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Old November 7, 2012, 11:26 PM   #1
idek
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importance of parents/mentors for young hunters

I work at a high school, and for the past week and a half, I've been hearing stories from the younger students (freshman) about their deer hunting efforts. There seem to be two strikingly different scenarios.

Scenario 1) Kids come in to school excited about weekend or previous day. They tell about the nice deer they got. I ask about the hunt and where they went (I'm not going to steal anyone's spot, I just want them to know I take an interest) and who they went with. The successful kids typically went hunting with their dads. One specific example is a 14-year old (who looks more like 12) who shot a 10-point buck that he said they figured was about 200 pounds. He had brought a picture, and, posing with the very nice deer, were the kid and his dad, both looking very excited.

Scenario 2) Kids come into school and tell about the nice deer they shot but couldn't find. In one case, the kid took a long shot with a 22-250 at a big buck. He thought he hit it but never found it. Another kid thought he shot a doe. It turned out to be a spike buck that he didn't have a tag for. Worst was a kid who told me his hunting partner went up to downed deer and kicked it in the head before finishing it off with a knife. When I ask about the details of these kids' outings, they tend to be out hunting with peers rather than parents or other experienced hunters.

I don't mean to imply that young hunters can't go out and enjoy hunting with other young hunters. Also, I'm sure some older hunter aren't always good role models either. But overall, there seems to be very obvious trend that those kids who get their start under the tutelage of their dad or some other experienced hunter not only tend to be more successful, but will generally grow up to be more responsible and ethical sportsman down the road.

I realize this is no big news bulletin, but I just had to rant a little.

Last edited by idek; November 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM.
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Old November 8, 2012, 08:55 AM   #2
Gbro
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Thank you for being open with them and sharing in their excitement.
I take it you are located in a suburban or rural area to hear from numourus students?
I can remember back when I was in school (over 40yeas ago) and their would be those that told of shooting a dozen or more times and getting nothing and never a story about how hard and long they looked after shooting.
Back when I first. Started to hunt out west I was told by one of the locals when I asked about all the hunters sitting in their vehicles out in the hills, he said that some of them shoot at anything and if it doesn't drop DRT they will not even go look
So, it's a sad thing, but it's really not all that new. I want to believe we firearms safety instructors throughout the nation help curb those unethical practices.
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:44 AM   #3
SPEMack618
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I bagged my first deer with Pops looking over my shoulder, or I should say, with Pop also sighted in on said deer just in case.

The importance of having a good instructor is key, but there is something to be said about the responsibility of that first solo hunt.

A good mentor/instructor should be able to instill enough responsiblity and skill in a new hunter to where that first hunt will be just as succesful as any previous guided hunt.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have taken the old saying "Take your kids hunting, so you wont have to hunt for your kids." to heart.

Saturday I will be taking my nephew, and two daughters hunting ..... nephew and eldest daughter have taken 3 deer apiece ...... younger daughter is looking to take her first deer.

There is so much more to hunting than shooting at the animal ..... I hope I have instilled that in my apprentices.....
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Old November 8, 2012, 12:57 PM   #5
rickyrick
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I cringe when I hear of missed or multiple shots.

I wasn't taught to hunt by my elders, but I was taught to shoot.

I am responsible for the final disposition of every bullet that I fire. I will not fire unless I am sure I can put it in meat or significant backstop. With that philosophy, I rarely have to look for animals. Pulling the trigger and hoping for the best is irresponsible.

I get it.....mistakes happen, most have pulled a shot once in life.
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Old November 8, 2012, 03:17 PM   #6
Husqvarna
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I am the youngest dude in my hunting team and I am 28

I have taken some younger dudes out for their first hunts after passing hunteres safety, badger hunting is the most exciting, but they have all been marvellous, not even bitching about sitting in cold blinds for a single fox or something

what I have liked most thou is taking kids of family/friends out, I am paying back all my pops friends who let me tag along and still do, I need mentoring still really you never stop learning

my best deal is one kid who is in carpenting school, he had a school project and built us 3 blinds for hoghunting, all the material was for free and we just drove those lads, he got to shoot one and was the king in his class
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Old November 8, 2012, 03:27 PM   #7
12GaugeShuggoth
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Quote:
There is so much more to hunting than shooting at the animal
Ding ding ding, there it is. I think that's the biggest piece of the puzzle that too many young (and sometimes older) hunters seem to miss. Yeah it's nice to bring home that buck with the big antlers, but that's just one part of the experience.

I was lucky enough to be raised in a hunting and outdoors household and had 3 very experienced hunters to show me the way. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of getting home from school, throwing on some woods clothes and heading to the woods my mom and uncle. My "sick" days home from school were usually all used up during deer season , and I distinctly remember taking the tag from my first deer with me for show and tell. I wanted to take the shotgun to show everybody but mom wouldn't let me for some reason

The biggest thing my 3 mentors did to help me grow as a hunter, was to always try and let me make the big decisions. They'd offer advice and bits and pieces of knowledge, but the final decisions would be left in my lap........that way if nothing went as planned I couldn't blame someone else for my own mistakes. And they always made sure I understood that getting that deer was just one part of a good day spent in the woods.

I've had the great fun of helping to show someone else the ins and outs over the past couple of years, and it's been just as much fun as actually doing the hunting myself. Everyone needs some help in the beginning, and we should all should be willing to share and help out when we have the chance.
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Old November 9, 2012, 04:24 PM   #8
Husqvarna
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^^ I had my dad bring a freshly killed moose to school once, it was set up beforehand with the teacher, pros of living in a rural setting.

when we were kids and took fieldtrips or whatnot we could bring knifes, that would never work nowadays, the add kids would stab each other
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:32 PM   #9
12GaugeShuggoth
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Quote:
I had my dad bring a freshly killed moose to school once, it was set up beforehand with the teacher, pros of living in a rural setting.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity to turn "show and tell" in to "show and touch and tell".
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:37 PM   #10
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I grew up around hunting and shooting but I had to teach myself how to hunt due to some family dynamics, except for duck hunting with my older brother. I learned how to bow hunt at 17 (I did have a friend that helped me learn), rifle hunt at about the same age (transportation was an issue). As I got older, I hunted at every opportunity, talked with older hunters (and listened), and by the time I was about 30 I considered myself a pretty good hunter. If I had had an older mentor, I probably would have been a much better hunter overall, and a good hunter much earlier on.

I would say that if we want to keep the sport alive, we need to take someone hunting, introduce others to shooting and hunting, talk about your hobbies with others, and in general don't try to keep it a secret. Offer your knowledge and experience as the reward for the other person learning to be a good sportsman, be forgiving and considerate of your companion's mistakes and ignorance, and don't be afraid to withdraw your support and friendship if the other person turns out to be a jerk. If we do this, we will win friendship and companionship for our hobby.
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Old November 10, 2012, 03:15 PM   #11
kilotanker22
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I like this thread. I as a very young boy did not really have a mentor. My dad quit hunting when his dad died. It wasn't till I was about 15 I was a troubled kid who was kinda on the wrong path.

I spent the rest of my teen years in a foster home. I know sounds like a sob story but it was my first foster dad who got me out of the house taught me to shoot and began taking me on hunts with him got me my hunter safety course and a handed down darton bow. That was 13 years ago and I still talk to him once a week and see him every hunting season.

If not for him the single biggest passion of my life may not exist. And now I can't wait till my two little ones are old enough to go in the woods.
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Old November 11, 2012, 05:46 PM   #12
johnwilliamson062
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The first drive I participated in we spooked two deer out of the woods. One of the guys sitting unloaded(3 shots). Reloaded. Unloaded again. Reloaded. Unloaded a third time as they ran off in the the distance.

I couldn't believe it. To start with we were all down range, even if at a good distance with woods in between.

Most of the REALLY BAD shooting I have seen was done by hunters and not people holding the gun sideways at the public range.

I didn't learn to hunt with my father, but I did find mentors. I was in my twenties at the time. It took a lot of work to find a couple of mentors who had a half decent idea what they were doing. Speaking to others it seems they have even more trouble.
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Old November 11, 2012, 06:01 PM   #13
12GaugeShuggoth
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johnwilliamson062...........I've seen someone shoot their own truck in a scene like that........and the truck wasn't any more than 40 or 50 yards away .......and was in clear view.........some things you just can't fix.
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:13 PM   #14
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Parental mentoring hunting has far reaching effects I never imagined. Brought up both my sons to love and excel in the sport of hunting. It brought skills to the kids I never knew till years later, that would result in saving their lives.

My son wrote me from Afghanistan how those hunting lessons gave him and the men under his command the edge over those who were trying to kill them. The boys favorite movie was "Sergeant York", the country boy who went to war relying on the use of hunting experiences.

I won't go into all the details of his service, but he credited those formative years hunting game with bringing his men home from many engagements. He often wrote of the city kids in his platoon who had a distinct disadvantage over the "country boys" who had hunted.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:05 PM   #15
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My shooting skills I learned as a boy served me well in the army
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