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Thread: Skills?

  1. #1

    Default Skills?

    What, if any, skills should we make certain our kids (or adults we are in a position to help) have before for harvesting big game?
    (I am NOT suggesting by regulation - rather as responsible hunters)
    Joe (Ak)

  2. #2

    Default Initial Thoughts...

    1) Familiarity/comfort with field dressing (or helping to field dress, depending on age) animals, via prior experience harvesting small game

    2) Familiarity/comfort with their weapon, via practice (includes weapon care, again depending on age)

    3) Ability to distinguish between species and sexes as needed, depending on the species they're hunting

    4) Respect for the animals they're hunting and our place in the cycle of nature


    In terms of #1, not saying the kids have to dive right in and help, especially if they're young. Just need to be comfortable with the process, i.e., not shoot something and then let Dad/Mom clean it because they think it's gross.

  3. #3
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Patience

    Patience

    Teach the effort alone is noteworthy and admirable. In other words.......

    There is often glory in the attempt alone.

    Enjoying the quiet and solitude should be taught and appreciated.

    Preparedness.....you should teach that to a youngster.

    Strength........Teach physical fitness to a youngster as part of becoming an outdoorsman.

    Since you asked........

  4. #4

    Talking Skills

    How to open a beer for dad. Gas up the 4 wheeler. Hide from the game wardens.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Good answers mdhunter and Bighorse. Those are all things I tried to teach my nephew before we went out hunting this spring. Another thing that we hammered over and over again was proper shot placement. We must have looked at 200 different pictures of bears and talked about where to place the bullet on each one depending on the angle presented. We also talked at length about when to pass on the shot and let the animal walk based on animal position, distance, or nerves. In learning all of this, he also learned a lot about anatomy and the limitations of his firearm.

    I'd also add that young/new hunters should know all about the laws concerning their target animal and the reason behind the laws. My nephew is only 10, but he can now tell me quite a bit about wildlife management and why we limit the take on certain species and at certain times of the year.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    biggest thing for my kids....

    what to do in case something happens to me...or in an emergency.

    don't want something happen to me and my kids not have a clue what to do. not cool.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    biggest thing for my kids....

    what to do in case something happens to me...or in an emergency.

    don't want something happen to me and my kids not have a clue what to do. not cool.
    Good call, Jake. I didn't spend enough time on emergency and survival skills with my nephew. That will definitely get added to the list next time.

  8. #8
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default cold water emersion

    Just the other day.....I asked my daughter while Halibut fishing....."What would happen if you fell in the water here and the boat was lost and you had to swim to shore?"

    This was in a narrow passage so a swim was feasible.

    She mutted "I'd swim to shore and rub rocks together to make a fire".

    Even our smart children need an education on survival skills! Even adults!

    I talk to my peers about "homeitis" and it's pitfalls. What do I mean? When a person finds themself hurried or pressed to get somewhere fast because they are uncomfortable with the prospects of staying in the wilderness that's homeitis. Thats when accidents happen.

    Survival skills/equipment help the comfort level increase and we all know that we should all be keeping a level head in tough situations.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Skills?

    I'll settle for some Common Sense.

    $^!# happens, and 99% of the time common sence see' ya through.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  10. #10
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    What, if any, skills should we make certain our kids (or adults we are in a position to help) have before for harvesting big game?
    Top on my list is firearms safety and handling, hunter-ed either passed on by us or through a hunter ed course. To include also big game anatomy and proper bullet/arrow placement, knowledge of what is legal and how to judge a legal animal, what caliber and range is generally acceptable, and learning about butchering and meat care in the field, what kind of weight and logistics are involved.

    Any hunter should also have a basic knowledge of woodsmanship and how to take care of him/herself in the field. What gear is needed and works and how to use it.

  11. #11
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    Default +10 Bushrat...

    SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY! Alaska leads the nation (if I am correct) in hunting related accidents & safty skills with weapons is PARAMOUNT for children...in teaching my 11 y/o son this winter about shooting, I stressed SAFETY...ensure that the weapon you receive from someon is unloaded, by opening the action, & physically looking up the chamber to ENSURE NO ROUND is in the chamber...& NEVER PULL THE TRIGGER untill you're ready to kill your target...always point the weapon in SAFE direction, untill your ready to fire. Don't rely on the Safety...etc. etc. etc.

    Along the same lines as well, Shooting skills are a close second...I teach him what I learned in BRM (basic rifle marksmenship) & I will continue to stress the importance of BARS (Breath, relax, aim, squeeze)...

    My next set of skills I will teach my son will be directional orientation, land Nav & fire starting...

    After that, I will teach him calling techniques, but he's already observed me doing it in the wild, so I think he will catch on to that shortly...

    I already showed him butchering, & knife sharpening/saftey...

    Being in the sub arctic as well, I will be teaching him hypothermia prevention...& that COTTON KILLS...

    There are so much more skills sets that I must teach him but that'll all come into place

    Patience was probably one of the first things I wanted to teach him, & at 11, he's far more patient than I was at that age...

  12. #12
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Default

    I'll chime in here:

    1st- off learn how to build a fire without a petrolium product.
    2nd- is to learn how to build a shelter,( you can do this in your back yard)
    3rd- is to know what to expect if you think you are going to be out longer than you thought you would.
    4Th- did you know that grayling like squirel tails? and eyeballs from another one after you catch the first one.( caught many like that when I was a kid.) A piece of wire can be made into a hook.
    5- Is don't panic out there, sooner or later someone will find you, and you will get to know more about God's creation and become a better man/women because of it.

    P.S. I could write a book on survival, heres one tip a grayling gutted tossed directly into the fire is a a good meal, the scales are like foil, looks bad but when the skin is pulled back, nothing but clean meat.

  13. #13
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    it depend on how young they are. i started talking to my daughter when she was 2 "about" hunting and let her see and touch everything i brought home. i think the first thing she learned was how a bullet worked in a gun, she saw me load shells and she saw they killed animals, she learned respect for future safe gun handling before she handled a gun. her skill sets revolved initially around safe gun handling and familiarity with loading/unloading. then finally outdoors she learned how to be sure of what she wanted to shoot at, and the finality of the decision to kill an animal. she had fished and released fish before and i wanted her to understand this was not the same thing.
    since then we've hunted more stuff, learned more skills. she's 11 now and just completed the basic hunter ed course in fairbanks. when i get back from iraq, i hope i can take her on her 1st moose or caribou hunt.

  14. #14
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    Default Basics

    The basics are where to start. If you have a boy, then Cub/Boy Scouts are a great start, if a girl then you have to be the scout leader. Cub/Boy Scout books are numerous and easy to find on line to give you a syllabus to start off with, but when it comes down to it; nothing is better than experience and exposure. Humans just learn best by doing no matter who you are.

    Survival in Alaska is frought with so many variables from weather to personal conditioning, covering as many worst-case scenarios will ensure that you've done a good job in your teaching and you will probably learn a new thing or two to boot.

    I started my oldest daughter out on little trips from our friend's house out in Knik and also some back yard things. I read up as much as possible on techniques and wild edibles whenever I can, to pass along. My best find is something that seems silly but I use every time I go hunting or fishing; I'm not a big fan of "bug dope" but I did find a natural solution to my adverse attitude to off the shelf repellents; Northern Yarrow (see attached image). It smells relatively pleasant and does not create the bad odor associated with most oils and Deet based products and gives you a natural cover scent. I constantly have to remind my younger girls that they have to ask permission before eating anything to make sure they don't grab something that's going to make them sick; but it's worth the effort to have them find something and ask you about it.

    The basics have already been hashed out but I'll add my own list;

    1. Know how to start a fire with what you have
    2. Make sure someone knows where you are going and have a check in time or "rescue" time if you don't return.
    3. STAY in that area.
    4. Know how to build a shelter
    5. Know how to purify water - you can go without food for a few days but water is a must.
    6. Be familiar with what you can/can't eat
    7. Know what the easy animals are to sustain your food needs
    8. Know your limits - don't be a hero and do anything dumb
    9. If you have more than a couple of guys in your group, leave a spare key to your rig if you are the one that drove with one of your partners.
    10. Always be thinking of "what if" scenarios and how to avoid/deal with them.

    The other stuff like how to shoot, where to shoot and what to shoot should already be covered before going out. Fish are a great source of food becuase of the balanced carb/protein/fat they contain so a length of line/lures/hooks/weights is a must... you can manufacture a pole from a willow if needs be.
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    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    I would have to definitly agree with what has been said so far. First aide and survival skills are a must when hunting in Alaska. What happens if you break your leg on your 4 wheeler and you shild is the only one around for miles? can you rely on them to build you a shelter, fire and gather food before heading off for help? I am a big fan of hunter safety and education. I have taken all the classes offered (muzzleloader saftey, hunter ed, and Bowhunter saftey) and thought that they were all 3 great classes with alot of useful info.

    I also strongly agree with teaching a child or someone new to hunting respect for animals and the Alaska outdoors. My dad taught me that you only kill what you are going to eat and eat everything you can off of what you kill. I hope to pass this info on to a child of my own someday and i hope they take it as serious as i do.

  16. #16

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    I'll add this as it seems to be over looked and or disregarded (often due to gender bias) by many in general.

    Teach whomever hunts/camps/recreates with you on a regular basis, how to operate safely the means by which you travel, be it atv, boat, snowmachine etc. How to get them unstuck ( use a winch, pack snow, come-along, rope-along), start the motor, read the water and so on.

    I am normally with my wife. If we are 30 miles up a river and I get injured, it falls on her to get us both out if there are no means of communication with emergency services.

    You can bet she knows how to start and operate the boat, atv and sno-gos, still working on the reading the water part though .

    In addition know which gear is essential in a survival/emergency situation if you MUST leave your location.

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338WM View Post
    I'll add this as it seems to be over looked and or disregarded (often due to gender bias) by many in general.

    Teach whomever hunts/camps/recreates with you on a regular basis, how to operate safely the means by which you travel, be it atv, boat, snowmachine etc. How to get them unstuck ( use a winch, pack snow, come-along, rope-along), start the motor, read the water and so on.

    I am normally with my wife. If we are 30 miles up a river and I get injured, it falls on her to get us both out if there are no means of communication with emergency services.

    You can bet she knows how to start and operate the boat, atv and sno-gos, still working on the reading the water part though .

    In addition know which gear is essential in a survival/emergency situation if you MUST leave your location.
    All of you bring up good points. But 338WM hit it on the nail for me, this is my major weak area and one I plan on working on from here on out. I finally realized I was not doing enough teaching on driving the boat this fall after the season was up, guess I get behind the wheel and am having too much fun to share.

  18. #18
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Who here has braided willow furnitrue? Was at a construction site at the Chulitna River Bridge and the guys were camping out in a gravel pit a little south of it. There was a guy there that spent all of his off time making willow chairs. Thats a skill.

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    Self control...

    Don't shoot it unless you are going to eat it.
    Be sure of your target before you shoot.

  20. #20
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Transportation

    I think regionally there is certainly a need for transportation specific training.

    In SE its Boating.

    Up north requires lots of vehicle travel, four wheeling, sledding, and boating.

    You've also got pilots who need training.

    So for our more mature hunters there is a need to always be learning about some of the complicated and sundry transportation needs of hunting in Alaska.

    Learn to read a map.
    Vehicle specific preparedness. Safety, Mechanicals, and Fuel

    Learn to read the water.
    Currents, Waves, Flows, Structure, and Tides

    For our Anchorage drivers......LEARN TO DRIVE!


    Just be thoughtful in general..... were not superman and the people we love enjoy seeing us back at the dinner table believe it or not.

    On my list of to-do is to fly.......My father was a pilot and I'd like to head that direction someday.

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