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Thread: What is the right age???

  1. #1

    What is the right age???

    Shooting is something that I've been into from as early as I can remember. I always had an air rifle and was using a shotgun from about 10 or 11 and have enjoyed shooting very much.
    Now my daughter who was 4 in January has always loved the outdoors and has been around things I've brought home since she was walking. She got involved plucking geese in December just before she was 2, has helped skinning rabbits, deer etc, been involved in processing them and enjoyed eating them. I have never hid anything from her and answered her questions honestly giving her the facts not the "Bambi" version. She has used my air rifle set in the prone (it's too heavy for her to hold properly) on targets and seems to understand that some things are shot and some are not and the reasons why. She can identify a number of birds by sight and even a couple by their call alone. She has been stalking with me but needs to learn to be a little more quiet, too much chatter. I bought a bolt action .410 which I shortened the stock so that she could handle it and she just recently shot her first squirrel, as a proud dad I posted a write up on here and one comment was along the lines of thinking his sons may be a bit too young to shoot (taking a life).
    Question is
    At what age did you start shooting, if you can remember that far back.
    How young was your son / daughter when you started them off shooting & what do you think is an ideal age & why?
    Wingy
    unless you can prove it beyond all reasonable doubt, it wasn't me. If you can prove it then you must be mistaken

  2. #2
    I think I started fishing at 4 ferreting at 6 , I was probably using airgun ( under supervision ) and I used a .410 ( under supervision) at about 8/9 I think ....
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  3. #3
    Very interesting thread, exactly what I have on my mind...:

    So, what do you guys think is the right age to take out for joining a stalk, a shoot and even to witness a kill of an animal?
    I cant realize my kids, 3 and 5 now, watching me actually taking a deer (seen as "Bambi", and maybe told so to be in the Kindergarden too...), or (even "worse"...) killing an animal on their own...


    Also they are checking the larder every time I get back in, also they join me, driving the carcasses to the local game dealer, also they know about the food chain and enjoy venison products in its whole variety, ....


    I think its a very emotional moment after taking the animal to realize and deal with the situation to actually have killed something, I am not sure, how they (I still speak about my kids) would deal with it emotionwise...?
    People's hobbies are more their measure's than are their jobs.

  4. #4
    I think the right age is when/if the child asks if they can get involved. Don't try to hide anything from them and don't try to persuade them to become involved in your sport, but assist and support them if they do decide that they would like to become involved and approach you.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  5. #5
    I started very young. i don't think that if your child is showing genuine interest there is such a thing as too young. Shooting is just another sport, what is too young to take them too a football or a rugby match?

    There have been some threads on here about how old a child has to be to shoot a rifle. (Legally) I was unaware (and dissapointed) that it is as old as it is. In my opinion as long as the child is under supervision and things are conducted safely there is no reason they shouldn't be able to shoot. (Unless you are afraid they will be a better shot than you before they reach their teens)

    a lot of shooting safety comes down to firearms handling. Surely if someone has been handling guns from an early age and are therefore more comfortable with them then they will be a far more safe and accomplished shot in the future.

    p.s. Wingy I think it is absolutely excellent that your daughter is getting involved and the way you are encouraging her. The things she is learning just by being out (birdsong etc) are fantastic.
    Last edited by jubnut; 23-02-2014 at 07:43.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 View Post
    I think the right age is when/if the child asks if they can get involved. Don't try to hide anything from them and don't try to persuade them to become involved in your sport, but assist and support them if they do decide that they would like to become involved and approach you.
    +1

  7. #7
    The previous posts all take the sensible approach, if your children are interested teach them. My son was 5 when he came out with me in the field and prior to that had learned weapon safety at a local club shooting 22 supervised on an indoor range, his sister followed the same route but after a while lost interest. The lad was shooting fullbore supervised (303 on open sights at 600 yards) at 9 years old and putting them in the black. He's 23 now a damn fine shot and one of the safest shooters I know. If your children show the same aptitude the future of shooting is secure.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 View Post
    I think the right age is when/if the child asks if they can get involved. Don't try to hide anything from them and don't try to persuade them to become involved in your sport, but assist and support them if they do decide that they would like to become involved and approach you.
    Spot on in my opinion. Forcing it on them will lead to it becoming a chore. If they truly want to come then providing the weather is good so it doesn't become unenjoyable a quick trip out, not a full day, will make it pleasant all round. I cannot imagine mine will come out for a fair few years, I find it a bit hard work on this terrain at times!

  9. #9
    I would never force my son to come stalking with me, he is asked often and either says "yes" or "not today dad". I do not want to make it something he has to take an interest in as the enjoyment just wouldn't be there for him. On the other hand he is always asking to go beating when the birds are in season and loves the shotgun side of hunting. He has asked for his 1st shotgun for this coming season (20g or .410) which I will happily purchase for him so he can continue his interest in field sports.


    Alba gu brąth

    Sauer 101 6.5x55, Beretta Silver Pigeon 12g Over&Under
    .

  10. #10
    I have not encouraged or discouraged my daughters, my eldest daughter who is 13 has taken very little interest but my youngest (10) has taken a healthy interest. I have taken both out beating and shooting rabbits and foxes but not stalking yet and have both delt with it differently. So what I'm getting at is that I don't think ther is a right time or a wrong time to introduce them it depends on their character and only you parents know when it is right. My thoughts are if they ask to get involved let them.

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