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Hoss4x4
October 16, 2007, 03:23 PM
I have performed a search and was not satisfied with the resaults. I will be taking my son hunting rabbits/squirrels for the first time on Friday and was wondering if any one had some hints for us in general. I am not new to shooting but green when it comes to hunting. I want to make this a good experience for both. I will be using a 20 gauge and my son who is 9years old will be using my .22lr.

dbgun
October 16, 2007, 03:48 PM
Take plenty of snacks. If the hunting is slow, he'll have a good time snacking candy, cookies, or fruit. I got my 8 year old daughter hooked on fishing that way.

I'm taking her on her first Dove hunt this Friday evening. If the birds aren't flying we'll spend a good time sitting in the shade drinking sodas and eating chips. maybe doing a little plinking at cans with a .410 single shot. Just my $.02

Finger
October 16, 2007, 03:52 PM
I don't know where you will be, but if you can find some good old wind rows on a farm, you should be somewhat successful.

davlandrum
October 16, 2007, 05:05 PM
As I have posted elsewhere, my guys are not quite gun-ready yet. This year for archery elk season, I took each of them for a day and overnight, so they got to "hunt" with me for the evening hunt and morning hunt. Grandpa hooked them up with some slingshots. Nothing fancy, just forked sticks and surgical tubing. They carried a pocket-full of road gravel and just shot to thier hearts content.

Any chance we were going to get close to an elk - nope, but we practiced our sneaky walk and looked at stuff.

I know with my boys snacks and drinks are as important as the actual activity.

Only thing I would watch for, and this is from someone whose kids are not carrying guns yet, is watch for signs of fatigue that can lead to lapses in gun safety. It is easy to follow all the rules first thing in the day, but after a certain number of steps or time or whatever, the attention can start to wander = break time, juice, some jerky or trail mix. Give him a chance to get back in focus without a big to-do about it. Of course, my guys would probably say I enjoy making a big to-do, but it is easier typing this than living it...:D

buck460XVR
October 16, 2007, 08:39 PM
Most of all, let him have fun. Let him know that the objective is to shoot game, but how much you shoot is not the true measure of a successful outing. Remember he's only nine years old so he will tire quicker, and get bored sooner than an adult. He will also have a lot harder time sitting still than an adult. So don't be hard on him if he's playing' with his shoelace instead of sittin' still and spooks a squirrel. Whether or not you see any live targets to shoot at, give him the opportunity to safely shoot his gun at a still target without pressure, so he can be successful. The tips about food and snacks are accurate. I've found over the years that spending time alone in the woods with your son gives you the opportunity to talk about things that are uncomfortable to talk about at home. After sittin' in the woods for a day and talking about everything else in the world, it's easy to bring up things like sex, alcohol, drugs and smoking that would be awkward at home. Discussing the reasons and methods other animals use to propagate their species makes it easier to discuss and identify our own human methods without near as much embarrassment.

Most of all dad, enjoy the time you have with your son. They don't stay nine forever, so savor these special times. Maybe you'll start a tradition that your son will continue with his own son. Who knows.....maybe they'll even let ol' gramps come along.

FrontSight
October 16, 2007, 09:13 PM
for squirrels, i've found that they usually come out at first light, especially in hardwoods. they are all over the dang place when deer hunting, in lower NY, anyway. till about 10:30 or so..then they come out again around 4pm. not sure if your son will want to sit still like that, tho...

dustoff
October 16, 2007, 09:37 PM
I think one of the most important things is to let the child dictate the schedule. If you force the kid out of bed to early they won't want to go. Also when they say the day is over it should be over. Keeping a kid in the woods when they don't want to be there will also make them more hessitant the next time you want to take them.

CamoCop
October 18, 2007, 05:02 AM
be there at first light and start in oak hammocks. buy a squirrel call, they are cheap and GREAT for locating squirrels. when the wind picks up, call it a day. squirrels normally don't move well when it's windy. also bring plenty of bug spray if skeeters are bad in your area. your little guy will be misrible if he's getting ate up by bugs.

oldbillthundercheif
October 18, 2007, 06:39 AM
If you want to see a pile of rabbits, christmas tree farms are the best. There is one problem, though. Rabbits that have been eating pine needles are about the worst smelling critters on the planet when you clean them. Don't make your kid clean the pine rabbits the first time out.

The rows of small pines present difficult shots as the rabbits are usually running at full speed across the rows, but there are usually so many damn bunnies that you are bound to hit a few.

If you have a tree farm in your area that grows pines, call them up and ask if you can hunt rabbits there. They will probably say yes as soon as the word "rabbit" comes out of your mouth.

It's easier with a good dog, but you really have to be careful that you know where the dog is at all times. Visibility is poor in the pines and shooting the dog would not be a good introduction to hunting. In my family if there is no dog, the youngest hunter is assigned the job of "dog". You have to come up with a plan that suits the area, but the general idea is to have the "dog" circle out to the edge of the field of trees and beat the bush loudly. You want to drive the rabbits back to the hunters. Be sure that everyone understands the game plan and knows where to shoot and where not to shoot.

If you are lucky, you will see the bunny tsunami as dozens of them streak past you. Fun stuff.

oldbillthundercheif
October 18, 2007, 06:45 AM
Oops... double-post.

FrontSight
October 18, 2007, 11:56 AM
How could I forget about the squirrel call!! Yes, they are excellent, and very easy to master..

Trapp
October 18, 2007, 12:43 PM
Definatly hardwoods just after sunrise (about an hour or so). Sit back relax and wait for the squirrels to come out.

I see at least 15 everytime I go deer hunting. Thats only in one spot...


Hmm... maybe I should just squirrel hunt instead.....

castnblast
October 18, 2007, 04:29 PM
Not sure how big your son is, but you may want to consider letting him try the 20 ga. I still have my 1100 from when I was 9, and use it to this day. It just depends on how big your son is. Also, I took my first deer that year as well, sitting on my dad's lap w/ his .270. A little spike buck. He told everyone about that story. I still remember the details, and the little mesquite tree I dropped it by. Bottom line, your son is going to remember that hunt more than you realize. 1+ to the other posts about snacks and stuff. I recall eating lots of peanuts (which I always crave this time of year), eating apples, and when I had a cough, dad would give me a small sip of Southern Comfort to stop the caugh...or shut me up...who really knows...:rolleyes: I don't know that I'd recomend the same, but I still crave that too when the weather gets cold. Dad passed away last year, so I'm taking his .270 out w/ the fixed 4x weaver...Same way it was set up the last time he used it, and the way I used it. The impact these trips make on the rest of your childs life will never, ever be forgotten.

davlandrum
October 18, 2007, 06:51 PM
Man, I had forgot about the "sip of medicine" trick:D

Hoss4x4
October 18, 2007, 08:12 PM
Thank you all, many points I may have looked over. Well tomorrow is the day, the only bad thing is it has been raining for over 4 days straight so it will be a swamp. I hope it lets up enough for a few hours in the woods at least.

FrontSight
October 18, 2007, 11:50 PM
Good luck! Let us know how it goes...