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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Help a gal with thinking about equipment

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone can help me think through getting some gear. I have a family - husband and three girls ages 5-9. We are total novices but we'd like to get into squirrel hunting as a family (maybe eventually other kinds of hunting). I'm trying to figure out how to outfit all of us with the right things. Hubby I'll leave to figure it out on his own, but I have the following ideas about me and the kids:

The girls are really interested in bowhunting squirrel. We have a nice, long side alley where we can set up a target for them to practice - it's not real long but it will be good enough for now. Only the oldest girl has taken an archery class, and she's the most interested, so I'm inclined to get her a real starter bow. I'm balking at buying a real bow like the Genesis for all three because, ack, $$$. Are there bows for younger kids that are cheaper that would make good starter bows, to try it to see if they like it (they have drawn a bow before, just not done any amount of real shooting). I'm waffling, because I want them all to feel like we take it seriously that they learn, but, boy, $$$. I want them to learn firearms safety, too, and was thinking about buying an inexpensive Daisy BB gun for them to practice with and to teach them safety rules. Any recommendations for a BB? The Daisy is very accessible at the local KMart. Again, with this, we can use the side alley for target practice. If they show interest in a rifle, maybe I'd get the oldest girl a rifle later when she's hunting age.

For me, I have only had experience shooting at a BOW workshop. It was great and I was surprised to find I liked shooting and was fairly decent at rifle, though I liked shotgun more. I waffle about rifle vs. shotgun, leaning towards shotgun. I have eye dominance issues, though being left-handed but right eye dominant). When I shot at BOW, I shot right-handed for shotgun and that worked OK. I'm nervous about getting a right-handed gun knowing I'll be using a left-handed bow and, possibly, a left-handed rifle, though. Any thoughts? Does anyone else cross hands like this with different equipment? I like pump action and have thought about the Remington 870 because it's an easy gun to find and, on sale, relatively inexpensive. For a bow, I'll just go an talk to the archery store people.

I would love any feedback and ideas. And encouragement because this is all totally new to this city girl!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 04:20 PM
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

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Any recommendations for a BB? The Daisy is very accessible at the local KMart.

I can tell you this. While the Daisy BB is a fair facsimile of a rifle one will eventually hunt with, and learn proper safety techniques, a child cannot shoulder one propery until probably 7-8 years old. The gun is too long for mostly ALL youngsters prior to that age, and I would imagine girls even a bit longer. $30 is priced right for a learning tool I guess, but don't be disapponted when a 5-6-7 year old gal can't shoulder it.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

That's really useful information. The older two are about the same size (they are 7 and 9 but they 7 year old is very big for her age). The youngest is pint-sized. She'll be 6 end of November but she still wears some size 4/5 clothes - just a peewee.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 10:27 AM
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

Take each child you wish to "outfit" to the shop/store with you. Have them actually shoulder the firearm to make sure it's a proper fit. A .22 calibre has no kick at all, and minimal sound. I would suspect there are youth type models out there that will fit each of your kids. If shooting a .22 scares them in any way, give them some years, they aren't ready.

Bow... I'd definitely go the x-bow route.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

We're going to go to the archery store Saturday. I will definitely look at the X-bow - I had not seen that bow before, thanks.

I think I will buy a gun for myself first before the kids . We don't own any firearms at all, so I want to ease into it. My middle child is definitely interested in working up to it - I'm thinking when they are hunting age they can have one if they are responsible. Soooooo, shotgun or rifle....?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 03:47 PM
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

If you are going deer hunting, I'd buy a rifle. I just bought a 270 Winchester last year. It's a good rifle. Others will probably chime in on what they use. I've shot my brother's 7mag before and it kicks my lil butt!

If you are just hunting small game, buy a shotgun. I have one shotgun. It's a 20 gauge that belonged to my dad. I took my first squirrel with that gun, as did he.

Uh Oh! Janie's got her gun!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

If the girls are only going to hunt for squirrels with the bow the genisis would be perfect. 1 bow would outfit all three. There is no set draw length on this bow. I have just checked the digest and saw there is no minimum poundage for a hunter bow hunting for squirrels. You will need to get orange hats and vests for all of them. Keep in mind that this bow will not be powerful enough to kill a deer or meet the requirements of the big game laws.

When you hear x-bow i believe they are refering to a crossbow. If you go this rout you will need to find some sort of shooting sticks. Personally i would not buy this yet unless you plan to hunt deer with it

As far as a rifle is conscerened a 22 is a very nice gun for squirrel quiet and no kick. I personally would buy the 22 over the bb gun. You will eveventually be buying a small game rifle anyway. Shotguns are nice but might be a little much for your children.

I would suggest finding a good mentor as well. Someone who can show you all the ropes.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 06:53 PM
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

Its refreshing to see a post like this. You are a good mother, not just for getting your girls into hunting, but showing them that its fun and natural. I teach alot of youngsters to shoot. Stay away from a shotgun for them in the beginning. Decent BB guns can be had used at any flea market, auctions, etc. They generally go for $10 or so. If you ( or your hubby ) can use a handsaw, shorten the stock on a second hand one for your little one. Its no real loss, and she will do better. Its no secret some of the best shots in history were/are women. I can tell you little girls pick it up quicker than little boys. For yourself, if you like shotgunning, every trap club has a practice night where they shoot for 5 or 6 bucks a round. They will gladly lend you a gun and teach you for free, they love it. Look on line or at NRA's website to find a club near you, and good luck !

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

So, they would not all need their own bows? I didn't realize they could all use the same one. Of course, they all want their own but this makes more sense $ wise and, of course, until we know if they are really interested in being serious. Orange hats and vests are taken care of - still debating on other special clothing.

I thought that the above poster meant this bow http://www.cabelas.com/compound-bows...82-x-bow.shtml for x bow. I didn't even think of crossbow. They make me a little uneasy.

The shotgun would only be for me and hubby, not for the kids. So far, my mind has stopped on the Remington 870 (price, available in big box stores, I like pump action, etc.). The reasoning behind the BB gun is that the girls can use it in the alleyway next to our house and learn basic firearm safety. We don't have any place where they could use a rifle without going to a range. Now, I wonder if it makes sense to get a .22 that they could inherit when I buy a shotgun in a few years? I think I'm likely to stick with a left-handed rifle, though, and they are right-handed. Hmm, maybe I should get my shotgun and encourage my husband to get himself a RH .22 and then that can be the ones the girls use in time.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help a gal with thinking about equipment

Aw, thanks. We started with really introducing the kids to state park camping and foraging for wild edibles (plants, berries) and it just followed to want to get outside and hunt animals, especially for my oldest. She really has taken to outdoors skills and was sure she wanted to hunt the minute she picked up a bow at camp. I think me and my husband have been thinking about it for awhile as a theoretical thing we'd like to do (he likes butchering and getting parts of the animal you can't usually get) but the fact that the girls took to the idea was really what got us going for it as a family activity. It's an adventure, for sure.
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