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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 07/22/2004
Posts: 26
what age is too young?

My step-son is 7, turning 8 in December. He's been listening to me talk about hunting for the last six months. He has asked me if he can go with me this year. I said sure, but mom and his father turned the idea down. They said he was too young to go. I wasn't talking about the Elk hunt, high in the mountains. I was thinking of going in the foothills of the range that is behind our house for deer. His father is already angry with me for talking him fishing before he was able to, its pretty much his reasoning behind saying know now. I started fishing when I was 4 or 5, the kid wanted to go, I'm an avid fisherman, so I took him and his brothers with me.
For those guys/gals who have young kids, or for those who don't for that matter. What is too young? When did y'all take your kids hunting for the first time, not to shoot, but just to go. I think my wife needs to see what others have to say......

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
what age is too young?

I first went pheasant hunting with my dad and grandfather when I was only about 4-5. I didn't carry a gun at that time. When my dad felt I was mature enough--as I recall, about 8 or 9--I started carrying a single-shot .410 on those hunting trips.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
what age is too young?

I started fishing around 4 or 5. I started tagging along on big game hunts shortly there after. As long as you take precautions and realize (which I'm sure you do) that a child can't do as much and can't take quite as harsh weather there isn't anything wrong with it at all.

cowgal's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
what age is too young?

Our kids started very young as well. Fishing was as young as 3-4, as soon as they were interested in holding a rod. For hunting they were a bit older when they joined us, maybe 8 or so. The days were long & sometimes cold with lots of hiking, so they weren't as interested in that part when they were younger. As they got older one of our sons even got into bowhunting (my husband bowhunted for many years). The weather was usually better during bow season as well.

I would say a lot depends on the child, if they're interested and want to go, let them. If their attention span is short, you may need to explain how this is an all day deal and how important patience is in hunting.

Good luck! I think its great that you're willing to take the time to teach your kids how to hunt. We also enrolled our kids in hunter's safety classes, they had to complete those classes before they were allowed to handle a gun.

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 07/22/2004
Posts: 26
what age is too young?

My step-son keeps asking if he can go with me almost every week. So I know that he has an interest in going. I just can't convince his mother or father. Like I said, I just thought about taking him on the deer hunt practically in the back yard. Mostly close to the road kind of hunt. In the mornings and then back out in the evenings.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
what age is too young?

Were you planning on him getting a license, carrying a gun, and attempting to kill a deer? Perhaps that's the "problem" for his mother and father. If you were to suggest that he could come with you strictly as an observer they might be more inclined to go along.

Of course, it may just be that they think he will somehow be traumatized by seeing a deer killed. This, of course, is ridiculous, but you aren't going to convince them by putting it that way. Instead you might point out the thousands upon thousands of kids who have grown up on farms and ranches over the years, seeing animals killed for dinner since their very youngest years. These kids don't end up traumatized and one could even argue that they have a better understanding of just where the meatloaf on their plate comes from than most.

The other possibility, of course, at least with the boy's father, is that he may subconsciously (or even consciously, who knows?) not want the boy to bond with you in the way that he likely would if you were to take him hunting. His position, in other words, might be purely selfish and have nothing to do with the interests of the boy. If you get a sense of this it might be worthwhile talking to your wife about it.

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 07/22/2004
Posts: 26
what age is too young?

No, as a father I was not going to let him carry a gun and I did tell this to his biologicals. It is strictly a tag along hunt. He will not be allowed to handle a gun until he can read and comprehend the hunter safety cours they have here in Utah.
As for the rural communities and "ranch" grown kids, I totally agree. Looking at how many shooting accidents happen out in the country compared to the accidents in the big city. Ive learned, from just being a kid, that if you hide it-they WILL find it, every parent knows this at christmas time. I have a couple of videos of big game hunts and another on how to field dress, cape, and butcher an Elk. I have spoken to my wife about having him watch a couple of the hunts with me on t.v. At least it would be in a controlled enviroment, I already thought it would be bad if we were out in the hills and he panics after a shot and I have to explain to my wife that I lost her son. Not a good thing.
But I believe your right about his father. His father does have experience hunting. I think he hunted through out his life going up. He just doesn't hunt now. Nor has he offered to take his kids. I didn't ask my step-son, he asked me. He wants to watch the videos, mom says no. I try to tell her its no different from the video games the kids play. But it doesn't matter

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
what age is too young?

Sometimes people are just afraid of the unknown. Have you taken your wife hunting yet? Has she gone before and know what's really involved? The first step to being able to take your son might be taking your wife at least once just so she knows what's involved.

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Joined: 09/23/2004
Posts: 137
what age is too young?

Well my advice would be to leave it alone. They are his "biological" parents, its their call. In a few years the boy will be old enough to pressure them himself. You on the other hand are walking directly into a mine field my friend with a blind fold on. HANDLE WITH CARE

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
what age is too young?

I agree with Shatodavis, I'd just leave it alone for now. Give it a few years, cudos to you for wanting to get a kid started though.

Offline
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 07/22/2004
Posts: 26
what age is too young?

Hey bitmasher and shatodavis, how old were the two of you when you started hunting. I don't mean carrying a gun, I mean just going.

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