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what age to take a kid on first deer hunt/kill?

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what age to take a kid on first deer hunt/kill?

Old 10-19-2020, 08:32 AM
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Default what age to take a kid on first deer hunt/kill?

my 5.5 year old really wants to go deer hunting. we could certainly just do a walk and stalk and probably not kill anything but have the experience and time together. the thought of killing a deer and letting him see blood etc. at this age doesn't seem like the best idea to me. thoughts?
Old 10-19-2020, 08:42 AM
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Plenty old enough. Box stand, no electronics. Muff type ear protection for him.
Old 10-19-2020, 08:49 AM
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^^^^ Agreed Carried my son at 6 bought him his first rifle at 7. Killed his first deer at 7 as well. I would also add that a young age let him shoot the deer if he wants. At least here young hunters during youth week are not held to state rules. I would say practice proper deer management, but don't make him wait to shoot the monster wall hanger. He will get bored. IMO
Old 10-19-2020, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Plenty old enough. Box stand, no electronics. Muff type ear protection for him.
Concur entirely
Old 10-19-2020, 08:54 AM
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I'd tend to agree with it might be a smidge early to go through the whole process. I would be afraid that "hunting" would turn into "babysitting", as it's easy to get distracted when you're just 5.5. Heck, I still get distracted without the period between the fives, lol. Doesn't meant you cant take him out to the stand for all the "pre-hunt" work. That, for me, was at least half the fun of the whole season. What you don't want to find out too late is he won't tolerate the earmuffs, lol. Might not be a horrible time to practice with those at home.
Old 10-19-2020, 09:12 AM
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Walking and talking is usually fine but it has to be approached properly.

A year or so ago, my son, DIL and granddaughter came to visit. My granddaughter is absolutely head over heels for her "John Dad" as I am called. We went out fishing and caught some decent lake trout. When we got home I asked her if she wanted to watch me clean them which she did. Although not as messy as a game animal, for a 4 year old girl, there is a lot of gross involved. We cut the fish open and as I pulled out parts, I explained what each of them were and she was more than cool with it. Even the alewife that were partially digested in its stomach.
For dinner, my DIL said that my granddaughter wouldn't eat fish as she doesn't like it. She got proven wrong on that account.

When I was very young, my dad brought home some roosters. After getting flogged and my back scratched for the last time, my mom put her foot down and dad had to get rid of them. I knew that he was going to kill them but I didn't know how. He chopped the first ones head off and it started flapping and it was very traumatic scene for me. I went running to the house crying to my mom. When I butcher chickens, I use a cone and bleed them out rather than chopping off their heads. It is more efficient and a more dignified death IMHO.

Teach kids to treat animals with respect.
Old 10-19-2020, 09:36 AM
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our family has always followed the the same rules for deer hunting. 12 you can walk with, no gun. 13 you can stand with your dad with a single shot 20 gauge, 14 and after hunter safety, you can carry a rifle and participate in drives and stand hunting.

other hunting and shooting, up to your parents. my dad took me squirrel hunting at 6.
Old 10-19-2020, 09:45 AM
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I was hunting with my dad at 3. Got a rifle at 9 and shot my first deer.
Old 10-19-2020, 09:47 AM
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My son took his first buck at 6yo, 75yd shot w/ a 22-250 off shooting sticks.
Old 10-19-2020, 09:48 AM
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Took my daughter for the first time at 4. Took her a coloring book to keep her occupied. Keep in mind they will not have the attention span to be there long but it will pay off. My daughter is 19 and just last week went off on her own and killed a buck.
Old 10-19-2020, 10:06 AM
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That's probably about the age my dad starting taking me
Old 10-19-2020, 10:11 AM
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Started carrying my son a little earlier than that. At age 7 he asked if he could kill one and he did. It's a very proud moment for a father.
Old 10-19-2020, 10:14 AM
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I remember my first time in the woods with my dad... I was about five years old. He taught me the spiritual side of the hunt. How to become one with nature, the circle of life, that all wild animal life is precious, and we did not kill that which we did not process.. I was taught how to stalk, to read the wind, to choose my harvest ethically, and to make ethical shots. I took my first buck when I was seven years old, with a 30/30 that I still have to this day. These are priceless memories I have of my time with my dad... we did the same thing Quail hunting, Dove hunting, Hog hunting, Pheasant hunting, etc...

Enjoy passing the tradition to your little one!
Old 10-19-2020, 10:16 AM
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I think it goes beyond age. Maturity of the kid, interest in the sport and outdoors, following directions and instructions. My boy went with me as soon as he was able to keep up. shot his first deer at 8. Ive seen many kids who I would not trust to take out hunting and they are 15-16 years old... Some can take killing stuff, some cannot. Ive also seen the kids who shot animals when they were really young and now that they are older, have no desire to hunt... whether it was too easy for them, boredom, etc.. Its tough to keep them interested if you have poor property to hunt and not see game...
I loved every minute of it hunting with my boy. Still do. Good luck.

Last edited by fields; 10-19-2020 at 10:16 AM. Reason: spelling
Old 10-19-2020, 10:16 AM
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Well said. OP is good people and no doubt will instill the same respect.

I say the earlier the better with this sort of thing, but they do need to understand and appreciate what's going on. A 5 year old should be able to process that with guidance.
Old 10-19-2020, 01:05 PM
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I think you know him best and thats what counts. My Dad is 74 and he will tell you he took his first deer at 5, but as a son of a steel worker they needed the food. I took my first one at 8, but I was more into fishing so I dont think the old man pushed me into it.
Old 10-19-2020, 01:20 PM
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I want him to have the experience and I think he’s probably ready, but I likewise know that it isn’t mission critical that he goes this year. I do want to be sure that I don’t unexpectedly freak him out and turn him away from the sport
Old 10-19-2020, 01:31 PM
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My son was 4 years old when he started hunting with me.

He killed his first deer when he was 6 years old, hes been hunting ever since.

My daughter wont be remotely close to being ready when she's 4 years old.

Dont pressure it, do what feels right to you.
Old 10-19-2020, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cfarmd View Post
I want him to have the experience and I think he’s probably ready, but I likewise know that it isn’t mission critical that he goes this year. I do want to be sure that I don’t unexpectedly freak him out and turn him away from the sport
Are you going to let him shoot, or will you be doing the shooting? If's he's the shooter his adrenaline will be off the charts and he won't bat an eyelash at the blood, the smell of field dressing, or bambi's big beautiful eyes.

If he's not shooting and just a companion hunter use your best judgement. It probably wouldn't hurt if he has cleaned a few fish or processed chickens with you, but if he hasn't just let him take in the experience at his won pace.

Might want to try hard to avoid a gut shot.

Old 10-19-2020, 01:38 PM
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I brought my son at 4. We ended up sitting in the stand for about an hour and at a quart of goldfish and a 20 oz gatorade. The next year we did the same except we went to the cleaning shed and watched as a deer was cleaned. Last year we went and I killed a doe with him sitting next to me. He will be turning 7 this year during the season and all he wants to do for his birthday is going hunting. Im not sure Im ready to let him pull the trigger but we are working on shooting with the pellet gun in the back yard and when he gets proficient with that we may give it a try.

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