How old to take a mentor in the field - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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How old to take a mentor in the field

At what age would you start taking a child out in the field?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 12:58 PM
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At the age where he/she could safely hold & operate the weapon of choice.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:10 PM
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I personally think it all depends on the child. Too many variables. Are they ready to see an animal shot or take the life of an animal, etc. Age is just one of many considerations.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:11 PM
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At the age they show interest. I will say I've seen a few that were pretty young and were afield due more to the father's wanting them to be interested than the child actually having interest.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:17 PM
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Are we talking about going afield or killing game? Two seperate things. I think a young kid (under 12) would benefit from having a couple of years experience as a non shooting participant before being allowed to shoot game.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:18 PM
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forget the gun...take him for walks if you have to carry him; when he can walk take him again and again and keep taking him...let him explore find tracks leaves


keep doing this and you'll have your answer!


Just like breaking in a pup … keep it fun!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 02:43 PM
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This is the second season taking my grandson along. He's now six. He is super interested in going, and is always asking me if its squirrel season. We keep it fun. We take hot chocolate along, and always snacks and treats. When he says he's ready to go, we go. We haven't actually killed anything yet, mostly because he can't sit still or consistently keep quiet, but I noticed a huge improvement this season from last. I still think he might be a couple seasons away from carrying a rifle himself, but we got a Cricket to start learning safety and handling. I remember a squirrel hunt with my daughter. It was a beautiful fall day. We killed a couple early, but spent the rest of the morning floating leaves down the creek. Was it what I had planned? Of course not, but she still talks about that day with great memories.

I used to be friends with a guy who really likes to hunt and fish. He was so excited when his son got old enough to go with him. Problem was, he forgot to make it all about the kid. He made the kid sit on the bank and watch him fish after the kid lost interest. He made the Mom drive an hour one deer opener to pick up the son because he was cold, and the Dad refused to leave the woods. It became unpleasant and stressful, and its no surprise that the boy no longer wants to do either activity with his Dad. Dedication will come later; its gotta be enjoyable it ya want the kid to stay interested.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 03:27 PM
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I took my oldest son squirrel hunting last season . He was 4 and did great. He didnít have a gun.
This year we havenít went out at all but have been spotting and going on hikes. My other son says we are hunting when we are really just hiking through the woods.
I am in no hurry to take my kids hunting. They have just as much fun walking in the woods or doing goofy things young kids do.
It will come in time but I am really in no rush. They know dad is a hunter and hunting is discussed in our home all the time. Right now I just want to let them enjoy being little kids.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 03:40 PM
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It's amazing how much they change from year to year.When my son was 6,I bought him a pellet gun for his birthday.I was all excited about it but he could barely hold it so I went back to walmart,bought a smaller bb gun and hacked 2" off the stock.He couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with it and I figured he's be at least 10 before he was ready to hunt.Six months later I bought him a scoped youth .22 for Christmas and bunch of spinner targets.To my surprise he shot that well and burned through 2 bricks of shells until his next birthday.When he turned 7,I bought him a compact model 7 in .243. and loaded 150 slightly reduced loads.Most nights after work,I'd have him burn through 50 rounds of rimfire and then had him shoot 5 .243 rounds at a deer target from 80 yards.It amazed me that in one year he went from being to small to shoot a pellet gun to being able to cluster a group at 80 yards with a .243.Kids are capable.Just make it fun and do it at their speed.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 03:53 PM
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Not a bad idea to let the little ones take a toy gun along and try to teach them a little muzzle awareness and other safe firearms practices. Treat it as it were a real gun. A stick can even be used in a pinch.
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