Proper age to begin hunting and killing?

Discussion in 'Michigan Youngsters in the Out-Of-Doors' started by Yesimfishingagain, May 5, 2016.

  1. Yesimfishingagain

    Yesimfishingagain

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    How old do kids need to be to actually realize what's happening when killing an animal and to start shooting themselves. How old were your kids? I was late getting into it, around 12 I think. My kids go with me squirrel hunting alot and watch. I have one daughter that could physically shoot a light gun or crossbow with a rest this coming season. I'm wondering at what age does it truly sinks in what's happening? I no kids mature different but when should u think about letting them start?
     
  2. MSUFW07

    MSUFW07

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    My oldest will be turning 4 in a couple of weeks. This past year was her first year of actually going to the deer woods. She went with my FIL and my wife. They didn't shoot a deer but did see some. She does watch the outdoor channel at my parents and MOOD with me on Thursday nights, and when she sees someone shoot a turkey she yells "He got a turkey", then she lets out her best gobble. It doesn't seem to bother her to see a turkey getting shot but to actually pull the trigger on an animal, I don't see her doing that for at least a few more years.

    I think a lot of it depends on the maturity of a kid rather then a cut off age so to speak. I know a 12 YO that I wouldn't trust w/ a drawing of a gun much less a real one, while my ex-BIL has been taking my nieces and nephew out hunting for a couple of years now and they are 13, 11, 8. Each of them have gotten at least a deer and a turkey.
     

  3. U D

    U D

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    It sinks in when they have to field dress what they have killed. In the - "You killed it, now we got to grill it" mentality. If they can't handle preparing the dead animal for dinner they can't handle killing it.
     
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  4. hnt4food

    hnt4food

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    My sons began shooting at 5 or 6 years old, but since we live in Michigan, at the time, they were not allowed to hunt until they were 12, which they did. Now my grandsons are a different story. They are 5 and 7 years old and are learning to shoot the crossbow in preparation for this years deer season. They will also be shooting the 22 , 410, and 20 gauge this summer so that they will be ready for small game and waterfowl season. Like you mentioned initially, they mature at different rates, but the one thing I found with my kids is that the first time they saw me shoot something, they were only 5 or 6 years old, and they realized that the animal was hurt badly, was dead, and was being cut up to eat. It's almost traumatic I imagine for some kids, but, I believe at age 5 or 6, they are old enough to see the physical trauma that was caused by the gun and will be less likely to injure themselves, or someone else, because of it.
     
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  5. Robert Holmes

    Robert Holmes

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    I believe that I was 10 when I started to hunt. I had to learn how to hunt, gut and skin all on my own
     
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  6. droptine989

    droptine989

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    I was out in the stand for as long as i can remember. Dad was always bringing home deer, turkeys, cyotes. Witnessed my first kill around age 6. Although i felt sympathy for the animal i understood that it was part of life. My son is turning 3 in november and has been around dead deer since he turned 1. I think the earlier you are introduced to it the less traumatic it can be.
     
  7. Yesimfishingagain

    Yesimfishingagain

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  8. old professor

    old professor

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    My three granddaughters have been going out with my SIL and myself since they were about four or five years old. All of them have killed deer by the age of Six or Seven. One GD who just turned eleven has killed three deer and a turkey by age Nine. They all love to help gutting and butchering what they kill.
     
  9. Buckbaker

    Buckbaker

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    My grand daughter is 11. She has been tagging along with me for a few years now. She is too small to safely carry a gun, but mentally I have no concerns with her.
    Two bigger issues in my mind are gun safety and pushing them. If they struggle with the weight of the gun, bad things can happen. And let them decide if they want to take the shot. You should of course be there to tell them when not to shoot, but never push them.
     
  10. J D

    J D

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    In the same boat but I am the sil with the daughter's but now mine are 17 13 and 10 and they are all hooked for life
     
  11. Gamekeeper

    Gamekeeper

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    There's physical maturity, and there's emotional maturity.
    Every kid is different.

    Look at the flip side. What are you worried about?
    Your needs? or the young outdoorsperson?

    Pretty uncommon for a child under 10 to be physically able to safely swing a gun. Girls even later.
    If you have to prop it up in a jig, it might be too early.

    On the emotional side it's complicated. You are balancing the exhilaration of the steps leading to the kill, with the reality of taking a life. If there isn't enough excitement preceeding the kill, you risk disinterest, or worse yet, dissociation.

    Kids want what they can't have. Suggesting they aren't ready yet is a great motivator for them to want to go.

    Boy's Life used to print advertisements with a checklist that you could give your parent to show when you were ready for a Daisy. Not a bad model. It made readiness a third party support decision.

    I'm pretty sure elementary school teachers and psychologists have training and opinions related to this topic.
    Many parents disagree with them.
     
  12. Yesimfishingagain

    Yesimfishingagain

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    My daughter is seven. She's been around butchering her whole life. It's just putting a we
     
  13. Yesimfishingagain

    Yesimfishingagain

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    I know she won't be able to handle a gun by herself. She would need a rest to be able shoot. I know of kids that have started out younger. I doubt this year it will happen. 7 is a bit young. Thanks 4 the imputs. I will start plinking this summer and alot more tag a long hunts this coming season.
     
  14. Buckbaker

    Buckbaker

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    I fitted a bipod on one of my rimfires. My grand daughter will be shooting that this year. Actual hunting will be waiting for a growth spurt.
     
  15. bobberbill

    bobberbill

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    Little kids don't hunt. They sit in a blind and pull the trigger.
     
    retired dundo likes this.