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Author Topic: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education  (Read 3438 times)

Offline JoeE

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Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« on: July 07, 2012, 02:17:30 AM »
My seven year old boy is going to start a four day hunters safety course at the end of the month. I'll be sitting through with him to make sure he stays focused. Is there any material that I can get from WDFW or any of the instructors on this board that I can go over with him now? For the last few years I've been going over firearms safety and basic safety rules in the woods. Any suggestions for anything else?

Offline Elk329

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 05:52:08 AM »
Have him take the online course that is in the WDFW website that you can take free if you don't take the test. If you can keep him focused on the content he should learn alot.
Muzzle Control
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Offline Old Dog

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 07:56:17 AM »
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:
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Offline DoubleJ

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 08:02:12 AM »
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:

A lot depends on how focused he is and how driven he is.  While I  agree with you about the gun handling part, the classroom part should be easy enough if he's driven.  Both my oldest and middle sons passed the classroom portion on their own at 7.  The oldest could have passed at 6, or younger if I could have had him answer verbally.  He's a damned hunting machine.  It took them another year to get the gun part though.

I don't know you and I am in no way implying this but, just make sure you're putting him through for the right reasons.  I saw many dads in my oldest son's class where it was obvious they were putting their kids through hunters ed so that they could have another tag.  In a couple of instances, it was crystal clear that the kid didn't want to be there, didn't give a rip about hunting, and couldn't care less if they got a license or not.  I don't know if they passed or not or got a license or not but, it was clear they shouldn't have been there.

Does anyone know if, when that type of situation comes up, the instructor has any leeway to not pass the kid, even if they pass the written or are their hands tied and they have to pass them?
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Offline arrowflinger

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 08:06:26 AM »
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:

the place I teach, they have to carry a 20 ga through the field course. open fences, climb over logs and walk thru brush, the gun becomes heavy for them.....that is were the fail. We also have someone read the test to them and they seem to do real good with that.

Offline Hyde

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 08:28:45 AM »
I took HS back in 1971.  When my son turned 12, I attended the HS with him, and took the course myself again.  For us, it created a little competition on who would get the best score, etc.  You mentioned sitting through the class with him, so I suggest you do the same.  I can't say that I learned anything new, but it was good to brush up on procedures, and it was an enjoyable experience. 
Nothing witty here.... move along.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 08:43:36 AM »
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:

A lot depends on how focused he is and how driven he is.  While I  agree with you about the gun handling part, the classroom part should be easy enough if he's driven.  Both my oldest and middle sons passed the classroom portion on their own at 7.  The oldest could have passed at 6, or younger if I could have had him answer verbally.  He's a damned hunting machine.  It took them another year to get the gun part though.

I don't know you and I am in no way implying this but, just make sure you're putting him through for the right reasons.  I saw many dads in my oldest son's class where it was obvious they were putting their kids through hunters ed so that they could have another tag.  In a couple of instances, it was crystal clear that the kid didn't want to be there, didn't give a rip about hunting, and couldn't care less if they got a license or not.  I don't know if they passed or not or got a license or not but, it was clear they shouldn't have been there.

Does anyone know if, when that type of situation comes up, the instructor has any leeway to not pass the kid, even if they pass the written or are their hands tied and they have to pass them?

Hunter ed instructors can refuse to sign a students pass on attitude if they do not feel the child can perform safetly. However the parent can appeal and the Dept. would reveiw. A decision would be rendered based on if the instructors non pass was with in the guidelines of the program.

Having said that most of these students would either fail the written or feild coarse both require 80% percent passing. Most of the time the parent sees the light and pulls them out. You see it a lot with younger older siblings.

HOWEVER ALL OF THIS AND ANYTHING ELSE IN HUNTER ED MAY CHANGE IN A COUPLE WEEKS. THE FINAL POLICIEY CHNAGES ARE DUE TO BE POSTED MID MONTH. They will effect Hunter ed for years to come.

Dont ask about the changes. There were two threads this year on the changes which are many pages long. Search for them.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 08:55:18 AM »
You’ve been given good advice. 

A student can be failed for not passing the written exam, for failing to demonstrate safe gun handling during field course activities, for cheating, for attitude (being disruptive or uncooperative), or for violating various class rules (no alcohol, etc.)

A student cannot be failed due to age.   There is no minimum age for taking basic hunter education training in Washington. 

As one has pointed out, you should carefully assess the reason for wanting your child to participate.  Your child can accompany you on hunts without hunting right now.  When the state certifies a student, they are giving that person the legal right to hunt any legal game, with any legal weapon, at any legal time, without any supervision.   Put yourself in the instructor’s shoes, and candidly assess whether you should grant your child those privileges.

The online course is a very good study tool.  Going through the online course with your child is a great way to learn the materials together.

Have your child spend a lot of time handling a firearm.  Practice going through, around, and over various obstacles.  Remember these six words: MUZZLE CONTROL, MUZZLE CONTROL, MUZZLE CONTROL.

I am an instructor, and love to see young students. My son passed at age 7, and is becoming one of my best hunting partners. 

I wish you and your child the best.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 11:00:16 AM by Bob33 »
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Offline benhuntin

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 09:59:23 AM »
MUZZLE CONTROL is the biggest thing on the walk
If it aint broke, dont fix it.

Offline Nilehunter

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 10:49:56 AM »
 1. Make sure he is the one who wants to take the course.
 2. Teach/practice muzzle control.

 :twocents:

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Offline shoot-em-dead

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 11:48:11 AM »
pay attention, follow the class rules,and most of all- have fun learning how to be the best sportsman you can be.

The no1 reason younger student need to retake the class from my experiance as a volenter is they are to small to handle the firearms on range day. They choose a firearm that is too big at the table. Your son will need to know how to identify what kind of gun he is choosing for each course. There is no need for him to pick up a 12ga. at the shotgun station, or to pick up a big heavy rifle to take on the field course.

PS- no one ever fails hunter safety, It just means there not ready this year. :tup: :tup:
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Offline Button Nubbs

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 01:55:52 PM »
On the contrary 2 girls that took the class when I did years ago failed the written exam and the instructor passed both of them. :dunno: :twocents:
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Offline JoeE

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 07:48:26 PM »
Thanks for the advice everybody. He's been going with me hunting since he was four and really likes being out there. I bought him a thompson center youth 22 last year and we've done a lot of shooting. Aside from firearms handling and safety what is the shooting portion like? He's a small kid so he has trouble shouldering some guns, that thompson is the perfect size for him.

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 08:12:23 PM »
When my daughter took it last year I called Olympia about getting the course booklet in advance, they told me where to send postage, maybe $1.62 or something like that along with a request fort the book, I did and they sent the course booklet.  We started reviewing right away and went through the whole book as well as the study questions at the end.  Each night would work on one section for a 10 or 12 minutes nothing big just to get warmed up to it.  Then when we got to class she was already familiar with the material and she did well.  It is a lot of material for someone so young to take in in just a few days so I would definately suggest either getting the book in advance or as others have said reviewing online.
Good luck to your son.

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 10:28:25 PM »
All you need and expect has been put out here for you. I will tell you my son took his HS at age 7 as well. We were going to sit through it with big Sis. The instructors were really cool and actually encouraged him to take the course and see how he did. We got the talk about age and how they cannot discriminate but really he wanted to see how he would do. He did real good paying attention and we had a brief review each night on the way home between him and Sissy. He was and still is very small for his age, he is now 10 and 4'5" and around 60 lbs. We were warned that the gun handling would be to deciding factor for most small/young kids by the instructors. When it came to the shooting and field course day he did just fine. For our class they used .223 and while he thought it was heavy he did the right things. When it was time to shoot shotguns (optional in our class) my daughter was first up and at age 9 (very tall for her age) shot 4 of 4 at the clays. My son did not want to shoot at first but by at the end decided he would. When asked which 20 ga. he wanted to use he said "based on my size I should use the semi-auto because it has less recoil, but looking at my short arms I have to used the pump as the semi-auto is too long and will get too heavy before I am ready." I was shocked but not as shocked as the instructors. He missed the target and only shot one round but I was real proud of him for that.

Good luck to you and your son, let us know how he does  :tup:.

Offline brew

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 11:05:01 PM »
we teach a couple classes every spring in Yelm and have A LOT of younger (7-10 year olds) that take the class.  we spend a good deal of time gun handling both in the class and we instructors try to show up 1/2 hour before classes to work with the students handling the actual guns they will be using on range day.  IMO if the student wants to take the class and is an active participant the actual gun handling is not the issue....luckily we haven't had a student who passed the written test fail the range day/gun handling portion of the test.  the biggest problem we've seen with the younger students is them understanding what  the meaning of words are on the test questions ( i.e. conservation vs. preservation, carrying capacity, etc) and how the test questions are structured...for example (this is not an actual test question)  True or False-" It is not illegal to shoot an elk with a .22 centerfire"...The younger students have a much harder time understanding the questions regardless if they read them or have the questions read to them.  We've failed students on the written exam only to go over the test with them later and in most cases they've known the answers but because of how the question was asked answered it incorrectly......good luck and safe hunting

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 11:51:29 PM »
7 is pretty young for hunter ed.  Doing the on-line course is good advice, but you should work on his gun handling skills, especially muzzle control.  That is the hardest part for the little guys.   :twocents:

the place I teach, they have to carry a 20 ga through the field course. open fences, climb over logs and walk thru brush, the gun becomes heavy for them.....that is were the fail. We also have someone read the test to them and they seem to do real good with that.


Absolutely agree with this.     :yeah:

Take your boy out walking several times in the woods with a real weapon and make sure he is 100% comfortable and proficient to walk the woods BEFORE he ever has to do it for score.

If he reads OK for his age, the written test shouldn't be an issue.    One of my sons passed no problems at age 6.  (FYI, his older brother was in the class at age 10, so I thought what the heck, run him through too, so I don't have to do it again.      He passed just fine, but he still didn't hunt til he was 10......   Parental choice, understanding his personal maturity level).

I saw several young kids that had obviously not handled a real firearm just sort of freeze up during the walk through.   don't do that to your son.

Congrats on a new hunting partner.   It's awesome!     :tup: :tup: :tup: 

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Offline bullcanyon

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Re: Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2012, 05:58:39 AM »
My kids just took the class. I had both of them take the online class first. Definitely helped them out. I seen one kid in the class fail and it was because of what Brew said. He didn't understand the words on the test.  I would make sure they read every question at least twice.

Offline arrowflinger

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Advice/tips for young kids in hunters education
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2012, 08:02:29 AM »
Most instructors should read to the younger ones. Right before we start the test, we ask who would like us to read to them. We also stress it though out the week. We will read to anyone young or old.


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