View Full Version : parental help

February 12, 2005, 07:16 PM
So fellow hunters: I've got a almost 12 year old, 9 and 7 year old. How do I hook them on hunting? We live in remote n.e. Mn. and outdoors is a way of life. We canoe, fish some, done a little dog-sledding and even climbed in the Tetons last summer; but my true passion is hunting. My oldest will be taking hunter ed. this fall and will try his hand at deer hunting this fall. He already has a bb gun , 22 and new tikka 7mm-08. The others soon to follow. My questions is at 12 I was nuts about hunting, saved for 2 years for my first gun. I don't want to pressure my kids, we do some target shooting and once in a while they come with on a hunt. I treasure my time hunting and want to have them share in it. Have any of you had luck getting your kids hooked on this hunting business? I dream of the days afield with them, we don't have tv at our house but with computer and all the other distractions now days it can be a battle. Thanks for your input.Basically I'm asking is what about hunting can I use to help them along?

February 12, 2005, 09:16 PM
wish I knew....I know I loved it since I can remember.....I have a 5 year old that hates going out with.........

February 13, 2005, 10:05 AM
Depends on the kid of course, but, FWIW, I've had quite a few Dads bring 12-year old to hunter ed. class and let little brother tag along just for the knowledge and experience. Some Dads have said that little brother would feel "left out" if he did not get to attend (although, at least here in Tejas, 11 is too young for official certification).

In thinking back on my childhood "shooter stage", Grandpa and Dad got me hooked by starting me out in a rather "target rich" environment of unwanted critters - sparrows, rats, then moved up to crows. Early successes built confidence. Then, more elusive, food-for-the-table critters became much more of a "challenge" ...

February 13, 2005, 10:25 AM
I always let the kids shoot 22's whenever they wanted,guns were not a mystery at my house.Both my sons like to hunt,our daughter prefers to shoot clay targets with a shotgun, have a thrower and target backstops in the back yard.

February 13, 2005, 11:58 AM
the best way to get them not to hunt is to force them to, take them out on the coldest day put them in the coldest spot and make them sit all day.

now if you realy want them to hunt it has to come from them, anything a parent force's the kids will reject. it has to be fun!!

I started them by taking them along on scouting mission's and to put up stands, cut trail's, and retrieve deer I shot bowhunting. they started helping to butcher deer with us at 4 or 5 as soon as they could help grind. the youngest was official grind boy and would get mad if anyone took his place.

now they didnt start hunting at 12 like some but when they asked and were ready . after all killing a large animal can be damn trammatic on some young kids and impossible for others.

my daughter started at 14 and hunted till boy's took over her mind [19].
my oldest boy started at 14 and still hunts my youngest boy started last year at 14 and it looks like he will hunt till he cant anymore.

the main thing is to have fun. cause when it stops being fun whats the point . so praise and encouage them often and HAVE FUN!

p.s. read my byline Ive taken deer every year since my daughter told me that and it is still the best advice I have ever recieved!!

February 13, 2005, 03:42 PM
Calvin has got it figured out. Kids have a relatively shot attention span and need constant input to make it interesting. I always went hunting with my dad and grandpa because it was fun to be with them. What really got me hooked was coyote hunting around the age of 9. Lots of coyotes meant lots of action. My dad took me varmint hunting for rock chucks where I could shoot all day. I graduated into deer and all the other "patient" hunts, but it was the "high action" hunting that first got me hooked.

Robin hunting in our cherry trees was another good adventure. If there is some kind of small critter running around your place that you would like to eliminate, issue a small family "bounty". Dad wanted rockchucks out of his fields, so he paid for ammo and $0.50 a tail. Pretty good wages when I was 12. Helped me earn up for my next rifle!


February 15, 2005, 12:36 AM
I would suggest not to force them but offer everytime you're going. It took 10 years of invitations from my Dad before I really started hunting frequently, but he never quit offering. Now, I'm calling him asking to go! I think shooting .22's and skeet is a good way to get them interested, I always loved both when I was younger. It may take them a while to get them interested but one day they'll be waking you up at 3am to get out to the deer stand!

February 24, 2005, 05:15 PM
Your doing good.......and if they say hunting isn't for them ask them why? Maybe they would still like to come along but just not be the one to take the game? I think my son and I get along best darn near like ole pals at hunting time. He had a problem with always being a know it all and thought he could master the bow and arrow in a snap...... I expressed to him that our practice needed to show improvement. I also told him that if he didn't take it serious and put forth a honest effort he wouldn't be taking a bow into the woods. He understood that and the reasons I expected him to be a very good shot out to 20 yards. I explained how bad one feels when they wound a deer and follow an endless blood trail. I am real proud to say he is a great young hunter and he has been taught to follow game laws and fair chase rules. I told him if we were starving or it was 1820 we might hunt a little different than we do today. Good luck and enjoy the outdoors with your kids.... As Ted says....... Take your kids hunting -so you don't have to hunt for your kids..... :D

February 24, 2005, 08:06 PM
IMO, there's a coupla things you can do.

One, always talk it up. I know there's this "rebellion thing" but i think that if its something you enjoy, they will too.
If you make it a big thing to go hunting at a certain age it will also help. Your 12 yo will feel very mature, while the younger ones won't want to wait. Like possibly coming with you on hunts for all of them, small game at 10, and big game (with you right there) at 13 (i'm just throwing those numbers out, adjust for maturity appropriately).

I know that for me (being someone who just went through that period only a few years ago), it was a big "coming of age thing -- you're a man now, you can come hunting."

In addition(as everyone else has said) , i suggest trying to pick something with lots of game. Wether it be squirrels, birds, or deer, try to pick something where your kids won't be freezing and get bored. My first time out hunting, i musta seen 7 deer (unfortunately, all out of range/through dense bushes to shoot at ;) , if i'd a had a rifle, i would have had my first deer 5 minuites into hunting season on my first day), and that made it exciting for me. It didn't matter that we got completely skunked the next time (no deer even seen). ANyway, if you hunt somewhere where you are going to be sucessful (at least in the beginning), it will help the kids enjoy it.

My two cents, for a kid who was sucessfully introduced to hunting.

February 24, 2005, 11:01 PM
I think that for kids you should remember that the parent needs to do the nasty things like skinning and the hard things like dragging the deer. Have the kids do the fun things.

Also, kids like to team up with hunting dogs, especially in bird, rabbit or squirrel hunts. These have lots of excitement, plus the dog will help them keep warm if things get quiet. Kids get a lot colder than adults and having a hunting dog can make the difference between a warm happy kid and a cold miserable one.

February 25, 2005, 10:29 AM
There has been some research in this area, and (I'm about to graduate with a degree in recreation/natural resource management) it appears that if a person doesn't engage in an activity by the time they graduate from college or about 22, chances are, they will never enjoy it.

The only exception I can think of is a friend of mine hunts for free on our ranch and he just loves it. He never shot a gun before he was 26, and has developed himself into quite an incredible shot just by practice. On the other hand, you would think that a guy who loves hunting would love fishing. We have some of the best fishing I think in the State of Texas on our ponds, and we have a river running through the property so I've tried and tried to get him to go fishing, but he can't get into it.

I am happy my wife loves shooting (not hunting), and so chances are, my 5YO son will see it as family recreation when we go to the rifle range out there and shoot cans and stuff. I'm still working on the fishing with him, but I still think he's a bit young. He only wants to touch the fish after I catch them.

February 28, 2005, 09:44 PM
i always really really wanted to hunt but no-one in my family does aside from me so i had to wait till i was 12 to get my hunter safety and a new pellet gun. i must have put 5000 pellets through that bad boy in the first year then at thirteen i moved up to the old single shot cooey model 75 .22. i then convinced dad to get his FAC and i bought a remington 742 and a reminton 597SS. i love to hunt. i think that for them to want to be hunters you should let it be "their idea". start out with a .22 and shoot the heck out of tin cans and paper targets then when accuracy is improved get them really going on small varmint type game. i love coyote hunting it develops skills so well and keeps me sharp in the off season. theres nothing like having a couple yotes respond to a call theyll love that.