View Full Version : Kids'n'huntin' And Gun Safety
October 25, 2001, 08:35 AM
Most of us here take it as a given that taking your kid hunting with you is a Good Thing: The hunt, itself; the camaraderie among youth(s) and adult(s); and the introduction into a tradition as old as homo sapiens.
My opinion is that a benefit few consider is the awareness of the destructive potential of a bullet. When a young one sees the bullet's path through meat, it is a wakeup call that such a result can be the same for people. I've never noticed horseplay with a gun or sloppy carelessness, on the part of those who were "raised up huntin'".
This is something never thought of by those who are afraid of guns or who find the idea of hunting to be distasteful. My comment is that the most worrisome thing in a hunt camp is a 24-year old with his first rifle on his first hunt.
October 25, 2001, 05:13 PM
Good Point Art, I hadn't thought of that. My son has been hunting with me for years and is very careful with guns. He is also a IPSC competitor. My girls however, like to shoot but they don't hunt. When they were small, I showed them the destructive power of guns by demonstrating with a shotgun and a watermelon, and a high powered rifle and a water jug. My youngest daughter is 22 and she still remembers the demonstrations (she also wants a 1911 like her brother has).
October 25, 2001, 10:36 PM
My boys are too young to hunt deer (6 and 2), but I make sure that they see the deer, bullet wound and all, after the hunt.
Last year, when my youngest boy was just 23-months, I showed him the deer and explained to him as good as I could what happened to the deer, and let him watch me dress the deer as it hung from a single-tree. Now, every time we go to Wal-Mart, he looks up and points at the deer heads in the sporting goods department and lectures the Wal-Mart associate, saying, "Deer...Daddy pow! Bleed...deer dead! Daddy pow pow deer. Knife...eat deer! Mmmmm."
My older boy, who is now six, has his own single-shot bolt-action rifle which shoots .22-Long. He also has a single-shot .410. I keep both guns with my guns and only allow him to shoot them, or even see them, when I'm looking right over his shoulder. Sometimes he can really act like a baby, but when he gets a rifle in his hands, he suddenly matures. It's amazing!
October 27, 2001, 07:21 AM
I got to tag along with my great-grandpa, Dad, and numerous uncles as a kid on squirrel and bird hunts. I went duck, quail, dove and deer hunting regularly with my Dad and others from about 9 on. I just wish it had been earlier. My great-grandpa was a stickler for gun safety (and he didn't think twice about wearing out a young'uns hide for being careless). Teach them early by example - they've gotta see it modeled before they can do it, and gotta do it several times in a controlled environment before they will always get it right. On a morning squirrel hunt a couple of weeks ago, my oldest wanted to carry the my .22 Ruger. I told him that was fine as long as he kept it pointed in a safe direction. The first time he pointed it at something unsafe to shoot, I carried it the rest of the time, but he could still shoot it when we saw a squirrel. About an hour into the morning he inadvertently pointed it at me (with an open bolt and empty chamber - gotta think what a kid might accidentally do!). He was so upset that he wanted to stop hunting. Not because he couldn't carry the gun, but because he had not kept rule # 1 in the front of his mind. We stayed for a while and he missed 4 squirrels.
I have 3 kids - boys ages 5 & 7, and an almost 3 yr. old girl. I have taken my 7 year old deer hunting with me 3x now - twice this year and once when he was 5. His brother wants to go on an afternoon hunt with me sometime over the next couple of weeks (he doesn't like the woods in the dark). My little girl wants to go just because her brothers can. She's going one warm afternoon with me because she's more likely to fall asleep and we don't have much in terms of winter woodsy wear for her, yet.
Rebeldon - take 'em with you early! They might be too young to carry a gun, but they need to be out there with you for lots of reasons!
I take all 3 of them shooting about once a week. I took them Thursday to try out the little 28 gauge single shot I picked up for them (36" from stem to stern -just the right size for a kid). My 7 yr old loved it and will get to dove hunt with it next year. My 5 yr old thought it was great, he just couldn't aim it very well. And my little girl got to "shoot" it - she really did pull the trigger, but Dad held it to his shoulder and aimed for her.
All 3 of them have seen squirrels, rabbits, birds, and other small game that we've either gotten together or I've brought home. They usually watch me clean them. My 5 year old caught his first catfish using a squirrel heart early last spring, because he knew catfish liked bloody bait and thought that would work well in our little pond - the catfish weighed almost 9 pounds!
Take 'em shooting. Take 'em hunting. Spend a little more on stuff designed for them now and they'll learn respect and ethics so early in life that it will be second nature by the time they're teenagers. It's an investment on which you'll see inestimable returns and share countless hours with them that they (and you) will treasure for a lifetime.
Thanks, Art, for the topic!
October 27, 2001, 01:29 PM
I do my annual good deed of taking fresh faces hunting every year. When it was my own kid, did two things and it got her attention. Made her take the NRA hunter safety course and took her out shooting produce. Blew up a watermelon and told her in simple terms that bullets cannot be recalled. When I take other non culturalist out hunting, it is strictly on the condition that they take and complete the hunter safety course. Hunting has a degree of risk built-in as it is, so I make no exceptions to my rules.
October 28, 2001, 10:28 AM
I'll be taking a group of boys out to the range today, gonna bust some clays to get ready for pheasant season.
Most of these kids started hunting last year, two of them just passed their hunter safety course yesterday.
Plan on taking along a couple of .22's to let 'em plink and I need to try out my new SP101. I've found a hollowpoint and a milk jug full of water leaves a good impression on just what a firearm can do.
October 28, 2001, 10:46 AM
I was on a stand by myself at age 9 with a Brwoning 16 Gauge. I grew up watching dad have to put cattle down and as such I understood.
My 7 year old has seen the destructive forces of a 30-30 on whitetail at close range or a hollow point .45 on a coke can in the woods.
I will continue to reinforce this concept frequently.
October 30, 2001, 04:16 PM
Amen, Art. I observed that phenomenon the first time I butchered my own deer. My kids were very interested (and involved) in the process, but all noted the fact that a single bullet had killed the animal. That one was taken with a SuperRedhawk, and the 240gr semi-jacketed soft point had mushroomed perfectly. Went through the boiler room from the rear quarter, through the off shoulder blade, and stopped just under the skin. Entry wound was typical, but the off side shoulder roast was jelly. Led to quite a discussion of terminal ballistics.
Since then, my son (now fourteen) has taken a couple of deer on his own. All but the youngest have been shooting with me. When we talk about safety, I remind them, "Remember the deer."
November 4, 2001, 12:54 AM
..........I believe in it and encourage younger folks to take it. I think the water jug is an effective demonstration. However, the two things I harp on to everyone I hunt with are 1) Be absolutely, positively, beyond-any-doubt-whatsoever SURE of your target. (My cousin was innocently killed by a Washoe Co. sheriff, because of that very thing).......and 2) Be absolutely SURE of your BACKSTOP........(especially here in the SouthEast woods, where a centerfire projectile may travel thru several folks properties, if no proper backstop.).........just my three cents.
November 5, 2001, 01:58 PM
My dad... (thanks again, Dad) did the produce thing, and made me help TEACH the hunters safety course... (he was an instructor)
He bought me a .22 single shot bolt action at 7 years old... (and made me use it right) Then a 12 ga, at 12 years old, for small game, Then he gave me a 30-30 when I hit 14 years, and took me hunting (by then, I had seen what a bullet does to flesh, MANY times over...)
some of the best memories of my childhood come from my Dad, those rifles, and what he taught me... but also some gruesome ones... (seeing what that bullet did... and imagining that in human flesh... :shivers:
and as someone else posted, isn't it AMAZING how a kid can mature when they get that first gun in their hands?
I'm giving that old .22 of mine to my god-daughter for christmas... (she's 7 now, and it was the christmas of my 6th year when I got it, 24 years ago... damn, I'm old)
her dad and I are going to start her like we orselves were started... and I can't think of a better place for that old .22...
We'll teach her what that bullet will do, and that once shot, they are FIANL!
November 7, 2001, 11:43 PM
I am glad to see this thread here and was encouraged by reading the posts. I, too take gun safety and hunting ethics seriously because my father instilled these values in both my brother and me. I am 25 years old. I don't remeber the first time I went hunting. I have pictures of me while I was still in diapers, sitting on dad's shoulders while we went hunting together. I remeber several deer hunting trips that never lasted over a half hour, but dad kept taking us along. I have the orange hunting vest that my mother made for me because there weren't any in the stores that were small enough. I killed my first squirrel when I was 6. It left an impression in my mind that I never forgot. I got my first handgun at 17. It never entered my mind to use a gun on anybody- unless I have to do it in defense of myself or my family. I look forward to the day when I have children of my own and can pass my experience on to them.
I made a hunter out of my wife and I gladly take anyone on a hunting trip who is willing to learn, willing to practice, and willing to go.
I think next time I see my dad I'll tell him how much I appreciate all he did. The ol' man can still out hunt me, but I'm catching up :)
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