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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is 4 and a half and is begging me to take him turkey hunting this year. Thoughts? Still to young? Give it a go? Anyone take their boys when they were that young? If so do you have any tips?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
 

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to me thats a little young to be behind a turkey gun, but id would deffinately take hime with you on your hunts. the sooner he gets the woods in his blood the better. nothing better for a young boy these days. getting started early is great, but you dont want bad recoil from a turkey load to ruin it for him. now if you have a small gun with limited or reduced recoil shells thats a different story, but still something to consider.
 

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Can he hold the shotgun up by himself and shoot accurately enough to cleanly kill a gobbler? If the answer is yes to both, take him. If not, take him with you. Please don't be one of the hold the gun and have him pull the trigger types because thats not the intent of the mentor program.
 

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Right on bigbear. I think alot of the mentored youth is done the way you descsribe it though.
 

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bigbear said:
Can he hold the shotgun up by himself and shoot accurately enough to cleanly kill a gobbler? If the answer is yes to both, take him. If not, take him with you. Please don't be one of the hold the gun and have him pull the trigger types because thats not the intent of the mentor program.
+1
I really can't see a four year old shooting a shotgun.
 

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beagler said:
bigbear said:
Can he hold the shotgun up by himself and shoot accurately enough to cleanly kill a gobbler? If the answer is yes to both, take him. If not, take him with you. Please don't be one of the hold the gun and have him pull the trigger types because thats not the intent of the mentor program.
+1
I really can't see a four year old shooting a shotgun.
I agree!
 

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I think realistically very few kids would be ready before six or seven. My boy killed one at seven. It can be done. Saw a four yr old at the taxidermist last yr, but I have my doubts about the hunt....If he isn't ready you'll know it but like they said, get him out in the woods anyway. For that matter, take a camera on the youth hunt and call one in for a pic. There wont be as many people in the woods and you can look at the pics or video for many years to come. He'll remember something like that forever.
 

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hdt said:
Right on bigbear. I think alot of the mentored youth is done the way you descsribe it though.
Exactly! The best is the 5 year olds holding dads 3.5" mag 12 gauge in one hand and holding a tom in the other that they "shot." I know how hard mine kicks and I'm fairly certain it would severely dislocate a small childs shoulder, if not break it.
 

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JMO
until a youth hunter can load , shoulder , cock , aim and fire the weapon on there own they are to young to hunt in my opinion.
 

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4 years old?? When I was growing up I could hardly cast a fishing line and not get stuck in the trees at 4....and hunting age was 12. Looking back I still wonder if I should have really be handling a gun at that age. This mentoring thing is getting a little out of control IMO
 

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Too young. If he has to wait a few more years he will value it that much more when he finally gets to go.
 

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I have to agree with the rest of the posters. By all means take him with you when you go, just don't put him behind the gun in the woods just yet.
 

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Many of the dads who rush the kid do it more for themselves than the kid. Take him along, but even if you only get to work a gobbler, he'll take alot from the hunt without killing something
 

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Its funny to me that so many people are intersted in mentor youth hunts for deer or turkey which are considered realative trophy animals in PA, but I wonder how many participated in squirrel hunts which would provide the same or better experience, more chance for success, and more shot opportunities for the youngster, but perhaps not the same experience or "bragging" right for the adults.
 

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The vast majority. I am a father of two mentor hunters and I know about twenty other similar parents and they spend just as much time ground hog hunting and squirrel hunting as they do turkey and deer. It is just that you need a better set up for big game and that leads to more questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the input. I will be taking him out and giving him the experience. Killing a turkey is NOT the purpose of this hunt. He has been in the woods with me quite a bit and loves every second of it. I want him to feel like he is the "hunter" for once, rather than tagging along with dad. I will be taking a camera to "shoot" the action so he will have some footage to last a life time. It will be a valuable lesson to him that hunting is NOT about killing animals.

Again, thanks for the input. I value your opinions and appreciate your time.
 

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Good luck Hoyt, enjoy the time out with him. Sounds like YOU are the type of mentor the programs were meant for in the first place
 

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I have a 4 yr old and no way would he be ready for a mentored hunt. Their attention span is not quite there yet. I did take him with me dove hunting last year and will do so again this year. He liked being out there and retrieving the doves. However he will not start shooting until I know he is mature enough to understand what killing something actually means. I remember turning 12 was a milestone so that I could hunt and that has now been devalued.
 
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