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Thread: when is the right time

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    Default when is the right time

    So prior to 3 years ago my hunting consisted of chasing the biggest and baddest critter I could find with the occassional toss in of a meat hunt to try to fill the freezer..Since then my life has completely changed with of course the birth of my son. Now I look forward to simply chasing a grouse or hare or whatever comes by when my boys time comes. I think introducing kids to hunting early is extremely importand and the rewards can be greater then any 10' bear or 44" sheep... The proof is in the pics...just look around at this very forum and some of the recent pics of the young boy with his deer and look at Bronco's kids in the unit 13 thread...their smiles say it all. So what I ask stems from the other thread where BrianM brought up introducing his kids to a dead animal and the process of taking care of the coyote he took over the weekend.

    I have wondered the exact thing he posted and would like to hear all of your opinions about when is it the right time to introduce them to the more bloody part of the work..like skinning ,gutting ect.. Even at 3 with his toy guns and such I teach him saftey,we talk about hunting and putting food on the table from what we harvest but is there or shoud there be a difference when it comes to the gory part of our work and or showing them a dead animal.. I know for some it is a way of life and others a sport so I do and will appreciate any and all opinions..

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Dave, my girls have had it since Day one... there were times when little they were Skeered of the big dead moose, yet alway facinated by it at the same time.


    LiL bit age 2



    wifes boy age 10..











    The best pic of little ones with game... i cant find.. but a father mother team with a DM770 anybull, and baby in the chest carrier..

    of course it depends on the kiddo too.. my oldest was TERRIFIED of the Kitty Cat sno go at age 2-3-4-5-6.. wouldnt even sit on it.. while the others took to it like water and ducks.. she is also now a cold caluclated killer when it come time to pull the trigger.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    what the heck....





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    thanks Vince....I always enjoy the pics of your kids out in the field... I think you also bring up a great point..that is it depends on the kid..

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    I think every kid is a little different. But by staying actively engaged in all areas of your childs life and emotional development you will probably know when it is the right time, when that window of opportunity is best, to introduce them to dead moose and coyote skinning.
    The introduction to dead fish seems easier to me. Fish generally don't bleed as much as a moose.
    But I would not try to accelerate these introductions. A year late might be better than a year too early.
    And if ya don't kill much stuff very often, then I quess ya have to make these blood introductions whenever ya can.
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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I don't think you can pin point it to a certain age, as was said earlier. I could tell with my older two kids that the bloody part of hunting would not bother them too much just by the way they acted around the house with raw meat and fish and such. They had no problem helping out with the raw food preparation and it translated into the field. My 8 year old daughter begs to help whether it's cutting up game or filleting fish. She hasn't been in the field with a big game animal yet, but she is ready in that aspect when the time comes. My boy helped me gut a deer this year and he jumped right in there. I consider myself fortunate that I was able to raise them to be interested in the outdoors. My youngest is three, and it remains to be seen how he will take to the outdoors, I am hoping for similar results.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Mine's 5 and she is fascinated by it all.
    It all depends on the kid. She has been involved in every aspect of the hunt other than pulling the trigger...yet.
    We don't make a big deal about any portion of harvesting/butchering/processing as all of this is natural and a routine part of our lives. She accepts it as an everyday occurance and looks forward to getting her hands in the meat making sausage or playing with the dead octopus on her hook, exploring the head of a dead caribou, popping the heads off shrimp, etc....
    BK

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Like everyone else I am not sure there is a perfect age for kids since everyone is different. I try to involve them in everything and they have never had any issues. At this point I feel more like a biology teacher when it comes to skinning and quartering game out. They are asking a million and one questions or even photo documenting everthing we do. My youngest took so many pics of us skinning out the porcupine I had to tell her to slow down so we had room on the card for mose pics that weekend. Today she had me burn the pics on a disc so she could take them to school and share the experience with her class. I told her to let her teacher know about the skinning pics before putting them up on a screen for the other kids. No call from the school yet so I guess that went over well?

    At times my girls will act a little immature(they are still kids plus I act immature from time to time so thats to be expected) but overall they take every part of it seriously and pay closer attention than most adults.

    I like the fish introduction idea and think that would be the best method if anyone ever wrote a book on thsi subject.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Every kid is different but I've had my son out hunting since 3 or so. Up till about 7 or 8 he'd head the other direction when it came time to break out the knives- he was cool with the shooting and dead critters but gutting and skinning was too much.

    A buddy hauled over a black bear one night to skin and after he watched that (it was a BEAR after all) he's been all in. At 11, he's helped dress and pack out caribou and dressed some fish and birds mostly by himself.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    We don't make a big deal about any portion of harvesting/butchering/processing as all of this is natural and a routine part of our lives. She accepts it as an everyday occurance and looks forward to getting her hands in the meat making sausage or playing with the dead octopus on her hook, exploring the head of a dead caribou, popping the heads off shrimp, etc....
    BK
    We've been approaching it all the same way, they are part of everything from harvesting Fish, to Bleeding the live and kicking fish, then cleaning, throwing the guts overboard, after a thorough inspection of course,...the entire process

    even to the point of deciding whether we want to keep a Sculpin or Dogshark,...tho interesting, do we want to eat that,..??
    Both my boys really enjoying deciding, Halibut is good, but maybe not the Dog Shark, or Octopus, yet anyway,...

    So we, "get to release," it while still healthy

    and even to the point of finding some exotic eggs in the grass,...we kept a few,..and dissected one to see the body of the baby bird in there
    (it was late in the egg season so they found the beak and wings,etc. in there)



    and compared this egg to the stuff we get from Safeway,...for fun and understanding of what an Egg really is,...Tasty



    My older son was along on a Black Bear hunt, and tho he was more interested in beach combing, than sitting on a stand and waiting
    when the Bear was down, and after an exciting search for the Black Fur in the Brush (he was the "Finder")
    I had him right in there from the discovering the Killing Wound Entrance, to the skinning and butchering,
    Considering it harvesting,...when it was yet a Long Way away from the tasty breakfast sausage appreciated later





    and what I think is the key part of it all,..Rendering it down from a Quarter of Animal, laying on the table, to a package of Hamburger
    looks just like that stuff at the store, and taking pride in "Doing it All Ourselves"



    and talking all about the reasons we think, the Bigger Ones, the Bulls,...are something to be proud of Outwitting, and Taking down,...
    why it makes sense to take them, versus a Cow, or Sow, or Doe, if we can



    Heh heh, making the Big Rack, make sense as hunters,...
    My Point being, starting them young realizing the transition from the cute little Deer standing on the side of the road in winter
    to an object of killing, and all the blood and guts, etc. is all just a Natural and Routine Process of our lives

    I started them off as having the responsibility to Club the Halibut, once on board,...which they loved to do for some reason (grin)
    and tho they're still not experienced at touching off a shot at big game yet

    They both Love the idea of stopping them Rabbits and Ptarmigan,...bringing them home to eat
    Don't expect much of an issue with pulling the trigger on a majestic Blacktail Buck

    Good Question and Thread, (mine are now 6&11, been getting their hands bloody since about 3yrs old, each),

    I have never seen a problem with the blood and killing aspect,
    but I do think it is important to teach that we don't just kill anything,...no shooting at song birds, etc.

    being picky on the animals that we choose to take,...I explain that I have good reasoning, and take time to explain my thinking on it all
    and we always do plenty of releasing the wrong kind of fish, which really worked well with them both,...
    They love to see something take off healthy after a chosen release
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    my boys actually started asking about age 5 or 6 what was inside stuff, so we'd cut rabbits in half and i'd show them how they worked and how stuff was all hooked together. now when we butcher big stuff or they shoot it they know what happens if the heart stops working and so on...i just did my thing and didn't hide it from them, then naturally they started getting curious on their own...
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    I really enjoy like many others do seeing the kids out there.
    Got twins..one is all about it..the other is more around the fish..but her interest is there. Both are 6 going on 20..lol Looking to many more great years ahead.
    few picsKaehla_helping_Dad.jpgkaehla picking the heart out.jpg
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Started the killing process putting live bait on a hook and cleaning the fish.Then I moved up to land taking of life and the son stuck to fishing but my daughter loves real fresh backstrap. Kids will let you know. When I would ask ya'll want to go hunt or fish the boy always said fish.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I have taken my kids since they were born. My youngest daughter was 1 and a half when she asked me why I was taking the Moose's jammies off. The boy was 10 months old on his first hunting trip (we spent 10 days camping out)(not in an rv) and killed a nice Caribou. At that same time my daughter was then 2. They seem to know when hunting season is getting close, they are eager to go. They are now (boy) 3 and (daughter) 4 and they like to go on the trapline with me. I guess what I am getting at is your hunting style may have to change drastically but I don't think there is too early of an age.
    -Caleb-

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    My parents had a used play pen that they took camping while my sister and I were still in diapers. From old photos it looks like my sister was in deer camp in nothern Nevada at age 10 months. I was in the oven that day if my math is right. Outside and fishing within a year. If around water I had to have at least three changes of clothes for just a weekend. I was passionate about chasing the little trout in the desert streams with my hands. Mom gave up and let me run bare if it was warm enough.

    At age 5 my sister and I were picking out our own calves to turn into steers and raise into steaks and burger. At 6 I was a firewood finder in deer camp as well as packing lunch for Dad and I out hunting. I can recall that day well. The horrific ethics experience of "The Guns of Autumn." Dad's backwoods southern boy marksmanship while putting a severely wounded deer out of it misery brought on by the yahoos. Him letting the yahoos fist fight over the hamburger deer and us moving on to a less popular location on the mountain. I saw three deer killed that day and help gut two of them. When you are six, and small for your age, a deer liver is pretty heavy to pack out.

    My own kid has been fishing mostly and has never had an issue. At 4 she caught her first trout and proudly stated "lets take it home and eat it." She gets cold fast so duck hunting never panned out for her and I. She prefers the boat ride to all the sitting and waiting. I need a heater in the boat even on a warm day. She is 14 now and I plan on taking her for caribou next year. Might even get her to pull the trigger, but I doubt it.

    Based on how I was raised I would have thought my kids would end up like Vince's, but that did not happen. Kind of got side tracked along the way with the divorce or something.

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    I have four kids. All have been on hunting trips with me and each have stated that its the best times they've had. Alot of these have been road hunts for caribou and predators, and a recent outside hunt for Antelope. My oldest did spend 12 days with me at remote moose camp this year, and he'll continue to do so. Hunting with my family is truely the greatest gift I've been given.







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    Not sure if it's ever too early to introduce kids to the nitty-gritty blood and guts details of hunting/trapping. Since that was our life, we never hid it from our kids, it was just a given, whether it was seeing dad skin out marten and other critters in the cabin, mom skin and cut up a hare, filleting fish, taking bears along the river, helping to suture up dogs after dog fights etc. The kids were always there, and always curious too, never seemed to be taken aback by any of it. I remember our oldest daughter, two years old, being just absorbed in watching me skin out and butcher the first caribou she'd ever seen down.

    Hardest part was in determining at what age they were capable of using a knife without hurting themselves, because they all wanted to help.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Not sure if it's ever too early to introduce kids to the nitty-gritty blood and guts details of hunting/trapping. Since that was our life, we never hid it from our kids, it was just a given, whether it was seeing dad skin out marten and other critters in the cabin, mom skin and cut up a hare, filleting fish, taking bears along the river, helping to suture up dogs after dog fights etc. The kids were always there, and always curious too, never seemed to be taken aback by any of it. I remember our oldest daughter, two years old, being just absorbed in watching me skin out and butcher the first caribou she'd ever seen down.

    Hardest part was in determining at what age they were capable of using a knife without hurting themselves, because they all wanted to help.
    I really hear you on the knife issue. My boys really want to be part of the skinning process. Given the lethal nature of the cutco dd and havelons, I'm probably too over protective, and it frustrates them. My solution has been to assign them the sawzall. They absolutely love cutting the hoves/lower legs off caribou and moose!
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    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    I am like Mark, it was a part of our way of life so he was always exposed to it. His mother was helping me skin coyotes when she was 8 months pregnant. We went camping all the time and he went with us fromt he time he was born. I didn't really start taking him along on my hunting trips until he was potty trained. Not because I didn't want him exposed to it but because I didn't want to haul around a diaper bag along with the hunting stuff. We didn't know what disposable diapers were back then and even if we did we couldn't have afforded them.

    Randy

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    a big thanks to all here.. It sure is nice to read about the kids...its been said a million times but it sure is true...they are our future and from all indications above we are in pretty good hands.. I really enjoyed the pics...something about the smiles simply say it all.. Tlingitwarrior that pic of your boy with the antelope sure is a great one...

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