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January 22, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Is 4 Years Old to Young to Hunt?

Last month, most of you argued that Tre Merrit, a 5-year-old Arkansas hunter who bagged a 400-plus-pound bruin, was not too young to target big game. A few, however, went the other way. So, what about a 4-year-old?

From Mississippi’s Hattiesburg American
Young_2While hunting with his dad on the Pearl River in Sandy Hook, [4-year-old] Brennon [Sikes] bagged a 150-pound six-point deer.

Hunting with a T/C Contender 30/30, it was evident that Brennon had his eyes on a large prize.

His dad, Jerry, encouraged Brennon to shoot the first deer that showed itself.

Very calmly but determined, the child said he didn't want that one - he wanted a big one.

Not long after that, Brennon got what he wanted.   



I think it is way to young to hunt like in the great state on nebraska you have to be 12 and i think that is a little old i think you should be 8 years old around the nation!!! plus how is a kid that young know safety that early does he have a hunter safety card?????


Bottom line, these kids like the maturity to comprehend the meaning of taking somethings life.

It's not a video game. Whatever happened to kids shooting a squirrel or rabbits to start with and working their way up to deer hunting when they were 11-12 years old?

This trend mirrors what is happening in kids lives in general today. Many of them are given everything before they can understand and appreciate it, and when they grow up what do they have to earn and look forward to?



I meant "lack the maturity" not "like the maturity".



Sure beats playing video games with hookers and drugs in them.


Sure take 'em hunting. Let him/her carry his/her BB gun or something and "shoot" at whatever game shows.
Once they realize that somebody's going hunting, it's time to start taking them along!



Not to young to go hunting. The issue I have is hunting means killing and a 4 year old, I dont think, can grasp the meaning of taking life. It is an immense responsibility.


I started hunting with my aunt and uncle on public land and watched them shoot several deer. Then when i took hunter safety and passed, i started hunting on my Uncle's private farm land in michigan with a mossberg 20g. About 1 year ago i bought a mossberg 500 12 gauge w/ cantileverd scope mount and a rifled barrel. ON Sep. 22, 07, I bagged a 9pt with it at 75 yds. I also habe a nikon scope mounted on the gun. For Christmas 07, I got the CVA Wolf 209 magnum, Is it a gun that will get the job done?

David Boones

A) No, it's way too young. Four-year-olds still equate deer to Bambi, not actual living things.

B) A 30/30? Why would you put that big of a gun in a 4-year-old's hands?


i take my 4 year old son deer and pheasent hunting but he does not carry a gun,think they need to know the purpose of hunting frist

Take hunting, yes. Do the hunting, No.



Either buy him a BB gun or a toy gun that he can carry. Anything that he can carry that will make him one of the "guys"! Make it cheap so if he throws it down somewhere, it's no big deal if it's never recovered. Allow him to flush a bird or two to "shoot" with "his" gun. Give him a couple of shells to carry in a pocket and make a big deal of asking him for the ammo. Let him retrieve a bird (with help if necessary) and let him carry it a bit. Not too far, just far enough to think he's really done something!
I'd give anything to spend some time afield with a little one like that!




I use a CVA muzzleloader for deer hunting and it always knocks every deer that I shoot right off it's feet. That gun will definitely get the job done!



I use a CVA muzzleloader for deer hunting and it always knocks every deer that I shoot right off it's feet. That gun will definitely get the job done!

steve miller

that is probably one of the stupidest things i have ever seen. in a case like this all the kid does is pull a trigger and watch a deer fall he would not be strong enoungh to dress or drag the deer. my dad started talking me hunting at four or five and i thought it was great... the most i could do was just make noise and try to hold the elk legs back for him to gut. but those falls before i started hunting were the funnest one of my life and i couldnt wait for first yea of hunting. it made it a better expeince for my first year by not hunting till i was twelve. that and filling both my elk and deer tags the first year... FOUR IS WAY TOO YOUNG

Trae B.

Bubba. Your exactly right bro couldent have said it better myself.take hunting not killing and let him bring his own toy/bb gun and shells.and by god if its a bb gun let him shoot,not anything he's not planning on eating by the way,never lets your kids kill for fun because I know alot of little punks that shoot birds in the yard,and personally I want to get on to em but I cant because usually their redneck dads taught them to do it.But let your kids shoot pinecones and stuff let them get used to a gun.


How old are you Trae? You sound like you got a good head on your shoulder's killed a bunch of robins when I was about 6 or 7 and my mom made me clean them and eat them. Actually werent bad. I never killed anything like that again though. Probably go to jail nowadays


Im not ashamed to say I actually shed tears for the first deer I killed. They were for many emotions.Joy for immense satisfaction, sadness knowing I took life. A 4 year old is not capable of these emotions. The bottom line I guess its up to the parent.


Again you nailed it! I took my son with toy gun as soon as he wore underpants. We didn't shoot much, if anything. we just enjoyed going. He got his BB gun when he was 8 (Ralphie). Went bird hunting to kill, but didn't. Started going to deer camp at 12. Was with Grandpa (now deceased) when he shot a buck. My son dragged it out. At 14, he was legal and he got his first buck. He's on a sub right now and boy I miss him. Those were sure great times!


I agree with most of ya guys... i recently had to do a 10 page paper and the topic i chose was youth hunting. I feel that in order for our sport to continue we need youth to hunt, but i believe four is way to young. I got my first BB gun when i was 8 and like someone else said shot robins in the back yard, had to clean them and eat them also. Went to deer camp when i was ten but never carried a gun till after passing my safety course at 12. I believe it is good for kids to hunt just not so young there are many responsibilities that have to be taken into account. I really like the idea of letting the youngsters carry a toy gun, makes them feel important. I also agree with the emotions thing, i cried to when i shot my first deer, it is really important for youth to understand that they are taking a life. But we need youth to get interested in our sport in order to keep it alive!


When I was four, my dad would piggyback me up into a deer stand, wrap me in a blanket and tie me to the tree so I wouldn't go to sleep and fall out!
At age seven, I was finally allowed to hunt with a gun. It was a dbl bbl A.H. Fox .410. Wish I still had it! My hunting consisted of shooting what my dad pointed out! My dad swapped the .410 for a single shot 20 ga Stevens when I was nine and I haven't looked back since!



my dad started taking me hunting when is was four years old. i just loved to be a part of it. i would bring toys(we were in a box blind so i wudnt have to be super quiet) and bundle up a whole lot and when a deer came out, my dad would aim and hold the gun opn the deer and let me pull the trigger 1 time when i was 6. at such a young age it made me feel so important. he also let me hold the ammo and let me helkp load his weatherby 30-06. i started hunting with a gun when i was 7 and since then(im 15 now) i have prob shot 15 deer. and i can remember how special i felt when i got to be like my dad and my older brother and got to go hunting. he taught me how to skin a deer at the age of 5(he also taught me how to dress a cut finger) but he taught me life lessons that i will always keep with me.

Tommy S.

Jstreet and Greg hit it on the head.

John R

I think everyone has already hit on all the high points. My personal opinion is that 4 is not to young to go, provided he wants to. I wouldn't however allow him to hunt until he is mature enough to understand what he has done. I took each of my three sons dove hunting for their first hunt. At the end of the day I asked them what they had done. I wouldn't take them again until they figured it out. The correct answer of course was that they had taken a life. I think it had a positive effect on them and gave them a good perspective toward life and death. It was also a good lead in to many other father-son discussions.


If you ain't big enough to drag it, (clean it, skin it, cook it)
You ain't big enough to shoot it!

Seriously, This is exactly what a lot of adults already do, they get driven to a stand, that someone else put up. They are handed a rifle that they may not know much about, or ever have shot before. A guide points out a deer, that the "hunter" has not scouted and has no investment in. The "Sport" then takes aim, squeezes the trigger, and poses for a pic or two. The "hunter" then has someone else do the dirty work while he sits back at the three star lodge and replays the shot.
Will this child ever know what real hunting is?


John R., I think you said it the best so far.

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