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Jason-Help your kids hunt

 
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Hi Jason,
My son is obsessed with hunting. I am not, but I want to support his dreams. I enjoy target shooting archery, but I have never hunted. What kind of process of beginning hunting would you start for a dad who doesn't know much about hunting for a kid to help him develop skills so he can fulfill his dream of hunting?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
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John...where are you located...I will give you all I have and be there for you in any way I can. This is a very special thing you ask for your Son, and I thank you for the support you give him. Many have "let go" this part of there "deeper self"....some are returning to it naturally, like your Son.

I would say now...as a permaculturalist and traditionalist...I would like to see him learn the indiegions life skills way first...then if he would like to move into guns and such...he may and I would support that as well. I have taught for many decades and there is a school near me that he might be able to enroll in next summer. There are many out there...many not so good...a very few that are excellent.

Regards,

j
 
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I would most definitely say that the 1st 2 things you need to teach him are safety, and good hunting ethics!
Everything else can follow on from there.
 
John Suavecito
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Thanks guys,
We are in Portland Oregon. My son is actually part Native American, and that means a lot to him. We go to Pow wows and we have been back to his ancestral area of the Klamath tribe in S. OR. He tried to get his grandma, a full tribal member to go hunting with him. "Son, I don't think grandma is interested in hunting. Sorry. " There is a historian from the tribe who I should call again because he was so much younger that he couldn't ask quite as many intelligent questions. I always try to get in questions with elders as often as possible because many times when they are gone, their knowledge is gone too. We are going to do hunter safety this winter and we are going to incorporate ethics into that. My wife is a vegan and as supportive as you could imagine a vegan could be.
John S
PDX OR
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hello John,

I work and Dartmouth college, and my wife sits on the Native American Counsel. The Director of the Native American Program at Dartmouth lives with us. So if you will contact me at my below email, I may be able to make additional requests, and seek guidance for your son from tribal elders as well. This path of hunting is important to any that is interest, I must share my bias that to our culture it is an imperative that we protect this way of life, our ancestral knowledge, and all the related skill sets.

Regards,

j
 
Mat Smith
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I would have suggested that you try and find some contacts through someone that his Grandma may know, but it looks like Jay C. White Cloud has everything you're looking for on a platter!
 
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I have to agree with everyone who responded to you so far.

Safety and Ethics is first. I don't know your son's age but my son is OBSESSED with hunting and he's 6. Its different for me than you since I've been hunting since that age and it sounds like you are new to it. As soon as your son can you should get him into a hunter's safety course if they offer them where you are at. I personally think the earlier they can get started the better (doesn't mean they even have to shoot or have a weapon).

I'll tell you what I'm doing so far. I'm taking my son with me on hunts but he's not armed. I'm teaching him to stay behind the gun, how to walk (or sit still!), how to observe our surroundings. We rarely kill anything but that's ok. At home he's learning how to handle a BB gun and he knows when he can follow direction with that and be safe he can have a real gun. Same thing with bows - he has a toy one.

I suggest something very important in my book. That is that people don't be afraid of mock hunts. Mock hunts are essentially hunts where you go without a weapon or with an unloaded one (don't even bring ammo). Go through all the motions - basically a dry run. Then evaluate what worked and what didn't. Hunting is not that much different from learning any new skill except if you screw up your can hurt yourself or someone else. So going without that danger for as long as it takes to feel comfortable helps transition.

Once you and he are comfortable with the thought of guns or bows buy one you are comfortable with.

Other than that I'd say don't be afraid to find your son a mentor. If you are interested go along too. My dad was a lifelong hunter but he was so impatient. I learned from his friends and uncles mostly.

Hope that helps!

Jason
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Great Advice Jason...I feel a tad foolish as I didn't really understand the title (now I do) and offered assistance a wee bit too fast perhaps.

I can't stress enough about folks learning how to be comfortable around guns...even if they never own one. This is "fear" is made much better by learning a little about them. I can also stress that the safety courses offered are not there to make anyone like guns...I don't particularly and gut enough of them in the Marines to last a lifetime. That does not mean my Son does not know his way around them and most importantly how to handle and clear a weapon to make it safe. Guns are tools...nothing more...and the comfort to make them safe should be taught to any that may be around them. This does not mean they have to ever pick one up to enjoy a life of hunting and fishing...guns are not a necessity...only a relatively modern augmentation. Do what is comfortable for you, your son, and other family members.

Regards, and Thank you Jason for sharing your wisdom here at Permies....
 
Jason Akers
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No worries Jay. I made some assumptions in my reply - maybe incorrectly.

I agree with you on guns. I think its good for an early hunter to get a confidence boost with the ease that a gun offers in cleanly killing an animal. I hunted the extra season with a compound bow and my largest deer was killed with a muzzleloader. For a long time after that deer I only used open sighted rifles, bows and muzzleloaders. Then for a while after that I made my own longbow and only hunted with it. I can't say I'm good with it though. LOL

I've written our Fish and Wildlife department many times hoping they'd allow a limited atlatl season. But so far no luck.

If I were hunting for only the enjoyment of it and the cultural aspect I'd use much more primitive weapons. But the desire for nice free range meat leads me to use a firearm. Probably not a good reason but it is a reason.

Thanks for the perspective and kind remarks.

Jason
 
Mat Smith
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Great points Jason.

Jason Akers wrote:
I suggest something very important in my book. That is that people don't be afraid of mock hunts. Mock hunts are essentially hunts where you go without a weapon or with an unloaded one (don't even bring ammo). Go through all the motions - basically a dry run. Then evaluate what worked and what didn't. Hunting is not that much different from learning any new skill except if you screw up your can hurt yourself or someone else. So going without that danger for as long as it takes to feel comfortable helps transition.

I think that's a great idea. Why not start out by going out with your son and shoot some deer - but with a camera only.
I think the mock hunt is beneficial for a lot of reasons, and something you could do yourself with him now.
Firstly as Jason says you will learn what works and what doesn't work.
I guess you could say that this will be working on your hunting efficiency.

Secondly I think it will instil into your son a lot of respect for the animal, as it will take a lot of time and effort just to be able to get a photo, and hopefully he will enjoy taking and viewing the photos, and this will build respect for the animals that he wishes to hunt. If you are close enough to take photos, I'm sure he'll get to see them walking, feeding, playing, and doing what wild animals do. This is something that a lot of hunter don't ever see, or see very little of, as they will take the opportunity to kill the animal cleanly when they can.
This will definitely be working on the hunting ethics side of things, and this is something I wish there was a lot more of in the world.
I have to say that once I started deer hunting and had to carry the (very heavy) deer back to camp through thick bush, I appreciated every bit of it so much more! The beautiful valuable skin that I tan, the delicious free-range organic meat that we eat, the bones that we make into stock, and even antlers from spikers that I now keep and give to archers that use them.

Jason Akers wrote:
Other than that I'd say don't be afraid to find your son a mentor. If you are interested go along too. My dad was a lifelong hunter but he was so impatient. I learned from his friends and uncles mostly.

I grew up in Western Australia, where the firearms and hunting laws were REALLY strict. It is very dry and arid, there's is very little game to hunt, and hunting can only be done on private land.
We did do a very small amount of rabbit hunting when I was young, but that was it. I learnt good firearms safety from my Dad, but very little on the ethics side of things.
I joined the Army and moved to Queensland where we have feral deer. In all honesty I learnt to shoot very well way way before I learnt good hunting ethics.
A good mentor can and will make all the difference.

Jason Akers wrote:
I agree with you on guns. I think its good for an early hunter to get a confidence boost with the ease that a gun offers in cleanly killing an animal. I hunted the extra season with a compound bow and my largest deer was killed with a muzzleloader. For a long time after that deer I only used open sighted rifles, bows and muzzleloaders. Then for a while after that I made my own longbow and only hunted with it. I can't say I'm good with it though. LOL

If I were hunting for only the enjoyment of it and the cultural aspect I'd use much more primitive weapons. But the desire for nice free range meat leads me to use a firearm. Probably not a good reason but it is a reason.
Jason

I agree that firearms give you a much better chance of cleanly killing an animal, which is important in my view. I would like to hunt deer with a bow and arrow one day, but I know it will take me a long time to get to the skill level that I believe I will need to cleanly take a deer with a bow and arrow.
A lot of farmers and land owners I have spoken to now refuse to allow bow hunter onto their land, since they have seen so many injured animals, some weeks after with arrows sticking out of them!
 
Mat Smith
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Great Advice Jason...I feel a tad foolish as I didn't really understand the title (now I do) and offered assistance a wee bit too fast perhaps.

I wouldn't be so quick to write off your advice - I would see if you can get in contact with someone that could be a mentor for him that has good safety, hunting ethics, and can also teach him using methods and traditions of his ancestors.
 
John Suavecito
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Thanks everybody,
I may bring him out with a BB gun or .22 just to hunt squirrels before we hunt deer.
John S
PDX OR
 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
http://richsoil.com/cards


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