Kids afield

Discussion in 'Guns/Reloading' started by weekender21, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    My little ones aren’t so little anymore; ages 11, 6, and 4. It’s definitely time for me to start shopping for youth hunting weapons. My 11 year old has been shooting a bow since she was 3 and has hunted hogs, turkey, and deer with me for years. I think spring 2021 will be her first opportunity as the hunter (shooter).

    From a macro level I’m trying to decide between a gun or crossbow for Turkey and deer. I hunted with a shotgun, rifle and muzzle loader until about 15 years ago. It’s been all archery for me since 2006. While my daughter is a proficient archer, she can’t draw realistic (or legal) hunting weight archery equipment.

    I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts on crossbow vs. shotgun for turkeys and crossbow vs. rifle for deer. You can use a crossbow for deer in NC during archery season so that extends the season quite a bit.

    We already own a Ruger youth model .243 and youth model 870 (both belong to my wife).

    Thanks!


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  2. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    I’d would say crossbow for both deer and turkey and the .243 for deer during rifle season, if she chooses it. She won’t be able to cock the crossbow yet, but it gives them the proper speed and KE to shoot deer, hogs and whatever else y’all have. She could use it for turkey also. My brother let my niece shoot a 20ga for turkey and then upgraded her to 12ga bird/target shot once she was in her teens. She still uses that same setup now and is in her mid 20’s. He will sneak a high brass turkey load in there sometimes, but that leads to being cussed out because he didn’t tell her. Lol.


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  3. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    My junior hunters always used a shotgun for turkeys. I like for them to get a few turkeys under their belt to build up the interest level before getting into archery. A junior hunter deserves the easiest equipment available to give them the best chance for success.
     
  4. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been considering a Stevens 410 with a red dot. I don’t think that’s any more effective than an arrow with a big mechanical but it’s more instant death for sure.


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  5. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    It is, especially if you use the Apex ammo or one of the other tungsten loads.


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  6. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    I’m in this camp. It’s much easier for a kid, or any beginner, to put the bead on those wattles than it is to pick the right spot for a broadhead on a turkey’s body. I’ve seen grownups that couldn’t do that. (I may have been one of those once or twice)
     
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  7. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I started my hunting career at 8 years old with a .410 and a case of ammo, thanks to my great dad (miss him a lot) and I also missed a lot of pheasants, woodcock, doves, and blackbirds. I did well on squirrels, but looking back I think if I'd had a 870 20 ga. youth model with light loads I would have had a much heavier game bag. IMO a 20 ga. has "junior hunter" written all over it, and a .410 has a narrow range of usefulness, none of which includes wingshooting. They will definitely dispatch a turkey, but so will a longbow.
     
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  8. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I’m pretty sure the Stevens 410 is a one trick pony. Turkey gun, nothing more nothing less.


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  9. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not necessarily against .410's, I think they're cute, and I actually own two. But they collect a lot of dust on the shelf. Ammunition is expensive, and they weigh about the same to lug around. And I keep them out of the hands of junior hunters.
     
  10. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    I started my youngest out with an H&R 20 gauge. He shot the lightest loads possible to practice with on a turkey target. When the time came to kill a turkey a 3” magnum Hevi-Shot was in the tube. In his excitement he never knew the difference, but the turkey sure did. Two years later the 870 Youth tooks its place, he still has both of those guns. The last two gobblers he killed were 40 and 41 yards, couldn’t get them any closer. Both down with one shot each. That Hevi-Shot is some good stuff !
     
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  11. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Not sure your answer but I'll tell what we do. We target exclusively for the 6 and 9 yo ,with a 22 and peep sight, which I think gets one accustomed to using either an open sighted or scoped gun. Then for hunting its a 243 for the 9 yo. I don't have the 6 yo hunting yet. I assume I would use the 16 ga for turkey with the 9 yo if we would go. While we have used a bow at targets, not ready to go that challenge yet.
    We seldom fire heavy weapons for target, although that has been done. If one shoots the 22 and practices by dry firing the heavier recoil rifles, then there is no recoil panic for young ones. Just my opinion.
    As you saw on my recent post, my 9 yo repeatedly places shots in the bulls eye from the sitting position. We do not ever use a bench or support with practice. The 6 yo hits the paper repeatedly but no so much the bull.
     
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  12. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a solid regiment to me! I'm looking forward to teaching my young ones how to shoot. We own a few rimfire rifles and hopefully they'll be in my possession soon. Meanwhile I do have a red ryder in the garage and will probably get them started over the coming weeks.

    The crossbow is an interesting option, technology has come a very long way. Fundamentally there is no difference shooting a crossbow and a rifle. I've never been a crossbow fan but I definitely see the value for introducing a kid (or adult) to hunting. Too many decisions but I'm excited about the next steps either way.
     
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  13. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    I got my kids started with target shooting and then small game (squirrels) and then deer. My son took his first deer with a 410 slug and then moved to a tuned down load out of my muzzleloader. My daughter, took her first deer with my 30/30 (with an additional recoil pad), she now uses my 308. All with optics to help them get and stay on target better as well. We start with deer with a gun for a couple of reasons. #1 - the additional range. I want them to be able to shoot deer...not just watch them. #2 - I take them to my shooting houses where I can hide their movements, keep them warm and provide a solid rest to shoot from and these locations are over plots so I give them the best chance possible of actually seeing deer. #3 - they are also allowed to shoot ANY legal deer they want! Big doe, little doe, button buck, pretty 2 or 3 year old or some sage brute. I can put my management and ego and the like aside for one deer!

    X-bow will be a great entry point to archery, but it's my opinion even X-bow takes more practice, tends to be at more limited archery distances AND is less forgiving regarding a marginal shot placement. I also find them a little more awkward to handle. I want as clean a kill as possible for the kids.

    I don't turkey hunt...
     
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  14. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I started my son with the same 243 REM 700 that my dad started me with. Later when he was grown he moved up to a bigger gun like I did.
     
  15. Hoosierhunting

    Hoosierhunting Well-Known Member

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    I guess that’s something you don’t understand


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  16. Hoosierhunting

    Hoosierhunting Well-Known Member

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  17. Cap'n

    Cap'n Active Member

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    I'd go with crossbow to begin with, My daughter got to where she didnt like her 243 several years back so It's just CB for now, but everytime we see a deer out of bow range I tell her that we'd be loading that in the back of the truck if you had your rifle. Of course now she wants a new 243.
     

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