How to introduce shooting and hunting to children...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jackdogstar, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. jackdogstar

    jackdogstar Member

    Mar 22, 2013
    Apologies if this topic has already been posted, but I have a question for members with children.

    I have an eight year old son. He was diagnosed with aspergers, but is doing really well in school. He is already an avid fisherman, even fly fishing and fly tying. (I am a tyer and so I passed an old tying vice down to him.)

    My son is interested in shooting and hunting.

    My question is this? How should I go about introducing him to hunting and shooting? How old is old enough? How can I tell if he has the maturity for it? Does anyone out there with children similar to mine have any experience with this?

    My goal would be to teach him ethical and responsible gun ownership and hunting. Also, very important, I want him to be confident and self-sufficient.

    Given the new laws in my idiotic state, I'd probably have to go out of state, probably up to Vermont for range shooting. I have no problem with this.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Do you have enough room in a basement for an air rifle? A few evenings a week after dinner would answer your questions about his interest and capabilities.
  3. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    My oldest is 4, and he has intetest as well but is a little intimidated and his attention span is short. We started him on a pellet gun (supervised, of course) last summer. It was a good tool to teach safety, aiming, etc. He enjoyed it, but only for about 10 minutes at a time. I didn't feel like he really loved it, and I never pushed it - if he asked we would go out.

    Over the winter I bought him a cheap Rossi single shot 22LR, and went out with him a few weeks later to get targets, hearing protection, etc. The other day was nice and he asked me to shoot. The mix of the new equipment, the build up, and the "real" gun did it - he had a ball. After about 20 minutes his attention started to wane, so we wrapped up. But he's talked about it every day since!

    My advice is to start small and slow, and don't make a production out of it. If you can find a non-range environment I think that is best. 22LR is a great start - quiet, cheap, and readily available. Well, it will be again someday! Emphasize safety and make it fun.

    Good luck with a great father/son activity. If he takes to it some squirrels may be in order!
  4. flyin lizard

    flyin lizard Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    If you live anywhere near me you can come here and shoot, Millbrook, NY, Dutchess Cty.
  5. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Varmit's above advice is solid. Raised 2 boys that are now hunting addicts but I also have the best daughter a father could ask for and she never had any desire to hunt, she will shoot targets etc but that is it. Now with 4 grandkids I start all over.

    MAKE IT FUN and when they start loosing concentration/interest it is time to stop. If you feel you're not progressing you might think about getting someone else to give your son a lesson. My oldest was pretty head strong and he'd taken lots of advise from me - signed him up for an air gun program at our local gun club and his interest and improvement went up by leaps and bounds. Sometimes as Dad's we have a tendency to hand out more orders than we do instructions.