Taking kids hunting is a great thing, but thats how you should look at it: “I’m taking junior hunting”, not “Junior is going hunting with me.” They set the pace, and when they wanna go home, go home. If you head to the field with the expectation that you are going to have a typical day’s hunting, you are going to have a bad attitude and a budding anti on the way home. I taught my son how to shoot at the age of four (air rifle) and took him deer hunting at six, him with his own .357mag carbine with custom stock. The day he really first totaly enjoyed hunting, all day, no complaints, no wanting to go home, he was nine and we were squirrel hunting.
We both got the limit, and he shot about 200 rounds of 22′s and we had a real ball, laughing and cutting up while we hunted. We were at the Jeep, cleaning the tree rats when he looked up at me with a bit of blood on his cheek and said : Dad, it doesn’t get any better than this . Well that was 14 years ago and when I think of it ,I get this good felling inside of that day. He has never been in trouble and I believe its because of that one day, when he truly feel in love with hunting. Now he makes a good living in the hunting industry and hunting is only second to his wife (who Hunts with him) and his step child.
I’ll never regret teaching him when he was very young about the hunting sport. Last year my 4 year old daughter wanted very much to go deer hunting with me. I tried to explain that we (my cousin and I) hunted all day and she might get cold and very tired. She was not easily dissauded – in fact she would not be talked out of it – not no way – not no how. Fact is she asked Grandma if she would watch her “’cause Dad says I can go hunting for a couple hours but all day would be too cold and too tired for me.” So Opening Day was cool, windy and generally unpleasant and she stayed in with Grandma all day (we did not see a single deer anyway which is way depressing on Opening Day).
The next morning my cousin and I went out early again whilst she slept in a bit. After seeing some deer I went back up to get her and thus fulfill my promise to let her come hunting with me for a couple hours (so she would not get too cold nor too tired). She was so very happy and excited she could not keep from asking a jillion questions despite my prior instructions to be perfectly quiet when we got close to the woods and in the woods. Inside of a half hour on stand (sitting up but snuggled down inside a sleeping bag to keep warm) she got to witness my cousin and I both fill our anterless tags inside of a minute of each other. She loved it and remains excited about hunting.