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To you fathers, mothers, & mentors, what are some of the ethics and or woodsmanship skills that are important to you, and you try & pass on to your young hunters ?
 

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Teaching gun safety is the most important. I think after that leading by example is the best you can do. Kids ask a million questions, so I think the teaching part is simple. The important part is gettin them out there. You can't teach them much sitting in the house. I have also found that you can learn from your kids. They are more observant that we sometimes give them credit.
 

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All good points.

Safe gun handling from a very young age IMO is the most important, if they ever come upon a firearm anywhere, home, friends home, anywhere they need to know how to safely handle the situation.

If they are old enough to walk and talk they are old enough to learn the basics, if you find or see a firearm, leave it alone and tell Mom or Dad or a responsible adult.

As they get a little older have them touch and hold a firearm while explaining the safety rules (check to see if it loaded etc)and telling them they can only do this while you are there and give them permission.

You will know when the time is right to take them to the range with a .22, let them handle ammo and let them shoot.

It's all steps and some take bigger strides sooner than others.

I grew up in an age when you were given a BB gun at 5 or 6 and told to go have fun followed by "If I can't trust you with a BB gun how can I ever trust you with a .22". Times change.

I tell the kids that ethics is doing something alone the exact same way they would do it in front of the Parents or Grandparents.

I really believe the kids learn ethics by the actions of those around them, you are a product of your environment.
 

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One of my pet peeves is, always give the other hunter plenty of space, no spot is worth compromising your safety. Even if this means moving. That's why i always stress, that you should have back up plans. I also think it's important to lead by example.
 

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1. Weapon safety is number one. I always remind them to check the safety on the weapon often, and then check it again. The safety never goes off until right before the pulling of the trigger. We've had game in view and within range multiple times, but the safety never goes off until right before shooting.

2. Never ever break the hunting laws. Any success is totally tainted if the rules have to be broken even a little. You do it legal or you don't do it at all.

3. This is the big one for those that say kids will get bored if they don't see game. My kids have harvested game.......but we've had many more days when they didn't. Even days where no turkeys were seen or heard, and not one tail of a deer was seen. They still wanted to go again and again(and my daughter has little patience). I think it's the approach I use with them when we're in the woods.

............I always have a positive attitude, regardless whether we see/get game.

.............. and second, (and I sometimes lose sight of this myself when I'm hunting on my own) there are a ton of things to observe and explain to kids when you're in the woods. Like was mentioned, they ask a ton of questions on their own, and I make sure I explain everyone I can. Is it important to keep noise to a minimum when hunting? Sure it is, but when things can be slow and they sometimes get antsy, it's time to break out the "book" of the outdoors. I'm constantly pointing out and explaining things to them. I sit and just see trees. They sit and see nests, bugs, spider webs, tweety birds, funny squirrel antics, sky colors, odd shaped trees, moss covered rocks, and numerous other things that I haven't paid attention to in a long time. There's learning all around us if we just look and observe. This not only starts the building blocks of woodsmanship, it keeps them from ever having a "boring" experience when hunting.

Even with video games and such that many think out compete hunting with kids, we sometimes don't give them enough credit if we just get them out in the woods.

Keep it positive, keep it entertaining/educational(kids are like sponges for knowledge at their age), and keep it fun.................and they'll want to keep going and going back for more. Mine do, even without deer sightings on every trip.
 

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Things I try and pass along to anyone I introduced to hunting both young and not so young is this is something that is fun but it can have deadly consequences if they don't keep their head in the game.
Somethings they will need to learn sooner then others but gun handling and safety is #1. To have a respect for the animal, land owners and fellow hunters is next.
Its not necessary to make them a master woodsman but how to find their way out of the woods would also be helpful. Nothing would make a newbie hang up their vest quicker then spending 5 hrs lost in the woods before someone finds them.
I never tried to push a hunting style on people I took out. If they were a sitter, let them sit, if they wanted to run up and down the mountain all day that was fine too.
Be there to answer their questions or correct any mistakes but some of the best techniques a hunter can learn are ones they develop on their own.
 

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From the time they are learning their shapes and colors, we teach the kids firearm safety. Depending on their attitude and behavior, they are usually shooting 22's around age 4. Gun safety is always no.1.
With every camping trip each year we practice survival skills and basic land nav.
With hunting, or specifically harvesting game.. respect the animals, indentify and make a clean kill. I.E. waterfowl hunting i dont call pass shots, decoying birds only,
[something i've found some of my older hunting partners dont agree with}.
Be safe, enjoy the day, and time with the people you hunt with. If it all goes well, then enjoy a successful harvest.
 

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cspot said:
Teaching gun safety is the most important. I think after that leading by example is the best you can do. Kids ask a million questions, so I think the teaching part is simple. The important part is gettin them out there. You can't teach them much sitting in the house. I have also found that you can learn from your kids. They are more observant that we sometimes give them credit.
Could not have said it better myself.
 

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Ethical hunting, sportsmanship, gun safety, and leave the area better than you found it! I can't stand slobs that litter so when we're out and come across trash, we pick it up and dispose of it.
Our youth of today are tomorrow's future.
 

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Firearms safety is certainly number one.However,kids need to learn to have appreciation for the outdoors.They have to like just being out there.I here so much about ways to make it easier for them and that makes me cringe.Hunting isn't supposed to be easy and frequent success isn't always a part of hunting.If they just appreciate the fact that they're out there,they'll be life long hunters.
 

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Safety. Good shots only. Don't have to kill or see something everytime. More time in woods means more sucess. Learn from mistakes.
 
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