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Old 10-20-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
 
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Default What age to start children hunting?

Saw an older post and it got me to thinking since I have three boys (7, 4, and 10 months). So, I decided to make a poll to get other dads opinions as to when they started, or plan to start, their children hunting.

I started carrying my Red Rider BB gun on squirrel hunts with my dad as far back as I can remember. The first real hunting experience I had was in the dove field at the age of 10 with my newly inherited Stevens 20-guage crack barrel. However, due to a bad deer hunting accident that resulted in my dad loosing one of his best friends, it wasn't until I was a late teen that I finally persuaded him to take me on my first deer hunt. It was an uneventful hunt, but started a passion that has grown tremendously over the last 20 years.

Thanks in advance for your participation.


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Old 10-20-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
 
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?


Good question, I am not sure. I have a 7mnth old, and will introduce him to the sport early on, sitting with me deer hunting. But too young and they just don't have the patience to sit still. Probably around 7-8
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:41 AM   #3
 
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

For me there are two separate issues. One is just taking them along hunting and the second is actually allowing them to shoot and kill an animal.

As far as the first, I don't see a problem taking kids along atabout anyage. As long as they are warm and comfortable and aren't made to stay out all day, go for it. In fact weren't ground blinds invented just to take kids out hunting? LOL! Plus walking around the woods just looking for sign is a great thing to do with kids.

The second is a little more tricky for me personally. It's been pretty well studied that kids don't really fully understand the concept of life and death until around the age of 9. Again this is a personal issue with me, but I have a problem with putting a firearm in the hands of a younger child and asking them to take a life before they understand what that means. I won't go into here, but I've had a personal experience thay has really shaped my opinion of this.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:55 AM   #4
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

I startedshooting my dad's riflewith him in the stand at 11 and that Christmas i got a .243 and started hunting by myselfin thestand.My brother was the same age too when my dad started him. As far as my daughter goes, i have time to think about it (she's 2) and i think i will carry her to one of my ground blinds at 7-8 or whenever she shows interest in hunting. As far as when i doghunt, I have been carrying her occasionallysince she was 5 months old and this year i will carry her alot more.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: drdi

For me there are two separate issues. One is just taking them along hunting and the second is actually allowing them to shoot and kill an animal.

As far as the first, I don't see a problem taking kids along atabout anyage. As long as they are warm and comfortable and aren't made to stay out all day, go for it. In fact weren't ground blinds invented just to take kids out hunting? LOL! Plus walking around the woods just looking for sign is a great thing to do with kids.

The second is a little more tricky for me personally. It's been pretty well studied that kids don't really fully understand the concept of life and death until around the age of 9. Again this is a personal issue with me, but I have a problem with putting a firearm in the hands of a younger child and asking them to take a life before they understand what that means. I won't go into here, but I've had a personal experience thay has really shaped my opinion of this.

x2....well said

I began taking my son at 4, every now and then. A little more each year. At 8 he was itching to "hunt" himself, but I wouldn't let him yet. I just didn't feel comfortable with him pulling the trigger. He did get to see me take a few while we were together (I feel should be a pre-requisite to them taking an animal on their own). At 9 I got him a .243 and he took his first doe...it couldn't have been better. Last year he had just turned 10, and got his first buck...it was awesome and he can't wait till this year now.

I know a guy that semi-forced his son to hunt when he was 7....he took a deer and it freaked him out, now he wants nothing to do with it. Don't press your kids....let them come along at their own pace.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:18 AM   #6
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

I posted the earlier question, and your questions is similar. I chose 10 because in Michigan thats when they "can" hunt. But I will take my boys out with me at the age 7 or 8 to sit with me while I hunt. Already took my 5 year old out scouting and he loves looking for deer and already cant wait to go hunting when he gets older.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:37 AM   #7
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

Well I ve been taking my 10 year old son out with me during the gun season at 8. he loves to sit with me or grandpa. he will continue to walk along untill he takes hunters ed in a couple years, and then he will still sit with one of us untill hes at least 15-16.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:16 AM   #8
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

Get 'em started when they're runnin round in their diapers!
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

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Get 'em started when they're runnin round in their diapers!
you got it-

introduce them to the woods, then the animals, then scouting, then sitting with you, etc... let them feel it out if they want to keep going to the next level- you will know
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:42 AM   #10
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Default RE: What age to start children hunting?

It might help them if they could see you with the game at the end, say a deer that's been field-dressed and everyone oohing and ahhing over it. Take them with you to the processors or let them be around when you're skinning and butchering. They know then what the outcome is and that it is part of the reason we kill the animal. They'll see that killing is part of hunting, but also that hunting is part of feeding ourselves and, if you're religious, receiving a gift from above. A comment from the little one's mother at dinner about your good work for the family would probabaly be good, too. They'll also see that it's good to do something like this and that it has the approval of people they look up to.
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