Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Taking your Daughter hunting

  1. #1
    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    236

    Default Taking your Daughter hunting

    A few days ago after I came home from bird hunting my two and a half year old daughter asked when she would get to go hunting with me. Of course this was a proud moment that choked me up a little, it really got the gears turnin'. I realize that at this point she can't really conceptualize what hunting is, or why we would do it, but it made me wonder what I need to do as a parent to ensure that when the day comes that she is old enough to go that the desire is still there. For those of you that have daughters that hunt, what advice do you have. I have two daughters now and it will be a several years before they can hunt, but it would be amazing if I were to have them as my hunting partners.

    Tyler

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    74

    Default She will always want to go

    My 17 year old still loves to fish and hunt with me. Only thing I can say is stay involved with her. Take her to the woods or fishing whenever you can. We have only been successful on a few of our hunts, but I wouldnt trade the time for anything. My daughter isnt afraid to tell friends that she is hanging with Dad on the weekend hunting or fishing. We do a slough of outdoor stuff together and always have. Kind of intimidates her boyfriends a little when she shows them her Bear Rug and Carribou Mount. Like I said, keep it a part of their lives and they will always want to go.

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer Alaska
    Posts
    2,339

    Default

    Gunther is 3, no I didn't name my daughter Gunther, he has been hunting and fishing with me since he was only a few weeks old. Not hunts with a danger element, but easy ones, small game, day trips for moose and ducks mostly. I am a archery hunter so gun noise is not a problem. At first he rode on my back in a carrier now he hikes along or rides in the canoe. Thing is as long as you are careful to do good prep and do SHORT outings she could be in the field with you now. My little brother has done the same with all four of his girls. Mike's daughter Elisa harvested and field dressed her first deer with the help of her 10 and 5 year old sisters this year, Mike stupidvised! The youngest watched them butcher at home, she's 2.
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    975

    Default

    In my humble opinion, taking kids hunting or fishing is like training a puppy, everything must be FUN! Stop to smell the roses, or the muskeg, and check out all the wonderful things in nature. Use plant and animal track ID books and such to investigate everything you see in the woods. Don't go to fast, go at the child's speed, not yours. Eat snacks and take naps on sunny hillsides. Soak your feet in an icy cold stream. Skip rocks across a pond. That sort of stuff.

    My daughter used to love to go hunting and fishing with me. I still recall the day she went along with me to hunt some birds. This is one of the few times I was looking for road birds. Haley was five. Saw some spruce grouse on a very lonely two track back in the woods. Pressured them off the road with the truck. Got out with shotgun and Brittany, sent the dog off to hunt up the birds. About 20 yds off the road the dog pointed, the birds flushed, and I took a bird on the rise. My daughter thought all that was very cool, especially watching the dog point and retrieve. Back at the truck she cuddled up next to me, held my right arm tight to her and, looking up into my eyes she said "Daddy, you and me are horse ridin' (we do horses, and I first had her riding with me at 18 months) fishin' and huntin' fools!" I wrote of her first grouse taken in my book, Upland Hunting in Alaska. Regrettably, her friends and other influences have convinced her that hunting isn't such a good deal. But she's coming back and every year she'll go with me at least once to hunt the farm in Delta for sharptails, and she loves working the dogs. To my amazement she actually accepted a dead sharptail from one of my dogs this past fall. I don't push, I just wait and hope! I have a very nice 28 gauge sxs that could be hers.

    I recall my daughter having a bunch of other little girls over to the house once a long time ago (she's about to turn 17) when I came home with some ruffed grouse. The girls were all squeamish when I showed them the birds, but I got them each to touch the birds, to stroke their feathers and fan their tails, to marvel in the natural beauty. I then told them what store bought chickes eat, and how they live very short lives in confinement, and that ruffed grouse die a noble death, and how I'm just one more predator in the woods. I then tear open the crop and after they stop screaming I show them the wonderful wild salad that grouse eat, and I encourage them to smell the cranberries and willow buds and such. They each leave thinkng wild birds aren't so bad after all.

    Enjoy every moment, and take pictures. Likely it will be the outside influence that will turn them away from hunting and fishing.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    236

    Default

    Thanks guys, it's inspirational. My fear is that she will eventually be "socialized" into a girly-girl who isn't supposed to do those kind of things, as Jim mentioned, but her mother and grandmother wore combat boots and she went on her first quail hunt while still in the womb (also her mother's first hunt), so maybe there is hope!

  6. #6
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    324

    Default great thread

    I am the father of 4 daughters from 20 to 5. it has been a long battle to keep outdoor stuff like hunting, fishing, camping etc... fun. A lot of it is personality dependent.. my oldest has never had any interest in being outdoors... my #2 loves the adventure and is a great hunting partner... they were raised pretty much the same so it comes down to individual preferences...

    agreed with the earlier posts about keeping it fun in the formative years... make sure the association of the outdoors brings good memories for the girls... nice and easy and fun... the push, and tough part can come later... if you push hard in the early years and try and make a naturally energetic 6 yr old girl sit and glass for hours at a time you'll have just shot yourself in the foot down the road (no pun intended)...

    also, keep it a special treat and not a every weekend deal... the little rewards like getting ice cream on the way out or back, special time by pulling them out of school (a few minutes early)... stuff like that forms those associations that pay dividends down the road.

    My #2 daughter had that huge social pull about 2 years ago and actually became a vegetarian (after spending a summer at Berkley)... however the pressure never took over and she still loves to hunt... totally off I know but she reconciled that disparity as she chooses not to eat meat for her health and hunts with me to help provide for the family (we eat what we hunt, not trophy stuff)...

    The little girls look up to their older sister so I'm using that as incentive... I take the 8yr old shooting just her and I for special time... and she sees how special the older girl hunts are so she wants to be a part of it... so we have a few years to get some of the basics down before we go out...

    good luck and remember that winning the small engagements will eventually win the war over time!

    Greg

  7. #7
    Member hooternanny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Interior, AK
    Posts
    404

    Thumbs up what a great thread

    what a great thread. i have jims book and it feels like i know him though we've never met. how truely special is that wonderment of a child and the fact that you can now re-live it to some degree with your daughter! what a great subject and special experience that can be had. it's beyond words-

    for me personaly to see people take others into nature they have never experienced, be they 2 years old or 22, speaks dirrectly to my soul. theres just something about the new discovery of the natural world that i believe we should never loose, or we are lost forever. the natural world is full of basics. i feel those who never know it are less fortunate, but to each their own.

    your post reminds me of my childhood. i remember wanting to explore nature so much. my earliest good memories are rooted in simple things as sitting cross legged and admiring individual blades of grass. gettting down face level with the earth and getting down right dirty playing in the mud. one of my chores as a child was pulling weeds, but i didn't understand the reason why because as a child i saw that even these had there place in nature. but, they had no place in my fathers garden. as i got older i learned a lot in my life about the hows and whys of life, but everything can and is related back to nature for me.

    in my play time, i remember digging in the earth and playing with worms, my first bee sting, and the first time i came upon a dead baby bird. as i got older i realized that i was drawn into this discovery of the natural world and i still enjoy it today. small patches of alaska maybe 1 foot square sometimes contain 20 little differnent things growing in them. the bark of a tree, the grain of the wood, and the apprication of the heat it puts off in my stove. my love of nature in things like trees, mountains and oceans will always be. and what they yeild makes them unmeasureable to human kind.

    when i was a child i wanted to go further and further in exploring the natural world but seldom got others to take me so i set out on my own and made it my own. it was a natural intrest i had (have) and always will. and, being in the outdoors has a major impact upon all human beings, or should, and to see it all again in the eyes of a child brings me to a sureal place. we are all bound to the natural world and should never loose sight of that. you have countless opportunitys to teach her things about life that apply forever from the natural world.

    reality is that people naturally gravitate to ceratin things that they like and away from things they don't. but to be sure, nature binds us all just as sure as the fact that everthing dies. it is a tough reality how things die in the natural world; issues like loosing teeth so can't eat, starving, suffering, sickness ect. but how inforamtion is presented makes a huge difference. safe people develop safe habits, ethical people develop ethics, all that is learned behavior and yet nature runs her course in us all.

    that guarantee is not pretty, that fact that all things end, but so too are those who live in denial or ignornace of there own part in nature, IMO. and, the things that you enjoy and how you see the world -be it the one foot at a time or from a universal perspective-is and will be a major part of her personal development for many years to come. our ties to nature are timeless as well as our dependance upon her. what a huge moment when your daughter asked you that, thank you so much for sharing.

    enjoy your time teaching her and experiencing life with her while you have the opportunity before you. there is no better thing you could do, IMO. just exactly how you go about it is up to you! but you getting her involved in your outdoor activities makes the world a better place for all, whoever she becomes, everyone is better for it

  8. #8
    Member Rick P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer Alaska
    Posts
    2,339

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TMCKEE View Post
    Thanks guys, it's inspirational. My fear is that she will eventually be "socialized" into a girly-girl who isn't supposed to do those kind of things, as Jim mentioned, but her mother and grandmother wore combat boots and she went on her first quail hunt while still in the womb (also her mother's first hunt), so maybe there is hope!
    Mike's 10 year old is definitely a girlly girl! A pink 22caliber cricket and a promise to do the messy stuff for her till she gets older was all the reassurance she needed. She makes a game out of "being pretty in camo", even sewed some green lace on one of her camo shirts.

    The 5 year old lives for blood and guts, got to keep an eye on that little demon! Mike did say Kaylee couldn't hack field dressing but Sara was the first to offer to help.
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,391

    Default

    As for the "girly girl" concern, a couple of my teenage students who hunt are as girly as they come, but they still love going out hunting with their fathers. There's only so much you can do to shape who your daughter will become socially, but an involved father has incredible power. If you take her hunting and make it enjoyable, it's almost certain that she'll love that time with you and crave it, even if she becomes cryptic about her desire for time with you in her teen years.

    The number one recommendation I would make it to be sure she is warm, dry, and comfortable. I talk with my students about hunting and fishing a lot, and I cannot count how many times I've been told that a kid hates it specifically because of a cold, wet experience. Last week one girl told me that she loves hunting, but she hates fishing. I asked why, and her response is that she got really cold and wet twice, so she doesn't go any longer. If you're going to be taking her out in anything less than ideal conditions, make the investment in quality gear that'll keep her dry and warm. I spent a small fortune on my wife when I got her involved in hunting and fishing, but that money was well spent, as I now have a wife that loves the outdoors and trusts me to take care of her safety and comfort when things turn wet and cold. Kids need to be comfortable before they can have fun.

  10. #10
    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    236

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    There's only so much you can do to shape who your daughter will become socially, but an involved father has incredible power.

    This is the most valuable lesson I will take away from this thread! I spent some time as a high school teacher before coming back into the Army and I've seen how parental involvement is critical in all things. Thanks Brian for the reminder. It's so much different now that I'm thinking about my own children and not others.

  11. #11

    Default Take her hunting

    I think it is great. My daughter is only 2, but she has already been immersed into the outdoors as much as a 2 yr. old could or should be. I have older sons who like to hunt. In my opinion there are not enough Dads out there these days that take their kids hunting. And those that do probably are not trying hard enough to make it a fun outing for them.

    This is causing a decline in the number of hunters. Statistics show that only 10% of the U.S. population are hunters, 10% are anti-hunters, and 80% are non-hunters. We are probably never going to reach the anti-hunters, but if we are to preserve our sport and change the demographics of our population, we need to take our kids hunting! We are losing our kids to video games.

    Sorry Dads, but get those kids off there lazy duffs and get em out there hunting! I don't care if you have sons or daughters. Daughters make up half the population of kids out there, and if the boys aren't interested then let the girls take over. They are not going to lose their femininity. My wife is the most feminine woman I know and she loves to hunt!

    Who knows, you might have a chance at raising the next Sarah Palin. Lord knows she does more for our sport than most of the men politicians out there. And I hate to say it, but she has bigger balls too!

    I'll get off my soap box now, sorry.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    973

    Default

    Raising 2 daughters as well. Both have been involved in outdoor activities all their lives - It's never to early to get them interested. The best moose hunt I have been on yet was last year with my daughter - this says a lot because I have been on a lot of good moose trips. Fortunately for me my daughters weren't interested in soccer or hockey but prefer shooting, hunting, and fishing. Keep them safe, warm, and entertained while enjoying the outdoors and
    you will instill the desire for life.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •