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Thread: When Can I Take My Grandson Hunting?

  1. #1
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    When Can I Take My Grandson Hunting?

    When is a good age to consider taking my grandson deer hunting? He's only a year and a half old now, but I want to start planning for the future hunt.

    It would require a weekend trip 250 miles from home, "roughing it" in a pickup camper, and hunting from an semi-enclosed, heated deer stand. I really don't care if we can only hunt two hours per day, what I think is important is to get him out there as early as possible to build some lasting memories.

    What age do you think we could reasonably look at as the earliest possible?
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  2. #2
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    I would recommend waiting until he's old enough to understand the moral implications of killing things for fun. But then, you probably weren't looking for a vegetarian's take on the question.

    Does it have to be hunting? What's wrong with just camping?

  3. #3
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    My mind is pre-occupied with hunting this time of year. I haven't thought of a camping outing only.

    Besides, something seems missing in that type of experience. Hunting is more than just a day at the beach, IMO. It's a right of passage--something American society has very few such opportunities to present to our youth.

    But in reality a camping trip will probably present itself first. Can we go fishing?
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    But in reality a camping trip will probably present itself first. Can we go fishing?
    I use to go fishing with my grandpa while I was in 2nd grade. (Or closer to the Summer after it) We didn't go too much but we went a few times through out that year and I was 8-9 years old then depending on which parts of the summer we went.
    Of course, I probibly could have gone when I was younger than that but there were not too many chances to do that.
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  5. #5
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    I think I'd wait maybe another year or so to go hunting. It may be hard for someone that age to sit still for very long out in the woods. It might be fun to start introducing him to the woods by just going for a walk and looking for animals...squirrels, turkeys, deer, etc... Fishing would be awesome too. Little kids like to see fish, and a fishing trip may produce more opportunities to see animals.

    You're from Minnesota? That's cool, me too...I completely understand how hunting is a part of life up here. Good luck hunting this year!
    Keep your words soft and sweet, you never know when you'll have to eat them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    When is a good age to consider taking my grandson deer hunting? He's only a year and a half old now, but I want to start planning for the future hunt.

    It would require a weekend trip 250 miles from home, "roughing it" in a pickup camper, and hunting from an semi-enclosed, heated deer stand. I really don't care if we can only hunt two hours per day, what I think is important is to get him out there as early as possible to build some lasting memories.

    What age do you think we could reasonably look at as the earliest possible?
    Many states now have a minimum age for 'big' game hunting. We were taken on hunting trips from about age six, not as participants in the actual hunts but to stay in camp, because we had at that point developed a sense of what could hurt us and the ability to follow parental direction. Small game
    hunting started at age eight (.22), with bird and big game hunting at 12. Ability to handle firearm recoil was also a consideration.

    I was raised in the Western US, during an era where hunting and fishing trips (often the backyard) were as common as TV is to contemporary children. I no longer hunt on public land unless it involves packing in where no motorized vehicles are allowed. There are now large armies of hunters on easily accessible public lands, small cities of camps, RVs and such with noise levels and social activities comparable to any suburban neighborhood.

    Semi-enclosed, heated deer stand? Room service included?
    These are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. ~Groucho Marx~

  7. #7
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    I started tqaking my daughter small gmae hunting before she could walk. We started squirrel hunting with her in one of those baby backpacks (didn't want to hunt anything too big to be killed with a .22 short becuse I didn't want to damage her ears).

    This year she went deer hunting (muzzle loading season) and we had a good time, even the yucky part where we cleaned the deer/.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantos
    I think I'd wait maybe another year or so to go hunting. It may be hard for someone that age to sit still for very long out in the woods. It might be fun to start introducing him to the woods by just going for a walk and looking for animals...squirrels, turkeys, deer, etc... Fishing would be awesome too. Little kids like to see fish, and a fishing trip may produce more opportunities to see animals.

    You're from Minnesota? That's cool, me too...I completely understand how hunting is a part of life up here. Good luck hunting this year!
    Thanks. Minnesota is represented pretty well on this board. We've got jitobear, the bootfitter, prshuster, just off the top of my head. Always nice to see another one.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    Many states now have a minimum age for 'big' game hunting. We were taken on hunting trips from about age six, not as participants in the actual hunts but to stay in camp, because we had at that point developed a sense of what could hurt us and the ability to follow parental direction. Small game
    hunting started at age eight (.22), with bird and big game hunting at 12. Ability to handle firearm recoil was also a consideration.
    Those sound like reasonable ages. I think I'll give him my .243 when he reaches late adolescent-early teen years.

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    I was raised in the Western US, during an era where hunting and fishing trips (often the backyard) were as common as TV is to contemporary children. I no longer hunt on public land unless it involves packing in where no motorized vehicles are allowed. There are now large armies of hunters on easily accessible public lands, small cities of camps, RVs and such with noise levels and social activities comparable to any suburban neighborhood.
    Minnesota has an extended firearms deer season covering at least two weekends. It helps somewhat with congestion, as compared to Wisconsin, which crams it all into one weekend. I believe that played a role in the tragic shooting deaths of six hunters by one trespasser last year.

    I own my own land in northern Minnesota, so I'm lucky in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    Semi-enclosed, heated deer stand? Room service included?
    I don't think Domino's delivers yet, so there's an element of roughing it.

    My grandfather was a hardy Norwegian Lutheran who thought the proper state for mankind was to be as uncomfortable as possible. It brought one nearer to God, I swear was his thinking. He built tree stands with that purpose alone in mind, simply sawing off a spruce top at some unfortunate point of the tree where a limb was poking you in the rear when sitting and jamming your foot when trying to stand.

    I build mine now with plywood, the 4 by 8 base is a comfortable size to allow movement or have an extra person along.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by daewoo
    I started tqaking my daughter small gmae hunting before she could walk. We started squirrel hunting with her in one of those baby backpacks (didn't want to hunt anything too big to be killed with a .22 short becuse I didn't want to damage her ears).

    This year she went deer hunting (muzzle loading season) and we had a good time, even the yucky part where we cleaned the deer/.
    Well congratulations to her and you. How old is she now?
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    Minnesota has an extended firearms deer season covering at least two weekends. It helps somewhat with congestion, as compared to Wisconsin, which crams it all into one weekend. I believe that played a role in the tragic shooting deaths of six hunters by one trespasser last year.

    I own my own land in northern Minnesota, so I'm lucky in that regard.
    In general, we have a one-month archery/muzzleloader deer season, followed by a one-month firearms deer season. The firearms deer season is concurrent with elk firearms season, followed by a one-month elk bow/muzzleloader season. While congestion at popular public areas where deer are hunted is a problem every weekend, elk aren't all that geographically accessible (the first shot creates a mass migration of elk off public lands) and are a lot smarter.

    It sounds like your wife doesn't feed and name the deer on your property as mine does.
    These are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. ~Groucho Marx~

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    Well congratulations to her and you. How old is she now?
    She is 3. The biggest trick is getting her to sit still and not fidget or talk at inappropriate times. The first deer we saw that we could have taken she spooked by saying "Theres one!!"

    Luckily, we are in kansas, where th deer are so thick on the ground that the running joke is "the trick is to fire a gun and NOT hit one". Many people have abandoned tree stands is favor of lawn chairs (personally I have never liked tree stands anyway, I much prefer moving slowly and quietly through the woods). So, it wasn't too long before we saw another one, and the second time her excitement did not get the better of her.

    I love to take her hunting and fishing. She is very much the little girl and mostly likes to play "house" and "tea party" and play with dolls. I am not at all interested in those things, and not a good play mate for such activities. She has reached that age where she realizes there is a difference between daddy and mommy, and she is more like mommy. The hunting and fishing trips we go on give us a good chance to spend some time together doing daddy daughter type stuff. The gift she was most excited about on her third birthday was a barbie fishing rod. She still sleeps with it by her bed and shows it to anybody new that happens by the house.

    In addition to the bonding time it gives you, I think that taking your kids hunting and fishing helps teach your kids some of the harsher side of life in a manner that the Lion King just fails to convey properly. She understands very well now that when we have meat at dinner, an animal died so we could eat that, and sometiems they are cute and fuzzy animals.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    It sounds like your wife doesn't feed and name the deer on your property as mine does.
    We live about 250 miles from the property. The deer are pretty unfamiliar with humans when we get there.

    I never took my wife for a hunter. After I built my first semi-enclosed stand she went out on opening morning with me. Honestly, I never wanted her there; I didn't want to explain the life vs death thing. Shortly after sunrise a doe stepped out in the field, no more than 100 yards away. My wife whispered, "Kill it". Shocked me.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by daewoo
    IThe gift she was most excited about on her third birthday was a barbie fishing rod. She still sleeps with it by her bed and shows it to anybody new that happens by the house.
    Well, that's it. I'm getting my grandson a fish pole this Christmas.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  15. #15
    JPSartre12 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    When is a good age to consider taking my grandson deer hunting? He's only a year and a half old now, but I want to start planning for the future hunt.

    It would require a weekend trip 250 miles from home, "roughing it" in a pickup camper, and hunting from an semi-enclosed, heated deer stand. I really don't care if we can only hunt two hours per day, what I think is important is to get him out there as early as possible to build some lasting memories.

    What age do you think we could reasonably look at as the earliest possible?

    ~11 for an entire day out. I believe that was about the time that I first went deer hunting with my father. I never shot a deer, nor did he during those few times that we went, but the memories will always be there. He died when I was 13. Now, fishing is a whole different story. We started that when I was ~5.
    Enjoy the little guy.

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