View Full Version : That boy won't hunt

September 11, 2009, 10:54 AM
I was really excited this year, because my oldest boy is 12 and I wanted to take him to the woods. I took him through the safety course last month and bought a ladder stand. I ordered a Stevens 200 in .243. I was getting ready to outfit him the rest of the way this weekend. Well, long story short, he broke it to me that he really doesn't want to hunt. So, I guess I've got a new .243(which I have secretly wanted for a while anyway) and ladder stand. I'm not gonna push him to go. I had him scouting and setting out the stand recently. I really think that he was put off by the hot, sweaty work it was to be trudging through these Florida swamps in 92 degree temps. So, I think I'll let him think on it...tell some fun stories about this years hunts, and hope he'll come around.

September 11, 2009, 11:03 AM
More important than this year's hunt,he could tell you his choice.
Its good he should be who he is.
Good job.

September 11, 2009, 12:10 PM
I wish I had had you for a father!
Only difference, I would have nagged you to take me hunting when I was 8 years old.

You will just have to give him time, some kids are into and some never will be.

September 11, 2009, 12:32 PM
Good he could tell tell you his thoughts.

Too bad he doesn't want to play in the woods.

I blame video games.

September 11, 2009, 12:34 PM
As for me, I wasn't taught "the hunt" first... It was a lifetime (albeit just a few years long) of having self sufficient life pounded into my head. Then when preparing for my first squirrel and deer hunts, I don't so much remember a sporting attitude. I remember the coaching in regards to gathering my own meat. How to treat my future protein source with the dignity and respect that a life source deserves. And them home made pancakes with the blueberries I picked in the predawn darkness musta been a part of the lesson too.

September 11, 2009, 12:40 PM
Everyone comes around in their own time. Ex-gf's father hunted every year while his kids were growing up, but it wasn't until all three kids were near or over 30 did all three of them decide, in their own time, that they wanted to go hunting. Now, for them, its a yearly family ritual.

September 11, 2009, 12:52 PM
I did not have a father around at that age.An older brother,who was off to war,left behind a copy of Robert Ruark's book "The Old Man and the Boy".I promise you will enjoy reading it.He may discover it.

In the broad sense,developmentally,there is something about a connection between the nurturing of mom for the boy.Some get stuck in this stage,and live life puruing the approval of women,even if they might,(hypothetically) become president or vice president.

And,it is common that there is a certain space between the father and son.

The key players,here,might be Grandfather,uncles,etc,and a certain passage from being a boy to crossing over to the community of men.

I intend no disrespect to the mother /son relationship,or to women,especially to hunting women.

Just some stuff I have learned along the way.

September 11, 2009, 06:41 PM
give him time, he may like ut after all

Fat White Boy
September 11, 2009, 07:40 PM
I started taking my boy dove hunting with me when he was 5. When he was 7 he got a Red Ryder BB gun to help with downed birds. By the time he was 10, he had passed Hunter's safety and was shooting with me. I also took him with me on Quail Unlimited and Big Horn Sheep Foundation projects when he was small.
There should be a Quail Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited or Turkey Federation in your area, Take him on a couple of outings and then ask if he wants to go on the next one. Take him fishing, too. Anything outdoors. You will know if he enjoys it or if he doesn't. If he doesn't want to go, don't make him. He will decide when and if he is ready...

You didn't mention if he has brothers and or sisters. Be sure to include them all when they are old enough!

September 11, 2009, 07:52 PM
While I, as a dad, would respect his view.....the question remains.....why?....is it just something he truly feels or something his teachers over time have put in his head???

September 11, 2009, 10:12 PM
Kids are all different. My oldest son is 5 and is more interested in spiderman than hunting. Its sad to me because hunting is my passion. My daughter is 7 and REALLY wants to shoot a deer. Go figure.

I would say good job not pushing him. Maybe instead of starting him on scouting deer, try hunting squirrels or something that has a little more action. Just a sugestion, like I said, all kids are different, but good for you for letting him enjoy what he enjoys.

September 11, 2009, 10:49 PM
My 10 year old took her first Russian sow at 9. She loves shooting and enjoys stalking the "ugly pigs."

When she has a bit more dicipline, I'll take her on a deer hunt. Right now she just doesn't want to sit still long enough for a day in the blind.

Kids will make their own choices. I'm saddened that you won't have any memories of hunting with your son. I'm looking forward to MANY days in the woods with my girl. She took this one with dad's AR. The collapseable stock and the manageable recoil make it a fine rifle for her........for now.


September 11, 2009, 11:19 PM
While I, as a dad, would respect his view.....the question remains.....why?....I agree. If it's his choice that's great. But is it really HIS choice or has someone "poisoned him against hunting"?

roy reali
September 11, 2009, 11:29 PM
Years ago I read an article about hunting versus genetics. The article stated that there are families were everyone hunts, yet a child is born into them that does not. There are also families that do not hunt and they have a kid that becomes an avid hunter. The author said that this is a phenomenon that couldn't be explained.

September 12, 2009, 06:04 AM
several times a year when he was a kid, but he never seemed to really get into it, until he was about 24. He took his first deer that year, and now he is as dedicated as I am, or maybe more so. Now my two grand sons can't wait to go hunting with "pawpaw' and I take both several times a year. My oldest grandson, at 12 years old, killed his first deer last season, a good sized doe, and man he REALLY has the fever now. They are going to make my last years a great pleasure.

September 12, 2009, 06:47 AM
Brent - I love reading your posts! Everytime I do, it makes me want to find you and learn more of you ways (No, I'm not a stalker). Great response!

September 12, 2009, 07:00 AM
Maybe he's not ready to be behind the trigger yet but would like to come on the hunt with you.

He might enjoy being in the tree stand with a pair of binos and a camera. That's something that can be enjoyable year round, not just during a few weeks at hunting season. A big part of the hunt is the enjoyment of being in the woods and there are other ways to enjoy that than hunting.

It's good he could be honest and it's good you're understanding and not forcing him. That could turn him off to it forever.

I would try to get a clear answer on why he doesn't want to go. It could be something as simple (or complex) as the 12 year old girl he has a crush on doesn't like hunting.

Uncle Billy
September 12, 2009, 08:18 AM
Maybe he regards hunting as killing animals for fun, and that just doesn't appeal to him, or maybe he even abhors the idea. It might be useful to gently explore this with him in order to find out if that's how he feels about hunting in general, and if so how does he resolve that with the fact that you hunt. Having a conversation on this might help, or at least make clear what the issues are.

If you're lucky, some time in the future his attitudes might evolve into a different take on it. You're wise not to press him or force the issue on him now; sensitive kids are vulnerable to emotional damage if what they are sensitive about gets jammed in their face.

Just $.02 worth of my experience on this issue.

srt 10 jimbo
September 12, 2009, 08:25 AM
I took my son Hog hunting last year for the first time. I waited till winter when the temps were alot cooler (bout 60-70 degrees down here) He got a 115lb'er that I smoked out in the back yard. He's waiting for the temps to drop again so we can get back out there. Maybe wait till It gets a little cooler , then take him out. at 92 degrees even my kid would rather be inside playing x-box.:)

September 12, 2009, 08:27 AM
I'm not gonna push him to go.

One of the sore spots that, 30 years later, still exists between my father and myself is that he pushed HARD to make me go hunting with him and when I finally flat-out refused (at age 15) he took my guns away telling me that he sure wasn't going to "waste money" with me shooting his ammunition or guns.

Eventually (like a year and a half later) he repented because I was very good at taking out varmints on the farm, but he just never could come to terms with my indifference to hunting.

The irony being that I still wound up having a lifelong association with firearms and am a pretty decent target shooter who enjoys the shooting sports even though I still really couldn't care less about hunting.

I have no beef with those who enjoy hunting, and I'm certainly not squeamish (grew up on a beef farm and have shot plenty of groundhog and other varmints) but for myself I just don't care about hunting and I'm pretty sure I never actually will unless I have to put food on the table. Taking out an animal has always fallen under the task of "unpleasant but sometimes necessary" to me and at this point in my life I don't think it's ever going to change.

HOWEVER...I do agree with the others who say try to have a conversation and find out why he's not interested. It may just be something temporary and once he's over that he may really want to hunt. Don't shove him hard, but keep the door open too.

September 12, 2009, 11:38 AM
Thank you for your very interesting insights. To answer a few...he does like a girl now and she may have spoken against the hunt. I'll have to talk to him about it. Also, he does love the video games, although he like to shoot at the range also. I think that the brutal heat and the bugs of the early season scouting may have been a factor also. Oh well, his 9 year old brother loves to go scouting with me. Maybe I'll have a couple of hunting buddies in my old age after all. Thanks again.

September 12, 2009, 09:16 PM
Scout, hat's off to you for not pushing him. Letting him be himself and make his own choices shows that you're a good father, and you should be proud of him for being able to tell you how he feels. He may choose to hunt later in life, or he may not. Either way, he's not any lesser of a person because he doesn't want to.

I have 2 sons, a 15 year old and a 14 year old.

The 13 year old lives for anything outdoors: shooting, hunting, fishing, camping, etc....CONSTANTLY

The 15 year old likes to shoot from time to time, also camps some here and there, but hates hunting and fishing. It's just not for him; he doesn't like getting up early, staying out late, the heat, the cold, the bugs, or rain, or dirt, or pretty much any of the things that goes with the outdoors. You get the picture :)

They're equal in my minds...they're just different individuals!

September 12, 2009, 09:22 PM
When I was a kid we got three channels on the TV, sometimes. Hunting was a great escape and entertaining. Plus, we could use the food.

I'm not sure that if I was a kid today hunting wouldn't bore me to death with all the input available from so many different directions.

September 12, 2009, 11:08 PM
When I was a kid we didn't have electricity, running water or a telephone for many years. Hunting was something I did every chance I had...

September 13, 2009, 12:07 PM
Well, it's disheartening at this point, but he has plenty of time to make a decision. Keep the rifle and the stand and maybe he'll change his mind. Kids often go through phases at that age.

My 7 year old daughter has been following me around in the woods lately and enjoyting it, but I know that she may change her mind soon. If she does I'll roll with it. The worst thing to do is to push them. That'll turn them against it faster than anything else.

BTW, good job on being a caring father! The world needs more fathers like you!


September 13, 2009, 07:42 PM
Think I would agree with tyrajam. Maybe take him squirrel,bird or rabbit hunting. Faster pace, more action. Huntings got to be fun especially for kids. Break him into the deer hunting slower. Been hunting for many years and I`ll be the first to admit, sometimes sitting in the stand all day can get very boring. On the other hand, out of three boys(ages 24,27,29),one won`t hunt at all. Loves to go along just to hang out but doesn`t hunt. He`s been that way all his life. I`ve never pushed him one way or the other. Just keep the door open . He may eventually walk through. Goodluck! P.S. I coached kids in football/baseball for years, had kids who could care less about ball. They where just there cause dad wanted them there:rolleyes:. Wasn`t hard to recognize. Same goes for hunting. Congrats on not pushing;).

September 14, 2009, 06:18 AM
Just because he don't want to go this year doesn't mean he wont in years to come.

cole k
September 14, 2009, 06:52 PM
Scout, you are wise not to push him and don't let anyone else push him either.
I started taking my 2 sons and daughter hunting with me when they were between 5 & 7 years old.
My oldest son likes to shot his rifles but he doesn't like to hunt. He told me this when he was 15. I told him that was OK with me but he was welcome to go with me to the camp or range any time.
But his mother and other family members pushed him to the point that I had to tell them to let it be.
My youngest son was a different matter all together. He took to shooting and hunting like a duck to water. If it will run from him he will hunt it. He is 29 now and has hunted and killed big game in 9 states with a bow and rifle.
My daughter in some ways is like oldest son but she loves to shoot handguns.

September 15, 2009, 07:32 AM

You are getting rave reviews for not pushing your son...I must agree with them. I also agree that you might need to focus on hunting something that will keep his attention like sqirrels or rabbits. I know when I first started hunting deer at 24 I was lucky to stay in the stand for more than an hour and a half. If I made it two hours it was a marathon! My father-in-law used to get a little frustrated with me but I simply could not sit still any longer. With age came patience...I have sat in a stand as long as 6 hours now and probably could go longer. One of the things I would ask is...is your son able to simply sit still for any length of time? If not that might be the reason he does not want to hunt. I have read on other posts that some dads let their sons/daughters take something to the stand to occupy them during the down time something like a video game or the like and then when the game appears the real game is on! Just a thought.

September 15, 2009, 08:31 AM
Just because he don't want to go this year doesn't mean he wont in years to come.

Amen this. When I was 12 I couldn't imagine going hunting. How could anyone kill an animal? And this was back in the 60's when the first day of hunting season was a valid excuse for skipping school.

When I was 15 I made the decision to start hunting, on my own. Nobody tried to talk me into it. Nobody ever tried to talk me out of it.

September 15, 2009, 08:47 AM
Well, atleast he likes a girl. We know that's not the problem.

September 15, 2009, 09:14 AM
That kids lucky as hell man I wish I had someone to take me deer hunting. I duck hunt but I have to go through all the cycles myself. A very VERY cool guy named andy lee brought me for my first hunt years ago and I dont know how to repay him : )

September 15, 2009, 09:22 AM
A very VERY cool guy named andy lee brought me for my first hunt years ago and I dont know how to repay him : )

Mentor youngsters to the wide aspects required to make them a respectable, safe and courteous hunter and woodsman!!!
I bet you dollars against rat turds that would be all he would expect as return for mentoring you!!!;)

September 15, 2009, 03:29 PM
hogdogs,You are wise 'grasshopper'. That would be exactly what old Andy Lee would want. Also, maybe a piece of strapback when he gets to old to get his own;).

September 28, 2009, 05:09 PM
Well, I wouldn't push him either.
You do have to make it fun for him though. Trudging through 92 degree heat and humidity will not be fun and as a 12 yr old he probably can think of 100 things he'd rather do. Start off slow as others suggested and let him shoot some squirrels and rabbits. There's not many boys alive I know who don't like to shoot pellet guns or .22's if given the chance.
I would've probably started him younger than that though. I took my 5yr old to the lease with me last year and he was with me while I shot and field dressed two different does on separate occasions. He sure got a kick out of it, and I made it fun for him, no work involved and we did things more or less on his schedule. Of course, early mornings meant bringing the sleeping bag, his DVD player and some earphones to the blind, but at least he got up and got out there, and watched me miss a running coyote early one morning! He got a big laugh at that.

September 29, 2009, 10:57 PM
Scout, thanks for not pushing your son. I encourage you to keep inviting him, and also to just take him shooting. I've got 2 boys, now 13 & 15. My older boy was excited about hunting like dad and got his first elk at 12 years old. My youngest, however, said he didn't want to hunt, particularly big game. He's typically a little more 'sensitive' than his older brother, but I didn't push him. I regularly told him, though, that whenever he's ready, I'll be happy to take him hunting. I did continue to take both of them shooting with me, whether it was clay pigeons, rifles or handguns. Out of the blue a few weeks ago, he told me he'd like to go hunting with me. I asked him what he wanted to hunt, and he thought he'd like to go for either moose or coyote. Well, the moose population in Colorado is very limited, so chances of a tag are pretty slim, but you can bet we'll be chasing coyotes pretty soon! All in good time, Scout...all in good time. And if he doesn't want to ever hunt, that's OK too.



Lawyer Daggit
September 29, 2009, 11:34 PM
I have a dad who was never really into hunting himself, but who was nagged into getting me my first gun and trudging around after me when I used it and would approvingly eat what I shot (usually rabbit).

I have TC Contender carbine earmarked for my south pawed son- and I suspect he is going to be more into art than hunting with his old man.

To each his own.

September 30, 2009, 01:03 AM
I started taking my grandson fishing at age three, and started him shooting paper at six. By the time he was nine he had a bigger steelhead, king salmon, and smallmouth than I had caught in my fifty-nine years. This past spring, at 10, he started hunting for the first time when turkey season rolled around. Well, it was a poor hunt that we went on, no birds making a sound and didn't even see a bird in the woods while hunting. This past weekend I took him tree rat hunting and we came home empty, after he missed three with his .22. I really felt bad for him and had little luck keeping his spirits up. Since he lives a hundred miles away I just can't take him as much as he and I would like. His dad, my son-in-law, has limited time and desire to take him. I'm afraid that his hunting days may be over for at least awhile. Dispite his success with fishing he is starting to loose the desire for that also. Maybe I started him too young or maybe hunting and fishing just aren't stimulating enough in the day of electronic media. I don't know. I think that I will back off and let him know that when and/or if he wants to go again, I'll be glad to take him but I sure won't push it. As much as I love to hunt it is getting harder and harder to find a place to hunt so that may not be a bad thing if he looses interest!

September 30, 2009, 07:15 AM
This is somewhat, at least psychologically, similar to where I'm at with my wife right now:

When we first met, she'd turn green at the thought of eating venison. I never pushed it on her, but made it available, should she want to try it. While visiting my sister and brother-in-law in NC (he was stationed there while in the Marine Corp), my brother-in-law made biscuits and gravy with venison sausage, as well as frying up some back strap. My wife tried it, liked it, but mentally forced herself to NOT like it. I left it alone, and didn't say much to her about it.

Her uncle's brother-in-law hunts, makes has summer sausage and slim-jims made out of venison. My wife started eating that because it tasted good, and she started ignoring the fact that it was venison.

Move on to two years ago, I get a little button buck on opening day. I took it to her cousin's where we processed it. She didn't help with the butchering outside, but she did help package it (she wouldn't touch it, but she doesn't like touching any type of raw meat).

Last year, while my sister and brother-in-law were up visiting for the 4th of July, I decided to get my bb-gun and .22 out to do some plinking. Boy, my wife took right to that "little" .22. To the point where I may buy her her own one of these days.

My wife now goes with me when I hunt at my parents' cabin (she loves to sit inside by the fire and read a book), and she keeps asking me if she could hunt turkeys with a .22. She's also asked about taking a hunter safety course so she could get her license, should she want to go that far.

All of this happened over the course of about 4 years. I never pushed her on any of it, but made the opportunities available to her. The same could be true with your son.

September 30, 2009, 08:31 PM
. . . ago I bought a Rem. 870 Express combo to be used by my 14 year old son.

Our first hunt together was opening day deer season on a friends farm and it was a grey, damp, cold morning.

He left his stand, driven out by the cold sometime before noon, which is when I told him I would meet him on the field near his stand.

Expressed a total distain for hunting . . . I sure am glad I did not out and out give the 870 to him.

Now . . . 16 years later . . . guess what:

I still have the 870; and



September 30, 2009, 09:18 PM
I think that it's admirable of you to allow your son to make his own decisions, but what I think will be even more crucial is your ability to allow your son to hold onto his own ideals. When I was growing up, my father tried to force sports on me and I would have much rather played guitar in bands than try out for football and all the like. There was a lot of tension and for a great while, I absolutely hated him. It wasn't until I became (fairly) independent of his income that he and I started to get along. For a good ten years, he wanted me to be an athlete, and I wanted to be artist.

Your son doesn't want to be a hunter, but it seems that he still enjoys firearms culture (as you said, he likes to shoot targets) and I would suggest that you always have an open invitation to your son to go hunting, but never push the issue on him. At his age, it's important for him to find out who he is and what he wants. And maybe, to him, at this age, the idea of killing an animal is absolutely atrocious, but with time he may change his mind. By telling him stories about "fun hunting" you may further alienate him, as you may create an atmosphere of forcing it upon him by further talking about it. Just let him be who he is, and maybe he'll want to hunt with you. If it does turn out to be the bugs and heat that bothers him, set up and scout yourself, then take him to shoot. If he enjoys that, then take him a couple more times in the same vain, and eventually force him to do the scouting and setup and tell him that it's part of the price of hunting.

I personally don't think that it's the videogames, as others have suggested, but it may be the new "PC" culture that we live in.

My point is, just let your boy be who he wants to be, and don't try to force him to be/do what he doesn't just because you enjoy. That's a great way to have 10 long years of hell that my father and I had.

September 30, 2009, 09:35 PM
Depending upon your lifestyle you may have to wait until he's around 14 to get him back into hunting.

If he's grown up in A/C with video games you aren't going to pry him away until girls want guys. Then he'll want to prove that he's a "guy".

October 16, 2009, 09:50 PM
lots of good advice already. Only thing I would add based on my experience as both a son and father (son is 14 now) . make sure he's comfortable. I'll skip a day if the weather's rough. make sure he's warm/cool enough tho in FLA you have the opposite situ than here in NY. Good bug suit. yeah let him bring the gameboy on stand. My dad took me out young but didn't invest much in gear, Steel toed work boots and a hard kicking 12 ga didn't do much for my attitude back then. Got into it after all the distractions of youth were over. You introduced it well, plenty of time for him to come around.

Big Bill
October 16, 2009, 10:18 PM
Why did you wait till he was 12 to take him with you? How does you wife feel about hunting? Do you eat the meat you kill? What's your son's work ethic? Do you work with him on projects, etc? It's hard to raise a hunter in today's society.

When my youngest son was 11 YO we were pheasant hunting and I had a heart attack. He was traumetized and was with me in the hospital. He passed out in my hospital room and hit his head on the sink. He's 17 now and is in band at school and they do marching competitions this time of year and so he's always too busy to go out. Tomorrow is the opening of pheasant season, and he has a band competition. I want to go, but he has other plans, and I'm not supposed to go alone.

My two older sons like to hunt, but they both live far away. Last year my son in Washington got his elk again. My other son killed his first deer with his bow when he was 14.

I think that unless one takes his kids out when they are young, they'll lose interest as they get older. In my youngest son's case, I think he just had a bad experience. I'm lucky that my wife has always supported me in my efforts to teach my kids about hunting and the outdoors, even though she never came from that type of background.

T. O'Heir
October 17, 2009, 12:14 AM
"...he really doesn't want to hunt..." You ask him before you bought the rifle? Did he do the Hunter's Safety course because he wanted to or to make you happy?
Does he want to shoot and just not hunt(quite possibly influenced by his school)? Mind you, if he doesn't, that's not the end of the world either. Do other things together.

October 17, 2009, 07:13 AM
Hey, at least he told you that he didn't want to go. It would have been worse to drag him out there and both of you ended up miserable. He'll likely come around some day. Give him time.

And I think I saw someone post it earlier, but I practically begged to go hunting with my father when I was your kid's age so at least you gave your son the chance early on.

October 17, 2009, 08:45 AM
It's great that you aren't pushing him to go.

I think it's a good idea to know the ropes, but I can see why many people don't enjoy regular hunting. There is no need for it, and hunting for fun is obviously wrong.

If everyone did their own hunting, deer would become extinct very quickly.

Big Bill
October 19, 2009, 01:31 PM
...and hunting for fun is obviously wrong.Obvious to whom? I don't know here you came up with this idea; but, I disagree with it totally. Killing for no reason may be wrong, but hunting and using the animal for meat and leather isn't wrong - even if other alternatives exist. After my first heart attack, my doctor told me that eating wild game was more healthy for me that any other alternative, because domestically produced meat is packed with fat and chemicals that don't exist in wild meat.

October 19, 2009, 01:43 PM
You know, some folks just aren't into hunting. Sometimes it isn't the media, or anti-gunners or what have you, it just doesn't interest them. I myself shoot a lot, sometimes competitively, but I don't hunt. Not for any other reason other than I don't like the gore of field dressing. Could I put a hole in an animal? Sure. But I don't believe in it myself because I'm not into eating game (again, just doesn't interest me). I certainly don't berate anyone who does, I think it's a necessary thing to do. I'd see if the kid is into target shooting. Might be a natural at that.

October 19, 2009, 02:45 PM
I have 3 boys. One is 23, one is 19, and one is 17. I always imagined them hunting with me. Well, they do like to go out and shoot. The 23 year old loves to set his Weatherby .223 cal. up and shoot paper. He does not like to hunt. The 19 year old wants to go everytime I pick up my rifle to clean it! The 17 year old doesn't like to hunt anything, and would not go unless forced....which I don't do. The fact is, they all are different. So me and my buddies go, and I leave two of my three son's at home. Oh well.......:confused:

Big Bill
October 19, 2009, 05:52 PM
I bet when young men are required to do a two or three year hitch in the armed forces that interest in guns and hunting will pick back up.

October 20, 2009, 03:27 AM
I have a son, now 14, who I have taken hunting and introduced to shooting at age 6 or so. He still goes w/ me, but is not really on fire for it.

He goes mainly 'cause he wants to be with me, I think. Conversely, I fool around w/ his video games and interest in team sports to be with him.

He still lacks patience to stand hunt, and likes spring turkey more than deer hunts 'cause '"you get to walk around and stuff". Its warmer (usually) too.

He's his own guy. I was disappointed at first, and still am to a degree, but we make the best of it. I don't push him hard, though I did for a while.
NOw, I'm happy when he goes, and try to find time to go his stuff when I can.

He has shown a distinct increase in interest in firearms as he matures.
When he discovers girls, all bets are off.

James R. Burke
October 21, 2009, 02:29 PM
It is very good you can talk, that is very important. Sometimes you hope your kids will be into something you are into, but there not. Thats o.k. Who knows maybe someday he will change is mind. At least he has a good father that is not pushing him to do something he does not want to do. My son in law is a pitcher, and played in the minors for awhile, they did not sign him for the majors, and that was very hard on him. To make it short his son, my Grandson shows no interst in baseball. He is not pushing him, and just letting him be a kid, and do what he wants as long has it is clean etc. So I think your doing great just being able to talk, and handle it the way you did!

October 29, 2009, 12:02 PM
I applaud you on your handling of this situation. Whatever his reason, it is his choice, and telling him he has to hunt would be the same as PETA telling us all we have to refrain from hunting.

A/C Guy
December 4, 2009, 09:44 PM
I was really excited this year, because my oldest boy is 12 and I wanted to take him to the woods. I took him through the safety course last month and bought a ladder stand. I ordered a Stevens 200 in .243. I was getting ready to outfit him the rest of the way this weekend. Well, long story short, he broke it to me that he really doesn't want to hunt.
I would ask him why not. Maybe he doesn't like the hard work like you suggested, or maybe he has another reason that is due to wrong info and assumptions on his part; which you can discuss and overcome. I took our boys target shooting for 2 years before allowing them to hunt. Maybe your son needs more time practicing and target shooting before the urge to hunt sets in. My older son actually did not want to hunt because he did not want to clean the animal. He also doesn't like to clean fish. So, would I rather he hunt and fish with me and I'll clean his game or would I rather leave him at home and hunt with out him?

Cleaning his game is worth the time spent together.

Take a moment and find out why. Just be sure to not ridicule him make him feel stupid if it is a silly reason.

December 4, 2009, 10:48 PM
Scout, I agree on your handling also...but did have some thoughts cross my mind as well though in regards to your situation...

Even though it sounds like your an awesome dad...you maybe just too awesome for a 12 year old coming into his own and worrying about expectations going into the hunt.

I remember going into one of my first hunts with my father who outfitted me with knowledge and supplies for years prior to our first "real" hunt together. And I botched the shot(s) on purpose to avoid having to field dress because I thought my father would of been disappointed that I had forgotten a lot of what he had already taught me. I had watched him and friends field dress for years and had even done some of my own when I was trapping at an early age.

I think it was when it came down to the first real showtime and with me being center stage, that is when it hit me that I would maybe not shine like the grand wizard of the woods like my father seemed to be, a man I looked up to that made me think I was not prepared at all. Will I get the shakes, will I hit the bladder, what if I make a bad shot and ruin the meat those and dozens of other thoughts went through my head on that first hunt.

Knowing that the report of the first hunt would be thoroughly gone over by him and his friends over a case of Löwenbräu as well.

I guess I thought being judged on a "missed shot" was far better then being graded on a whole event.

You may want to take the pressure of the "first kill" in front of pops away and see if that sets him a little more at ease. See if he would rather just go along as a spotter or a little extra muscle on the carry out rather then inadvertently putting pressure on.

My third (irc) hunt with my father and his friends is when I bagged my first buck. I was alone at the far end of a hay field wheni took my shot and had my small buck at the roadside and field dressed when they came by about 2 hours later.

December 4, 2009, 10:51 PM
I bet when young men are required to do a two or three year hitch in the armed forces that interest in guns and hunting will pick back up.

I don't know about requiring it, but it certainly did the trick for me. I was raised in a household where water guns weren't allowed because my parents thought they'd make us violent. Well, I ended up joining the military and now I own several guns. Sometimes kids just take a different path :rolleyes:

I think exposing him to it without making it mandatory will be the best thing you can do to prevent him from going completely the opposite direction when he hits his late teens and decides he hates you (or maybe that was just me).

But even as much as I enjoy it now, I'm from South Florida and if you asked me to go hunting during the day in Florida heat and humidity, I'd rather be playing X-box too. It should be starting to get cooler down there by now right?

December 9, 2009, 12:50 PM
Well, by way of follow up...my 12 year old still hasn't expressed an interest in the hunt, but my 9 year old jumped out of nowhere and declared himself a hunter. I took him squirrel hunting once already and he had a great time. ( As did I.) Thanks again for all of your interesting thoughts and insights.

December 9, 2009, 12:55 PM
Scout, How many tree rats has he bagged? Did he help clean them up? How did they taste?:D

December 9, 2009, 01:55 PM
He didn't shoot any yet...he was pretty good at spotting them, but a little slow on the trigger. I would give him a few moments to acquire and fire, but he'd lose them in the mean time, so I was shooting them with my .17M2 as they ran off. So, we're going a few more times this season and saving the squirrels for a big dinner in January. He's having a ball, though.