1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Kids and hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Ben Shepherd, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    As a hunter ed instructor I find this article http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31952727/ns/us_news-life/?GT1=43001 a little biased (no surprise, considering the source) but it's a touchy subject for sure.

    Here in my state we have adult supervision requirements, but even with those we've had a couple of accidents with young hunters that can be traced to youth/small size mixed with inexperience. One of them a fatal incident involving a young hunter, a boat, and a magnum load in a 12 gauge, and his grandfather.:( And fully 70-80% on average of the reported hunting accidents in my state every year involve someone under 20 and a 22.

    With that being said-

    I'm all for encouraging young hunters, no question there. But it's a subject that can be very tough to discuss without getting out of control. And right now it's a wrestling match in my mind in ways.

    I'm curious to what the THR community thinks and has to say on the subject.
  2. RoostRider

    RoostRider Well-Known Member

    A heated discussion with insults of drunken lazy parents about this very subject can be found here.....


    Perhaps we could have a logical discussion about it over here instead?

    To that end I propose a hunter education requirement, for free or very slight charge (less than a permit) as a somewhat acceptable solution.... if the 'kid' can pass the test he knows the rules.... if he fails to obey them, the penalties should be harsh...
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  3. schlockinz

    schlockinz Well-Known Member

    I had to pass a hunter safety class with shooting (clays and .22 silhouettes). They almost didn't let me pass at 13 because I would look when I pulled the trigger with open sites (no joke, game warden was very adamant about that).

    I think a test with range qualification should work, that way, safe behavior when daddy isn't standing with you can be verified.
  4. Kindrox

    Kindrox Well-Known Member

    My point in the "drunken" thread, which I did not articulate as clearly as I should have, is that we give adults more freedoms than children because adults are capable of exercising good judgment, time in and time out. I didn't say they always do, but that they are capable. And as such we hold them to a higher standard then children when they fail to exercise good judgment and someone gets killed.

    Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out. As such we restrict their freedoms but then also don't give them adult punishments when they fail.

    My entire objection to the solo hunting of a 14 year old is the solo part. I understand that even with the presence of a responsible adult something bad might happen. But at least a very reasonable, responsible step was taken to prevent harm.

    The only justification I have seen for allowing solo hunting of children is that bad things about it don't get reported in the news very often. Even if it is actually true that child solo hunting does not result in very many deaths, I don't see it as a justification. Many things children could be legally doing (but arn't allowed) probably would not result in deaths. For example, why not let children of any age marry, drive, travel, get abortions (legal some places I know!), sign contracts, smoke, drink, star in porn, have sex with adults, ect ect as long as the child was "educated" before hand?

    Most of the things on that list would not result in very many deaths, are being done NOW by "responsible" children, and arn't being done very responsibly by some adults.

    Ergo, under the logic espoused by pretty much everyone I saw in favor of child solo hunting, those in favor of child solo hunting should be in favor of removing all age restrictions of just about everything on my list above. If you are, at least I can respect that you are consistent in your logic. If not, you would strike me as a hypocrite.
  5. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    I don't see any problem with having any child under the age of 16 supervised while hunting.

    The idea of hunting with youths is it is a family activity, a bonding activity, a learning experience.

    Very little family bonding and learning takes place when the kid hunts alone.
  6. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Well-Known Member

    My family comes with me it's our time together could'nt see them goin alone not cuz I feel there not safe but because not goin with them feels like punishing me.
  7. RoostRider

    RoostRider Well-Known Member

    It being "time together" is a great thing, but not a pre-requirement to hunting by even the largest stretch of the imagination.... and to that end, perhaps his dad (or whoever) was going to join him... or had left early for some reason... or isn't around.... or wanted him to experience doing this on his own after teaching him for years (quite a feat if this kid had actually taken a bear)

    Should kids who can't have their dad there be kept from hunting even if they are responsible and proven proficient? No dad? Sorry boy, you gotta go try to find someone to take you hunting.... good luck

    Ever hunt alone? It's a lot of fun and something any responsible child with a desire should learn for self confidence reasons if no other....

    Some of my best and worst memories of home as a kid are of sitting alone in a tree stand all day with a high caliber rifle by my side... or tromping through the woods looking for grouse with a shotgun at hand.... sometimes I even went out alone after school before my dad got home !!! *gads*... ON PUBLIC LAND EVEN... (public land makes up the VAST majority of available hunting land around this state and most others)

    I understand this is a touchy subject because no one finds the loss of a life an acceptable thing.... but I can't see taking away wonderful experiences from thousands of kids is an appropriate knee jerk reaction to a couple of isolated incidents....

    Kindrox- cutting and pasting your posts from that thread over here is in very poor taste.... if we wanted to read them, we would do so over there (I have commented there and I even provided a hot link).... the hope was that this thread would not end up like your thread.... and well, your actions are counterproductive to that cause... please refrain....
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  8. bang_bang

    bang_bang Well-Known Member

    My grandfather would take me hunting every time I wanted to go, up to around age 14 or so. As he got a little older, I got a little more independent and starting going by myself. Once I took my first few deer unsupervised (gutting and hauling them home by myself too), my grandfather started staying at home more, knowing that he had taught me the ropes of hunting. Around age 16, my grandmother became ill, so my grandfather took care of her full time. In doing so, I became the solo hunter...but only a radio call away from help if need be. I even took the biggest buck I've shot thus far while hunting on the hill across from the house (my grandfather lives on the hill above me). I shot this buck while my grandfather was watching me through binoculars...almost as though he was out there with me. :rolleyes:

    I always told my parents and grandfather where I was going to be.

    I always took a radio.

    I never ventured into places I was unfamiliar with.

    I always..ALWAYS made sure I had enough food/drink for overnight, a lighter, flashlight, and extra ammo. Not to mention a few bandages and such, which is always a good idea in case of a knife slip or whatever.

    Every person matures at different rates. Not every 14 year old is as mature as I was...and I'm sure there are some more mature than I was too.

    Common sense is a lot of it...such as unloading your firearm when crossing fences (or at least laying it down in a safe manner...pointing in a safe direction). Paying attention in hunters ed and actually absorbing the information taught is a big first step. Practicing safety while hunting is a whole different story with a young teenager though.
  9. Kindrox

    Kindrox Well-Known Member

    Roost, I did not realize you are actually Ben Shepherd or his offical spokesman. My bad!
  10. RoostRider

    RoostRider Well-Known Member

    I didn't try to portray myself as anyone aside from RoostRider, the guy trying to have a constructive conversation about this subject over here... instead of participating in the illogical arguments and name calling you have resorted to in your thread....

    It's a simple, polite request.... obviously a concept that is lost on you.... sorry for the confusion there... far be it from me to somehow try to keep you from trolling via 'cut and paste'... just noting that it is not necessary and in bad taste. .... but you already know that, don't you?

    I guess anyone who wants to see the logical fallacies in the argument you presented here and over there (via the venerable 'cut and paste' function) needs only to understand rudimentary ideas of logical thinking, or reference the thread over there... :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  11. caribou

    caribou Well-Known Member

    Take the Kids along, EVERY time.

    That way , even if their not hunting, they are learning.
    They learn to be comfortable outside and will be safer for it.
    Keep then busy, keeps them happy, makes great memories and builds skills they can fall back on.
    Put time into your kids, nothing beats that.
    Raised seven and a couple spare for a few years and all are still alive.
    Teach them what YOU know they need to learn.
    More Education ='s less Stupid and that mutiplys safety

    The baby girl in my wifes arms was two weeks old and on her first hunt~~LOL!!~~













    The wife cant threaten me with having to watch the kids!!
    Besides, I hate doing dishes, no matter where I am.....:evil:

    Now go buy your kids some ammo, and take 'em out......:D
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  12. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    A little more clarity since I didn't do too well originally-

    I teach hunter ed, so it's a given I wiant to pass it on, pay it forward, etc., and have zero problem with kids in the field.

    Here in Utah, a range test is required, as it is in all states that teach it. AFAIK, it's a national minimum standard that everyone follows (similar to DLs).

    And we do have direct communication requirements with young hunters (under 16) here that means line of sight and voice communication (no radios or walkie talkies).

    But the fact remains that a majority of our accidents involve young hunters and 22s. The reports I get bear this out year after year. The fatality I mentioned is directly attributable to "too much gun". Kid was running a heavy load in a semi-auto 12 gauge on a waterfowl hunt, and the first shot knocked him around. In trying to maintain control of the firearm and himself, the muzzle ended up pointed at someone, and the trigger was pulled.

    Recently, we have dropped any "age" requirement for small/upland game and waterfowl, and the big game age limit was dropped from 16 to 14, and there's already talk of dropping big game to 12. Average size 12 yr. old with a hot 180 in a 300 mag after an elk? :scrutiny: I've actually had a 7 year old pass hunter ed. Barely. But he did it. But if someone he's hunting with figures that 5 foot 60 lb. kid can handle a 3 1/2 goose load?

    Legal is one thing, but sometimes folks just lack the wisdom needed for the task at hand I suppose.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  13. Kindrox

    Kindrox Well-Known Member


    You have seen a lot. What are your thoughts on the age at which kids are ok out hunting alone?
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I have mixed views on this, just because of my own background. My grandfather let me shoot his .22 rifle when I was six or seven years old. I know that when I was only eight, he'd hand me the .22 and some shells and point to the pasture and run me off to keep me out from under his feet as he did chores around the farm.

    My instructions? "Now, be careful. Don't shoot a cow." I didn't shoot horses or neighbors, either. :)

    I was not alone in this pattern. Many kids in the 10-ish age range hunted alone or as a pair. And at age 12 I had my own personal .22 rifle that stayed in my closet.

    I doubt, however, that anybody in the family would have turned me loose at an early age with a big-game rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun. In general, somewhere around 12 or more is where kids start having better coordination and some potential for judgement.

    Still thinking out loud, and looking back, I guess it's somewhat different for rural kids than for city kids. Rural kids already have a lot of background "osmosis" about the outdoors, and probably more shooting experience.

    Since the majority of all kids nowadays are from cities and towns, odds are that more age controls could be useful. Not saying I like it, but it's sorta "The way it is."
  15. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Yep. Like sm would say, it has a lot to do with "how raised".

    Solo hunting big game were it my call? A 14 year old with the right mentality would be just fine I'd say. It's a rare person indeed that at 12 years old has the needed physical size to handle a full size gun. And if you're talking about someone that young small enough that a youth model stock won't fit without modification, I'd wager that above 90% of the time you're dealing with a person physically small enough that they will have issues with the recoil generated by humane big game calibers.

    But, how to prove that someone that young has the brains is the question. Too young to have much of a track record dealing with things requiring complete and total personal responsibility to judge competence in a lot of cases.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  16. Kindrox

    Kindrox Well-Known Member

    I found a local story with more details:


    The first story I read did not mention he was with his 16 year old brother, who also encouraged him to take the shot. The first story I read also did not mention that the two boys were on a popular hiking trail, and shot at something 150 yards away in the fog.

    Being on your own property with a gun seems fine to me. Art, I doubt your granfather would have given you a gun on a foggy day, pointed you to a popular hiking trail, and told you to bring back a bear.

    It is interesting to me that nobody belives jail time is appropriete here. I am curious if that would be true if the shooter was a 40 year old man.
  17. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    The jail thing- We're dealing with minors legally. Laws vary greatly in that respect, rightly or wrongly.

    And to avoid situations EXACTLY like this one, our legal restrictions here state the adult within contact with the youth hunter be 21(18 doesn't cut it), and if said adult is not the parent or legal guardian, said adult needs written permission from same.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Let's back up and start over: How many hunters, each year, have shot another person in the mistaken belief that they were shooting at a game animal?

    Next question, of those, how many were youthful?

    SFAIK, most of those who did get accidentally shot were other hunters. The difference here is that the shootee was merely hiking.

    Which to some extent says that the public attitude is that hunters take a risk that hikers should not be exposed to--even during hunting season and in a hunting area.
  19. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Valid point. Out here with most of the youth accidents it's 22's after rabbits, and another hunter in the same group is usually the victim. If it's adults involved? More often than not it's adult/adult on the turkey hunt.........
    One of those "well it sounded like a turkey" things.

    Root causes? Piss poor target ID in the latter case, youth and inexperience, added to lack of respect for the "it's only a 22" rifle cartridge in the former are usually the causes.
  20. bang_bang

    bang_bang Well-Known Member


    Being 110% certain of your target is a must before you pull the bang switch. I never shoot ANYTHING unless I am absolutely sure that this specific animal is the one I want to take.

    Experience and learned skills varies from person to person. Knowing how a deer sounds in dry leaves vs. squirrels is hard to determine. Determining squirrels from humans can be as tricky as it can get. Experience with the noises, sights, daylight shooting hours, angles, etc. has to be gained over several years of hunting with an adult.

    The "it's only a .22lr" is probably the biggest of the 3 points here. I used to think that too when I was younger, until I blew a rabbits face off with one. A gun is a gun, it's made to send lead from point A into point B. ANY caliber is lethal.

    Respect everything that can hurt you. If you try and play with it...9 times out of 10 it will win.

Share This Page