Taking a young child hunting

Discussion in 'Women's Hunting Forum' started by Squaller, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    Well,

    I have a child on the way, and looks like it is going to be a girl.

    Any advice from the ladies as far as taking young children in the field?

    How young do you start, and what special preperation do you take?

    I have had friends that have taken their very young (still in diapers) children out. I believe they did so cause of lack of sitters though. I am not sure when it would be safe or appropriate to start taking a child, but I certainly want to start as early as possible without endangering the child.

    My wife hunts with me on occasion, and has agreed to go on some hunts with the child when she is old enough. But she wants to be certain on safety issues such as hearing protection, adequate warm clothing, and sanitary issues... I have no idea at this point on how to address those valid issues, and would love some starting points.

    Most hunting will be duck hunting from a blind or dove hunting. The wife will have to come out at first for the duck hunting, cause the blinds are single barrels in our area.

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mrs. Ripline

    Mrs. Ripline Senior Refuge Member

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    Congratulations, first off! I took our girls out in a child backpack hiking around and just played outside with them alot. Having dogs, we were outside quite a bit training and that stuff so they always liked throwing the bumpers, at around age 2 or 3. We camped and have a cabin so the outdoors were always part of their lives right from the start. We also took them sporting clays shooting with us probably around age 4 or 5 with ear and eye protection of course. I think the first time in a duck blind they were 5 or 6, depends on the child and how much interest they show. We usually took them out early in the season before it got real cold so a few sweatshirts and snowpants usually did the trick with lots of snacks and gameboy games to keep them interested. We also do alot of fishing and boat rides early to get them to like the boat.

    I would say just get her out and about with hiking and playing in the yard as much as possible and love her to death. Is this your first, or do you have older children and this is the first girl? Best wishes to you and your wife. Any names picked out yet?
     
  3. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    Thank you for the post!:tu

    First child, and first girl. Both of us got a late start on the marriage and child thing.

    I started going with my father as soon as I was out of diapers. The only thing he said I complained about was having to go home.

    I hope to motivate and encourage her into an enjoyment of the outdoors rather than push her. That is a fine line to cross though in some cases.

    Other issues of course are hearing protection and clothing....
     
  4. Meats

    Meats Elite Refuge Member

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    VERY great comment. I wish more people thought of this :tu
    BTW...........congrats on the child.
     
  5. videographer

    videographer Elite Refuge Member

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    I have no kids, but if I did I would do as Mrs. Ripline and spend a lot of time in the woods and on the water when the weather permits. As a kid, my parents had me out fishing/boating and we always went morel hunting and walked the creeks, etc.

    I think if you take them when they are young and don't make the trips too long, then you will make the outdoor experience good.


    Congratulation to you and your wife! Pictures of the baby are a must once she arrives.
     
  6. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    I am already looking into some near-by ponds to take her fishing for brim and such. I have some very close dove spots, but fear they will not be here by the time she is ready to hunt.

    My wife is very understanding, and we have already talked about her coming along to help on some smaller outings. Unfortunately, most of the places I hunt or fish are an hour drive or so. Makes it difficult to take a child on those situations.

    Guess I have to remember to get just as excited about the pretty pink dress as I do her first fish though.:nutz I still remember one of my buddies taking his daughter pheasant hunting, and she was wearing a Ballet dress with boots, carrying a BB-gun.
     
  7. videographer

    videographer Elite Refuge Member

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    Thats funny! They make pink camo and pink bb guns and .22 s, so you can try that route. My friend's 3 yr. old daughter went fishing with us last weekend. She caught 3 bluegill on a jig by herself. She seemed to be getting bored, so I showed her the minnows I was using for bait. She had fun trying to catch them in the bucket, but eventually did and that was fun for her as well. Enjoy your new adventure!
     
  8. ripline

    ripline Elite Refuge Member

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    Then they get to the age when they want to shoot sporting clays with you and all the guys think it's so great to see young girls shooting. :grvn
    They are full of pointers until they realize that they are getting their arses handed to them by my daughters.:reader:dv
     
  9. twentygauge_wonder

    twentygauge_wonder Senior Refuge Member

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    Congratulations, Squaller!!!

    I'll echo what's been said about introducing your daugther to the outdoors in general. I was taken camping and fishing from diapers onward. My mom was accepting of fishing at the time, but would NOT allow her "little girls" to be involved in hunting of any sort until we were 10 or 11ish. I was mostly responsible for changing that rule because I fell in LOVE with duck hunting as well as goose a few years later.

    I went on a hunt or 2 per season from age 11-15. I have nothing but fond memories of those times. My dad always made it clear to me (and my older sister) that if it ever stopped being fun, he would take me home no questions asked. His attitude when I was along never involved even shooting his gun, he just made it about me and teaching me about all the things we were seeing, hearing, and doing. He answered questions and never made me feel like a nuisance. Above all, that's gotta be the focus. If you have a young person along, make them the center of your attention and don't worry about bringing home a fat drake.

    My mom finally consented to hunters safety shortly before my 16th birthday, as well as some skeet practice. Dad is / was a great teacher and once I got over the shotgun learning curve I bagged my first duck when I was 16. Once again - if it stopped being fun, we went home. He never pushed me to keep practicing on the range, since I was using a poorly fitting gun that hurt my shoulder quite a bit.

    By age 20 I was still hardcore into waterfowl, even while being a full time college student living 80 miles from my hometown. I got a twenty guage 870 for my birthday that year. By that time Mom had pulled a one-eighty with her attitude toward guns and hunting, and she's now the PROUD owner of a .22 pistol. She and Dad are empty nesters now and enjoy their quality time together at the local gun range. I sure didn't see THAT happening when I first started shooting at age 15!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. mantis

    mantis Senior Refuge Member

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    go in nice weather, make sure you leave while they are still having fun so they will want to go again and always remember it is ALL about them while they are out with you.
     

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