Do they HAVE to kill something?
what did dad teach you... what do you want your kid to learn?
Do they HAVE to kill something?
what did dad teach you... what do you want your kid to learn?
I have a lot of memories watching my dad take a moose for the first time. He taught me to move slow, take my time and look and listen, I remember hearing the moose walking in the swamp. I remember being quiet and glassing for the moose, and when he spotted him, I remember my dad making the decision whether the moose was close enough, and when he decided it was, I remember him getting a good rest off of a tree branch. I was taught as the observer to watch the moose through my binos while he was shooting to look for bullet impact and to see if and which direction the moose ran. I learned the basics of dressing a moose and hanging the meat, and the importance of having a good knife and headlamp, which we did not have, and I learned at that young age that packing a moose out is a lot of work. All those things that I learned on that one hunt have stuck with me for my entire life, and these are the things I am trying to pass on to my kids
I want them to learn the simple sound of silence....no TV, no smart phones, no vehicle noise. Just the sounds of the wind, honking geese, howl of a wolf pack, call of a loon, the sounds of water gurgling around the raft. Actually listen to the sound of sizzling BBQ ribs in a Dutch Oven at the end of a rafting day.
I want them to disconnect from city stress and social rankings and reconnect with soul searching solitude.
I want my kids, and children of my great friends, to see and experience the sights that can only be seen in truly wild places, and that caged city kids and their parents can not possible understand.
I want kids to see themselves for what they are as part of the ecosystem.
I want my kids, some of the fortunate few, to imagine how people lived for thousands of years before us.
When hunting with kids, they do not have to shoot anything. But as always, committment, perserverance, and good planning will probably result in a shot opportunity. And then I want them to begin learning the skill set associated with processing quality food from a big dead critter.
Of course this is a late evening partial list of what I would like my kids, and the kids of my greatest friends, to begin learning.
Other will add significantly to it, I'm sure.....
I was going on hunting trips with my family from age 2 up. I would be fishing when I could and doing more and more as I got older and could keep up. I helped out with the field dressing frequently, holding a leg here or there or pulling back on the hide to help skin. The level of excitement went off the charts when I got to carry the rifle and hunt for and get my first caribou at age 11. I liked hunting before, but I loved it once I got to be the one pulling the trigger. Helping out with the entire process, from shooting to field dressing to butchering and packaging at home really brought it all together for me. Seeing and knowing that the steak on the table for dinner was there because I shot that caribou was really cool. I can remember all sorts of details from my early hunts, moreso than I can of more recent hunts.
It means taking your kid out hunting when he's just two weeks old; then go retrieve him after a kill shot so he can see the rest of the story. And to take him in a kiddee backpack while bowhunting through the woods, when he's just months old. And take him out boat hunting starting at age 3.
He can't remember a time when he hasn't been hunting. That's what it means to me to take your kid hunting.
And no, most of the trips we did not kill, because most outings we did not fire a round or fling an arrow.
Do they HAVE to kill something? Eventually, yes. We can all say (and most on here will say), that just getting out in the field is enough, but honestly, up to what point is that enough? You take your kid to the range where they practice, practice, and practice some more in order to be prepared to make the shot at the critter once in the field. When you get them in the field and over the long term (a number of seasons perhaps) they don't get to take a shot, eventually their attitude towards hunting will wane. It's no different than fishing. Try taking a youngster fishing, if they don't catch something once and a while, how long can you keep them interested?
I was a Backpacker for years before getting into Hunting, "the Hunt" changed everything as to how I viewed the woods, saw so much more, experienced the woods to a Much Greater degree, "cause I was trying to enter on their level now maybe, and the heat of the pursuit heightened my awareness to the degree, I can barely go walking in the woods now without "Looking for something wild, in the woods"
This is the reason I'll train my sons to be Good Hunters (time at range, learning to glass, etc.) versus just take them camping.
And Yes, I'll equip them to be able to take some meat home to Mom and the extended family, the rewards go way beyond just yourself enjoying the woods, when you are giving part of your experience to others afterward. As opposed to just telling them about it.
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 !
If we want to get philosophical, many agree with Ortega's notion that one "doesn't hunt in order to kill, one kills in order to have hunted."
Yes, as far as kids are concerned, many eventually have to be successful to stay interested. But that's a huge double-edged sword in my book in how we educate and mentor our kids or someone else's kids as to the inherent values of hunting that don't always include killing something.
My first years out here I didn't trap. Everyone else did. And all those bushrats would ask me, how can I go so far with my dogs, or on snowshoes, without the "incentive," both monetary and just wondering what may be caught in the next set, of trapping. The general gist was that if they didn't trap they really had no reason to be out in winter covering the country.
Kids really need to learn (imo) that hunting is far more than trying to kill something, or about always being successful. And so much of what I see missing in today's hunting culture is wrapped around the things we aren't teaching today's kids, like woodsmanship and survival skills, widespread knowledge of local flora and fauna, predator-prey relationships and inherent value of apex predators, the "older ways" of doing so many things, of going slow and quiet, of listening for that "biophany" in nature and becoming a part of it.
To look upon our natural surroundings with wonderment and to know that they’re a part of it and not removed from it; to feel confident and capable of self-reliance while maintaining respect and reverence for our ecological structure. To feel empowered by utilizing their instincts and knowing their limitations; to fully understand why our eyes are located on the front of our skulls and not the sides..
Why take your kids hunting? Perhaps so they understand, sometimes “you have to go through hell to get to heaven,” the value of a good pair of boots and how **** good that hot coco can taste after a long, cold, hard day that may or may not have a result. Shoot, fight instant gratification and take a kid hunting..
Oh yeah, and everything everyone else said..too..
Initially it is to get them outdoors to enjoy all that is offered out there. (i.e. being able to see the wildlife and the fact that if they develop patience, persistence and perseverance they will have an enjoyable time) The measure of success is not in killing something but to enjoy the experience. Yes, at some point in time they will be successful in harvesting an animal or a bird and then they will enjoy it even more. A year ago this fall my youngest son and I stalked within 25 yards of a huge bull moose - he did not have enough brow tines and we were not sure if he was 50 inches or not - might have been 52, might have been 49 - the decision was mutual - do not shoot unless you are sure it is a legal animal. I made him make the decision and I supported the decision. We enjoyed that as much or more than had we killed a moose.
And now a days we are reaching the point where - instead of taking your son hunting - it will be does he want to take his dad hunting.
He can outhike me and outpack me (weight wise) (as can his older brother). I would put either one of them as one of the best hunting partners anyone could find. We do not own four wheelers so our hunting is by hoof and ankle express. He has made a decision about hunting that if he hikes away from the road hunters and knows that there will be work involved he does not mind putting in the effort.
Watching that attitude develop over the years has been a tremendous feeling. His mother and I are very blessed to have both boys develop into wonderful outsdoorsmen (if there is such a word)
First of all I would like to say that I wish that I would not have criticized someone on another thread for how they spend time hunting with their kids. I should not have done that. I think just as long as parents are getting their kids out and about and away from the rat race of every day life they are doing some good. I see too many kids that either don't get to spend time hunting because their parents don't hunt or the parents are so wrapped up in their own hunts that they don't have time to take their kids.
I was super lucky my grandpa and dad were so dedicated to getting me involved in hunting at such a young age. I think it gave me some great life skills. I have some great memories hunting with those guys at a really young age. I cant remember much from back then but my hunting memories are still vivid. Not all were good though, like watching my uncle roll his Big Red down Monument Mountain breaking his back. Thats pretty scary stuff at 8 years old, but looking back it taught me how to stay calm and handle a really bad situation. As far as my kids are concerned, I get them out in the woods every chance I get teaching them everything that I learned from my grandpa, my dad, and stuff that I have picked up along the way. They remind me so much of myself at their age it's scary. They are really turning into some great hunting partners!
If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.
"Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....
Isabelle's first time at moose camp, age 11 months. She just turned three; couple more years she'll be getting her first .22 and learning to shoot. She's already a great observer of the natural world; knows what berries and mushrooms to pick, can identify different birds, and do animal calls ( bear: "RRRRAAAAWWWRRRR!!!!" moose: "MMMOOOOO!!!" ). I think the biggest obstacle to creating new hunters is the mass commercialization and gadgetization of hunting; if you pick up a hunting magazine these days, it would appear that you need about $100,000 worth of new gear before you can get out in the field and be successful. That's wrong, and I will always make sure my kids know that.
"– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg
I took my kids hunting all the time, sometimes they were successful and most of the time nothing just good times, my son was 11, 12 when the take a child hunts were open around fairbans and for 2 years I didnt hunt moose cause my son shot them hahahahhahahahah and yes he really pulled the trigger, i didnt even carry a rifle the 2nd year he shot a spike fork 200 yards, the 1st year he got a 50 incher off the elliot, (i followed up on that one cause he was walking further down the hill).
Now they are older and working its harder to coordinate but love to take the whole family on a hunt and build on experience I use to carry my daughter in one of those kid things that go on your back, and was successful numerous times bowhunting deer in washington.
I think just getting them out there is the only important step. The rest takes care of itself. All the question and answer periods come naturally. Shoot I am still learning every year. Some things I learn my kids teach me, especially how wonderous and neat simple seeming events or sights are again. Kids will surprise you with their resiliency, I am not sure they know they are supposed to be miserable in the snow, rain, wind, cold. They will let you know when they are but it is often after you are.
I think the kill is more important to the adults than the kids. I have offered shots to my oldest for the last 3 years. He was not that interested in the first 2 years. This year he wanted to get a moose, but it was on his terms. We spotted a bull on the way in to hunting camp but he would not get off of his wheeler to even look at it. You see he knows our hanging time is 5-7 days depending upon weather. We had a 10 day hunt planned and he was not going home early. He did not start hunting until 3 days in. He got his moose and was happy it was on his terms. It would have been bittersweet to him if it cost him some of his " backcountry hunting time".
For what it is worth,
It is nice to know that there are "ALASKANS" out there, no matter where they live.