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MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 12:08 PM
Ok, so my husband wants to take our daughter hunting.
She's 5 1/2 and has no true desire to go out with him. Brian (the hubster) usually goes hunting with his dad, and they're very serious hunters. I don't think she should go hunting with him until she's old enough to understand what to do. Our daughter has no concept of what to do if she were lost or hurt or if someone else got hurt. She knows about guns, but doesn't really "get it." I'm worried that he would be so focused on the hunting, that he wouldn't really be watching her. His and his dad's idea of "outside supervision" is to let her run around where she wants and pretty much just tell her to stay close by.
This past October, while he was elk hunting, he got lost twice (yea, he's like that), but luckily found his way back to his camp. Also, we live in Wyoming, and if anyone has ever been in the mountains in October, you know how COLD and snowy it gets!
What do ya'll think? I have *no problems* with her going out when she's older; I'm just not comfortable with him taking her out so young or with the idea that she wouldn't actually be 100% supervised. :confused:Any advice is helpful!

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 12:18 PM
Before I read the post I was prepared to say "Of Course" but...

She's 5 1/2 and has no true desire to go out with him.

I'm just not comfortable with him taking her out so young or with the idea that she wouldn't actually be 100% supervised.

If she doesn't want to go now, then she will surely never want to go again if she is drug out there against her will. I not sure how you know her "true desire", but I yield to mother's intuition.

If she's not going to be 100% supervised at all times during her first several years of hunting, then she should never go hunting. That's just nuts.

kraigwy
December 12, 2008, 12:19 PM
She's 5 1/2 and has no true desire to go out with him

Based on that statement I vote NO.

I'm a firm believer in starting them out early. The earlier the better, IF THEY SHOW THE DESIRE TO GO.

You push them when there is no desire to go, then you could turn them against hunting (or what ever sport).

All my kids and grandkids wanted to go. Once they are excited about it, then you take them out, have a great time, and they are hooked for life. If on the other hand, they arn't ready, dont have a disire, then you ruin them for life.

This is just my opinion, I'm not child expert. I am an expert at spoiling grandaughters though.:D

http://photos.imageevent.com/kraigwy/kianna/websize/guns%20043.jpg

hogdogs
December 12, 2008, 12:28 PM
responsible supervision is a must... The not wanting to go is different... I feel we need to "brainwash" the future human predators early...
The first MANY times fishing either from a river bank, a row boat or spearing pike thru an ice hole (I love to type ICE HOLE:D) until near 10 or 11 I was not interested in the task at hand... But I will drop what I am doing right now to go wet a plug and rip some lip... Same may be said of my first hunts BORED STIFF is what this wound tight hyper little boy was but it taught me to overcome distractions to accomplish a goal. It is those bored moments from 4-10 years old that helped me thru those long slow days in the workplace... Life lessons!
Brent

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 12:28 PM
Great Pict Kraig! Were you about to bust with pride?

Brian Pfleuger
December 12, 2008, 12:39 PM
She's 5 1/2... I'm just not comfortable with him taking her out so young or with the idea that she wouldn't actually be 100% supervised.


What?!?! A 5 1/2 year old should be "supervised" at home! How could she possibly be taken hunting and not supervised? That's insanity.:mad::eek:

MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 01:18 PM
Fisherman66: I made sure that Brian told her what it'd be like, and keeps trying at me and trying at me to agree to let him take her, but she's told him over and over that she doesn't want to go. It's not "mother's intuition," it's merely listening to my daughter. She's said that she doesn't want to go out and stay long like daddy. He's usually out for deer for at least 2 days before he comes home and elk was almost a week this year. She has no problems playing outside when it's cold and snowy, but when she wants to come inside, she WANTS to come inside. I mean, I can see it now. A screaming, crying child wanting ot go inside while you're out hunting... I would think that would attract a number of animals:rolleyes:.
About the supervision thing, THANK YOU!! If only you could beat that into my husband! He doesn't think it's a big deal to let her wander a little or have her stand next to a tree "for a minute" while he gets his shot off!

kraigwy: Nice doe! You make an excellent point, and it's one that I've tried on my hubby. "If she doesn't want to go, don't make her!" My parents have that spoiling the granddaughter thing down pat! My daughter is their only grandchild so far, so she's got it made!

Ok, I would really *love* if you all ganged up and beat some "supervision sense" into my husband! I don't get how you guys get it, and he doesn't. I won't let her play outside of my grandparents' house without an adult out there with here even though their backyard is fenced in because Cheyenne had problems with people shooting puppies in backyards!!
Thanks guys!

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 01:23 PM
It's not "mother's intuition," it's merely listening to my daughter.

My apologies. I made a poor assumption that each of you are getting a different answer.

My recommendation is that Daddy take her for an hour trip to a feeder (without a gun) and watch deer feed. See how that plays out.

MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 01:43 PM
No need to apologize, I was just clarifying!
That feeding thing is a good idea. I wonder if he'd do it...

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 01:45 PM
Yer the wife. Make it happen.;) Or better yet, take her yourself. Make it a mother/daughter thing.

Bitmap
December 12, 2008, 01:50 PM
Seems to me it would be difficult to take a 5yo on the kind of hunt where you get lost. I take my young ones to hunt in a ground blind or permanent elevated blind where I can get close with a vehicle, not where they have to hike for miles in up and down hills and through heavy brush in the cold.

If she doesn't really want to go then don't make her. I think it is going to be unanimous here on this point. The kiddo won't have fun and because of that she won't be still and quiet enough for Dad to be likely to see game so he won't be happy either.

Another thing with kids that age is that after an hour or two or maybo only 20 minutes they may suddenly decide they want to do something else. If the parent isn't willing to accept that and go along with it with no hard feelings then don't take them.

JagFarlane
December 12, 2008, 01:52 PM
Hmmmm in all honesty...I'd say scouting would be fine, if she was interested. However, due to her young age and lack of interest, I'd say he should wait another year and see how she feels about it.

armsmaster270
December 12, 2008, 01:52 PM
There is also at that age if not ready for it she could be tramatized by seeing "Bambi" shot and gutted right before her eyes and be turned off to hunting altogether.

ZeSpectre
December 12, 2008, 01:58 PM
Hmmmm in all honesty...I'd say scouting would be fine, if she was interested. However, due to her young age and lack of interest, I'd say he should wait another year and see how she feels about it.

Yup, that's about how I feel too.

At 6 my niece had no interest in following her dad and older brother out into the woods for any reason.
At 7 you couldn't keep her at home when they went "scouting".
At 9 she thinks she wants to go on the actual hunting trip but hasn't made up her mind yet.
My sister and her husband are letting her decide at her own pace.

Double Naught Spy
December 12, 2008, 02:00 PM
There is also at that age if not ready for it she could be tramatized by seeing "Bambi" shot and gutted right before her eyes and be turned off to hunting altogether.

Yep.

I think the solution is that both daughter and mother go along!

JagFarlane
December 12, 2008, 02:03 PM
At the least though, she is old enough for nature walks...I'd avoid a firearms season for now, but next spring and summer take her out for day hikes. Then, perhaps, books about animals. Animals tend to fascinate younger kids, so learning about them helps [and helps separate them from just being Bambi].

Bitmap
December 12, 2008, 02:08 PM
I think the solution is that both daughter and mother go along!

I like this answer. If the little one gets tired, wants to go home, or whatever, then the hunting doesn't have to end for the old man.

To the OP: Have you got ear protection to fit the little one? The blast of a high powered rifle up close might be a turn off a little one.

sserdlihc
December 12, 2008, 02:16 PM
My daughter is 8 years old. She has asked me to go hunting several times. Unfortunately , she loves to talk so I have been hesistant. I will take her when she gets older and can dial down on the talking.

hogdogs
December 12, 2008, 02:28 PM
Put a few "nummy nums" in yer pocket and you will never lose the child, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY(TEE-RUST ME I TRIED)...:D
Brent

kraigwy
December 12, 2008, 02:54 PM
Unfortunately , she loves to talk so I have been hesistant. I will take her when she gets older and can dial down on the talking.

I disagree with that also. I took my Grandaughter Elk hunting. She talked, I got hit up the side of the head with snowballs when I was glassing a hillside. I had chocolate pancakes that looked like dropped dumplings except they were raw in the middle. I had to warm up her feet under my shirt after she fell through the ice chasing chipmonks. I was served coffee in my sleeping bed that was more ash then coffee.

Didnt see an elk but it was about the best hunting trip I ever had. I wouldnt have missed that trip for all the elk in the world.

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 02:58 PM
Sweet story. Thank goodness for grandparents.

sserdlihc
December 12, 2008, 03:04 PM
Didnt see an elk but it was about the best hunting trip I ever had. I wouldnt have missed that trip for all the elk in the world.


It sounds like it was a great trip. I guess there are hunting trips and then there are hunting trips;)

BeCoole
December 12, 2008, 03:36 PM
5 1/2 is a little small to keep up. Unless he is going out in the back yard to hunt squirrels.

As far as whether or not the girl wants to go, that shouldn't matter. Kids have never been here before and don't know **** from shinola. They have no experience upon which to base the decision. My parents asked me if I wanted to play sports and, guess what, the default answer was "no". Now I live with the regret of not having played Little League. My Dad asked me if I wanted to deer hunt with him. It involved getting up early, so guess what that answer was? Dad's gone and I really regret missing what would have been some of my most joyful days as a youth.

Last point. Most people are are bunch of unrealistic, ignorant, fraudulently moral ignoramuses who have no idea where food comes from and are incapable of making tough decisions. It would be a great service to your daughter and even the world to train her such that she can kill her own food and revel in the beauty of the cycle of life.

BeCoole
December 12, 2008, 03:43 PM
There is also at that age if not ready for it she could be tramatized by seeing "Bambi" shot and gutted right before her eyes and be turned off to hunting altogether.

It gets worse with age, not better. Take your kids to funerals too and let them see everything. Hiding them from life's realities is not a favor.

BTW, "Bambi" should be banned from your household.

taylorce1
December 12, 2008, 03:44 PM
My recommendation is that Daddy take her for an hour trip to a feeder (without a gun) and watch deer feed. See how that plays out.

fisherman66, while I like your idea I'm not sure of the legality of it in Wyoming. Having a deer feeder out might be considered baiting, as far as I know baiting of deer is illegal in WY. No if the deer were to frequent a cattle feeder that would be a different story, but there would have to be at least a few head of cattle in the pasture with the feeder. Better just to watch them feeding an alfalfa field or something. Any way you can get your daughter introduced to the outdoors the better.

MrNiceGuy
December 12, 2008, 04:05 PM
My Dad asked me if I wanted to deer hunt with him. It involved getting up early, so guess what that answer was? Dad's gone and I really regret missing what would have been some of my most joyful days as a youth.

i was going to heavily critique your post until i read this...
this explains EVERYTHING you typed.... you have daddy issues


i never wanted to go hunting with my father as a child either.... 22 years later... i still dont like hunting

instead of my father literally dragging me into doing something against my will, he made the effort to do things with me that we both enjoyed... i had a great childhood ;)

dont force your 5 1/2 year old to go hunting and shame on your husband for putting his desire to force his hobby before the well being and happiness of his child

he doesnt want to do it for her own good, he just wants to do it... and everyone else be damned

MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 04:10 PM
Thanks, ya'll, for your advice! Like I stated earlier, I'd like you all to gang up on my hubby and beat this into him!!!!
My little girl does, in fact, watch Bambi. She also has been with me to pick up our meat from the butchers and has seen bambi and elk and what-not strung up and bleeding. She is, because of me and my sister, desensitized to death and dead things. I would enjoy and mother/daughter kind of outing, but Brian would probably (I'm willing to bet would be) upset that I "invaded" on "his thing" with our daughter.
I probably wouldn't have a problem with it if he were in a stand or something like that, but the hubster hikes and walks miles. I wouldn't be suprised if she could keep up with the hiking and such, she's such a runner/walker. I think, however, that after a short time she'd want to be done.
We would definitely get ear protection for her. I took a pistol marksmanship this semester, and she had to come just about every class. Of course she wore ear protection, and she didn't mind. I'd definitely insist on the best for her.
Hogdogs, thanks for the "nummy nums" comment; it made me laugh. You got my baby down! She's a sucker for snacks!

BeCoole: I understand where you're coming from about not letting her decide. Some things, she has no choice in the matter, but others, she does. I wouldn't want to take her or let Brian take her with her not wanting to go especially with the possibility of turning her off to it forever. I've always told her that she has to try something (almost everything) at least once. She does get some choice in when she wants to try.
Also, she's never gotten life sugarcoated by me. In fact, most of my family gets upset at me for being "too honest" with lifes little life things. She's knows about death, she's seen dead animals, and she's pretty much fine with it.

kraigwy: Your granddaughter is lucky to have a grandpa as great as you!

MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 04:11 PM
Thanks, MrNiceGuy.

JagFarlane
December 12, 2008, 05:24 PM
I would enjoy and mother/daughter kind of outing, but Brian would probably (I'm willing to bet would be) upset that I "invaded" on "his thing" with our daughter.

Perhaps, then, suggest in the spring a family outing, include him along. However, it seems apparent you enjoy the outdoors, and its not just "his thing", its actually rather selfish for him to claim everything to do with outdoors. Hell, maybe even try to convince him that if she sees that mommy enjoys it as well, and has good experiences with her mother, she'd be more open the next year.
My brother was never really into hunting, he went a couple of times with us, but for the most part it was Dad and me time. Dad was always good with it though, took him along when he really wanted, and taught him what he wanted to know, but understood his limits.
Its good that she at least knows the real forms of animals, and has been taught more in her young years, than many adults have been.
I've known some people [2 brothers and a sister], that it took till they were 30 before the hunting bug finally bit, and now they look forwards every year to hunting season just because its time with Dad, LOL with mom not allowed. Everyone has their time if, and when, they decide to, he needs to understand though, to give her the room she wants.

And worst comes to worst...when he's off hiking for miles...get some mom/daughter time in anyways ;)

BeCoole
December 12, 2008, 06:20 PM
dont force your 5 1/2 year old to go hunting and shame on your husband for putting his desire to force his hobby before the well being and happiness of his child

What does a 5 yo know about hunting if they've never done it?

Anyway, that is all hypothetical because a 5 yo is too small to keep up in the woods.
I just took my 8yo out still hunting with me for the first time this year. He's finally big enough to do a real hunt. Before it was just short trips into the squirrel woods and sometimes even that didn't go well. It was no fun for either of us carrying him through the brier patches.

fisherman66
December 12, 2008, 06:48 PM
I'd like you all to gang up on my hubby and beat this into him!!!!


Perhaps I married a dominatrix and didn't realize it. If my wife wants it done a certain way, it gets done that way just so I don't have to hear about it later.:o I don't know; if you can't pull the strings to get it done your way, what make you think we can?

Get 'er done honey. You've got the power and don't even know it. Me, I get it rubbed in my face every day. Fer better or worse.:p

Buzzcook
December 12, 2008, 07:20 PM
This is between you and your husband. If you can not convince him on your own, pointing to the opinions of a bunch of folks on the intertubes will likely just p!ss him off.

davlandrum
December 12, 2008, 07:46 PM
My middle boys (8 and 6) asked if they can go next year. They have been out for over-nighters with both me and thier Grandpa. They both like to shoot their bows and bb guns.

The short trips have been fun for them, very low-key. I accepted the fact that a few of "my" hunting days were really just going to be hikes with them where I just happened to be carrying my bow along.

I guess they were fun enough to get them to ask about really going next year, full week deal. It obviously will be a lot more serious hunting, but hopefully still fun.

Every kid is different, as is every parent. I knew mine would eventually ask, and by asking they made a choice.

MeNoLikeTofu
December 12, 2008, 09:37 PM
When I said that ya'll should gang up on him, it was sarcasm. Believe me when I say that the reason she hasn't gone is because I've said no.
I know this is a decision between me and my husband, but I wanted other hunters' advice. The only people I know that have hunted are my Grandpa, husband, and in-laws. The in-laws think she should've been out with them since my daughter was three, but my Grandpa has agreed that I should wait before letting her go out.
The purpose of this post was to see what other hunting parties thought of it. I'm open to others' opinions because I know I'm not always open-minded when I think something isn't right. It's difficult to see things from other viewpoints when my husband is, for the most part, the only other voice I hear.
Thank you all for open opinions.

Greg.B
December 12, 2008, 10:15 PM
Here's my opinion; take it for what it's worth, but I think there's some valuable information for both you and your husband. First, is she too young for you or your husband to be considering doing this? In my opinion, no, she's not, but she is at the very young end of the spectrum to which I would introduce her to an actual hunt, and would take some special steps because of that.

Now, considering the above, this decision, as others have stated, should be discussed between you and your husband; however, as a person that deals with youth quite a bit (Hunter Education Instructor, Boy Scout Leader, assisting with NRA Youth Sportsfest, etc.) I also believe that your daughter should have the ultimate decision in this process, with guidance from both parents.

Both of you (parents) first need to work out the concerns that you have, which I believe was the primary point of your first post. In my opinion, this part should be done in private, and should cover specific concerns such as getting lost, is she too young, is she going to be supervised, etc. These must be addressed first between the two of you, and some guidelines established so that you are both comfortable with the situation. If that means things such as being restricted to a certain distance from home, a certain location or length of time for the outing, etc., then that's what must be done. You both have to be comfortable with this decision; however, don't forget...after you've established what's acceptable to both of you, then there's much more to do. Don't forget, she may not even want to go even though mom and dad have agreed that it would be alright!

So, after the two of you have settled any concerns and come to an agreement, involve her in the decision process by talking to her about it. Cover things such as getting up early, being cold and possibly bored, walking for a while or sitting still depending on the style of hunt, and the fact that she may see an animal die. Explain that one to her particularly...she'll probably have questions. Be prepared and be truthful. For example, if she asks if the animal will feel it, then you tell her yes, but you should explain to her how important it is that we take every step to ensure that there is absolutely as little suffering as possible, and that the animal is being taken for a reason. You don't have to go into great detail at this age, but don't mislead her; prepare her for what she might experience.

Then temper those possibly negative things that you've just made her aware of with the positive aspects of this opportunity...things like being in the outdoors, what animals she might get to see in their natural surroundings, and the fact that she would get to spend some quality time with dad doing something that he enjoys and wants to share with her. Be prepared to accomodate her; for example, if getting out of bed early is a great concern of hers, suggest an afternoon hunt. If she doesn't like the sound of sitting, be ready to do some still hunting. Accomodate HER to make it an enjoyable experience if she should decide to go, even if it inconveniences dad by interrupting his normal hunting style.

You'll be surprised how she'll think this through with your help, and she will be able to make her own decision, again, with your help! Make sure she understands that it's ok to say no, and that other opportunities will be available later if she changes her mind. I'm a firm believer that the ultimate decision (once the safety and technical details have been worked out between you two parents) should be hers. If she doesn't want to go, then PLEASE don't force her. Offer her the opportunity later this year, next year, and the year after that, but never force her to do it if she doesn't want to try it herself. Even offer her alternatives that maybe the family can participate in together; she may not want to hunt, but you may find that she enjoys shooting (shooting at balloons with a .22 is a great way for a family to spend an afternoon...from experience :))

If she chooses to go, then great! If she want's mommy to go along, then by all means, join them! Again, at her age, she's certainly on the young end in my opinion, but there are ways to encourage her and ensure a happy outing the first few times: Keep them short and fun, and close to home. Take snacks and a drink, maybe even a coloring book and crayons. Expect her to be restless, and to talk; dad should talk with her, point out things in nature to her, joke around with her; in short, make sure she has a good time no matter what!

Most importantly, EXPECT her to be ready to go home in an hour or less; and when she express that desire, the outing is over; everyone goes home together! That way she sees that it's ok to end the outing when you're no longer enjoying it, and that an hour in the woods with dad and/or mom is a good thing that both of them can enjoy, and that you aren't upset with her in any way for wanting to come home!

The importance of these early outings isn't to take an animal; if that happens, it's just an added bonus. However, that can't be used to judge a successful hunt with a youngster...the true success will be evident by the smile on the faces of everyone involved if it's done right!

Art Eatman
December 13, 2008, 09:23 AM
I have visions of a Jeff Foxworthy routine: Daddy & Daughter are sitting in a deer stand. She's mostly bored. She sees the biggest buck in ten counties, and Daddy's looking the wrong direction. "Look, Daddy, a deer!" He turns to see the tail end of a disappearing monster buck...

Take two cars. Make a "picnic" sort of deal out of it, with a small amount of "woods wandering". After some appropriate length of time, Daddy can stay and hunt. Mom'n'Youngun can head for home.

Make the deal fun for all.

And IMO there is no way that the very-young belong in hunt camp without dedicated supervision--and lots of help in avoiding boredom...

FireForged
December 13, 2008, 11:21 AM
Each Family situation is different but here is my take:

Most children at 5 years old, totally revere animals. I would probably wait until the child is older and expressed an interest in hunting.