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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 10-20-2015, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Titletown, WI
Posts: 15

I had to wait until I was 12 and had my hunters safety class finished. I then had to hunt next to my father for two years before I was allowed to hunt in the family hunting camp up by Superior,WI. But as I was growing up my father would take me on squirrel hunting trips with my plastic toy assault rifle. He taught me many lessons on those trips
I have taken a similar approach with my step son and will do the same with my son. My step son is now 11 years old. When he turned 8 he was allowed to come to our camp and hunt with me in a blind opening weekend only. Not my preferred stand for gun season on our land but I am more than willing to sacrifice opening weekend hunts for time with my little buddy.
At 9 I allowed him to carry my .22 rifle with no ammo to teach him gun safety and muzzle awareness. That same year my neice came along so I also took her on a few hunts repeating what I did with my step son. That season I harvested a Doe that we had targeted for being mature and dried up.( no fawns for 2 years) I had them both present for field dressing the animal. My father dressed my first kill (at age 13)but I had to watch so I knew what to do. After that he would guide me as I dressed the animal until he knew I was going to be ok. In our camp we rarely do it alone. Someone is always willing to sacrifice time in the woods to help a fellow hunter. They both got through my field dressing better than I expected for their first time.
At age 10 my step son hunted with his dad opening weekend. And my neice sat with my brother and he shot a buck and she did better with questions and remembering what to do.
I am not saying the way we do things is right or wrong. But it works for us in nurturing new hunters into the fold. When you spend that amount of time with the kids in the woods, you will know who is ready and who is not.
As far as the responsibility of the kill and taking care of the animal. That falls on the mentor. To teach them the morals and ethics of hunting and conservation. They are the future of hunting. Take them, teach them, and know your lessons will forever be alive in their minds and when they teach others.
I have taken friends hunting , that I would shake my head at the things they were never taught. Its just like anything you will ever do in life. You will get out of it what you put into it.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,359

Originally Posted by olsaltydog
Old thread but still a conversation that arises every once in a while. Me and the wife just had this conversation a few days ago regarding my two sons. On one hand I have taking my older son out squirrel hunting with my father and myself when he was 3. He is 4 now and will continue for this next season, and we will probably take him deer hunting come next season to sit in a blind with us. The younger one will be three this Nov and will probably join us out for squirrel as well.

I see no issue taking a child at any age but we as adults have to understand a child will not sit in a stand all day like we will. Tailor the day with the child in mind and hope for the best.

As to the issue with a child being the trigger puller but not field dressing the deer. I am fine with that as well. I can teach my child to shoot any day of the year, I cannot teach them to field dress an animal without an animal. After they or yourself get a deer then they can start learning how to field dress a deer and butcher one. I have plenty of pics as a child and my dad using our metal play set in the back yard to butcher the deer. We would swing while he cut the deer up and we would watch and learn. I also used to box his deer like Rocky was doing cattle when that movie first came out, fun stuff.

Also keep in mind some folks have been raised on a farm or around cattle and other livestock and seeing death/ birth and butchering has been a part of our lives since we where born. So not everyone was raised and only got to see death and butchering jobs when deer season came around.
My opinion is if they don't mind pulling the trigger they should be willing to do the rest. Again though I don't expect them to be pros or even more of a help than a hindrance but I do expect them to be motivated and willing to take part in the whole process because to me that IS a big part of hunting.

My daughter will have been doing the work for years before she pulls the trigger.
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