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June 22, 2009

On the Right Track

By Scott Bestul

Hunters who parent young kids (and I am one) are always seeking ways to get their offspring interested in the outdoors. It is an interesting tight-rope to walk: You want to provide opportunity and encouragement, but not push or force-feed it to them. Some kids are seemingly born with a coonskin cap on their heads (and the accompanying instincts and drive that make a great hunter), others, well…they need smaller, well-spaced doses. It is our responsibility to be sensitive enough to know when our kids are ripe for such experiences, and when they just need to play with a ball in the yard.

One way to get kids interested in hunting is to take them on a blood trail. I have a friend who makes every recovery of a bow-shot whitetail a family event. Even when he sees the deer go down he leaves it in the woods, drives home to assemble the family, and everyone participates in finding the deer. This has all necessary elements of a cool outdoor experience; camaraderie, mystery, observation, recovery, and respect. Jeff starts his kids on blood trails at a very young age, and they have all developed into fine hunters.

Click here to check out a great video that shows such an experience (though not filmed by my friend). If you watch it until the end, I promise you'll laugh uncontrolably. This young lad gets to see it all…and the clip highlights the beauty of sharing the outdoors with a son or daughter. Enjoy!

Comments (14)

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All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That is hilarious. How fitting for fathers day to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from danrwoods wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My 3 year-old daughter is one of those naturals for the outdoors. I started in the great sport of hunting pretty much around the time she was born. She has a lot of extended family influence as well. Just last night my daughter and I were watching "The Crush" with Lee and Tiffany and she was helping Tiffany call in a huge buck. She would get mad at her mom when mommy was trying to talk to me while the deer were on TV. She is my little scouting partner. I can't wait till I can actually take her out into the woods and, "Pass It On".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Matt does have a lot more practice coming his way.

He was so fixated on the details/blood he couldn't see the deer for the blood.

I got a kick out of his dad laughing while they tracked the deer.

I would've liked to have known the significance of the background music, almost reminiscent of "The Pink Panther"!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

We did some survival training last fall up in the mountains, kids loved that. Started a fire, used a compass, etc. This spring I took them out to a stocked reservoir (not much more than a pond behind a dam) and they caught stocker trout all day. Not technical fishing by any means but a great introduction all the same.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

HILARIOUS IS AN UNDERSTATMENT ! ! !
Loved the vidio !

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Great Video! Made me laugh real hard.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My 4 year old little princess made it crystal clear to me she wanted the new 10/22 laminate stainless ruger with pink stock, and knowing i give her almost anything she specifically asks for im getting it for her be4 they go out of stock..

But if any of u guys feel like laughing when i show up on the shooting range with it, remember im carrying a GUN!!!!!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjismokin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I watched this movie first by myself, then I had to get the wife, and then we all watched it with our two boys. I couldnt help but think of how its going to be hunting and fishing with my boys! This was funny as much as it was heart warming!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My daughter is coming along. She loves animals and has always been very outdoorsy. She always enjoyed fishing with me more than my boys. I've always feared that she would cross over into the loves animals too much to kill them class but I'm starting think she'll be fine. When she was very small she always enjoyed looking at the deer I'd bring home but as she got a little older she started fussing at me a little when I'd shoot a doe but that has changed over the last two years. Last year when I shot my biggest deer ever she climbed in the back of the truck and was all over it. She didn't mind the blood or anything. A few days ago I was watching show and Terry Drury was hunting with his daughter. I watched as the buck she wanted walked out then went into some brush then came back out and she shot it. I immediately hit rewind (one more reason I love DVR) and called my daughter downstairs. She rolled her eyes at first then she realized that was a little girl hunting. She watched the whole thing and thought it was cool. Then she asked if that little girl had a hunting license. I told her I wasn't sure but that she could go with me until she was 16 without a license and her eyes lit up. I asked her if she would be upset if I shot a deer while she was with me and she said "not as long as it wasn't a baby or a doe with a baby". I plan to take her on as many afternoon hunts as she'll go on this season. I can't wait!! My oldest son (18) never wanted to go and my youngest son (15) went a few times when he was 7 or 8 and he just didn't like it. He got bored or cold or just couldn't sit still. I think I waited long enough with my daughter (12) so that she won't get bored, won't get upset and can sit quietly for a few hours. I still tell both my sons they can come anytime they want. My oldest still has no interest in hunting. He likes to shoot targets but doesn't want to kill anything. I have to respect that or I'll ruin ever being able to change his mind. My youngest son has mentioned it a few times but always finds himself busy with something else when the time comes. Maybe when he gets older he'll make time.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

my boy is 5 and his grandfather got him a youth muzzle loader. HE has a 22 chipmunk (crickett I guess now) and knows how to shoot with the peep sghits, and due to his size he has to use a rest, which is the point of starting them that young, he'll know forever to use a rest. Well the other day he got shoot his muzzleloader, and he thought it was AMAZING, at dusk, plenty of smoke and a little fire- lots of fun, wish I could have been there. LAter when I asked him about it he said how cool it was, BUT- he couldn't decide if it was too loud!. He has ear pro, and has to use it of course, but that is a lot going on and I can see how it would seem LOUD. SO that's on hold until he asks for it again, like every thing else, let them go at thier pace. He loves scouting, becuase that's just walking around in the woods with dad, looking at sign, and squirrels and eating blackberries and winter grapes (at my parents in GA) He likes shooting pie plates from a 2 man ladder stand too, but he doesn't want to sit up there for 4 hours though. MAke it a fun game, and they'll beg for more.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think that children should be takin on more low pressure hunts (birds, rabbits, squirrels) to get them used to killing. I will agree that some are just born to hunt, but others can find deer hunting boring due to the fact that so much effort is put forth for sometimes no success. Before you stick a kid in a treestand for 5 hours, let them see how fun hunting is with small game. If your lucky (which i have been) you may even see deer while hunting for small game, which really makes them excited!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

What a great video! I laughed and smiled till my face cramped.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I agree that taking a kid on a small game hunt is a great way to start their enthusiasm towards hunting. I take my oldest boy, who is four, out grouse and pheasant hunting. He loves it. He has a little trouble keeping up but it is worth the extra waiting time when he gets to pick up the kill. Last fall after I shot both my deer my son wanted to go hunting for deer. So we suited up and he grabbed his toy rifle and we headed outside one evening. We stalked up on a couple of does and he aimed his gun and yelled bang bang. Then we went home and he told everyone about it for days. Can't wait till he is old enough to carry a real rifle and hunt his first season. My youngest boy just turned 2 and loves to look at all wildlife.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Love all the hunters loving kids in the field. Our way of life is in good hands if this continues and I see no reason for it not to continue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My 4 year old little princess made it crystal clear to me she wanted the new 10/22 laminate stainless ruger with pink stock, and knowing i give her almost anything she specifically asks for im getting it for her be4 they go out of stock..

But if any of u guys feel like laughing when i show up on the shooting range with it, remember im carrying a GUN!!!!!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That is hilarious. How fitting for fathers day to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from danrwoods wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My 3 year-old daughter is one of those naturals for the outdoors. I started in the great sport of hunting pretty much around the time she was born. She has a lot of extended family influence as well. Just last night my daughter and I were watching "The Crush" with Lee and Tiffany and she was helping Tiffany call in a huge buck. She would get mad at her mom when mommy was trying to talk to me while the deer were on TV. She is my little scouting partner. I can't wait till I can actually take her out into the woods and, "Pass It On".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Matt does have a lot more practice coming his way.

He was so fixated on the details/blood he couldn't see the deer for the blood.

I got a kick out of his dad laughing while they tracked the deer.

I would've liked to have known the significance of the background music, almost reminiscent of "The Pink Panther"!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

We did some survival training last fall up in the mountains, kids loved that. Started a fire, used a compass, etc. This spring I took them out to a stocked reservoir (not much more than a pond behind a dam) and they caught stocker trout all day. Not technical fishing by any means but a great introduction all the same.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

HILARIOUS IS AN UNDERSTATMENT ! ! !
Loved the vidio !

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Great Video! Made me laugh real hard.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjismokin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I watched this movie first by myself, then I had to get the wife, and then we all watched it with our two boys. I couldnt help but think of how its going to be hunting and fishing with my boys! This was funny as much as it was heart warming!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My daughter is coming along. She loves animals and has always been very outdoorsy. She always enjoyed fishing with me more than my boys. I've always feared that she would cross over into the loves animals too much to kill them class but I'm starting think she'll be fine. When she was very small she always enjoyed looking at the deer I'd bring home but as she got a little older she started fussing at me a little when I'd shoot a doe but that has changed over the last two years. Last year when I shot my biggest deer ever she climbed in the back of the truck and was all over it. She didn't mind the blood or anything. A few days ago I was watching show and Terry Drury was hunting with his daughter. I watched as the buck she wanted walked out then went into some brush then came back out and she shot it. I immediately hit rewind (one more reason I love DVR) and called my daughter downstairs. She rolled her eyes at first then she realized that was a little girl hunting. She watched the whole thing and thought it was cool. Then she asked if that little girl had a hunting license. I told her I wasn't sure but that she could go with me until she was 16 without a license and her eyes lit up. I asked her if she would be upset if I shot a deer while she was with me and she said "not as long as it wasn't a baby or a doe with a baby". I plan to take her on as many afternoon hunts as she'll go on this season. I can't wait!! My oldest son (18) never wanted to go and my youngest son (15) went a few times when he was 7 or 8 and he just didn't like it. He got bored or cold or just couldn't sit still. I think I waited long enough with my daughter (12) so that she won't get bored, won't get upset and can sit quietly for a few hours. I still tell both my sons they can come anytime they want. My oldest still has no interest in hunting. He likes to shoot targets but doesn't want to kill anything. I have to respect that or I'll ruin ever being able to change his mind. My youngest son has mentioned it a few times but always finds himself busy with something else when the time comes. Maybe when he gets older he'll make time.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

my boy is 5 and his grandfather got him a youth muzzle loader. HE has a 22 chipmunk (crickett I guess now) and knows how to shoot with the peep sghits, and due to his size he has to use a rest, which is the point of starting them that young, he'll know forever to use a rest. Well the other day he got shoot his muzzleloader, and he thought it was AMAZING, at dusk, plenty of smoke and a little fire- lots of fun, wish I could have been there. LAter when I asked him about it he said how cool it was, BUT- he couldn't decide if it was too loud!. He has ear pro, and has to use it of course, but that is a lot going on and I can see how it would seem LOUD. SO that's on hold until he asks for it again, like every thing else, let them go at thier pace. He loves scouting, becuase that's just walking around in the woods with dad, looking at sign, and squirrels and eating blackberries and winter grapes (at my parents in GA) He likes shooting pie plates from a 2 man ladder stand too, but he doesn't want to sit up there for 4 hours though. MAke it a fun game, and they'll beg for more.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think that children should be takin on more low pressure hunts (birds, rabbits, squirrels) to get them used to killing. I will agree that some are just born to hunt, but others can find deer hunting boring due to the fact that so much effort is put forth for sometimes no success. Before you stick a kid in a treestand for 5 hours, let them see how fun hunting is with small game. If your lucky (which i have been) you may even see deer while hunting for small game, which really makes them excited!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

What a great video! I laughed and smiled till my face cramped.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I agree that taking a kid on a small game hunt is a great way to start their enthusiasm towards hunting. I take my oldest boy, who is four, out grouse and pheasant hunting. He loves it. He has a little trouble keeping up but it is worth the extra waiting time when he gets to pick up the kill. Last fall after I shot both my deer my son wanted to go hunting for deer. So we suited up and he grabbed his toy rifle and we headed outside one evening. We stalked up on a couple of does and he aimed his gun and yelled bang bang. Then we went home and he told everyone about it for days. Can't wait till he is old enough to carry a real rifle and hunt his first season. My youngest boy just turned 2 and loves to look at all wildlife.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Love all the hunters loving kids in the field. Our way of life is in good hands if this continues and I see no reason for it not to continue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment