5 yr. old!
My wife and I are avid Turkey and Deer hunters and truly enjoy taking our youngest son with us. I have read many articles concerning youngsters and which game to start their hunting careers on. I have read that taking them to the woods for deer and turkey may turn them off because you do not always harvest a kill.....whereas if you start them on squirrel or rabbits....the odds of success are better therefor they will enjoy it more. I have taught all 3 of my sons that winning isn't everything.....any reccomendations or advice on this matter?
I say whatever you do, with regards to hunting and the outdoors, as a family is the right thing. Involving kids and teaching them the proper ways of hunting/fishing/camping is a great part of being parents. Do what you feel is right for you and your family and things will work out for the betterment of everyone. Good luck and you're on the right path as far as I'm concerned.
One thing you have to understand about kids is that they love doing what mommy and daddy do. They love to immitate. They'll get excited about hunting just because you take them out, but what I do (with my nephews b/c my son is only 2!) is explain to them that we're not always going to see deer. But I teach them how to find trails and how to find scrapes and rubs. They are amazed by this! They get so excited looking through my binoculars at a deer 400 yds away! I've never harvested a deer w/them by my side (for various reasons) but they still love it.
I would say that squirrel hunting would also be a good entrance into a world of hunting. In my case, my nephews love being with thier uncle and I with them. I make sure that when I take them I'm not planning on staying much longer than 2 hours in the field... because longer than that, it does get boring for them.
not meaning to make anyone mad this is my opnion on young kids, and my opnion is 5 is too young to be in the woods with
a gun and most of the people i know that take kids that small are only using their kids to hunt in youth only seasons. now
for the right age i think if you can take a young kid to a rang or were ever you normaly shoot for sighting in your scope
and just target prictice and they can shoot 3 to 4 shot grouping shots then they are able to hunt. then it all comes down
to patince and kids have little to none when it comes to hunting and if your truely looking for the kids first harvest scout
the area well and find place's were two hours is tops to sit to start for deer that seems to be around the magic # for kids
and if they see something in that time frame you can add one hour from that point because of the added excitement in the
child. and as far as squrrail or rabbit hunting for a 5 year old ,i would never i dont think any one that young can swing a 22
or a 410 up into a tree for fast safe shooting or much less sling one up on a fast running rabbit with a 410 or a 20 gauge
witch is pushing the too heavy side for them to hold up right to begain with.
now all that comes from my trail and error with my own son and testing him each year on his abilities because i for one
wouldnt want to see my son hurt or shoot me just so i could have bragging rights at deer camp caz my little kid harvested
his first. my son is 12 now and this is his fisrt years at turkey and deer and he has harvested two turkeys its fall and is
lookinf for a first deer. and he is still only good for about two hours. and he did agravate me about squrrial hunting for a
long long time and well its not my top meat to eat and i knew he wouldnt like it and i full belive you should only kill if you
are going to eat it. well i shot a squrrail with my bow brought it home cleaned and cooked and was dinner that night, to my
supprise my son did like it OK he said but not enough that he wanted to hunt them his self any more though.
biggest thing I've learned most of all myself is never push them to do any of it, it will only make them be less and less
patcince, and ultamately hate hunting all together
I never make harvesting a necessary/primary part of hunting in fact it would be near the last part and final education on hunting. However, if you ever see your kids enjoying looking for sheds, finding rubs, tracks, leaves, birds, chipmunks ect ect you will know how magical it is and I wouldn't trade those moments for anything. I didn't mean in my above post to thrust a gun or force a kill on a young child, but to simply allow them/you to experience it all through their eyes it's simply some of the best moments in a parents life and worth the effort. Safety is #1 in child education and must be strictly enforced at all times other than that just watch their actions/reactions to whats happening and you'll know if they are ok with everything.
Just walking in the woods and shooting at a tree is fun for a young kid
take him out and have fun
every kid matures differently though. There are some 7 or 8 year olds who i sincerely believe could shoot a man's gun and hit their target just as well as an adult. Now they may not have the experience in hunting like an adult, but that's why we start them at an early age, to get them involved and enjoying hunting. to me though, there is SO much more to hunting than just the hunting itself. There's so much preparation and that's exciting to get kids involved in.
down here in florida there is no minimum age kids can start hunting. If they can hold their gun up , they can hunt. I started my son off when he was 5 , with a bb gun. Age 6 he was shooting a .22 and a .410 . Moved him up to a .243 when he was 7. alot just depends on the kid and their maturity level. when he was 7 i could still get him to sit in a ladderstand for about 3 -4 hours. (he would read a book) now he wants to sit all day. lol he is 14 now.
:yes:i've been taking my son out since he was 6yrs old we started with same game and now that he is 10yrs old we moved on to deer and turkeys he got his first deer this past season he is hooked on hunting for life now my little girl i took her along hunting since she was born she was almost 1yr old i put her in a back pack so her head and legs were out and we went archery hunting she is 5 yrs old now and keeps bugging me when can she shoot so this fall we will start with small game and go from there my point is this do what you love and share it with your kids forget all the nah sayers and just hunt the time in the wood is awsome:pickle:
alot also depends on the size, maturity and strength of the kid as well. There are many kids at 6 y/o that couldn't handle a .22 let alone a deer rifle... but then there are also kids I've seen as young as 5 shooting and able to stay focused and fire accurately at deer. With my son (2 1/2 y/o) I'll probably introduce him at age 5 to shooting the family .22 but with my deer rifle I'll have to see how he would do with the recoil. He's a strong boy at 2 1/2, but i've seen alot of 2 1/2 year olds that aren't nearly as strong.
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