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For those with Children

Old 11-01-2005, 07:07 AM
  #1  
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Default For those with Children

I have a 13 yr old son and he loves to go to the hunting club, but he cries when I try to get him to set in a stand. Either he is afriad to climb up (this is with me already in the stand) or he is afriad to set there. We have not bought him a gun yet, as we want him to be able to set there either with us or by himself.

When we hunt together, he will not climb into the stand, he is afriad to, so he sets on the ground under my stand.

How can I help him overcome his fears. I do not understand why he is so afraid. He actually walks through 5 acres of land, that is very well grown up in the dark to catch the school bus. He has seen deer and foxes while walking, yet he is afriad here.

Any help??

Thanks
Kim
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:40 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: collin county, TX
Posts: 2,320
Default RE: For those with Children

Is it possible he likes to shoot or spend time
with you but does'nt really want to hunt or
kill a deer?
What does he say about his fear? A 13 yr old
should be able to tell you what the problem is.
Don't mean to sound harsh, just sounds like
there's more to it.

PK

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Old 11-01-2005, 07:55 AM
  #3  
Boone & Crockett
 
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Default RE: For those with Children

Gee Probably when he is ask why he is upset he wont open up.Is he scared of high places ? Just let him sit on the ground if thats what he wants.And if he wants to hunt with a weapon he will tell you.He might even say yes to please you.But I bet if he really dont want to kill a animal he will miss.Let it work out itself and when he is ready he will tell you what the problem is if you dont push him to do what you want him to do.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:06 AM
  #4  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: South Eastern PA
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Default RE: For those with Children

Give him time and definitely don't force him. This could have a more negative effect on him. It took me a long time to finally climb and sit in a stand (I think I was about 21 at the time and was already hunting for about 6 years). I never felt comfortable, but one dayI did it and haven't looked back. I think the real lesson now is to instill good practices in him such as good sprotsmanship, respect for nature, etc. Spending time with Dadin the woods means more to me than the actual hunt.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Default RE: For those with Children

If the only issue is the tree stand, it sounds like it's a fear of heights (acrophobia). If that turns out to be the only issue, why not have him hunt from the ground?

I personally feel that all phobias should be faced and overcome, but the deer woods is probably not the best place for that.

I had some terrible social phobias as a teen and was especially uncomfortable in large crowds. My dad (well meaning)tried to get me over it with a few trips to NYC when I was 15. I darn near had a panic attack when he tried to get me to ride the subway during rush hour. Thankfully he relented and didn't yell at me.Forcingthe issue did nothing helpful.What finally got me over it was a love of music. If I wanted to go to rock concets, I had to deal with crowds. The problem worked itself out.
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:35 AM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Little Rock,ARK USA
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Default RE: For those with Children

Sounds like fear of heights to me...and perfectly understandable. I have to say I dont much care for being up there myself, especially on windy days when my pine tree waves around a lot! Another likely scenario is that he's bored out of his skull. Here are a few bits of advice that have worked wonders for me:

1) Consider all hunts with your child to be HIS hunts....consider yourself a "guide" whose only job is to make sure your "customer" enjoys the hunt. When I take my son (9 year old) he hunts where he wants to hunt, leaves when he's ready to leave, explores when he's ready to explore. He hasn't harvested a deer yet, but he has a blast and always wants to go back. Each year he spends more and more time hunting and less and less time playing. My son has been going since he was 5, and by now he has learned all about rubs, scrapes, feeding and bedding areas, hunting the wind, safety, camping, etc. When he's ready, he'll be well prepared to go it alone.

2) Hunt on the ground with him! There are manyground hunting techniques you can teach him. Spend a day showing him how to scout out a good groundhunting site, cut shooting lanes, build a blind, etc.

3) Fight the boredom--above all else, I think boredom kills a kid's interest in hunting. First of all, at 13 years old I think your son should be allowed to carry a weapon (after you've taught him gun safety and he's had plenty of practice with it, AND shown you he's able to handle the responsibility). My son "hunted" with me from age 5 to 8 without a weapon. Last year, at age 8, I got him a youth model single shot .410 shotgun and we spent our time at deer camp that year teaching him how to handle and shoot it. By the time we left camp last year he was putting slugs into the kill zone on our target consistently at 30 yards. We practiced a few more times over the summer and this year he is carrying the gun into the woods (with me) and really hunting -- his interest level is 100% higher. Note that I make sure his gun is not loaded until we are sitting in our stand or blind, and it is not cocked until a deer is approaching. Secondly, consider letting your son take a hand-held video game with him. My son takes his Gameboy and plays it when he starts to get bored. He wears head phones and I pay attention to what is happening in the woods for him while he plays. It has increased the amount of time he can spend in the woods by hours.

One day soon he'll be ready to leave all that behind and really hunt. Of course, then I'll expect him to beMY outfitter and guide. I can't tell you how much my buddy and I look forward to having our boys set up the camp before we arrive, do all the cooking and cleaning, break it all down after we're gone, and put it all away when we get home!

Hope that helps. Good luck to you.


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Old 11-01-2005, 11:32 AM
  #7  
Boone & Crockett
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
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Default RE: For those with Children

I would try getting a shooting house and start off with short (5 or so foot) legs on it. Let him help in the setting up of the stand. Then over time increase the length of the legs till he is more comfortable with it. Get him a .243 and let him start shooting it. The reality of him being able to harvest a deer will make him want to get higher over a couple of years. If he doesn't enjoy being in a stand it will turn him away from hunting.
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Blissfield MI USA
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Default RE: For those with Children

I'm 38 and I don't care for heights or sitting still for long periods either. I couldn't imagine trying it at 13! If he is genuinly afraid do not force him to do it. It will just make it worse and you will push him away. When I was young I didn't care much for the water. I was afraid to go under water and didn't swim all that well. Someone had the bright idea to just throw me in the deep end and I would have to learn to swim. Well guess who doesn't like the water now. I'm not afraid of it, and swim quite well, but I could care less if do it. I have no desire to swim, dive, ski or anything else.

Without actually talking to him to see what the problem is it is really hard to tell you what to do. I like a lot of the advice you have aready been given though. I think if you are gun hunting you should be ok off the ground. Bow hunting is much better in a tree though.

My advice is not to push him to do anything he doesn't feel comfortable doing. I mean you can push him to try it, but if he tries and doesn't like it that is his decision. If he likes the gun club, keep taking him. Maybe get him into some sort of shooting sport other than deer hunting out of a stand. Like target shooting, skeet, archery or something like that.

If he doesn't want to hunt deer then let him try bunny or bird hunting. He might enjoy that more. I am pretty active so I actually prefer bunny or pheasant hunting to sitting in a blind all day. You are up moving around which I like more. Or even get him into fishing? What ever you do try and get him involved in the outdoors in some way. And try and make it enjoyable. I have seen guys push too hard and turn thier kids into anti hunters. We don't want that. I never hunted deer until I was in my 30's, but I never had anything against it either. Just had no desire to do it is all.

I say have a buddy at the club he likes sit down and talk to him about it. Maybe with you not around, and make sure no one makes fun of him or teases him about it. At least until you understand what is going on for sure. And then I wouldn't be mean about it. He might open up to someone else because he doesn't want to dissapoint you. You might find out exactly what is wrong, or if he has different interests.

Paul
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:59 PM
  #9  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: collin county, TX
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Default RE: For those with Children

As I said, I did'nt mean to be harsh and really don't
think I was. More important than "why won't he climb
into the deer stand" is why is he walking with you to the
deer stand and then crying rather than telling you he
does'nt want to go, or even telling you he's changed his
mind. I realize he's just 13 but let's face it, you are getting
ready to put a rifle in his hands. Talk to him but more
important LISTEN TO HIM.
Hunting from the ground, tree or box makes no difference.
Get your son to talk to you in aplace he feels secure.
Find out what's going on for sure. Let him make up his
mind what he wants to do and tell you what it is.

PK
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Old 11-07-2005, 06:44 PM
  #10  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Millersville, Md
Posts: 362
Default RE: For those with Children

Don't force him to use the tree stand if he does not want too. You might just lose your hunting partner. Let him hunt from the ground. teach him how to use the ground cover as a blind. I myself have been hunting for 20 years and have never been in a tree stand.
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