Hunting with kids - (multiple...)



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  • Hunting with kids - (multiple...)

    Kind of an offshoot of the hunting with the wife thread. I have been getting my eldest daughters (9 & 6) out for rabbits and spruce hen and am wanting to take the entire family on a moose or caribou trip. The problem I am facing is how to #1 - get them all out into the field (along with all the extra gear necessary). & #2 - have them all (or most of them anyway) survive and want to do it again!

    Day trips for small game is one thing, but a 2-4 day trip seems overwhelming to me. Right now we have three daughters (9, 6, & 4) and my wife is due any day now with #4 (supposed to be a boy!).

    Any advice for this kind of group hunting?

    The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  • #2
    The ever so controversial Denali highway motorhome hunt.
    I know alot of people here hate that topic, but it is the only way I can get my 5 & 7 yr old boys out for a real hunting trip where they can shoot Ptarmagin, and gain lifelong memories with thier father and grandfather, and hopfully see some caribou.

    That is the hunt my boys look forward to every year. I started taking them out at 3 yrs old. They get to experiance the hunt, and I dont worry so much about having small boys out in extreme weather where so much could happen.

    If I were hunting myself it would be different, but with the kids its a relativley "safe" hunt.

    For me that hunt is only about the boys, anything else is a bonus.


    • #3
      families and hunting

      I have 4 daughters and I try to take them whenever I can. It is hard to do sometimes with the amount of gear that is required! I try to do boat trips and atv trips with the girls. We have 2 6 wheelers, so loading them all in works! It is a tight fit sometimes, but we make the best of it. It is worth every second. We do lots of bird (grouse), muskrat, rabbit, and beaver hunting. This weekend we will try our hand at caribou. I wish I could post pictures here, but I can't seem get the pictures resized to post on this forum, but I have some great shots of my girls and their kills. It is so rewarding as a father to see. You will find out they will be more of "camping" trips, but they will be awesome!


      • #4
        E-mail me the pictures and I'll post them.


        • #5
          Day trips for small game is one thing, but a 2-4 day trip seems overwhelming to me. Right now we have three daughters (9, 6, & 4) and my wife is due any day now with #4 (supposed to be a boy!). Any advice for this kind of group hunting?

          Probably the most important thing we can do in our lives is to get out in the field with our kids, whether we're hunting or not. Just teaching them about the outdoors, and camping...well I've never seen a kid yet who didn't like it, didn't learn from it, and have it enhance their life.

          Anyway, been there and understand how daunting it can be. Just getting out for overnighters first (in summer) is a good way to go. Doesn't necessarily have to be hunting related. Maybe something close off the road system. Or a lake site or a short boat/canoe/raft trip. I know that three kids is a handful. I went out camping and hunting with my three kids, but wasn't always with all of them together. There are times when you're limited by what you can bring and how old the kids are, and with safety concerns (you can't save them all, for example, when the canoe tips over...I know this from personal experience). Sometimes they all can't go along.

          Basically, just get them out first and familiar with camping in a place where you don't have to travel too far off the beaten path. I wouldn't at all discount short walk-ins, either. I find that kids really learn about themselves and build self esteem if they do some physical work and participate in whatever chores they are capable of doing. Young kids can't carry too heavy of a pack, but your middle kids could carry small daypacks, or their own sleeping bag. A mile from the car isn't such a long walk on a good trail. All that sorta gets them more set for a hunting experience, too. Bring the pet dog along on campouts. Kids love open fires...probably their favorite thing is to sit around the fire and roast marshmallows and make smores. Bring good equipment so everyone is cozy, and that makes for all the more fun when you're sitting in your tent waiting out a bad storm. Bring cards, or a scrabble board, or whatever your family likes to play in the way of games. Some of my best memories are camping with my kids, covering the country, hiking the hills, sharing in the whole outdoor experience.

          Good luck,

          Spring 2006 overlooking Olgilvie Mtns in Yukon Territory

          Attached Files
          Mark Richards


          • #6
            We have three girls 6, 9, and 12. I have found it easiest to take them in a boat or on hunts I can take a truck. That way they have somewere remotely warm and protected while getting to and from the hunting areas Also allows us to bring enough gear for them to be comfortable while we are out there. They love being in the outdoors and bringing along stuff to make smores helps entice them that much more. Well just about any excuse they can come up with to have a camp fire.

            Heres a pick of them in Valdez this fall.
            Attached Files

            "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

            Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.


            • #7
              We raised two daughters hunting including backpack hunts, and now in the 30's they still love it and do it with their own families. Here's their feedback on the successful things my wife and I did:

              Keep the kids comfortable.

              Sensibly regulate the weight of their packs when walking.

              Don't get manic about how far you HAVE TO walk in a day. If you camp short or don't reach the prime hunting spots on day hunts, so be it.

              If they decide they don't want to hunt for a day, you're hunt is over. Follow along if they decide they'd rather spend the day birdwatching or whatever. It's a family trip after all, and you have just been outvoted.

              Show them how to do stuff and make it fun. Take pride in their ability to set up a tent, start a fire or burn marshmallows on a stick.

              Remember to laugh and smile, even when everything is turning to doodoo.

              Here's their feedback on how to really mess up:

              Lose your temper.

              Get impatient.

              Get pushy.

              Pull rank.

              Force them to do stuff.

              You can't remember all the rules all the time, and sometimes you are going to scrooo up bigtime. When you do, admit it to them, apologize, and mean it.
              "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
              Merle Haggard


              • #8

                That's about the best advice I've ever read!
                Mark Richards


                • #9
                  Thanks guys

                  I should have mentioned that my kids are no strangers to the woods. My wife and I took our eldest daughter on her first 3 day tent trip when she was only 4 months old (Roosevelt lake off the Denali hwy) and the others have followed suit. We have done several 2-3 day trips with the riverboat on the Little Su and the Little Willow.

                  I am trying now to get them some experience with a big game hunt which it sounds like I may be better off hunting from the road system. Maybe a camp near the road and make day hikes to do some hunting type situations? At this point, with my kids not big enough to ride their own wheeler solo, hauling gear in 10 miles off the road isn't really an option I guess. Once the oldest is big enough to ride solo, it may provide enough room to haul the gear then.

                  Thanks for the tips!

                  The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


                  • #10
                    We started off with an overnight tent camping trip down by Clam Gulch. We dug clams at low tide and they absolutely had a blast. Next, we hiked into a public use cabin stayed the night and fished. We have went on berry picking day trips, short hikes, short fishing trips, clam digging trips... I found, like the above posts, keep it simple, be patient and have an easy out so they can go home if they want. The key is just getting your kids out and spending time with them and nature (whatever you are doing)


                    • #11
                      don't get um too tired

                      I used to work many years ago for the cattlemans association, and haul salt for them in the summer range in the Mountains up to 10,000 foot elevation. I had a string of Mules to haul the salt and mineral blocks for the range cattle, and a couple of us would go once or twice a week on rides that may take all day or even a couple of days..
                      my oldest son was just 3 or 4 back then, and I was warned to not take him on any of those longer trips... Well I didn't listen to the Elders, and I got him too tired a few to many times... He never did take to that life style due to I think that He was always concerned that It would not be enjoyable... I remember craddling him in my arms as we rode the horses back to the line cabins. he would be dead asleep in my arms.....
                      That boy could ride with the best of them, as he was raised on a horse,, but he never asked me if he could go riding... I always had to invite him..
                      I am sorry to this day that I just pushed the little guy to hard to many times and soured him on something that I enjoyed so much....
                      He is a stock broker now and works in Delaware and Phily......
                      We are close, but he doesn't embrace the life of the outdoors like I do.
                      My other 3 kids on the other hand just love it..... I learned my lesson with the oldest and made the trips much nicer for the other kids to enjoy..
                      lots of stops, plenty of time to play and explore. stay back and let them do it their way as long as they aren't going to put out anyones eye.. etc..
                      My daughter shows horses, camp and be with dad on the boat or out in the woods.. the other two boys are the same way.. they love it and embrace it... learn from guys like me that messed up once...ok or
                      make it fun, warm, safe, and with plenty of Marshmallows to roast....

                      When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

                      Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years.


                      • #12
                        Thanks to everyone Ive been reading the post and they will help me alot I have 6 year old twins girl and a boy and a 14 year old girl. My whole family likes to fish the hunting seems only to be what my son wants I ve taken him on a couple afternoon duck hunts and he had a great time. thanks again for all the good advise.
                        Is it opening day of duck season yet
                        Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association


                        • #13
                          Can't agree more!

                          I am extremely lucky that my entire family likes to hunt and fish. Although that had alot to do with me spending so much time in the woods. I spent my first aniversary 12 years ago archery antelope hunting (my wife picked that date knowing this) and after a few years of being gone most of the fall and winter she decided to find out just what was keeping me out there. Now with about 6 whitetails and as many turkeys under her belt she is almost as hooked as me! My kids are just getting to the age as well. My son two years ago started hunting after a lifelong battle with cancer and beckwith weidemen syndrome. and took a cow elk for his first hunt. That was the most memorable time I have ever had in the field! I would much rather help him fill our freezer than do it myself now. This year he picked up a bow as well, so I am really looking forward to some archery hunts together.

                          US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

                          To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page


                          • #14
                            Another piece of advice is give them some authority and let them make a decision. Sometimes it pays off. Yesterday, my daughter suggested we check our beaver sets...and when it's a good decision, make sure they know they did a good job!


                            • #15
                              You started in the right direction. Taking them on day trips to get them use to the outdoors along with hunting. Time will tell if they are up for long trip, but one way to do it. I took my 5 year old camping for a night then two ETC, ETC until I got up to five days. Each day we did different things (training him and he did not know it ) One day fishing, next we hung around the camp, next went hiking at his pace, Just repeated this over and over. Now he lovse to go hunting.
                              Like Brown Bear said "Here's their feedback on how to really mess up:Lose your temper.Get impatient.Get pushy.pull rank.Force them to do stuff."

                              If you can make a enjoyable time out then they will go out.
                              Living the Alaskan Dream
                              Gary Keller
                              Anchorage, AK


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