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Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

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Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

Old 05-08-2013, 10:39 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Quite frankly I think that a lot of kids hunting are only hunting because it is being forced on them. Too many parents live vicariously through their children these days. Just watch parents on the sideline at baseball games... screaming and cussing at the umpire... its T BALL for crying out loud... and we are having fist fights in the bleachers.... happens every day in this country... the kids just wanna play and have fun.... the parents all think their kid is The Mick reincarnate.... its too much.

I have a step son who is 11 and a son who is 6 months old. Jesse, my step son, is a hard core duck hunter (which is awesome). Waterfowl has always been his thing. He will go deer hunting with me, and he will turkey hunt with me, but he just isn't that fired up about it. Do I force it on him? Sometimes I feel like I do. Granted, when his mother is letting him play video games I tend to be more forceful about it to get him out of the house. BUT his grades are great, he always does his chores, and he is generally a HUGE help with a great attitude, and he frequently impresses me, espcially when compared to his peers who often act like jackasses.

Would I be heart broken if my youngest, William, didn't take to hunting? Probably. It is somethign that I think most fathers who are serious hunters look forward to as much as anything else they do outdoors. But my father (who never forced anything but honesty and hard work on me) just gave me the opportunity to go hunting and fishing and I took to it like a worm to the dirt. I think I am just going to have to play it the same way. You really can't 'make' a hunter... they are born that way... you just need to show them where the trail head is and help them along the way.

FWIW, I was carrying a toy gun on hunts with my Dad when I was 3. Gunsafety 101. He trained English Setters on the side and we did a lot of bird hunting. To me, I was just mimicing my hero and I got to carry my gun just like he got to carry his. And he showed me how we cross creeks and fences. By the time I was 5 I was carrying my .22 (without ammo), and if I did everything right, I got to target shoot a bit when we were done. I killed my first deer at 6 and was shooting limits of doves (back when it was 12) inside a box of shells at 8.... on windless days that is.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:17 PM
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It's fine for children to play and be silly. But mostly what childhood is for is to learn to be a grownup.

Our girls want to learn to do the things that Mama does so they can grow up to be like Mama. That includes cooking, grocery shopping, hunting, fishing, studying, and on and on. They want to be just like Mama so they can grow up and marry a man like Daddy.

How do I know this? I know this because that's what they tell me. Okay?

May The Sheep Be With You
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:12 AM
Fork Horn
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Both my boys took the safety course at 12, and hunted with me, neither is extremely fired up about hunting, not enough action I suppose. The oldest skeet shoots but hasn't hunted in years, the youngest goes with me on occasion still, but I'm not pushing my passion on him (same as I can't get excited by riding a skateboard or playing video games). But I started to teach them to shoot around age 9 or 10.

I DO see a lot of parents taking out kids hunting that are 7,8 years old....that's too young, IMO, I'd like them to have some of the basic skills & be able to handle a firearm or bow before they start shooting at animals. But, that is their decision to make, and I don't think any less of them for it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:40 AM
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I think a parent should take the kid as soon as he/she starts showing interest. If it's 3, 6, or 8 makes no difference if they want to get out with Dad. Each parent needs to decide when to allow gun handling under their supervision based on the individual kid and that's why many states have relaxed their age restrictions and are allowing the parents to decide when the kid is ready to hunt. I started night hunting with our coon hounds when I was five and would have gone earlier if Dad would have allowed it. I took one of the first NRA safety courses offered and was carrying my own loaded 22/.410 O/U before I was eight and have been at it for 60 years.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:27 PM
Typical Buck
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my dad brought me along with him deer huntin when i was 5. but didn't let me bring a gun until i was 11, when he thought i was responsible enough to do it. by taking me huntin with him all those years before. i was prepared when the time came to do it my self.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:26 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Just make the kids earn it. Doesn't matter how old they are. They don't need to be able to do it alone. They just need to show enough initiative.

I do agree that its a bad idea to just let them do the easy part....Like everything they won't appreciate it as much that way.

When my kid kills her first whether we are loading,dragging,gutting or what ever she will have a hand on it doing her best even if it is just making it harder for me.

That is the key IMO. As long as they are trying from start to finish that is all that matters.

There is a bigger picture though. If all they want to do is pull the trigger we have a lot more than hunting to worry about.

Last edited by rockport; 02-12-2014 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:26 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I don't have the time to read this whole thread tonight, but suppose I should take the time when I get the chance.

How opinions may have changed in the 13+ year history of this thread might be interesting.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:07 PM
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I think its better than playing video games all day or buying or selling drugs on a street corner I think it builds charcter
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:27 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Originally Posted by ShedHound53
I think its better than playing video games all day or buying or selling drugs on a street corner I think it builds charcter
I don't think those are the options for my kid.

Earning it builds character.....having it handed to them leads to video games....JMO
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:28 AM
Typical Buck
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I didn't read this whole thread. Too busy.
But I do have an opinion.
Why not take a kid hunting and start them out with proper supervision?
I see no down side to it.
I killed my first bull elk at 11 years of age with my old man's 30/06. I turned out OK.
What's the big deal?
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