well my input on this and I am like you and have a 9 soon to be 10 year old. and a friend with the same. we have this discussion alot between the two. although he has already had his son in the woods I have yet to take mine for him to hunt but he has came along and sat in the blind and my buddy ladder stand a few times, now my reasons why. I fell he is still learning like I've heard on here a few times now about his judgment although an adult should be making that call for them - (telling them when its and were its safe to shoot and also be in a posision to mantain and take full control of the gun at all times) you still have to deal with their ability to make a good shot placement on the animal (that is were an adult can not/does not have any control) now in my case , my son can burn the middle out of a target with a BB or his 22 but lacks the control to keep his 243 in any kind of constant patteren. thats a deal breaker for me right there. I will not alow him to take a shot at an animal knowing that even if he is truly aiming at that little spot on that big animal his shot history tells me he will just most likely wound that animal and never put it down fast enough to recover it. and not to mintion I have never had him in the woods and him last. about two hours and hes done so I would recomend a buddy stand atleast 20 foot up and use a skirt around the stand or a ground blind but the tree stand is much better for young ones ( gets them up out of the sent zone and out of site- witch is 16 foot and above) but in the end I think with the combo of the kick of the 243 and him knowing the kick is coming (the almighty flinch) is his killer thats the difference from the BB and 22 to the 243.