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Thread: introducing hunting

  1. #1
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    Default introducing hunting

    So last night I was playing with my two year old son and his nerf gun,funny thing is I found myself almost teaching safty. So I got to thinking and thought I'd ask the opinions of some of you dads out there.At what age did you introduce guns and hunting to your kids and how did you keep it fun for them... I know my father had me in the woods in pa around 2 or 3 and my greatest memories with my dad are hunting and outdoors related.. thanks Dave

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    Kudos for begining the safety training now, it is never too soon to learn safe firearm handling. Never having been a father, but witnessing this exact thing by way of friends and relatives, I encourage you to do it at every opportunity.

    Enjoy.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Started my son going out with me since birth. From backpack to riding the wheelers. Intrduced real guns at age 2, and kept it fun by making sure he was warm, and had plenty of his favorite foods while out in the field. Now his is nine and is very safe with the real guns, and he owns 3 guns. Shot his first squirrel at 3, first porcupine at 4, otter and caribou at 7. Finally got him a limit of ptarmigin last week at age 9.
    So, my best advice: Keep them warm, and have thier favorite foods/snacks at all times. That's how you get them hooked. Make sure you don't emphasize the need to bag something everytime you go out and spend a lot of time watching animals that are not in season.
    Good luck! Your going to have as much fun as he is!
    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    from soon as i could...we never played toy gun....like my father, i have always taught the kids to treat them as real.. the four year old has lost her doublebarrle shot/pop gun, more then once for "stalking her sisters"

    she's gonna be a bear hunter
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    I started taking my kids out in the woods deer hunting with me when they were about 5-6. I had them carry a bb gun to start to teach them basic safety. there was never a real opportunity to shoot a deer because they were so loud and fidgety (Whats that dad?, what kind of tree/bush is that? whats making that noise?) but we kept the trips short and they had fun. My oldest daughter(20) enjoys hunting and shooting, my middle daughter (18) wants nothing to do with the outdoors, and my son (13) loves it. He has gone with me to alaska 3 times bear hunting and shot his first bear last spring. We are getting a lifesize mount of his bear! DSC_0563.jpgDSCN0448.jpg

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    Shepherd was born in January 2009. We took him last year to hunt the Tier 1 permit with us on foot. It was an amazing family time. My wife is due to pop out another one in July so I intend for the little guy to join us for fish camp 2 weeks later, and probably join us for the Tier 1 opener again. I think I'll put mom and the kids up at the lodge this time.

    Shepherd (3 years) loves anything to do with the outdoors. He already owns his own helmet for ATV riding and would stay out in the snow until frost bit if I didn't bring him in. We'll see if it lasts. He's had such good experiences so far.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

  7. #7
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    My oldest daughter started hunting dove with me when she was about 2 or 3. I figured dove hunting would keep her interested since there is usually plenty of action. She would run and retrieve them, put in a little pouch I made for her and then bring them back, sit on her bucket and lay them out in front of her. My middle daughter isn't into it at all so I don't push it on her. My son has been going trapping and hunting small game with me since i can remember. As far as firearms safety, everytime someone who doesn't own guns asks me how I keep my kids away from my guns I tell them I don't. Everytime I take one out to clean it, shoot it, mount a new scope, etc they are there with me. When i bought my girls rifles they helped lap the rings, level it and boresight it. I take them to the range and teach them to shoot. My son has been shooting AR's since he was 4. I try to take all the mystery out of it and not once have I had an issue with any of my kids handling a firearm when I'm not around. It just isn't a huge deal to them like it is for kids who may never see them or handle them. Heck, my son and one of my daughters has been reloading ammo since they were 5 and 7 years old, with supervision of course. When my son was 5 and shooting my AR's i just locked the bolt to the rear and set down a stack of about 6-7 magazines and he takes it from there. He actually aims with the ACOG and does slow fire at first. Once he gets on target it's all over. He drops the mags, puts in another, slaps up on it, hits the bolt release and he's at it again until all the mags are gone or I can't keep up picking up the brass and I have to slow him down. Once we get done shooting he helps me pick up the brass, we take it home, clean it, reload it and start the process all over again. I think he enjoys it more because he's involved in the complete process.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    I purchased a double barrel nerf (shotgun) and have always treated as a real gun (safety is a priority). My boys know it is not a toy and we go out "hunting squirrels" with it while emphasizing safety. At 3.5 years my oldest got his first rabbit with a 410 on a Springfield M6 Scout. He was ecstatic but remembered his training and acted in a safe manner. Always keep in mind the age depends on the child, his maturity level and ability to follow directions.

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    I started taking my son out on hunts when he was potty trained. He has always been around guns and has always respected them. I taught safety right along with everything else about them. Started out the grandkids the same way and about the same age. Like Denalihunter, I always tried to make their trips enjoyable in most every way and they never grew tired of it.

    Randy

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    Funny how not knowing each other we all share in some of the same values concerning gun safety and hunting values.I appreciate all the responses as it is reassuring that others feel the same as I do.denalihunter good advice on the snacks and funny you say about the off season viewing,I find that we go out every chance we get to watch the moose and also spend at least one day a week in sportsmans so he can tell me about the mounts...lol( I also hope to have my son in your neck of the woods this spring) AkhunterNP funny,I remember as a kid helping my dad reload I used to put the primers in the tube and thought it was the coolest thing ever and being involved I am sure made it more interesting then just watching. At least once a week my son has to come in the garage and go through my boxes of bullets and pretend to use my presses.Highestview congrats one having an new baby coming,I was told by my uncle just before my son was born that before he is born I wouldnt know what to do with a son but once he is born I wouldnt know what to do with out him and it is so true,I am planning a spring trip depending on guiding to get my son out in the field.fish_hunter very nice pics and congrats to your son there on his bear..very cool.being an older first time dad and having hunting as a big influence in my life I often get nervous as to make sure I do not push it on my son to hard and turn him away so again it is nice to read all of your responses, lots of great advice from all so thank you..


    Vince, Vince ,Vince, why am I not surprised that your daughter is going to be a bear hunter...lol

  11. #11
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    Sometimes I shoot my pellet gun in the house. I prop open the garage door and shoot about 30' from the living room. Yesterday, my 2 year old son wanted to help, so I let him help pump it up, then I let him look in the scope and help me "steady" the rifle. He is very good with guns, and knows exactly what they are for. He knows that he is not to touch them without my ok. This summer, he will probably be ready to start shooting in the back yard with my help. I don't remember when I started shooting with my dad. I was maybe 4 or 5. We started with the pellet rifle, then moved up to the 22. I hope to make hunting a better experience for my kids though. Most of our hunting trips were good experiences, but sometimes dad would push things a little to far when the freezer was empty. My brother and I got dragged out caribou hunting with fevers and strep when we were only about 8 or 10. However, the best memories I have with my dad have been hunting or fishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Vince, Vince ,Vince, why am I not surprised that your daughter is going to be a bear hunter...lol
    AND... at age four.. she has NO qualms about shooting them " baby bears" cause their, her size....

    on a more serious note...

    while raising my second wifes kids... i was a little more concerned about fire arm safty with them... the boy actually made me some kindof, nervious around them.. lets say they were ALWAYS LOCKED UP. ( the guns, though prolly shoulda been the kids)

    so.. their mom bought her self a new 30-30.. and her son a .410... about secdond grader i guess... not that thats the wrong time... this boy just needed some extra time..

    sooo the lessons began.. and the more they talked about shooting.. the more diffuculty i had in pressing the correct mentality, so to say..


    then came along Halloween and and idea...


    FROZEN PUMPKINS... and target practice...

    they FINALLY got the picture when we showed them the front... then the back of the pumpkin... and explained in gory detail what if playing with them guns got your sister or friend... this is what happens..

    this last bunch and my own have taken to guns and archery like fish in water... had a few moments with the currents boy... at age 10.. he was throwing his BB gun down in discust when my girls out shot him... when he got his ass chewed for it...

    he exclaimed, ( proudly i might add) "But i am a boy! I should be better then they are!" mind you hes all of about 5 hours into it for real... where mine had been doing it since about age 4... didn't take long for them girls to school him, and him to catch up.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    I too started my kids shooting the pellet gun around the house at about 4 or 5. I told my boy right away that if he got real good shooing I would let him shoot a grouse. The thing is he understood what "good shooting" meant because from the get go I told him head shots only. So that seemed to make him want to shoot more and get better. Before too long he was head shooting grouse with the 22 cal pellet gun like there was no tomorrow. I loved it when he would tell his friends........"It ain't nothin' to shoot a grouse in the body."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    AND... at age four.. she has NO qualms about shooting them " baby bears" cause their, her size....

    on a more serious note...

    while raising my second wifes kids... i was a little more concerned about fire arm safty with them... the boy actually made me some kindof, nervious around them.. lets say they were ALWAYS LOCKED UP. ( the guns, though prolly shoulda been the kids)

    so.. their mom bought her self a new 30-30.. and her son a .410... about secdond grader i guess... not that thats the wrong time... this boy just needed some extra time..

    sooo the lessons began.. and the more they talked about shooting.. the more diffuculty i had in pressing the correct mentality, so to say..


    then came along Halloween and and idea...


    FROZEN PUMPKINS... and target practice...

    they FINALLY got the picture when we showed them the front... then the back of the pumpkin... and explained in gory detail what if playing with them guns got your sister or friend... this is what happens..

    this last bunch and my own have taken to guns and archery like fish in water... had a few moments with the currents boy... at age 10.. he was throwing his BB gun down in discust when my girls out shot him... when he got his ass chewed for it...

    he exclaimed, ( proudly i might add) "But i am a boy! I should be better then they are!" mind you hes all of about 5 hours into it for real... where mine had been doing it since about age 4... didn't take long for them girls to school him, and him to catch up.

    Vince this is what we were hunting last night.....

  15. #15
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Twin 5 year old girls...safety brief, ammo brief, weapon brief, distance brief and target. That look in her eyes tells me she is serious and always proves to have fun. I continually ask her prior to shooting to go over the steps in loading, trigger squeeze and safety of handling an unloaded gun (treat everyone as if it is loaded)

    Future hunter for sure..her sister enjoys it. Although is not as serious.....yet

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