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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 01-01-2003, 06:09 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: moore oklahoma USA,right now in Korea
Posts: 335
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

it brings a smile to my face to see young ones getting into hunting and fishing.idont trust my four year old with a knife but he has his own fishing pole and helps me catch crappie i fillet every fish is this wrong.some things need to be taughtin the field if a kid is mature enough to shoot a gunor bow let them shoot a deer then have them watch you two or three times before letting them gut one.i have no problems with the teaching part of hunting.does everybody process and eat their own deer if not should they be hunting i think they should.TAKE THE YOUNG ONES HUNTING AND FISHING!!!!!
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Old 01-02-2003, 07:15 AM
Typical Buck
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Location: Cottage Grove Oregon
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Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

Sounds like way to many young kids 7 to 10 year olds hunting. When I hear parents describing 7 year olds as responsible hunters I have to wonder? I actually thought most states had a 12 year old restriction to have an accompanied liscense!!! I don't see how a 7 year old can pass a 100 question hunter safety test. So when your are old enough to go to the safety course and pass the test and field trials by your self then you are old enough to go hunting. One shot one kill Striper Phil
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Old 01-02-2003, 11:13 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Almost Heaven WV
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Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

In WV one can hunt in diapers if so desired...(both young and senior) No license needed until the age of 14...no better way to increase our numbers than to bring a youngun into the sport. My oldest has been huntin with me since the age of 7. Now 12, he really has a passion for hunting. He knows how to field dress deer, although he hasn't done one by himself yet. He's too small to drag one very far but he would die trying.. He's there for the processing too..He is my ears when turkey hunting...

Start em out on squirrels and work up from there.

What you are describing is not only confined to hunting...Parents doing kids homework, cleaning up after them, giving them everything they ask for without responsibility..My boy doesn't get his homework done, has a messy room, or gets into it with his brother....he doesn't go huntin next time...
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Old 01-02-2003, 09:20 PM
Fork Horn
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Location: Southern NJ
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Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

guilty, of scouting out a deer hunting spot for my 13 year old daughter. she passed her hunter education class and has since demonstrated her shooting ability and has taken small game. gutted with my assistance. thats what i'm there for. its all a learning process that goes on. i did'nt force her to go deer hunting "she wanted to go". thats enough for me. as long as she has the interest i'm going to be there for the gutting, tracking, dragging and whatever else it helps to fuel her fire for hunting. hopefully she will pass it on.

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Old 01-03-2003, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Morrison OK USA
Posts: 37
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

I don't like the idea of someone having their child kill a deer without teaching them to hunt. To me that is irresponsible parenting. I passed my hunter safety exam with a 97 at age 8. I hunted with my uncle 150 yds or more away at age 10. I killed my first deer by myself at age 12. I was what I would consider unusual. My 13 yr old is AD/HD. He just graduated to a pellet gun. Even when I am right with him I can't trust him to have the gun on safety and pointed in a safe direction. We go through the drill of him shooting and me asking later if the safety is on and where it is pointed. I still get "Oh, I forgot." alot. For him I don't know when he will be ready, but I won't let him put me or anyone else in danger. My 3yr old girl is the opposite. She watches the hunting shows with dad and can't wait to go hunting and fishing. No part of the animal harvest bothers her. I think she will probably go deer hunting with me in the 8-9 range, and small game earlier.

One thing I have learned with my 13 yr old is a LOT of reinforcement on rules and safety. Now we have 4 cents.
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Newport News Virginia USA
Posts: 26
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

My son is 11 and he hunts with me all the time. He is a better hunter then most grown men. He is safe and knows who to put a animal down. One shot one kill. He guts his deer and everything. He has a climber and he climbs his tree I put him on and he hunts away. I believe its good for kids to hunt. Even young. Its the schools that change there thought on hunting. My son never talks about hunting at school or brag about it. He loves the sport. I believe there was a poll taken out there last year. 63% of the hunters in the USA are over the age of 40. Whats that telling you. People who hunt need to take the kids out there hunting. Another thing I see alot, is the Dads would rather for hunting and drink beer and talk about women so they dont take there kids out there. I would not even concieve of not taking my son hunting. Just my thoughts on it. Take them hunting and teach them. Its quality Father son/daughter time. Its great. Try it sometime you may like it as well as the kids may like it.
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Old 01-03-2003, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rochester New York USA
Posts: 245
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

I am all for teaching children how to hunt and letting them hunt
responsibly when it is legal for them to do so. I have seen 12
as an age mentioned and that sounds about right to me. I think
they should also pass the same hunter safety test. I would not
equate a young hunter to someone who goes on a guided hunt. Where
is the line that determines if a person is a hunter or shooter?
Suppose I hunt in NY and take deer with a bow and with a shotgun
and can hunt on the ground or a tree and decide I want to go to
Wy to hunt elk? The bigger better animals are farther away from
the roads and you need horses or 4 wheelers to get back in. I
hire an outfitter to get me back in and feed me. Are you saying
I have crossed the line and am no longer a hunter but a shooter?
I think that is a bit judgmental and sounds like the same old
argument about what weapon you use to harvest your animal determines
how good a hunter you are.

Edited by - stickerpt on 01/03/2003 10:31:43
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Old 01-03-2003, 09:45 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fort Wayne Indiana USA
Posts: 574
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

I have to second Tazman with his reply. My daughters, 10 & 11, are going into training this spring and Taz's program is the same criteria I will be using.

Teach the youths to be hunters, not killers.

Shoot often - Hunt always
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Old 01-04-2003, 01:12 PM
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Location: Roane Co. WV USA Member since 11/1999
Posts: 2,045
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

Some good points have been made in this thread. My standpoint as a mom with a son that just turned 4 is to get him started with the basics of woodsmanship first. Ian started going with me when he was 3 as he showed an interest being outside, in the woods and wildlife. He has been scouting, shed hunting, and mushroom hunting with me. At 4 he can already identify the tracks of deer, racoons, possums, and other wildlife. Along with a few specific edible plants, and mast foods for wildlife. He is unusually observent, and to my surprise very quiet when we are in the woods. He told me the other day when we were walking the hillside " Mama, we have to think like a deer. " Also to my surprise, he was pointing out bedding areas, deer scat, and tracks to me prior to my telling him what they were....of course I had pointed these things out to him in the past when I started taking him with me. I was not only very proud, but surprised that my teaching had been remembered. And he was so very proud of himself! That made all of the explanations, and time spent, along with the frustrations all worth it for me!!
As I was, he is being raised around guns responsibly, and has a healthy respect for them. I always use the utmost caution with firearms, because at this age curiosity will almost always get the best of them. Not to mention a busted behind. I observe all safety precautions just as my late father did with my younger brother and I.
I feel that if children show an interest it is important to "age appropriately" introduce them to it slowly.
Learning about the animals and their habits first. When he is 5 or 6 I may get him his first Red Ryder BB gun....to be used only with my supervision. Key word here is Maybe.....and at targets only.
He will have to pass a hunters safety course, and show utmost reponsiblity with his actions before he hunts on his own, and then it will be with me for starters, and for a long time. In addition, when he demonstrates the patience, start taking him with me as an observer to all that actual hunting entails.....
He has watched me field dress, and been around several of the deer I have killed. He was curious and his questions were answered as appropriate for his age. To him at 4, although he does ask many intelligent questions, hunting is still a "game" of sorts. I have the knowledge and many more years to teach him on the eithics, how to's etc. It all goes hand in hand.
I also have to agree with the idea that his hunting without a firearm .....learning as he goes is for the most part is what I will do. He will be allowed to help to field dress, children learn thru experience, and observation. I was taught from an early age that hunting is a major responsiblity, and a privledge. When he demonstrates to me that he has learned these lessons....then and only then will he accompany me with his own firearm. .
I have a friend whose 10 year old bested him this year.....the kid got a very nice 8 pointer, dressed it out himself, but did need help with the dragging ......although was most stubborn about accepting help. It was " his day in the woods" and he did not want that taken away. But soon realized that hunters stick together and help each other.....very important lesson learned.
I also feel that as far as being a shooter......that also should come first with range time only.....not at live animals!! Shooting targets and a live animal is entirely different. I feel one must master the basics of woodsmanship, and their weapon of choice be it a bow, or gun, prior to actually hunting. My son will have to be proficient at these things, along with passing State regulation courses. As his mother, for me to not see these things through would IMHO be irresponsible. When my son goes on his first hunt.....he will be armed with the knowledge, patience, and responsible ethics of a true hunter.....or he will not go period.
Squirrels with a .22 will be his starting point when he demonstrates he is ready which I feel will be perhaps around 9 or 10. However, since he is only 4, it is impossible to tell just yet....but I am making sure he is getting a good start just the same. Just this ladys
feelings on the matter.

Its not what you harvest...
Its what you learn...

Edited by - Christine B on 01/04/2003 14:25:28
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Andover MN USA
Posts: 98
Default RE: Letting Young Kids Kill Deer: Is It Right?

I have a little different perspective on this. First, I don't have kids, which makes me look at it a little more objectively. Second, I teach Firearms Safety Class. They must be 11 to take the course. My classes are comprised of 12 and 13 year olds for the most part. I have literally taught and observed hundreds of kids in the past few years alone.

IMO although kids younger than 12 can probably manage to kill a deer, they lack the cognitive ability to comprehend what their actions may result in during the situations that we find ourselves in while huntng. In other words, they can do certain pieces of hunting, but cannot put it all together. This will be an unpopular statement and I am sure their will be some disagreement, but GENERALLY speaking, the kids who come in to my class and say they have hunted with dad for a long time already perform the worst during my class. I have had many dad's come in and say something to the effect of "the only reason Junior is taking this class is because the law requires it. He is better than most of the adults in the woods". Then the class starts and the kid doesnt even know the basics. It happens all the time. They have pre-conceived notions of how things are based on how dad hunts and many times they are wrong. I encourage the dads to sit in the back and go through the course as well and they all say they learned a lot more than they thought. Once in a while we have an elk hunter that has to talk our class and is an experienced hunter. They say the same thing, they learned a lot and they thought they knew it all.

Let me ask you this, can an 7 or 8 or 9 year old kid understand and comprehend EVERYTHING in the rule book? Can he/she read and understand it? If he/she doesnt, how can they hunt? I know, I know, most adults cant either, but that doesnt make it right for someone to send their kid out into the woods without knowing the laws. Does the kid understand ethics? In my class, very few even know what ethics are to start with, and they are 12 or 13 years old. Can these kids understand the trespassing rules and all the other laws out there? I am 100%, no make that 110% for bringing him/her with and teaching them the outdoors, but IMO, younger than 12 is too young to actually hunt big game. There is just too much to know and too many important decisions for an 8 or 10 year old to safely and ethically be allowed to hunt. Remember, although hunting is a really safe sport, when things do go bad, death can occur and it is too much to ask for an <12 year old to be able to be safe 100% of the time with no mistakes. Is there an exception out there? Sure, but not as many as I see on this board, no way.
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