View Full Version : When did you first get your hands bloody?

December 20, 2008, 10:02 AM
Been hunting something it seems since I was old enough to walk. Today I think back at the lessons learned from dad who took time to embed in my head,#1- you don`t pull the trigger unless you`re going to eat it(unless SD of course), #2-when you pull the trigger, the work just began . Have taught my boys the same. Just curious,when other people start taking their children(grandchildren) hunting, at what age do you start teaching that child about field dressing,cleaning is part of the hunt and child actually gets his(her) hands bloody?

shinnery jim
December 20, 2008, 10:31 AM
good question, well I dont really know the answer for me. I remember dressing out rabbits and birds back to 6 or seven. but dont know when I first did it. it was part of the job we had if we went hunting. or for that matter just part of every day. we raised chickens and rabbits for meat most of my life when I was young.:)

December 20, 2008, 02:44 PM
I think I was 5 years old when I got a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. I was giveen the chore of keeping the sparrows out of the fruit trees, which was great fun for a 5 year old.

I got a Sherican "Silver Streak" 5mm pellet gun a year later, and was given an additional chore of keeping birds from eating too many of my grandfather's bees.

I remember my grandfather telling me he'd pay me a quarter apiece for the heads of the birds I shot off of the bee hives. After the first week, he reduced it to a nickel.

I'm pretty sure those "chores" weren't really necessary, but it kept a young kid from getting into trouble with his new love (shooting things). I remember shooting more than a few rabbits in the field above our house, too. It wasn't long before I was a pretty deadly shot with whatever was handed to me.

I don't know when the first time was that I got my hands bloody. It was probably helping dad clean/butcher rabbits. I remember cleaning my first limit of doves shortly after I was given a Win 37 in 20 gauge when I was 8 years old.


Brian Pfleuger
December 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
I've began shooting birds and woodchucks on my grandfathers farm when I was about 5, with supervision, about 7 I began bird hunting with a BB gun on my own. When it comes to pigeons and woodchucks we never followed the "don't pull the trigger if you're not going to eat it" rule.

December 20, 2008, 04:14 PM
I can't remember the actual age that I first started to help cleaning kills, but I remember having to stand on top of buckets or wooden crates to be able to reach the deer. I do remember they had me plucking ducks before I really went in deep with cleaning deer. Been hunting one way or another as long as I can remember.

December 20, 2008, 05:00 PM
I remember helping my dad butcher rabbits at 6. Since we never had dogs I was the lucky one who got to 'make as much noise as possible' while walking through the fence row jumping rabbits while my dad shot. That was the same year i got my first BB gun and thought shooting birds was the coolest thing ever!

December 20, 2008, 07:32 PM
Started hunting on my dads shoulder and have not stopped for over 35 years. I have no recollection of ever getting very bloody dressing birds, squirrels or rabbits but when i was 13 i shot my first deer. I was on the side of a central N.Y. hillside and had my doe propped against a tree to keep her from sliding. She was on her back and i really had only seen a field dressing in books or magazines but i had a good idea of what to do. What i never considered was to roll her over during my front and rear cuts. I was over my elbows in blood and guts and it was so cold i had not wanted to take my coat off. I ended up COVERED in blood. Then i had to drag her a very long way back to the logging road we came in on. I had collapsed on the edge of the logging road, frozen blood all over me with my now hours dead doe and "ralph" the camps jackarse, comes strolling down the road, he ate an early lunch after sleeping in and was headed to his easily accessable stand. He looked at me and the deer lying beside each other on the trail and said "Whadya want a friggin escalator?" He kept walkin.

December 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
As I recall my first squirrel hunt, and helping to clean the squirrels was at age 5 or 6. Helped scale fish when I was just a tyke though.

December 21, 2008, 01:36 AM
Cleaned my first rabbits before Kindergarten. Cleaned my first deer at 9yo.


December 21, 2008, 01:47 AM
around 11 i started hunting. first deer i helped dress my father shot when i was 16-17. my first actual dressing was a deer i shot in 2002. was never really told much about pesty animals(non eating type). but that if i shot an animal it would have to be something we were hunting. don't shoot the squirrels with buckshot son their won't be any meat left, and its illegal.

i have'nt let my boys handle any dead animals that are intended for eating yet or any for that matter. i will soon to see how they feel about it. and definetly wash your hands well before eating or touching anything else if you can help it. i took a few of my boys out with me just to get the feel of what its like. the 13 and 9 yr olds like it and can't wait to be able to go and shoot something other than paper,soda bottles,tin cans. but no PEOPLE.

December 21, 2008, 01:56 AM
I've began shooting birds and woodchucks on my grandfathers farm when I was about 5

LOL sounds like me. My grandpa used to pay me a quarter for each sparrow I shot off his purple martin house.

My two oldest both started hunting at 7. Actually the oldest shot his first deer and turkey about a week before he turned 7, but close enough. Both have helped load deer into the truck but neither have cleaned one, yet. I'm not sure that I trust my 7 and 9 year olds with a sharp knife in that situation - adults sometimes cut themselves badly when cleaning game so I would expect a youngster to do it. They will clean animals when I think they can safely handle a sharp knife. Probably next year the oldest will get to pull the insides out after I cut the deer open.

I think I first cleaned a quail when I was 10.

Wild game is about the only meat we eat at our house except when we have family over to visit.

December 21, 2008, 02:12 AM
Me - same as MeekandMild. Helped my Dad skin and clean a couple dozen squirrels at 5 yrs (some of the best table fare I've every eaten!!) A year later I helped clean a couple of HUGH feral hogs he shot. At 12, I hunted, shot and cleaned lots of rabbits, ducks, geese, chukar, Huns, pheasants, dove, and grouse. At 16 my first deer.

Unfortunately, my sons had to wait until they were 16 and 17 to hunt and help clean.

December 21, 2008, 05:20 PM
When it comes to the boys i always make sure they use disposable latex gloves now. Never had such a thing back when i was a kid but it only makes sense to start teaching them about the possibles issues with blood, raw or undercooked game. J.R.

December 21, 2008, 05:53 PM
When I was 10 and my brother 8, Dad decided we were old enough to kill hogs by ourselves. He was getting the water hot and told us to go kill a hog and bring it up to scald and dress. We had a large hog pasture and we threw some corn out front of the crib. I ask my brother which he wanted to do, shoot it or stick it. He said neither one. I old him I would shoot it, then lay the gun down and get the butcher knife and stick if he would help me roll it over on its back. I shot one between the eyes, and it dropped, and we got hold of it to stick it and it came too, and started squealing. I told him not to let it up, and I stuck it, and we held it until it bled to where it was too weak to get up. We knew if we let it up it would run to the back of the pasture and Dad would be mad. We both had blood all over us, and Dad grinned at us, as we dragged the hog up, and said, " I see you got it".

December 21, 2008, 08:13 PM
Got my first squirrel cleaning lesson at five. Was dressing out deer by nine.

December 22, 2008, 06:07 AM
It didn't happen for me until I was 33! I wanted to hunt all through childhood, but didn't have a dad to take me. Kinda lost interest in it until I was an adult with kids of my own. You can bet I made sure I took them hunting!

Introduce a youngster to hunting whenever you can. Life lessons are learned in the hunting woods that carry with a person their whole life. I believe it has a positive effect on the presence of common sense, which seems to be absent in many who don't take to the field.

Just my 2 cents.

December 22, 2008, 06:53 PM
Lots of truth in what you say, fxdrider.

December 22, 2008, 10:39 PM
Good story p97. That stuff builds character. Bet he was proud.

jersey joe
December 22, 2008, 11:07 PM
I tried to figure out a squirrel by my own at 16'ish and also tried a doe, by my own, at about 18. A read a bit but didn't have the over the shoulder advice. Needless to say I cut wrong and can still remember the smell to this day. Not my proudest moment. I am lucky I didn't cut off my finger but it is one of those experiences that stay with you.

December 22, 2008, 11:37 PM
Seems like I was born doin that kinda stuff. Went deer and antelope hunting every year with dad, grandpa and the uncles, shot rabits, squirrells and birds as far back as I can remember. Probably learned the most from my grandpa and older brother, my dad likes to "hunt" but only if he can do it sitting in camp or on the tailgate of a truck. Not really sure when they started teachin me how to track, gut, and care for the animals we had killed......the teachings just seem to have always been there.

December 22, 2008, 11:47 PM
Growing up on the farm and also at the butcher shop i cant remember the first blood on the hands, but after seeing it all the time i do remember gutting my first deer at 10yrs old all by my self, and i think that was the best way to learn.with nobody standing over you shoulder, but only after you have seen it done a few times.

December 23, 2008, 11:37 AM
I can remember stompin thru the timber coon hunting with my dad when I was 4 or 5 and my own first kill and clean was squirrel hunting about the time I was six, I remember dad making the cuts then tossin 'em to me to skin and dress 'em.

December 23, 2008, 12:23 PM
Geez, this taxes my memory. Must have been 4 or 5, before my 1st hunt anyways. Remember running out to the garage when Dad returned from a hunt, so I could learn how to clean squirrels, rabbits and dove.

I laughed till my side hurt when my little sister drug a "pet" rabbit into the house...and Mom had to clean the blood trail to her room. Mom didn't think it was as funny for some reason.:p