Getting back into it - bringing a new hunter along

NorthIDHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Northern Idaho
Hello everyone. After a 5 year "break" I am thinking its time to get back into the hunting woods. Somedays I can't really believe its been this long. This time around and a lot of the reason for getting back at it, my oldest son (12) wants to go. We now live in Northern Idaho CDA area, so the access to land really is no issue at all. I was previously a rifle hunter, I had said for years during my break that if and when I started hunting again I would really like to start bow hunting, especially September bulls. I am not sure if that's the best place to start a novice brand new hunter or not, would the almost guaranteed lack of success compared to rifle hunting deter him negatively? I am almost pretty sure he will likely light the spark for my 3 younger children. Anyways I could just ramble on, I haven't forgotten how to hunt, and I am excited to get back into. I am also nervous for some reason, just a strange emotion. The even stranger thing is a large part of the push to start again is from my wife, with our kids now being a bit older, and us living in the part of the state that has much more accessible land it's going to be a lot less stress and added work for her for me being gone. Really appreciate this Forum, I am shamefully a consumer not often a contributor, hoping maybe this year can change that.
 

EastHumboldt

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
700
Whatever you do or however you do it, just make sure it’s fun for the kids and remember they have shorter attention span. I’m sure you already know this. I remember when I was trying to get my boyInto spin fishing for trout, he would get bored and we would spend hours floating chunks of wood down the stream and bombing them with rocks. Just to break it up for him. Then we might go back to fishing. Now he’s passing it on to his two boys. A love for the outdoors is the best gift you can give a child IMO.
 

Dos Perros

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
3,893
Location
Lenexa, KS
No downside to trying September archery and then move to the rifle later. Alternatively, it'd kinda suck to let September go by and then hunt with a rifle and wish you had spent more time earlier in the year. Also, the better weather seems more conducive to kids.
 

ReddingArcher

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
1,037
I do think it’s important for kids to have success fairly early on, with the instant gratification we have at our fingertips a lot of kids want it right away. My nieces started on pigs here in our home start and antelope in Wyoming. Both love it. I’m not sure they’d feel the same way if they struggled for a few years without success. When my son is old enough I’ll start him the same way.
I don’t think you can go wrong with an archery hunt and then moving onto the rifle later in the season. Even if he just shot a doe with the rifle to get a feeling for it.
 

downthepipe

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
161
Location
SW IDAHO
It’s probably already part of your plan, but you should really consider spending a lot time in the summer shooting guns - whether it’s BB or .22 at easy targets, or bows or whatever - start there and keep it fun. Do you do a lot of camping with your kids? Because another fun thing to do if you are hunting but aren’t seeing animals is just to practice starting fires, building shelters, or even scavenging for berries.
 
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NorthIDHunter

NorthIDHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Northern Idaho
It’s probably already part of your plan, but you should really consider spending a lot time in the summer shooting guns - whether it’s BB or .22 at easy targets, or bows or whatever - start there and keep it fun. Do you do a lot of camping with your kids? Because another fun thing to do if you are hunting but aren’t seeing animals is just to practice starting fires, building shelters, or even scavenging for berries.
I have to get better about this getting them out and shooting their BB guns, they all 4 really do enjoy it. I intentionally asked for a .22 rifle this year for Christmas, thinking getting a little familiarity with a bolt action rifle couldn't hurt. My "wife" picked out a nice little Savage bolt action. I have went back and forth and back and forth on starter rifles, I am thinking just a 6.5 creedmore, or something similar to that, I guess even just a .243 would be a great start. We love to camp, we hadn't done as much up until the past few years, lots of reasons why, none of them very good. One fairly legitimate reason was neither my wife or I really wanted to compete or fight others for spots in the areas around Southern Idaho, now moving to the Northern part of the state and back into an area I am more familiar with, I feel we will get out in the woods far more often. Its funny you mention the starting fires, shelters, and berries, my kids love doing all those things, it's like they were just predestined to love the woods, just as I did growing up.
 
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NorthIDHunter

NorthIDHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Northern Idaho
I do think it’s important for kids to have success fairly early on, with the instant gratification we have at our fingertips a lot of kids want it right away. My nieces started on pigs here in our home start and antelope in Wyoming. Both love it. I’m not sure they’d feel the same way if they struggled for a few years without success. When my son is old enough I’ll start him the same way.
I don’t think you can go wrong with an archery hunt and then moving onto the rifle later in the season. Even if he just shot a doe with the rifle to get a feeling for it.
We don't have any pigs or antelope up in this part of the state, not even sure if we have ground squirrels to be honest, I know we did in some areas near where I grew up. I get pretty set on trying to do just 1 thing, I think that comes from when my kids were really little, we had no money, and any time I got away from the house was going to be very very limited and valuable. I'm sure this kid would be more than happy to just take a gun for a hike, and then shoot a doe if that scenario presents itself.
 
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NorthIDHunter

NorthIDHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Northern Idaho
No downside to trying September archery and then move to the rifle later. Alternatively, it'd kinda suck to let September go by and then hunt with a rifle and wish you had spent more time earlier in the year. Also, the better weather seems more conducive to kids.
I think I am kind of tunnel visioned on September archery because I myself have never done it, I have only really been in the elk woods once and heard bulls bugling but that was like late late rut a few weekends before opening day for Idaho general rifle, but it stuck with me, that was now 25 years ago or something like that! I always cashed in all my time for hunting in November chasing rutting whitetail. The better weather will certainly likely be a bonus, all though this kids requires less clothes while we are skiing then I, so it may be me that is grateful for the potential of better weather.
 
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NorthIDHunter

NorthIDHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Northern Idaho
Whatever you do or however you do it, just make sure it’s fun for the kids and remember they have shorter attention span. I’m sure you already know this. I remember when I was trying to get my boyInto spin fishing for trout, he would get bored and we would spend hours floating chunks of wood down the stream and bombing them with rocks. Just to break it up for him. Then we might go back to fishing. Now he’s passing it on to his two boys. A love for the outdoors is the best gift you can give a child IMO.
I think I am fairly lucky because my children already seem to have that natural built in curiosity of the wild. They love being outside especially when we visit my mothers house in Orofino. I do however know as they get older those interests will start to dwindle if I don't continue to nurture them along. Love the idea of dive bombing floating sticks, we are for trying that on the CDA river this summer
 
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