Daughters and Hunting

Jul 20, 2014
Kirtland, NM
My middle daughter is 8 and I haven’t taken her hunting yet. I do take her fishing, hiking, camping and she loves to shoot her bow. She is begging me to take her and I will take her Turkey hunting next spring. One thing I did was show them short hunting videos. They loved it and especially the elk bugles. My 5 year old always wants to see the elk and then “fall down”. My oldest boy has been on a few with me and finally had his own hunt last fall. He is coming with me for about 4 days on my elk hunt then he has to go back to school.


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May 30, 2022
My daughter had no interest in hunting at 4-8 years old. We hiked in the summer, went fishing, and spent time in the outdoors. Between 9-11 yo she went hunting with me a few times and experience a deer (archery) and elk (rifle) harvest. At 12 years old we participated in Hunter Safety together. She was luke-warm about hunting that season and only went a few times. Late season that first year she filled her elk (cow) tag and was absolutely hooked. The next years she went hunting every chance she had and also started archery hunting. She is 23 now and has harvested ~10 elk and several deer on public lands in MT. She hunted solo this year in her own spot and harvested a deer. She has also helped several of her friends harvest their first animal, and always loads a hind quarter into her pack. Give it time and encouragement, make it fun, and don’t push. 0A5152C9-1861-4832-B85B-4948669E3B4C.jpeg
Dec 28, 2015
I have a 12 yr old daughter and an 8 yr old.

The 12 yr old has zero desire to hunt. She doesn’t mind seeing dead animals and eats whatever I kill, but she will not hunt. End of story. She does like to fish.

My 8 yr old is back and forth. She has a soft heart but the idea of hunting intrigues her. I’ve taken her with me several times. I’ve never killed anything in front of her but she has seen dead animals and helped me field dress game that I’ve killed and it didn’t bother her. But, when I ask her if she wants to shoot something she always hesitates. I won’t force it on either of my children. If they want to hunt then we will go. If they don’t want to then that’s fine.
Jun 10, 2023
Two daughters 8 and 11… they’ve been watching hunting shows with me for ever now. Shows like meat eater, fresh tracks, etc. They help me prep game meat and understand where and how we get it. We haven’t been hunting together yet but the 11 year old will join me this fall for her first dove hunt. I’m trying to find a deer lease so they can start sitting with me as well.
They are both well adjusted to hunting and I believe mostly because of watching it and talking about it. Whether or not they will enjoy hunting is still up in the air. They both love fishing so that’s a win.
We live in the big city as well.
Jul 20, 2014
Kirtland, NM
My 8 year old is stone cold. She caught bugs when she was two. Catches lizards on a regular basis and has even been known to stomp on a few. Always wants to go with me to work and see the animal carcasses hanging and point to where bacon, chops, and other cuts of meat come from. She devours meat like she will never have any more ever again. She is also tender hearted when it comes to me getting upset with her or disciplining her. Definitely a daddy’s girl. 😂❤️

Super tag

Aug 22, 2021
I have 3 boys and twin daughters, they all grew up in the field hunting and fishing. We are a close family and spend a lot of time together. But, some of my most cherished memories are the times I have spent huntin and fishing with my daughters. I just spent the day yesterday on the boat with one of my girls and her family, she still loves it.


Mar 8, 2015
I’ve got a boy and a girl. I simply exposed both of them to hunting and fishing from the time they were toddlers. My daughter will shoot, fish and hunt. Always has done all three from the start despite being a fairy princess and loving rainbows, unicorns and Pokémon. She is almost 10 now and will be finally hunting big game this year. Hopefully a deer tag comes her way here in AZ and then we will be chasing hogs, Aoudad and axis this winter in Tx. My son in the other hand has no real interest in hunting or fishing or really anything that doesn’t involve Legos, robotics, an iPad, or an engine. Just guessing he’s a future engineer. My point is that all you can really do is expose them early and often and let them go.

Both kids do help with the processing and both have seen plenty of dead animals and watched me kill deer, coyotes and birds. My daughter is plenty willing to shoot stuff and my son isn’t.


Nov 10, 2013
Got a couple or 8 and 11. They just finished hunters Ed so have a couple more hunters by the fall.

Both have been in the field more than a lot of hardcore “western hunters”. I would recommend getting the kidos out in more than just hunting.

Or my girls snowboard, ski, whitewater kayak class III, backcountry snowmobile, backcountry snowboard, raft class iv, multi day rafting trips, inflatable kayak, summit 14ers, winter camping, backpacking, fly fishing, float fishing, hot springs, mountain bike, dirtbike, boogie board, surf river waves, hike, shed hunt, ice fishing, surf ocean waves, horseback rides, electric bike, stand up paddle above 11k, fishing high lakes, drive the side by side, sleeping in shelters without a floor, and I am sure there is more I missed.

Or put them in the lifestyle and let them find what they like. Both my girls do multi day scouting trips w me and fair to say have seen seen their share of 190”+ bucks…

Good luck and enjoy the ride. Today w my girls we are starting the day on the river surfing then going kayaking have an evening planned on our mining claim glassing for animals and cooking steaks over the new firepan. Tomorrow is rafting, float fishing, and trout tacos under the stars.

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Jul 12, 2021
I see a lot of good parenting here. Make it available to them, but just let them know you don't love them more or less either way.

God gave me 3 boys because he didn't think I had the patience for girls. I have to find a way to fairly get them all out in the field. I'd rather not hunt anymore if I can watch them do it.
Jan 10, 2016
Alright fellas, figured I'd at least ask just to see what others have done. The good Lord knew I needed a challenge in life so has blessed me with two daughters (4 & 6) -- who are starting to grow up with soft hearts to just about all animals. I don't want to tear that out of them, but also would be great if I could get at least one of them as a hunting buddy :ROFLMAO:

I've at least taught them where their food comes from, they don't mind that. They just don't want to see it happen. Prime example, took my oldest turkey hunting with me a couple times this year. She thoroughly enjoyed it. Finally called one within shooting range, and just as I was about to pull the trigger I hear "Please don't shoot him daddy. Let's just take a picture." So guess what... I didn't shoot him. (We also didn't get a picture cause about 2 seconds later he was running back where he came from.) If she can't see a turkey die, then I am 100% positive deer or any other animal is out of the question either.

What's the consensus here. Should I wait till a bit older? Or just introduce her to the harsh reality and see what happens?
Lots of pretty good advice so far I think. I only have 1 child, but have been around lots. They are all a little different.

My daughter is about to be 3. Her fist real foods for dinner/lunch were elk spaghetti, bear stew, and elk chilli. I have lots of taxidermy at home and work. She has seen all that since she was born, and I have explained hunting to her since before she could walk or talk. We spend tons of time just enjoying looking at wildlife, and I try to explain how most of the time you just enjoy watching, and sometimes you can hunt. She seems to understand.

I’ve involved her in the butchering process once I get home from a trip since day one. As soon as we get done cutting/grinding/ vacuum sealing we always grab some steak or burgers and cook it up.

I also have her watch and be involve if I am going to cape out a skull when I get home.
She knows that is how you get the shoulder mount or euro skull on the wall.

She has been begging and pleading to go hunting with me for the last year and a half. I planned to my wife bring her over on a mule deer hunt for a few days last year. I filled my tag the day before they got over there, but we spent a few days out watching deer and having fun. She really wanted me to shoot another buck while she was with me😂

With all that being said, I personally let your daughters dictate whether they actually do the hunt or not. Keep having them involved in every other step of the process, and see if they decide to want to pull the trigger.

Watching something die can affect people lots of ways. Forcing them to kill something could make them not want to be involved in anyway with your hunts at all

Forcing them to kill something when they don’t want to will probably backfire in a pretty big way.


Dec 1, 2018
Good stuff here. I am in the same boat. My 6 year old daughter is no where close to wanting to kill anything. But I feel like we have a good foundation for when she is ready. She is fine with me hunting as long as I don’t kill mommy or babies, just big stinky daddies.

Here are some things that work for us:
1. She checks that my weapon is safe every time I bring it home.
2. She loves to camp and hangout on glassing knobs
3. She loves shed hunting
4. She loves to call and play with calls. We play hide and go seek with elk calls - hider has to respond to seekers call.
5. We stalk / call animals to get a closer look - this is good practice for me.
6. Fishing- even if that means playing with Barbie’s and giving the fish I catch a kiss.

For me the goal is just to raise a tough resilient kid that has fun and is comfortable in nature. The rest will come in its own time.
Good luck guys.


Aug 27, 2012
My daughter killed her first buck at 7 and another at 8. It was honestly easier hunting with her when she was little. Since she was 12 and devoted herself to softball and school work her hunting is almost non existent . Lifting and practice and 90 plus games a year no time to hunt.


Nov 15, 2018
I offered to take my 7-year old daughter hunting this year…she politely informed me that she prefers not to see her food before she eats it. So now I wait, and maybe that’ll change. Maybe not. In hindsight, I wish I’d had her hunting with me a few years ago.


Mar 1, 2012
My daughter (who is now 29 and a mom) gradually got into hunting. First it was fishing tho.

Too many times, dads take their kids way too young, probably more for the dad than the kids. Don’t burn em out.

My daughter is a fierce woman. She played softball into college. She rides horses and ropes steers, along with her husband.

She loves to hunt coyotes and deer.

This is her - last fall.

Jul 28, 2014
Dont for force it , make it fun. Harvest something and let them help you from field to fork. Take them on more outdoor trips aside from hunting. My son 26 now never was interested but my daughter 16 is on board 100% and from a young age.






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Feb 4, 2013
Central Valley Ca
4 and 6 chill. Just keep exposing them and WAIT and see. My baby girl killed a Blacktails when she was 12. Doesn’t hunt anymore . Graduated as a DVM 2 weeks ago from UC Davis. She will be 26 next month.
I told her to get a taxidermy my cert as well. Either way you get your pet back. She didn’t
think that was near as funny as I did.


Oct 10, 2019
I started bringing my daughter this past year when she was three in the deer stand. But since she could walk she's been ridding with me to do work in the woods and hanging out while I skin and process deer. Now she says we are "going make sausage" when we go hunt. She loves animals and says that we don't shoot babies or mamas with babies. I think her seeing them as food and being around it more is making her look at it differently.


Jun 18, 2020
Southwest Va
You got a lot of responses from folks telling you great stories of how things worked for them, or didn't in some cases, but only a few with advice on how to address the situation you find yourself in.

Looking at where you are right now your daughter likes spending time outdoors with you and seeing animals, but doesn't want to see them killed. Forcing the issue will likely ruin what is now fun for her and you don't want that. Build on it instead by going on hikes and maybe spending time in a deer blind to watch deer during the off season. To me the 4H suggestion was spot on to change her view of all animals as pets. Get her shooting with you, just target shooting and make sure she has fun doing it. In time let her see you bring animals home following a hunt and turn them into meals. Let the introduction be gentle not forceful. Hopefully she will bring all 3 aspects together and develop an interest in spending time with you hunting.


Jan 5, 2023
I'll try and keep it short.
We have a small hobby farm.
I have 2 daughters and a son. Oldest daughter is a dad's girl. And has done some hunting with me.
Second daughter is my animal lover. She drags everything into the house that is hurt or looks sick.
She hates the idea of animals dieing.!!!
She has come a long ways!!! From a very young age it hurt her heart when it was time to eat chickens, cows or what ever. I had a talk with her one day about where our food comes from and factory farms and the horrible quality of life those animals have. I talked about our animals and how most are for food on our farm and we told stories together about how happy they all are and good times they have playing and being fed good food. I then asked her if what animal she would rather eat. Ours our the factory farmed animal. She began to understand and to this day will love and feed our wildest auction cow when we bring one home and have it eating out of her hands then come in the house and tell us how those steaks are gonna be so tasty 😋 she wants to go hunting with me and help but is not interested in actually pulling the trigger. I'm ok with that.

Keep doing what you are doing and involve them in as much of it as possible. They will come around. And what a better lesson than going and seeing a turkey and not bringing one home. Just tell her how good of a time you had just being with her. It's not about the kill. It's the entire experience.

I've never forced any of my kids to watch an animal die. On butcher day I offered to let them stand as close by as possible or go in the house. It started with them in the house as small kids. Now they will stand next to me ready to start gutting and getting their hands dirty and soon as the animal hits the ground.
I've explained that death is a serious thing and the importance of respecting it.
They asked me when very young if I enjoyed killing. I got a very serious look on my face and said NO, never!! It's just better than trying to eat them when they are kicking like wolves do.



Jun 13, 2019
I have four daughters none of them are interested in hunting. The 23 year old is a nurse. I think she could get into it now where she would’ve never gotten into it before. The other three are all between seven and 11. There isn’t really an opportunity to change their mind. Currently they are away. It’s summer camp and my wife forced him to take archery and shooting which I have forced on them before to very low success. The key is to keep things fun try not to force it too much but don’t allow a lot of opportunities to get out of it because it’s an inconvenient thing for them. The hunting thing is actually harder. My 11 year-old went with me last year, but I get really cold for her and even though I was prepared, she uses an excuse for us to go home. She would’ve let me kill something or not at least been upset about killing something we’ve been washing, hunting videos, her entire life . This year I don’t have any tags to take her out on and I’m doing some hunts in Europe which they won’t be going on. I think you have to pick your battles you may or may not ever be able to convert them. We’re just like sons I know a lot of people that have sons that are not interested at all in hunting .