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I am a proud father of a 2.5yr old son. I recently recalled a thread I started on here a few years back about hunters being a dying breed. More specifically, as time goes on, it seems that its getting more and more difficult for youth to gain serious interest in the outdoors with so many "electronic" distractions. I am personally doing my best with my son at planting the "hunters seed"...but was curious of the thoughts/approach some of you other fathers out there have taken to pass down the heritage.
 

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I’m not a father nor do I have any experience molding someone into being a hunter but here are my thoughts...

Growing up as a child I remember (as maybe you do) hating to do things that my parents were pushing me to do. I had no interest in some things and just hated to HAVE to do what they wanted. With that being said, don’t push hunting on him to the point where he may feel the way I did when I was pushed to do or try something. Talk hunting with him, take him to the field, the range, show him the game you bring home ect...

Show your love for hunting but don’t make it seem like he has to do it. Make it fun, don’t take him out for the first day of hunting and make him sit there all day and find it boring (especially if your not seeing any game but dont make it seem like getting game determines a successful day in the field). Kids have short attention and get bored very quickly. Think back to when you first were getting into hunting and the things you enjoyed during the early years. I’m sure he will enjoy the same stuff so try to show him those things.

These are the things I will do if I ever have a son or get the chance to introduce youth into the sport. It would be a shame to have him reject what all of us on here love but me personally I’d rather have him hunt and love it then hunt and hate it.
 

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I have 5 kids [all grown up now] 8 grand children, it's all about spending as much time with them, when ever possible. Five minutes,five hours it doesn't matter. Just try to make it fun. Mine love to participate whether it's hanging a bird house or building a tree stand. Enjoy it, you only get one shot. Take lots of pics and video, they're lots of fun later on.
 

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as already said spend as much time as you can for me 2 g-sons. it's very hard today to many things going on. as my dad told me show me your friends . my 2- 31-15yrs. has a real good dad. he's always got them at his side fixing building helping then i got them fishing first they grew to be very good at it they outfish me and s-law. dads good too. now they are into archery also. plus their sports travel and school sports. just keep them busy hang with them mostlikely you will rub off on them...good luck....later
 

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I'm looking for any suggestions here as well. When I started out, there were pheasants and rabbits everywhere and it was the best type of hunting for a youngster IMO. No sitting still, no getting cold, no boredom, because the dog was always cool to watch hunt. Not to mention, we had a good bit of success. That's what grew me into it. Now, I can't get enough and am learning about every living creature in our state. My son and daughter however, may not have what I had when they're old enough, but who knows with the pheasant program progressing. I sure hope it works out.
 

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One big thing for us is we have a cabin and we are there almost every weekend when I can turn the water on,My boys have grown up being at our cabin every weekend we fish shoot bb guns and just hang out outside,When hunting season would roll around everytime I would shoot a deer in archery season I would call the boys on the talk-about and have my wife bring them up to where I was and they would help me track and gut and drag the deer out,And yes there was a few times I shot deer right at dusk and they were in the pitch dark woods with me draging out a deer with me this was at 3-6 years old its just what they know they love it,Then we move on to this year now we each take one with us during rifle season and they were there for every deer we shot I got three and my wife got three they are now 7-9 and they are both talking about how they are pumped for spring gobbler and groundhogs,so my advice is they will do what you do if you dont spend much time in the outdoors its hard to expect them too,So if you are a real die hard hunter like we are you dont really even have to try to get them into it its just who they are,If you dont go out fishing,hunting,hiking,or just being outdoors its hard for them to get into it just my 2 cents
 

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Good point cabin. I'm in the same boat. I have a camp as well and am looking forward to taking them this spring for their first trip. I've been going to camp since I was 10 and you're right, that was also a big part of it.
 

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If it's fun for them then they will most likely want to keep doing it. When my son was that age going fishing went like this.

Fish for 15 minutes then start looking for things to throw in the water then off to the park and ice cream on the way home.
When he was 5 a day of hunting was moving around to all of the better spots that were just right over there and usually a nap.



No need for them to be a pro right from the get go. I feel they don't have to always catch a big one or make the kill to keep them interested. I was lucky my son loves to hunt and fish even with me
 

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You certainly seem to have done a fine job.It's especially impressive because I know your son had other distractions like football,to deal with
 

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Thanks Doug, I think I miss the football more than he does. He played for 11 years so it became a routine. Hey we have to hook up next time we come up. It was going to be this weekend but I think with the snow we will wait.
 

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just dont push hunting on them i did and both my dont hunt hardly anymore i changed my ways with my daughter and she is shootin every chanse she gets wish i would have done things different the frist time
 

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Naturally, I can only speak for myself. Nobody turned me into a hunter, I think I was just born into it. My dad did not hunt until it became apparent to him that I was going to accompany my 2 uncles and their sons hunting at their invitation and with his permission. I read and re-read every outdoor magazine I could find, made paster of paris cast of animal tracks, learned the names of trees and how to navigate in the woods - without much help from anyone. Eventually, my dad bought a couple of shotguns and off we went, both of us learning at the same time. The fondest memories I have of my dad are when he and I were hunting. That's when we actually spoke to each other and got to know each other. Maybe there is a way to turn a child into a hunter, but I don't know what it is. I introduced both my son and daughter to the outdoors at young ages, hiking, watching animals and introducing them to the joys of the 4 seasons and respecting nature. The both hate the outdoors and will have nothing to do with it. I tried everything I knew of and spent a great deal of money trying to get them interested in some aspect of the outdoors but they would not appreciate it or my efforts. My wife cautioned me not to "force" anything and they would eventually come arround. I agreed with her and took it light. Writing this kind of breaks my heart because along with all the other failures I have regarding the raising of my kids - this one, this love of hunting and the outdoors, was the one I very much wanted to leave them with. Well, I got far afield there and became self centered. I appoligize for that. I sincerely hope you have far and away much better success than I did.
 

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Sorry to here that jimsdad,at least you were there for your kids and tried,Its not like you didnt care or try sorry to here that
 

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I have a 10 and 13 yr old. Both boys play football, basketball and baseball and they both have bows but have yet to hunt archery because of sports. They have been in the woods for opening day of rifle though since age six. This year on the opener they both got bucks a 6 and 8 point. I started both boys out with a daisy BB gun at 3 yrs old, then 22s and then deer rifles. They both now shoot well, and can handle long sits in the deer woods, something that I always get good comments about from other members of my camp.
 

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Every available chance get them out there. Even a drive in the woods lookin for deer, turkey, squirrels on a Sunday keeps their outdoor spirit ignited.
 

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I have four kids, two boys and two girls. The boys hunt and the girls do not. One of the boys will probably always hunt and the other one may give it up sometime. I hunted and fished all the time going to camp and locally while they while they were growing up. I started them on squirrels, then small game, then deer. Fishing started when they were were 3 or 4.

They are grown now, but I have a 2 year old grandson. I can't wait to go through it all again.
 

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SQUIRREL PELT said:
I am a proud father of a 2.5yr old son. I recently recalled a thread I started on here a few years back about hunters being a dying breed. More specifically, as time goes on, it seems that its getting more and more difficult for youth to gain serious interest in the outdoors with so many "electronic" distractions. I am personally doing my best with my son at planting the "hunters seed"...but was curious of the thoughts/approach some of you other fathers out there have taken to pass down the heritage.
one mistake i made was watching a lot of hunting shows with my boys when they were little. then when we went out in the cold and saw nothing but chickadees, they were pretty disappointed. my best advice is find a place to hunt squirrels and get them out doing that early.
 

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Just try and make everything a positive experience and fun. If you go fishing and they aren't biting well, let him (or better yet JOIN him) skipping stones, looking for bugs, whatever. Also be careful as to the other folks you expose him to. If he hears a buddy of yours complaining or talking about illegal or unethical behavior, then that will always be on his mind. Trust me, kids hear EVERYTHING, even if it seems that they are not paying attention. In my opinion, the most important thing is to put him first. You've had your time, and you'll get more later, but for now, his feelings and interests should come first. Take him for small game, let him catch sunnies all afternoon, stop hunting and go for a burger if he wants. If you do your part, his interest and persistence will gradually increase to the place where YOU'RE ready to go home and HE'S asking to fish for "just a few more casts" or "wait another hour or so and see if that buck comes past"
 
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