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Author Topic: Took my 8 year old on the juvenile hunt  (Read 570 times)

Offline Dragon

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Took my 8 year old on the juvenile hunt
« on: October 30, 2005, 08:56:27 PM »
Tennessee used to let kids 10 to 16 hunt during the juvenile hunt but this year they changed it to 6 to 16.
Personally I think 6 is a little young to go hunting with a hi-powered rifle since there's not many kids that age that can shoot one which brings up the fact that alot of adults shoot the deer and let their kids check them out. I'm not going to be one of those dads even though several people, including family members said that's what I should do, that he'd learn just from watching me. Well anyway, the rest of the story.....
My son is 8, he'll be 9 in January and he's probably average height and weight for 8 years old. My uncle got him a .22 Marlin for Christmas last year and wants him to learn to shoot open sights before I get him a scope. That's the way I learned but missed the biggest deer I've ever seen, even to this day back in '84, because the front bead got broken and, well, that's another story entirely. Let's just say that I saw at least 12 points and shot the woods down but the legs carried the meat, and the rack, away. Okay, back to the story again.....
He can shoot the .22 pretty good with open sights but has to hold it under his arm to reach the trigger and see the sights. He shoots my scoped .22 very well and it's even bigger than his. That said, I didn't figure there was any way he could shoot a .30-30 but that's all I could get for him so off we went yesterday morning.
We got to the woods just as the sky was getting good and light. From my experiences of hunting there I knew the deer wouldn't be moving until half an hour or so after daylight so there's no need to have him (and me) out in 27 degree weather any longer than we have to. We parked and walked back through the field to the edge of the woods and decided, after 10 minutes of looking around, where the best place was for us to sit. We decided on a tree at the corner of the field since the deer usually run the ridge anywhere from 20 to 50 yards inside the woods and that would be perfect for him to shoot up into the woods instead of out toward the field with cows in it. I already knew he couldn't put the stock against his shoulder and see the scope so we had it worked out for him to put it under his arm and I'd put one hand against it to keep the scope from kicking back and hitting his eye and my other hand over the scope to keep it from coming up. He had my XL coveralls on over all his clothes so when he stood up his legs looked like they were about 6 inches long but he stayed warm so that was the main thing. I had my 4 in 1 coat on and the outer waterproof parka was rattling every time I moved so about 8:00 I raised up to take it off. While I was taking it off, I saw a deer run through the field to our right, no doubt in my mind it saw me and cut a trail. It ran back up in the woods and snorted 4 or 5 times, waited a couple of minutes, ran to the right and snorted another 4 or 5, waited another couple and finally ran up to the top of the ridge snorting all the way. It was moving so fast that I never did see antlers but I've got a feeling it was a buck, just from where it came from and the sound of the snort. Well, I figured that was it for the day since anything within a half mile had to hear all the commotion but we stayed where we were and waited. About 9:00 I looked behind us and there was a whole herd trotting toward us through the field, I didn't have a chance to count but I'm sure there were at least 7, maybe as many as 9. They went in the woods about 60 yards to our left in a little hollow out of our sight. I told my son to watch up in the woods for them to come into view and be ready to shoot. We waited for a few minutes but they never showed. I caught movement to my left and a doe had came back out in the field and was standing about 30 yards behind us to our left. It was a perfect broadside shot but there was one huge problem, it was standing directly between us and the landowner's house. We were about 600 yards from it but there was no way I'd let him shoot anywhere in the direction of the house. The doe kept looking around and finally saw something out of place.....us. At just that moment, the landowner came home and it turned to watch him get out of his truck. I guess it forgot about us and stuck its nose back to the ground. The rest of the herd came out one by one and were all standing less than 50 yards from us, I knew for sure we'd be busted but they never acted like they saw us again. They all trotted away to our left and went back down in the hollow and up on the next ridge out from in between us and the house where they stopped again about 100 yds from us. I could see them good but since my son was sitting a little lower than me, all he could see through the scope was a couple of their heads so he didn't shoot. I asked him later why he didn't and he said because I told him to aim about half way up the body just right behind the front leg and he couldn't see anything but their heads. At least he listens.
We left about 11:00 since we were both cold but went out here when it warmed up and I let him shoot the gun. I sort of thought he might have been a little scared of the gun too since he'd never shot anything that big and there's only one way to get over that. He shot at an 8" X 12" box at 45 yards and hit it both times so I'm sure he could have killed a deer at that distance but I'm not sure he could have hit one in the head at 100 yds so it's probably best that he didn't shoot.
I took him back today and we sat there from daylight til about dinner, went to my grandmother's and ate, she just lives about 5 minutes from where we hunted, and went back. All we saw today were a bunch of tree rats, gray, red and chipmunks.....we both HATE chipmunks and that annoying popping noise they make. There are a couple on each ridge that don't have anything better to do than to annoy me all day every day. There are a few fox squirrels there too but they don't come out very often.
I did take him with me once last year on the muzzleloader but I wasn't going to let him shoot anything so I guess this was his first actual hunting trip, only the first of many I hope, especially since I got his lifetime sportsman license before they went up this year. Guess I've rambled enough for one night but I think I was as excited about him going hunting as he was getting to go.....

Offline john

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Re: Took my 8 year old on the juvenile hunt
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2005, 11:30:32 AM »
take a look at my post on just jawin, might inspire you a bit.

Offline John Andrews

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Re: Took my 8 year old on the juvenile hunt
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2005, 06:03:32 PM »
That was really good, Dragon! O0 O0 O0
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