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My son wants to try hunting and I'm looking for some thoughts and maybe some places to go. I have hunted for 30 years now and up until a few years ago, used to travel to CO for Elk, Muleys,Antelope, etc. as I have family there. Out of the Blue, my son mentioned he wanted to hunt a few months ago but I blew it off since things like this in an 11 year old change by the minute. However, he mentioned it again last night. I live in Gulf Breeze so there's no hunting around here and all the folks I do know that hunt, only hunt for Deer and in Alabama. Are there good spots around here for small game like Rabbits, Quail, etc.. orshould I evenwaste my time with them? I was thinking of starting him off small but the same holds true for hunting as it does with fishing and I'd like to take him somewhere so he won't be bored AND we can bring home some meat.Thoughts???
 

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Capt. there are numerous places and choices for starting him out. If small game is what you want, try Blackwater, or Eglin. Even if you don't get after anything you can teach him in the slack time. You've obviously fished long enough to teach him that, and the same applies to hunting. Starting off small or not ......doesn't matter. get him in the woods so he can see the things that are out there that aren't about hunting so he can learn. It's a lot like the Gulf to me, I see something new or different every time I go. Eglin and Blackwater would be my choices, actually they are the ONLY public choices that offer relatively cheap hunting.(license and permits wise)
 

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I'm planning on taking my son to Blue Hoos place for his first deer hunt this year. He's openly invited folks on the forum to help him thin out the does. From the reports on here I don't think it would be anything near boring. You might pm him and get his number and talk it over to see if its something you'd like to try.
 

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Collard (11/5/2007)try Blackwater, or Eglin
I tend to agree with Collard on that one. Where I grew up there was only two or three WMA's and they were difficult to get on because they were so small. We have some very large WMA's that are easily accessible from many places. I, having never hunted a WMA, have been doing a ton of reading and asking a ton of questions on this and other forums. I have learned that the hunting opportunities available here in Florida on the WMA's is amazing.

The one thing about taking a young one hunting is to teach them to respect and enjoy the outdoors. My kids love to just sit and listen to everything going on around them. Just seeing a squirrel hoping around in a tree gets them excited, but the sight of a nice buck or a strutting tom really gets them going.

With my kids, every time we go out it is about what we see, not what we shoot. When a shoot-able animal approaches, we consider that a bonus. I learned long ago to enjoy the outdoors for its majesty and have never been let down.
 

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squirrels would probably be your best bet. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone hunting rabbits around here, don't know why, I do see a lot of them. I used to go with my grandpa squirrel hunting at the ChotawhacheeWMA.
 

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He's not too young to learn to bowhunt. I started my son out when he was 9. It will help him learn to judge distances and sit still while in a tree stand. Teach him how to make a good shot using good judgement. Set him up in a tree and use a range finder when you put him in a tree and set up boundries where he can and cannot shoot. and sit up close so you can see him shoot one. It's awesome
 

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Thats how I started, dad would let me have 5 shots, and every kill was 1 more shot. Taught me to make the first shot count, and to ID my targets. I think as long as he is with you he can shoot. I was plinking sense 4 and started hunting deer at 13. My son is 13 and he has been with me hunting for the last 7 years. Take him to the range and teach him safety and let him shoot. Zack would carry and empty gun the first 2 years (6-7) and I would give him a shellwhen there was something to shoot. Like most here I agree start small. Hope you 2 have a blast.
 

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Take a hunter safety course with him.

Setup a BB Gun range with a good backstop and work on the four basic shooting positions, trigger pull and breathing.

Go out withhim NOT carrying a gun or maybe his BBGun - FIRMLY but nicely - enforce gun safety and work on woods craft with him.

Start with small game work up. Two budding naturalists that enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Zak 17 - Sierra 12

= $.02

Sterssless
 

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Take your son as soon as he shows interest. I am a firm believer that if a child likes to hunt & fish, that alone will keep his mind occupied & help lead him in the rightdirection inlife. It will also buy you as a parent more quality time to have a life directly with your son (even once he discovers girls) He may stray a little but he will always find time to go hunting with dad.My son killed his first two deer at 4 years old, yes! 4 years old!!!He kills on an average of five to seven deer a year & at 11 just killed his first with a bow last Friday evening. By spending this time with my son, I have not onlyearned love from my child, but we are best friends. Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys. Thanks for all the advise. You know, I never even thought about setting up a BB gun range and I dohave a triple lot here so I have room for that or for a bow. It's funny because I guess I take things for granted and growing up, hunting was just a part of life and it hasn't been until the past few years that I have slowly gotten away from it. Let's just put it this way, since 9/11, I have had no urge to pickup a gun at home - Yes - I'm military and have been since 83.Thanks again guys
 
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