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hey guys,

this is a question for you fathers and mothers with young sons or daughters at home. what age is appropriate to take them hunting with you. i am saying just to take them along in the woods. this may be a little long..so please bear with me.

my son will be four years old in may and he is already begging me to take him hunting. everytime i leave the house with bow in hand he cries and asks me to take him along. i love the fact that he wants to hunt with me being that i am the only one in my family who hunts and i always read about fathers and sons hunting together. i want that real bad, but i also do not want to force it on my son. for a three year old he is pretty smart. he actually brought the subject up to me. i was watching a hunting video one day and he was in the room playing with his matchbox cars. a little later that day, when i did not have the video on he asked me "daddy can i get one of those things", he was motioning like shooting a bow. i asked him if it was from what i was watching and he said yes. i was so thrilled. i am gradually explaining what hunting actually entails and he still loves it. we go to turkey swamp park just about everyday and drive through looking for deer. he gets so excited when he sees them. even when i am not home he asks my wife to put on hunting videos for him, (drury outdoors are his favorite), he calls them the guys with the glasses.

anyway, i know this was long, but like i said i read and hear about other guys who have grown up hunting with their fathers and i never experienced that. how did you guys introduce your kids to hunting where it stuck with them.

thanks for listening.

mike
 

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You cant force a child to like hunting or fishing. but in your case as many of us have seen, your child shows great interest in it. make him part of it and enjoy your time together. the only thing i did was not make a kill with my child untill he was about 9 years old. i found it was easier to explain and he understood what hunting was all about. again thats what i did and it worked for me. good luck


Frank:)
 

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I was 6 or 7 when my brother took me along on a few deer hunts and let me tag along on some small game hunts.
 

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All 3 of my boys have been with me in the woods or on the water since they could walk. They all still get up at 4:30am to fish or hunt with me and constantly beg to go.

Remember, kids have a short attention span. Start them off slow, only an hour or two in the beginining and keep it exciting for them. Take them to places they will see game or catch lots of fish. Ground blinds are great because kids figit constantly. The best times in my life have been in double treestands with my boys. Let them explore the gutpiles. Anatomy 101.
 

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IMO age isn't as important as making sure the hunting experience is one a youngster is able to enjoy. For example, I think it would be great to have your 4 year old walk in the field with you and your dog pheasant hunting. He might enjoy the action of the dog, the surroundings, and the exitement of a flushing pheasant. Also, when he gets tired you can sit down, or go back to the truck for a snack and to warm up from the chill - or you can just go home. That makes it pleasant for HIM.

On the other hand, if you were to sit in a blind for eight hours duck hunting and he was cold and there was little action - he might never want to go hunting again.

So whatever you do, take your kid's age into consideration when you're taking a him/her hunting and make sure that the hunt is one that is age appropriate and will keep him interested in going hunting again.

Ant
 

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Luknikk bought our 4 year old a small toy bow with the suction cups on the arrows to practice with and that suited him fine until all those cheap arrows broke. LOL Then he wanted real ones. Dad gave him ONE. With that one he was taught the basics on target practice, knowing what "watching down range" meant, and to NEVER get to use the arrow when dad isn't with him.

Luknikk has also takening him out for a couple of posts. I think they were both afternoon posts (never an all day), one for turkey and one for deer. That was good enough for Luke. LOL after about 45 minutes/hour it was hard for him to stay quiet, he was then bored, and always needed to go to the bathroom by then. He still asks to go. Helps pre-season preping areas, cultivating food plots, and just general hanging out in the woods with dad.

Well that's our experience with taking a 4 year old out. He'll be 5 the day after "Santa" comes and I think he may start trying to use a very small compound bow this next year, it's in the closet, we'll have to see how well it fits him.

Oh yeah, Nightstalker911 got a great picture of him at the newjerseyhunter.com picnic shooting at the 3D range, just like the big boys!
 

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my son is just turned 6 and will be goin soon as long as we get a nice day pheasant hunting dont want him to freeze and have second toughts about it
 

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Four years old is a great age to get him out in the woods and to teach him how to be safe, quiet and what to look for when hunting deer, BUT...

I don't think that I have to tell you this, but just remember that the attention span of a four year old is very short, especially when having to sit still for any length of time - Odds are that you, yourself, will not really get in much "actual" hunting time...But, that is the price to pay for introducing the lil' guy to hunting and spending some really memorable times with your son.

I say go for it, and invest your time now, and you you will have a well versed and safe hunting partner in 6 years!!!!

To me, it is time well spent!!!! [up][up][up]
 

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My brother took me on a bow hunt when I was about 6 y.o. It was freezing cold.

Every year he'd take me on a different hunt. Those early trips were so cold I asked him why we couldn't do this in the summer.
 

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my son is now 7, when he was 6 i started taking him out, just short scouting trips in the afternoons and he loved it. I've always asked him if he wanted to go or stay home, almost always he wanted to go, my wife would suit him up and I would get an hour or so before he wanted to go home. I would also have to find him a walking stick so he could defend himself from any bushes that got in his way. My other son is almost 4 and he wants to go also but I dont know if I can keep him quiet, he talks non-stop. I say if he wants to go let him, just ease him into it so he doesnt get overwhelmed, short trips, and see what happens.
 

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I don't have kids, But I think if any child wants to go out with you...Take them out.... You can set-up stands in the spring for viewing deer with the kids, so come deer season they wont be moving around so much...Or get a pop-up blind this will cover any movement they do.
 

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Don't forget plenty of snacks, something to drink, a toy gun or bow, and the Game Boy (remember to put it on mute!!!!):D:D:D;)[up]
 

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Woj still brings his Game Boy to keep him occupied, and he's 36+ years old!!!!
Well i never had a game boy, i'm not a gamer, i do have a PocketPC i can bring. And i'm 38!!!:D

:p
 

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Woj - Then I'm not gonna ask what you were doing with your hands the other day in my treestand - That's just NOT RIGHT, man!!![smirk]:p:D

...and, I thought it was a Game Boy that you were playing with the whole 3+ hours!!![confused]:D:D:D


njbowcop -

Sorry to "dirty up" a really good, sincere thread, but you have to take shots at Woj anywhere you can!!!;)

All kidding aside, get the little guy out there as soon as you can!!!

The ground blind idea that mystic mentions is a a good idea & a safe one, as trying to climb into a buddy stand is awkward when you're wearing heavier winter hunting gear while trying to assure that your son gets up the ladder ok. Save the buddy stand for pre-season and early bow season when he's a few years older.
 

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Our youngest started this spring at age 8. Our oldest started when he was 11. Bring him along slowly. Take him for walks in the woods showing him the different foliage and trees. Show him some birds nest and tracks. Teach him some woodsmanship. The biggest problem with taking a little one into the woods now is keeping him/her warm. I've cut short several trips because our youngest got cold. Spring turkey is a good oppurtunity to do some "real hunting". Field and Stream has a great article this month to fill in the gaps that may come in your instinctual education.
 

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The past couple of years, I would bring my younger son out hunting with me. My older son is not interested in it. This year HE decided to take the test and he past. On thanksgiving morning we went out to black river to pheasent hunt. We were there for about 2.5 hrs and got nothing. He got bored so we went home. It was one of the best times I had. I couldn't care less if I got something. Just being out there with him was the best. Next week he is going up to camp with me. Mom gave him two days off from school. Can't what.
Dave
 
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