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Starting a kid out in Hunting

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  • Starting a kid out in Hunting

    I have a 5 year old. Last year I took him hunting for the first time. We went out and hunter stupid chickens. He watched and learned from me hunting them. This year I'm taking him to learn duck hunting. He really enjoyes the trip out and likes to watch hunting shows. Since he has an interest I'm trying to teach him as much as I can for the day when he actually goes and hunts. My question is for people with kids that hunt. At what age did you allow your child to psycially hunt? Yes I do know about the hunter Ed.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  • #2
    Starting out...

    My dad started me out at about the same age as you are starting your son. Some of my earliest, best memories are of tagging along in the duck blind, or hiking old logging roads hunting grouse with dad. Somewhere, I've got a picture of myself holding my first kill - a blue grouse, and a single-shot 20 ga. The 20 is taller than I am, and I'd guess I was about 6 or 7. My dad used to carry the cartridges and hand them to me one at a time. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do the same for my child someday.

    Good on ya!



    • #3
      Kid's hunting

      Alaska Gray,

      I think it all depends on the kid and their maturity level. I have a stepdaughter and she really never caught on to the hunting thing. However, I didn't become a part of her family until she was 9, so I was a little late in the game.

      On the other hand, I started taking my nephew out when he was about 5 and the first hunt we did was for mourning doves. We even killed a couple. Do to him living in Florida (now Tennessee) and me living in Texas, I haven't been able to take him as much as I wanted. Went on a couple of deer hunting trips, but I didn't let him shoot anything until two years ago when he was 11. We didn't have much time, but we did some dry firing at toy horses in the house. The next morning, bang!, right at 7:45 a little spike offered himself up to the hunting gods. One of the most exciting hunts ever for me! It was just like (well much better) watching your very own hunting show. He sent me a note this week asking about this year already.

      Now, I waited until I thought he was mature enough not to scare me with firearms handling (and he is maturing a little slowly) and I don't think I'd turn him loose on his own with a gun yet - maybe in another year or so (I'm putting him together a single shot 30-30 and I hope my sister will approve when the time is right). I was reloading by the time I was 15, so each is different.

      One piece of advise - keep the little ones from getting cold or getting to bored. It's not worth staying out too long if it turns them off.

      One ovservation - I have a pet pieve about these big time "hunting show hunters" taking their 7-year old "little man" to the big game ranch and killing a B&C buck for their first deer. Where do they go from there, and when the little grows up a bit and finds that he has to hunt open range animals (no B&C animals behind every bush)? I think kids should be started on small game, does/cows, and young bucks/bulls. Give them something to look forward to.

      Anyway, that's my two cents.


      • #4
        My boy just turned 6 and I've been itching to take him out. My wife and I did talk about it and we both decided that while it was alright for him to go grouse hunting that he wasn't able to get ahold of a gun until he was 7 or 8. I've been eyeing the single shot .22 from henry for him as his first gun and he'll probably get it next year. He's not immature, well as far as age group goes, but he does get rambuncous from time to time and the though of 1 accident with a gun would end it all. One item of mention is my daughter turns 5 this weekend and I am just as excited to get her out as well, don't forget that all kids are the future of our sport and girls deserve just as much chance as the boys!
        Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
        So I backed up and hit her again, ya know sometimes I really do miss her!!


        • #5
          I was lucky to have parents who took both my brothers and myself hunting from the start. I got a single shot chipmuck .22 for my birthday and worked up from there. I was taught from well before ever getting my own rifle the "rules and regs" ya know the standards. Dont ever point it at anyone, dont get it out without my mom or dad the normal. As long as you are very clear with your rules and make it fun your kids will grow up enjoying all the outdoors has to offer. I have many memories of hunting and fishing with my family. I was lucky to have a dad who didnt mind the idea of his lil girl hunting right along with him. Good luck to you all and enjoy!


          • #6
            I started my duaghter at age 5 going Moose and duck hunting with me. My son started going duck hunting with me when he was 3, I would put him on my back in his baby back pack carrier thing and wrap it with camo netting. He was old enought to wear a piar of ear plugs. This year I took both kids Boo hunting and they loved it. helped me clean the darn thing. My daughter carrys a 22 and shot a few rabbits this trip and my son got to shot one two. My daughter is 10 and actually should of been the one to shoot my boo. She was to far behind me when it popped out. I agree it is all a matter of how you feel about your kid. Dont push your kid. If your kid wants to hunt you will be able to tell by how often they talk about hunting how often they ask about it. My daughter wont leave me alone about hunting. My son either. They will both be going with me duck and Moose hunting. Good luck and make sure you teach your kids the basics and that animals are for food not trophy! The shows on TV all look for trophys not food like we do!


            • #7
              The thrills of being in the field with the "old man".

              My dad started me out without a firearm at the age of 5. When I was seven I got a firearm of my very own. H&R single shot .410, and I still have it to this day. I plan on passing it on to my daughter when she gets old enough. The time and lessons that one generation can pass on to another out in the field are priceless. Teach them well and watch them closely. You will have many memories to sit back and reflect on one day.

              "Shoot straight and keep your powder dry"


              • #8
                I am glad to see there are so many of you out there that are enthusiastic about teaching your kids how to hunt and enjoy Alaska while respecting what the outdoors has to offer.I have a little boy, about 8 months and since the day he was born all I dream about is buying him his first .22. Both his grandad and me are very so very anxious to show him how to catch his first fish, shoot his first duck, and harvest his first moose. The way I see it is you only get one chance at being a good role model for your kids and introducing them to the outdoors is a great way to start. His old man needs to shoot his first moose before all of that goes down and I'll have a shot at it next week.


                • #9
                  This is a Great thread....

                  I am glad this thread was started.

                  I have been thinking of this for a while. My oldest son will be five in Nov. I feel as if he is mature for his age. This spring, at age 4-1/2, he could tell you, in simple terms, What happens when you pull the trigger on a firearm. The trigger trips the firing pin, the firing pin hits the primer, the primer ignites the powder, the powder burns fast, burning powder pushes the bullet out the barrel and (this is the cute part) the bullet kills the bear. He has spent a lot of time reloading with me.
                  BUT... putting a gun in his hands is a different story. I am still undecided about when to actually let him fire a gun, even though we practice gun safety offen. I am thinking that keeping the kids involved in the outdoors is an excellent start.
                  My 3 yr. old daughter is following in her brothers foot steps. She actually logged over 160 mi. in Caribou Hills (on the Kenai) in our track rig before she was 3 months old. Sorry I am rambling. I enjoy every minute with my family and like to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors.
                  I think back to when I started. I was shooting a 7mm Mag @ 9yrs, received my own gun, A 30-06 at age 10 and have been shooting a 375 H&H since 16 until today.

                  experience- I willl not let my kids have a BB gun, pellet gun maybe but BB's seem to bounce back a lot. (I know a guy who lost an eye) I will also start my kids off with smaller guns. Dont want them scared of the gun. --
                  .22 ages 6-7, .223 ages 7-8, 7mm-08 ages 9-10. something in this order, if, and only IF they stay on track with their disire to learn and the proper respect for the firearms and the sport.

                  Best of the outdoors to all. ENJOY!


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