bad I swung out of my safe zone toward my dad. My guardian angle was with me and I didnt hit him but scared the Heck out of both of us. Needless to say I felt and thought that was my last day afield but I had the greatest dad ever and he sat me down and we talked it through. I realized that day there was no animal worth more than someone you love or another human being. That lesson is responsible for many many passes over 60 years on questionable shots.

The maturity issue is the case in point. Is the child able to comprehend the consequences of a mistake and how to avoid mistakes.. Not his accuracy or his patience.
I've been working with my 2 grandsons age 10 and 11. Watching them handle the firearm is my entire focus. Yes we sight in and shoot but any careless barrel handling is called out in the strongest terms. It's been about a year and I am now comfortable they got the message. They both got great mule deer this year.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456956 03/12/19 11:01 PM
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Good stuff Sap, hereís a couple of my little boy from last season.

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He carries a pocket knife & a skinning knife with him too, with me. He is also learning knife safety 101 and he knows what will happen if he breaks the rules. Gun cleaning and knife sharpening classes start soon.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456968 03/12/19 11:17 PM
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Great pics Sapper and Skinner. cheers

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: ZK-315] #7456972 03/12/19 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ZK-315
Great pics Sapper and Skinner. cheers


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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456973 03/12/19 11:25 PM
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Maturity and knowledge of the hunting experience.


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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7456988 03/12/19 11:51 PM
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Each kid is different. Itís up to you to make that call. I killed my first deer on the run at 7 with a 30-30 and hunted birds over dogs at that age. My boys are 7 and 10. They can shoot deer out of a blind and dove hunt. I donít shoot when theyíre dove hunting and watch them take turns. Theyíre not ready to shoot over dogs yet. Too many things can go wrong. Theyíre not ate up with killing things like I was at 6. I killed at least 10 sparrows with a BB gun every day for the cats at the barn and we had 1,000ís of jackrabbits to practice on with a 22. Hopefully next year will be the year for some real hunting. The first few times they wonít be hunting with a group and just one dog will be on the ground. Iíll evaluate from there with one gun taking turns.

Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7457019 03/13/19 12:27 AM
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Shot my first doe at 9.


The secret to a long life is to try not to shorten it.
Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7457029 03/13/19 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
Originally Posted by ZK-315
Great pics Sapper and Skinner. cheers



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Re: At What Age To Shoot [Re: fishdfly] #7457079 03/13/19 01:54 AM
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A lot of great posts and pictures in this thread. Good topic.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


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