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Campfire

At what age should you take your child hunting?

Uploaded on April 06, 2012

At what age should you take your child hunting? I grew up in Maryland where there is a legal age of 12. Now my father was not one to pay attention to such rediculous legislation and so I was tagging along with him on rabbit hunts and pheasant hunts since I was big enough to keep up, Red Ryder in hand. Now that I have recently became a father, I plan to instill the same hunting tradition and values in my son as early as possible before video games have a chance to warp his mind. All this assuming he wants to go of course. So what do you guys think? How young were your kids?

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from rock rat wrote 2 years 1 week ago

When my daughter was 4 and my boy was 7 a buddy invited them to come along while we got a gimme elk and doe. My bud had them hold the legs on the uphill side while another friend field dressed the thing. They were amazed and not grossed out over the huge gut sack. Now they are both raring to go. I'll never forget that day.

When they can pass the hunter safety course they can shoot small game, and I'll take them out then.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Coming from me you will probably expect this answer. My Father instilled in me and I dedicated my life to trying to educate people to follow the game laws and issuing ccitations to those who didn't. That is part of being an ethical hunter. Whether you think it is ridiculous or not it is still the law and should be obeyed. You can bring your son next door to WV and we will let him hunt after he buys a license reguardless of his age as long as he is with a licensed adult legally. I agree with you wanting to get him in the woods as soon as possible, that is one reason we in WV don't put a minimum age on young people to hunt.

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from Pray- hunt-work wrote 2 years 1 week ago

In Maine the legal hunting age is 10, I started sitting with my father when I was 6 and I longed for the day that I could carry a gun! One hunting morning at the age of 9 I carried my BB gun out the door with me and my father didn't object. Was this illegal? Maybe. But was it a huge hurdle for my masculine pride? Definitely!!! However, when we reached Steves (our family friends) property, Steve informed me that I couldnt carry my BB gun that day. Instead he lead me inside and equipped me with a .243. I had shot this gun 100 times, but was still too young to carry. I was on cloud nine!!!!! I understand the legal ramifications, and I almost don't condone what my mentors allowed me to do. However, it was all done with good intention, with genuine hearts, and they always instilled in me safe and sportsmanlike conservation and hunting practices. So it's up to you, dont break the law, but if safety is no issue with your child mindset than take him immediately!!

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from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

A BB gun, especially the old Red Ryders, were hardly powerful enough to be considered hunting. I learned so much about the proper handling of a gun in the field, safety, field of fire, etc. that when it came time to take the test, it was like second nature to me. Many of our laws do not make much sense, and I do not agree with this one because it takes the decision out of the parents hands where it belongs. But yes, the law is the law, and they should still be obeyed. This is why I took my hunter's safety course when I was 12 and purchased a junior license to hunt deer for the first time.

Come to think of it, was a BB gun even considered a firearm more than 20 years ago? Help me out Sargeo1. Is a weapon that uses air propulsion technically a firearm? Today's air guns are advertised for hunting so I would imagine that given their current power they are.
Thanks guys for your help!

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from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Incidentally my proposal for a new hunting age law that could be applicable nationwide is that any person under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult who has completed a hunter's safety course and purchased a valid hunting license. Over 16, you pass the safety course, buy a license, your on your own. This way the parent determines if/when the child is ready and assumes all responsibility for the child while hunting. The beauty is in its simplicity.

I just watched the Primos Truth 22 turkey video and a 4 yr old kills a turkey with a 20 ga shotgun!

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

DEER30,
I misread your post and didn't see that your "weapon" was a Red Ryder. 20 years ago here in WV it wouldn't have been considered a firearm. The way you worded it as "your Father was not one to pay attention to the law" I thought you ment something else. Todays air rifles are another story. Here they are considered firearms. People even kill wild hogs with them. In WV a resident kid can buy a license at 15 and after passing a hunter safety course hunt by himself. Non-residents need a license to hunt reguardless of their age and they have to have a hunter safety course also. I teach hunter safety classes and the youngest is 8 years old for a temporary hunter safety card. Then before they are 12 they have to come back through the course again and get a pernament card. I misquoted you info earlier, your kid will have to be 8 years old and pass a hunter safety course. I have had Md. and Pa. 8 year old residents in my class to get the temporary card so they could hunt here in WV.

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from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that my father was not going to wait until I was 12 to take me along, but the Red Ryder BB gun was all I could carry.
That's amazing that you can hunt wild hogs with an air gun! I never realized that.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 1 week ago

it's not a bad idea to take a kid along with you even if they can't hunt, just so they can watch and experience it with you.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Hunting age depends on child maturity, interest, and State regulations. I would also like to say another element is proper parent or guardian training and supervision without which everything goes out the window.
For example, I have a nine year old granddaughter who could hunt alone, also have a thirteen year old grandson I would have misgivings about.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 1 week ago

agreed, happy. it's not a good start to teach a 10 year old how to spotlight deer.

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from shazam wrote 2 years 1 week ago

We go out as a family. Me, my wife, our two year old and four year old sons.
We walk the back roads looking for grouse and small game with a "chariot" style stroller so the kids can sag into it.
If we can get a grouse or maybe catch a fish at one of the streams, then we make a little fire and have a picnic of it.

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from Greg Cook wrote 2 years 3 days ago

I say as soon as you can put up with them :-) They will get bored pretty quick when they are young.
Define hunting... To a child scouting in camo is hunting. Take a video camera along and have a great day with your kids. I recently took my 5 year old shed hunting. To him it was hunting. He even got to see 4 deer. I taught him to grunt and make them stop walking. He now thinks he has the ability to talk to deer. He was looking for runs and tracks and learning to pick a good spot to sit etc.

I hope you find this post useful.
you can check out my blog at www.blogspot.com/booneroutfitters or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/booneroutfitters

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from Buckmaster909 wrote 2 years 3 days ago

IN Mo. you can buy half price (resident or non resident) at age 6 and hunt alone at age 11, if you are hunter ed certified.

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from chevyhunter wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I think you should get them in the woods as soon as you can. My sun turned 2 in march and he loves going out in the woods with me to check the trail cams and look at tracks. I think I'll let him sit in the ground blind with me this year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

chevyhunter,
I agree, I tagged along with my Dad when I was probably 4 or 5 and then the magic moment came when I was 12 one morning and he let me shoot a squirrel. From that time on till I was 14, we only had one gun so we took turns shooting squirrels. The difference then and now was that parents were parents and took time, patience and pride in raising their kids, an art that is lost by a lot of adults these days because they are too busy. My advice to parents , your kids are better off in the woods and not on the streets.

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from therifleman wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

My son is 2, and we go rabbit hunting together. No, he does not shoot yet.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Take them along anytime to instill their heritage. I think they should be hunter safty age and passed before they hunt. Rules coming from a hunter safty instructer or a wildlife officer leaves a lasting impression on young hunters. There are no ifs, ands or buts! Start them shooting targets or clays as early as you think your child is ready.This will give them a head start for a hunter safty course.

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from steve182 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I have taken my 6 year old for a couple years now in a ground blind during archery. I'm not sure if he's ready yet to watch a kill shot which has not presented while he's been there.

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from steve182 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I have taken my 6 year old for a couple years now in a ground blind during archery. I'm not sure if he's ready yet to watch a kill shot which has not presented while he's been there.

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from WI Hunter 33 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

im just a kid myself and my dad never taught me to hunt..but from a young age i was shooting sparrows out of the backyard with a pump bb gun. Now after learning with my dad i have bagged 4 deer, many squirrel and begining to go coyote hunting. Get them out as early as you can..I would have loved to had someone to take me hunting when i was young.

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from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

my dad used to let me try and shoot pigeons out of the elevator in the barn with his bb gun when i was in 1st grade, of course i never hit any of them.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Hunting age depends on child maturity, interest, and State regulations. I would also like to say another element is proper parent or guardian training and supervision without which everything goes out the window.
For example, I have a nine year old granddaughter who could hunt alone, also have a thirteen year old grandson I would have misgivings about.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chevyhunter wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I think you should get them in the woods as soon as you can. My sun turned 2 in march and he loves going out in the woods with me to check the trail cams and look at tracks. I think I'll let him sit in the ground blind with me this year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WI Hunter 33 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

im just a kid myself and my dad never taught me to hunt..but from a young age i was shooting sparrows out of the backyard with a pump bb gun. Now after learning with my dad i have bagged 4 deer, many squirrel and begining to go coyote hunting. Get them out as early as you can..I would have loved to had someone to take me hunting when i was young.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 1 week ago

When my daughter was 4 and my boy was 7 a buddy invited them to come along while we got a gimme elk and doe. My bud had them hold the legs on the uphill side while another friend field dressed the thing. They were amazed and not grossed out over the huge gut sack. Now they are both raring to go. I'll never forget that day.

When they can pass the hunter safety course they can shoot small game, and I'll take them out then.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Coming from me you will probably expect this answer. My Father instilled in me and I dedicated my life to trying to educate people to follow the game laws and issuing ccitations to those who didn't. That is part of being an ethical hunter. Whether you think it is ridiculous or not it is still the law and should be obeyed. You can bring your son next door to WV and we will let him hunt after he buys a license reguardless of his age as long as he is with a licensed adult legally. I agree with you wanting to get him in the woods as soon as possible, that is one reason we in WV don't put a minimum age on young people to hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pray- hunt-work wrote 2 years 1 week ago

In Maine the legal hunting age is 10, I started sitting with my father when I was 6 and I longed for the day that I could carry a gun! One hunting morning at the age of 9 I carried my BB gun out the door with me and my father didn't object. Was this illegal? Maybe. But was it a huge hurdle for my masculine pride? Definitely!!! However, when we reached Steves (our family friends) property, Steve informed me that I couldnt carry my BB gun that day. Instead he lead me inside and equipped me with a .243. I had shot this gun 100 times, but was still too young to carry. I was on cloud nine!!!!! I understand the legal ramifications, and I almost don't condone what my mentors allowed me to do. However, it was all done with good intention, with genuine hearts, and they always instilled in me safe and sportsmanlike conservation and hunting practices. So it's up to you, dont break the law, but if safety is no issue with your child mindset than take him immediately!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

A BB gun, especially the old Red Ryders, were hardly powerful enough to be considered hunting. I learned so much about the proper handling of a gun in the field, safety, field of fire, etc. that when it came time to take the test, it was like second nature to me. Many of our laws do not make much sense, and I do not agree with this one because it takes the decision out of the parents hands where it belongs. But yes, the law is the law, and they should still be obeyed. This is why I took my hunter's safety course when I was 12 and purchased a junior license to hunt deer for the first time.

Come to think of it, was a BB gun even considered a firearm more than 20 years ago? Help me out Sargeo1. Is a weapon that uses air propulsion technically a firearm? Today's air guns are advertised for hunting so I would imagine that given their current power they are.
Thanks guys for your help!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Incidentally my proposal for a new hunting age law that could be applicable nationwide is that any person under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult who has completed a hunter's safety course and purchased a valid hunting license. Over 16, you pass the safety course, buy a license, your on your own. This way the parent determines if/when the child is ready and assumes all responsibility for the child while hunting. The beauty is in its simplicity.

I just watched the Primos Truth 22 turkey video and a 4 yr old kills a turkey with a 20 ga shotgun!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

DEER30,
I misread your post and didn't see that your "weapon" was a Red Ryder. 20 years ago here in WV it wouldn't have been considered a firearm. The way you worded it as "your Father was not one to pay attention to the law" I thought you ment something else. Todays air rifles are another story. Here they are considered firearms. People even kill wild hogs with them. In WV a resident kid can buy a license at 15 and after passing a hunter safety course hunt by himself. Non-residents need a license to hunt reguardless of their age and they have to have a hunter safety course also. I teach hunter safety classes and the youngest is 8 years old for a temporary hunter safety card. Then before they are 12 they have to come back through the course again and get a pernament card. I misquoted you info earlier, your kid will have to be 8 years old and pass a hunter safety course. I have had Md. and Pa. 8 year old residents in my class to get the temporary card so they could hunt here in WV.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DEER30 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that my father was not going to wait until I was 12 to take me along, but the Red Ryder BB gun was all I could carry.
That's amazing that you can hunt wild hogs with an air gun! I never realized that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 1 week ago

it's not a bad idea to take a kid along with you even if they can't hunt, just so they can watch and experience it with you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 1 week ago

agreed, happy. it's not a good start to teach a 10 year old how to spotlight deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shazam wrote 2 years 1 week ago

We go out as a family. Me, my wife, our two year old and four year old sons.
We walk the back roads looking for grouse and small game with a "chariot" style stroller so the kids can sag into it.
If we can get a grouse or maybe catch a fish at one of the streams, then we make a little fire and have a picnic of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Cook wrote 2 years 3 days ago

I say as soon as you can put up with them :-) They will get bored pretty quick when they are young.
Define hunting... To a child scouting in camo is hunting. Take a video camera along and have a great day with your kids. I recently took my 5 year old shed hunting. To him it was hunting. He even got to see 4 deer. I taught him to grunt and make them stop walking. He now thinks he has the ability to talk to deer. He was looking for runs and tracks and learning to pick a good spot to sit etc.

I hope you find this post useful.
you can check out my blog at www.blogspot.com/booneroutfitters or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/booneroutfitters

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buckmaster909 wrote 2 years 3 days ago

IN Mo. you can buy half price (resident or non resident) at age 6 and hunt alone at age 11, if you are hunter ed certified.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

chevyhunter,
I agree, I tagged along with my Dad when I was probably 4 or 5 and then the magic moment came when I was 12 one morning and he let me shoot a squirrel. From that time on till I was 14, we only had one gun so we took turns shooting squirrels. The difference then and now was that parents were parents and took time, patience and pride in raising their kids, an art that is lost by a lot of adults these days because they are too busy. My advice to parents , your kids are better off in the woods and not on the streets.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from therifleman wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

My son is 2, and we go rabbit hunting together. No, he does not shoot yet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Take them along anytime to instill their heritage. I think they should be hunter safty age and passed before they hunt. Rules coming from a hunter safty instructer or a wildlife officer leaves a lasting impression on young hunters. There are no ifs, ands or buts! Start them shooting targets or clays as early as you think your child is ready.This will give them a head start for a hunter safty course.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I have taken my 6 year old for a couple years now in a ground blind during archery. I'm not sure if he's ready yet to watch a kill shot which has not presented while he's been there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I have taken my 6 year old for a couple years now in a ground blind during archery. I'm not sure if he's ready yet to watch a kill shot which has not presented while he's been there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

my dad used to let me try and shoot pigeons out of the elevator in the barn with his bb gun when i was in 1st grade, of course i never hit any of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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