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Thread: Earning Trigger Time

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Earning Trigger Time

    My Son moved up this winter and will be living in the Fairbanks area. I'm very excited about hunting with him this year, but I do feel that he has to earn his right to pull the trigger while hunting with me. I do plan on helping him get a Black Bear as a non res, but after that he has to come along on a sheep, moose and goat hunt as a helper before he can harvest one with me. Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.

    Thoughts,, am I being to strict???

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    My Son moved up this winter and will be living in the Fairbanks area. I'm very excited about hunting with him this year, but I do feel that he has to earn his right to pull the trigger while hunting with me. I do plan on helping him get a Black Bear as a non res, but after that he has to come along on a sheep, moose and goat hunt as a helper before he can harvest one with me. Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.

    Thoughts,, am I being to strict???

    Steve

    I guess there is no way to sugar coat my answer without sounding judgemental but since you put yourself out there and asked the question I'll respond.

    Yes, you are being to critical. Everyone will have a different opinion and thats fine. But when my son and I go hunting he always has the first opportunity to shoot because I have already killed plently of Alaskan critters. It has been this way since the first time we went to Kodiak when he was about 12. As long as your son is capable of making the killing shot give him the opportunity first. We should all be that blessed that we get to hunt with our kids. He shouldnt have to prove he is a good hunting companion for a year before he is allowed to pull the trigger. Afterall, you are his dad, not a guide or outfitter.

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Is that the same deal you make with all your hunting partners? If not, why would you treat your son worse?
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    My Son moved up this winter and will be living in the Fairbanks area. I'm very excited about hunting with him this year, but I do feel that he has to earn his right to pull the trigger while hunting with me. I do plan on helping him get a Black Bear as a non res, but after that he has to come along on a sheep, moose and goat hunt as a helper before he can harvest one with me. Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.

    Thoughts,, am I being to strict???

    Steve
    Your plan sounds reasonable to me, but that may say more about me than your plan. There are a lot of components to a hunt/hunter and while the kill is significant, I can see a lot of wisdom in establishing "ethics" in a child (regardless of his/her age) before allowing them to indiscriminately start killing. It's hard to tell from your post, but it appears you may not have a lot of field experience with your son, at least not recently. With that in mind, I'd say there's more reason to be "strict" than in some other situations. Strictness should not be viewed as less loving than liberality IMO, though in our culture any type of restriction is becoming taboo and is invariably viewed as harsh, old-fashioned or just plain old mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    Is that the same deal you make with all your hunting partners? If not, why would you treat your son worse?
    I do not treat all men the same as I have differing responsibilities with different men. I think Steve's hope is that he'll treat his son better, not worse, by insisting on his dedication to hunting in all its facets not just allowing hm to pull the trigger.

    JMO, but I think skinning/packing a moose should be a prerequisite for any would be moose killer. It seems reasonable to me to expect someone that desires to become a hunter should be familiar with the more difficult aspects of the hunt first. The killing of the animal is far from the most difficult component IME and is among the easiest to master.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Your being too easy on 'em Stid.
    My sons have to be better than Me,if they want a crack at an animal in all instances in Hunting, if they want to be the ones to shoot. I will out run, out shoot and out pack them when possible. We have an intense compitition amongst the three of us, and when it were down to the skinny, well go three different ways......yet , at the end of the day, we divvie our pooled catch accordingly for each of our familys, admire and laugh at each others work and catch and go to our respective homes.
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    I want my hunting experiences with my son to be viewed as our most special time together. Just as I recall my hunting experiences with my dad in the same light. Everyone has their own way of being a father and who is to say which is best and which is "right". But that is certianly not a tactic I'll ever take with my three sons or my daughter.
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We have not hunted in many years, never up here and when we did, he just was not into it. He has since changed and wants to go, so I plan on helping him get a Black bear and show him how to do the entire process. I know he can shoot good and kill what I point at, I want him to learn why we are where we go and what do to with an animal once it is down. I believe by knowing what work is involved he will have that in mind when he takes a animal. At 28 he is no kid, but I want the time to teach him much more than how to shoot something in the field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    My Son moved up this winter and will be living in the Fairbanks area. I'm very excited about hunting with him this year, but I do feel that he has to earn his right to pull the trigger while hunting with me. I do plan on helping him get a Black Bear as a non res, but after that he has to come along on a sheep, moose and goat hunt as a helper before he can harvest one with me. Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.

    Thoughts,, am I being to strict???

    Steve
    Steve my son has not killed a big game animal either. Although he has been in on two moose kills with me, as well as him helping call in a big bull for me, and packing him out. I have been trying to get him to get his hunter ed. for a few years now, with me stating "I can't do it for ya". He seems interested, but to what extent? All I can do is wait and see.

    If he does take care of business, then I personally feel it depends on his maturity level. The handling of a firearm, the safety aspect, as well as how well he can shoot would be the main focus of weather I would let my son take the first shot. I would think, in your case, that after the black bear hunt, again depending on his maturity, he would have a good grasp on what big game hunting is about. After that he can learn ethics, behavior, and all around outdoorsmanship from you with each hunt.

    If my son can prove to me that he can shoot well and be safe with a gun, then I will let him shoot a big game animal. Especially if he was to spot it first....which is always plays a big part when I hunt with people. Then I can enjoy teaching him everything else as time goes on. You can look at it in a way that it will be a learning experience for BOTH of you to appreciate. As hunting big game with him will be new to you as well.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Steve, I don't think so. You're his Dad and you have a better idea of what your son needs than any of us. At 28, I'm of the opinion that he needs to carry his weight before getting to do some shooting.

    I've been taking my son for a while. At first he tagged along for the ride, then last couple of years he got to go on grouse patrol while I hunted big game. Last year he led us on a successful stalk and helped butcher and pack a carribou. This year he might get to shoot if he shows aptitude with a centerfire rifle. He wants to learn to hunt big game so I'm teaching him. Admittedly he's a fair bit younger than my son but the process is still pretty much the same. For Evan the big step was a gift of a hunting knife- that let him know he'd moved from observer to participant- expected to get "hands on" in the process.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Steve, I don’t know how much experience your son has with the elements of hunting up here. I believe that is where you will be a tremendous mentor. He may be 28 but he may be a greenhorn in regards to having to take care of himself & the game during a week + long trip in the elements. Being able to show him the tips / tricks that can save both the quality of the game meat & his hide is huge. When to get off the mountain, when to wait out the weather, how to breakdown an animal to manageable portions, how to use alders & tarps to care for game to keep it off the ground & dry etc…. Each animal has it owns subsets of elements and you will greatly shorten the learning curve for him. Being able to let him make some mistakes and explain others regardless of who pulls the trigger. That said I guess I would make sure it is something he wants to do and by you pulling the trigger on at least the first hunt will ensure he wants to be there. After that it is up to you.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.
    Steve
    On this years trips (except for the black bear) will he have a license and tags? Guess if you go for black bear he will already have a non res license for the fall hunts. I assume he won't have a sheep or griz tag for the other hunts.

    Skills take time to develope. Can't he develope those skills shooting and caring for his own kill, under your guidance?

    He's a res next year..............won't need to go hunting with you.
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    Well, maybe after that black bear hunt with you it will start a fire in him about hunting up here and he will venture out on his own. It would be great if he could go with you on some of your hunts. Just being out there with his Dad on a hunting trip is a great outing. I pretty much learned how to process big game on my own and picked up pointers from my hunting partners. Hunting is probably the hardest work most people will ever do. Your son will find that out hunting with you. I look forward to your hunt reports on here. Good luck and let him pull the trigger....unlesss its a 40 inch ram!

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    stid2677, my guess, you are in a bit of a 'quandary', i don't see a hunt for a bear any different from a moose or caribou. Sure hunting bears has a element of 'danger', however mostly if done properly no different than killing any big game animal. There's always trouble outdoors for the unwary, unfamiliar or the lackadaisical hunter.
    I think you are just unsure, will he pull his weight in the field, shoot properly, or just have a good time in camp.
    So to me, its not the type of game your putting him on, its like making sure your comfortable with hunting with him again.
    First chance to get out in the field and 'bang' around with him, go for it, and start building a comfort level with him before fall.
    JMO

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I do not treat all men the same as I have differing responsibilities with different men. I think Steve's hope is that he'll treat his son better, not worse, by insisting on his dedication to hunting in all its facets not just allowing hm to pull the trigger.

    JMO, but I think skinning/packing a moose should be a prerequisite for any would be moose killer. It seems reasonable to me to expect someone that desires to become a hunter should be familiar with the more difficult aspects of the hunt first. The killing of the animal is far from the most difficult component IME and is among the easiest to master.
    That was a rhetorical question, but thank you for answering on his behalf.
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Its gonna be a long time before he gets to shoot something other than a black bear...if he has to do all the hunts first.
    I guess if my dad set up those rules, i'd hunt with someone else to get the experience, then at least i'd have a chance at shooting something.
    My first moose i shot, my dad handed me a knife and sat down and said "have fun". he walked me thru it but didn't do the work, it was my moose. I'd never been in on a moose kill before, only 2 caribou. But that was my way of getting experience was by doing it under his watchfull eye. Its much more motivating to help on a moose hunt, if its your moose. Never as fun as it can be packin' somoene else's moose just for "experience".

    I say let him dive in with ya steve, don't hold him back, he's 28 and missed out on enough already, heres your chance to become a family guide. but really, like others have said, he's your kid, ultimatly how you treat him is up to you.
    I'm 34 and was 28 like 8 years ago so i remember it well...if my dad had the rule that i couldn't hunt till i packed out his stuff....i'd have been like "see ya, take lots of pictures for me!"

    my oldest is 8 right now and shot 2 caribou so far and i never want to pull the trigger if my kids are with me in the field...been there done that....their turn.
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  17. #17

    Default Let Your Son Shoot.....

    He might end up finding a new hunting partner down the line after you "train" him and you will lose the most important hunting partner in your life if you put yourself first like you have stated......just a thought.....I always let my son shoot first.....who cares if you are doing it together.....


    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    My Son moved up this winter and will be living in the Fairbanks area. I'm very excited about hunting with him this year, but I do feel that he has to earn his right to pull the trigger while hunting with me. I do plan on helping him get a Black Bear as a non res, but after that he has to come along on a sheep, moose and goat hunt as a helper before he can harvest one with me. Next year as a resident and with a year under his belt he can have first shot at any game we come across, but until he proves that he has the skills to both ethically harvest and care for his catch, he is in training status.

    Thoughts,, am I being to strict???

    Steve

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Well, I paid for his Non Res annual fishing and hunting license and will spring for his non res Black Bear tag. If he proves that he is serious then we will go from there. I expect him to be able to read and understand the regs not just repeat what I tell him. If he earns the money for a sheep tag then I may rethink it, as it is air transport for 2 gets expensive.
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    I agree with BRWNBR at age 28 I was well old enopugh to tell my dad, if his ideas were out in left field, The only time I never carried a gun was when i was not old enough to hunt the season I turned 14 I was a gun toting member of the hunt party, granted my father was a green beret so I was shooting well before that. My first kill (elk) I did everything with some guidance, even cooked the tenderloin that night in camp. If I was 28 and was told I had to be a pack mule, and prove myself, think i would find a new partner. If he is a man treat him like on till proved other wise. Then down grade as necesary.

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    if he is 28 what the heck is stop pig him form hunting by him self? other than sheep and grizz, of course, there is nothing saying he has to hunt with you and if he is like me in a year he won't even want to hunt with you if your that strict... my dad didn't ever hunt with me last year and it got the point that I didn't even want to hunt with him cause I got to liking hunting by my self. smell what I'm stepping in?
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