How young is to young

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Jwweld, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Jwweld

    Jwweld Fawn

    Sep 28, 2017
    ok so I have been debating on getting my son a crossbow for Christmas this year so he can start to learn the things I believe every yong boy should. He is only 3 this year but is already stuck on hunting. He has helped me in the woods every step of the way this year and loved every second of it. I even took him out with me one evening to a buddy of mines blind. He was all torn up when we had a group of does come in and I think it hooked him. My question is do you all think 4 years old is to young to actually hunt or would I be taking a good step in the right direction?
  2. Brown Dogs Matter

    Brown Dogs Matter 12 pointer

    Jun 7, 2004
    Louisville, KY.
    My kids - with the exception of my special needs son - all got their first guns at age five. They did accompany me into the woods prior to that, but not with the intention of hunting.

    From then on, the kids have all been out with me. My girls aren't into that much, but have been deer, dove, and squirrel hunting with me. My eldest son (14 at the end of the month) has become my hunting partner and right hand man in the field. My youngest is developmentally delayed, and even though he is chronologically 10, he acts more like a four year old.

    Now, having said all that - I own a crossbow, and I can't imagine a four year old picking it up and holding it steady for a shot. I don't know your boy, obviously, but I haven't met any kids that age who would be ready to put rounds downrange from any weapon large enough to put down a deer.

    Of course, you know your son and his capabilities. If he is mature enough - physically and emotionally - to do what is necessary to take a deer, then have at it. We aren't like a lot of states, in that there is no minimum age for big game hunting. South Dakota was on my short list for a new home, but that dumbass requirement got it scratched right off. My son started deer hunting with a 20ga 870 and slugs around age 7-8. It should be up to the parent, not the government to determine when a child is ready to hunt deer.
  3. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    I started both my kids at 3 years old shooting bows and taking them with me doing things in the outdoors. That being said shooting targets and live animal is 2 totally different things. Although they spent a lot of time outdoors they didn't actually hunt till age 10. In my opinion 4 is too early for a child to use a deadly weapon, some adults shouldn't even have one.
    BNewNKY46 and xbokilla like this.
  4. itstherush

    itstherush 6 pointer

    Sep 19, 2010
    Grayson co
    if he (or she) is capable of responsibly holding and shooting their weapon accurately and safely, id say game on! that alone will give all the information you need to know. I seen one state, Michigan I think it was, lifted minimum age requirements and allow any able hunter. They sold 12 tags to children 4 years old or less. one wasn't even a year old...??? My buddies son killed one with a 20 gauge slug at 4 almost 5. nothing wrong long as its safe and ethical. Some kids will be ready at 4 some wont be until they are 10. Some become liberals and never be
    Brown Dogs Matter and elkaholic like this.
  5. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    I don’t have an answer for you. I agree with wprebeck on only you being able to answer the question. My son is 3 and he recently told me he wanted to go with me to pew pew reindeer. I felt bad leaving him at home, but it was just too cold that day.

    Next year I’ll have a deer blind for him to sit in with me and will take him to run the hounds this spring. As far as actually hunting I’ll make him wait quite a few more years. I started hunting with a firearm at 10, but went hunting/walking with Dad starting at 5 (old enough to keep up).

    Hunting is a right of passage and part of the process is to experience the hunt without participating in the kill. It isn’t hard to pull the trigger. The difficulty lies in a person’s reaction to the kill. With that said, I would never tell another parent when I think their child should move from spectator to participant.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  6. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    my opinion, wait about 5 years. get a BB gun now. let him play with that for awhile. learn how to be responsible with a gun. me personally, no way would i put crossbow in a childs hands, i think they're more dangerous than guns to the person holding it. google crossbows and thumbs hit by string.
    BNewNKY46, littlebear and elkaholic like this.
  7. rockhousehunter

    rockhousehunter 10 pointer

    Oct 18, 2013
    West Liberty, Ky
    4 yrs. old is way to young in my opinion. Now if he wants to tag along and be with you then I'd say that'd be great. I agree with wildcat above, get him a bb gun now and let him tote that around with supervision for a while. After that, I'd take them squirrel hunting for a year or so and let them build some outdoorsman skills. I know everyone has their own philosophies but I wouldn't let my boys hunt until they can hunt without dad holding anything. In my opinion, if dad has to hold guns and shooting sticks and anything else, then they're to young to be doing it themselves.
  8. littletom

    littletom 8 pointer

    Feb 24, 2008
    Knob Lick, Ky
    imho to young to safely carry a deadly weapon. More so from a safety stand point than anything. BB gun to 22 or 20 gauge then to something to deer hunt with.
    elkaholic likes this.
  9. WILD

    WILD 12 pointer

    Sep 7, 2009
    hick town,ky
    Too young..I have raised 5 kids and 3 boys and it takes around 8 or so to were they can hold a weapon still comfortable for a while imo....but I have seen people on here say 5 and just don't see it happening unless they are holding it or have them using a stick or some kind of rest...who may even take them a few more years older then 8. Everyone is different but 3-5 ,no way imo.
  10. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

    Apr 2, 2012
    I started taking my son when he was 3. Granted out hunts only lasted 30mins to an hour but he was out there with me. He started deer hunting with me (carrying his own gun) at 7 shooting a .243 and duck hunting with me when he was 11.
    Brown Dogs Matter likes this.
  11. hookalakupua

    hookalakupua Fawn

    Sep 11, 2017
    Lexington, KY
    If you're good enough, you're old enough; if you're ready enough, you're old enough. I'm a firm believer that it's up to each and every father and mother to decide when their kids are ready as it's nearly impossible for anyone else to tell. First son received a Savage Rascal on his 4th birthday. An M&P .22 on his 6th and then took his first doe at 7 with my 300 Blackout. In 3 years he's probably shot 2500-3000rds of .22 without an issue. Second son is almost 6 and won't get his first rifle until xmas. Same household, same firearm rules, same non-negotiables, same opportunities, and same lessons. So why the difference... well that's parenting. The younger one just hasn't proven himself ready until just recently. They both received bows a year ago and those to had to be earned. Just my experience and hope that helps.
  12. shaman

    shaman 10 pointer

    I raised 2 sons to be hunters. Both started as young as possible, but neither actually hunted until after they passed their Hunter Ed.

    When a kid is young. There is not a whole lot of difference between just going with Dad out to the blind or actually hunting. I'll never forget running into a 3 yr old at a check-in station years ago. I'd brought a doe into be checked, and this kid in red rubber boots and Spiderman pajamas came up and said, "Nice doe. Mine was bigger though." I'm not saying it's wrong. It's just unnecessary. A kid can go hunting with someone and have just as good a time watching as doing. Holding off like that gives them time to mature enough to take the hardships and dissappointments. Being out with Dad and seeing him deal with things like tag soup, hangfires and cold hands gives them a good example. This also helps his body mature a bit more.

    Each kid has his own way of dealing with hunting. #2 slept through much of his first two years afield. We'd get in the stand and 20 minutes later he'd be snoring. #3 started going to the blind at 3 and was so good at keeping focus that I could take an afternoon nap and he'd wake me up when the deer showed up. BTW: #1 never has hunted. He's a special need kind of guy who prefers cartoons.

    My kids took Hunter Ed at 8 and 9. They studied like hell for it. It was the first time either had worked hard for a long-term goal. Meanwhile, starting at a very early age, we'd been practicing proper gun handling and such. Besides Hunter Ed, they had to be able to use an adult rifle. Both started with a Marlin 336. #2 graduated to an M1 Garand at 12 and #3 graduated to a Savage 30-06 bolt gun.

    My advice is to hold off on the hardware and maximize the time afield with your son. He'll enjoy it a lot more.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  13. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

    Nov 17, 2007
    1. Safety. Are they ready and able to follow all your rules? Are they physically and mentally strong enough to control a firearm (or xbow)? 2. Are they mentally/emotionally ready to kill a critter? There is a big difference between the idea of hunting with dad and the reality of spine shooting a deer and watching and hearing it die.

    If you personally are prone to instant gratification and impatience, you need to check yourself all along the way with this process.

    Slow down. Have him in the blind with you on short hunts and let him watch you take a few deer. Give him instructions and put a pellet gun in his hands and watch to see if he can control it and follow your direction. Do some target shooting. Make him take some squirrels or birds first. He will answer your question for you if you take it slow and pay attention.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  14. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    At that age be ready to face those who say your only doing that for a extra buck tag. Unless he can cock and hold up and hit what he is aiming at with that crossbow he is way to young to hunt with one IMO.
    elkaholic likes this.

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