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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:42pm - Dec 26,08
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Post Posted: 09:16am - Sep 1,14 
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My kids, my daughter in particular, have been begging to go hunting.

She nine years old. There is zero chance I can get her into a hunters safety course this fall. Neither my schedule, nor hers will allow it. We will definitely do it next summer. Besides, i don't think she's quite big enough to shoulder a shotgun anyway, and most of my hunting is for birds.

So, I'm thinking I'd like to take her as a spectator. I wouldn't take her to Des Plaines, because they have a strict no spectators rule, and with the number of hunters that show up there, I wouldn't do that if I could.

My thought is that at a club or similar situation, where I could have a whole field with just her and I (and maybe a dog and handler) would be the kind of controlled situation that would be safe and fun for her. Do people have thoughts on this? What have others done?


My son is six, so he might have to wait.

Thanks in advance.

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Joined: 05:32pm - Feb 23,06
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Post Posted: 01:12pm - Sep 1,14 
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Starting with my daughters we would go to Silver Springs to shoot a 410. I would set the clay birds on the ground and it was easier to let them to learn gun safety and how to point a shotgun. For one year she will be allowed to get a apprentice license at any place that sells licenses. So the first year she hunts that is very useful. I found squirrel hunting to be the best start for a kid to enjoy our sport. Try to do the hunter safety course after season so you don't have to do it in the nice weather. Good luck.

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Joined: 07:01pm - Jan 7,14
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Post Posted: 07:35pm - Sep 1,14 
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Matthiesen State Park for squirrel might be a good bet. Only about 90 miles from the city. It's a self check in to hunt and the park is open to non-hunters during the squirrel season so I don't think there would be a problem with a spectator. The squirrel season there is early, only August 1 to September 30 but the weather is nicer anyways.

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Post Posted: 05:34pm - Sep 2,14 
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You can do part of the Hunter Safety course online, and then do the field portion (hands on portion) in one morning or afternoon.

Each person will have their own opinion on what age and how to get a youngster started. The way I did it was with a single shot bolt action .22 rifle. Makes them learn patients and true aim when they shoot. Work them into a 410 or 28 gauge and go from there.

Tom

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Post Posted: 03:53pm - Sep 16,14 
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Billy, just thought I would add some info for you, you can take the Hunter Safety Course on-line, however the cetificate is like $25, and then you must get into a field day for the hands on portion of the course, to get certified. Not only has it cost you the cash, but you only have 12 mo. to get the hands on done. Sounds easy, however the field days are far and few, most not close to Chicagoland area, and difficult to get into.

As a volunteer Safety Instructor for the DNR, I certainly recommend taking the class, however, taking it on-line and not paying for the certificate at least exposes your child to the course. You have two options today, one has been available for a number of years, the Apprentice Lic. will allow your child to hunt with you, or a licensed hunter for one (1) season without the safety class, and the rules changed this year with youth not being required to have the class if they are under 17 yrs of age, as long as they hunt with a licensed hunter. (Not sure this was a smart change, but it was done!)

Another good place to get them started is a local Trap Club. Most love helping new youth shooters, and I might recommend McHenry Sportsmans Club in Johnsburg. A safe first hunt after learning to hit some clay targets might be at a pheasant club with a good guide with some good steady pointers. (I couuld help you with setting that up)

I still recommend the on-line class with-out paying for certificate at the very least. FYI- I will be teaching a DNR Hunter Safety Class with a partner in Jan. and another in Feb, Mt prospect and Wheeling, if you are interested in more info, send me a PM.

Good luck, enjoy getting your kids started in the hunting sports, do it safe, and certainly don't be afraid to ask for help/advise.

CJ

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Post Posted: 08:15pm - Sep 16,14 
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Captain Jim wrote:
Billy, just thought I would add some info for you, you can take the Hunter Safety Course on-line, however the cetificate is like $25, and then you must get into a field day for the hands on portion of the course, to get certified. Not only has it cost you the cash, but you only have 12 mo. to get the hands on done. Sounds easy, however the field days are far and few, most not close to Chicagoland area, and difficult to get into.

As a volunteer Safety Instructor for the DNR, I certainly recommend taking the class, however, taking it on-line and not paying for the certificate at least exposes your child to the course. You have two options today, one has been available for a number of years, the Apprentice Lic. will allow your child to hunt with you, or a licensed hunter for one (1) season without the safety class, and the rules changed this year with youth not being required to have the class if they are under 17 yrs of age, as long as they hunt with a licensed hunter. (Not sure this was a smart change, but it was done!)

Another good place to get them started is a local Trap Club. Most love helping new youth shooters, and I might recommend McHenry Sportsmans Club in Johnsburg. A safe first hunt after learning to hit some clay targets might be at a pheasant club with a good guide with some good steady pointers. (I couuld help you with setting that up)

I still recommend the on-line class with-out paying for certificate at the very least. FYI- I will be teaching a DNR Hunter Safety Class with a partner in Jan. and another in Feb, Mt prospect and Wheeling, if you are interested in more info, send me a PM.

Good luck, enjoy getting your kids started in the hunting sports, do it safe, and certainly don't be afraid to ask for help/advise.

CJ


Jim is dead on. PAY THE MONEY TAKE THE FULL COURSE.

The interaction with the instructors who are DNR, FBI, SWAT, ATF, Police... is priceless. It will teach your children respect for the outdoors and men of law enforcement.

My kids were checked for licences this past weekend, and they saw it as an opportunity to get a report of where the fish were hitting, and on what. :wink:

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Post Posted: 10:20am - Sep 17,14 
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Tom, I know you support what I do, please do not mis-lead anyone here.

To clarify:

The two day DNR Hunter Safety Class is a FREE CLASS! This class is offered by the IL DNR and is funded through the Pittman Act which is a tax we all pay whenever we buy firearms, ammo, or any other outdoor or hunting gear.

I recommend not paying anything, including the on-line fee for the Hunter Safety Certificate!

I would like to make it clear, I highly recommend having your kids take the two day class, even though the IL DNR no longer requires it until age 17! Why allow the kids to develop a bad habbit for many years, before learning things right?

My feeling is this, although many of the old crowd here have not been required to take it, hunting conditions and the equipment we all use has changed over time. Although many grandparents, aunts, uncles, moms and dads, etc. think they are safe hunters, they may not be? I always thoiught I was, until I got certified to volunteer, and give something back toi the sport as a volunteer. To give up some of my time so you all can enjoy hunting with your kids, and doing it safely, so you can do it for years to come! We are constantly updated on several things as Instructors for the DNR, hunting accident statistics, new equipment, rules, and so on.

Start em right, get them into a class, and come with them for your own safety, even as a review! It never hurt anyone! And, you may have some good experience to share with the whole class as well as us instructors! It's what the sport is all about, sharing experience, knowledge, and opportunities! :D

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Post Posted: 11:36am - Sep 17,14 
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Captain Jim wrote:
Tom, I know you support what I do, please do not mis-lead anyone here.

To clarify:

The two day DNR Hunter Safety Class is a FREE CLASS! This class is offered by the IL DNR and is funded through the Pittman Act which is a tax we all pay whenever we buy firearms, ammo, or any other outdoor or hunting gear.

I recommend not paying anything, including the on-line fee for the Hunter Safety Certificate!

I would like to make it clear, I highly recommend having your kids take the two day class, even though the IL DNR no longer requires it until age 17! Why allow the kids to develop a bad habbit for many years, before learning things right?

My feeling is this, although many of the old crowd here have not been required to take it, hunting conditions and the equipment we all use has changed over time. Although many grandparents, aunts, uncles, moms and dads, etc. think they are safe hunters, they may not be? I always thoiught I was, until I got certified to volunteer, and give something back toi the sport as a volunteer. To give up some of my time so you all can enjoy hunting with your kids, and doing it safely, so you can do it for years to come! We are constantly updated on several things as Instructors for the DNR, hunting accident statistics, new equipment, rules, and so on.

Start em right, get them into a class, and come with them for your own safety, even as a review! It never hurt anyone! And, you may have some good experience to share with the whole class as well as us instructors! It's what the sport is all about, sharing experience, knowledge, and opportunities! :D


I said the online class had a cost Jim. Not mis leading anyone.

Note that many states require hunter safety classes for non resident hunting licences. The Illinois class is transferable to many of those states. Worth taking the class as an adult just for that aspect.

Tom

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 11:59am - Apr 27,06
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Location: Mundelein

Post Posted: 11:38am - Sep 18,14 
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Tom wrote "Jim is dead on. PAY THE MONEY TAKE THE FULL COURSE."

This is not what I said Tom.
I am saying you can take the online course, and if you pass, do not have to pay for the "Certificate", meaning, "DO NOT SPEND THE MONEY!" (and still have to try to get into a "Field Day")

At least the kids have been exposed to the material on-line, and the parent can use good judgement on allowing their kids to hunt if they did well on the On-line course. Then they can get them in the "Free" two day class at a later date to be certified, without having spent any money! :winker

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Post Posted: 12:08pm - Sep 18,14 
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when i guided on Kidders game farm in newville wisco some 25 years ago it was common practice to see children 7 to 14 walking with there fathers and receiving instructions on what and the why of what was going on, i found it the perfect "SAFE" environment to teach all of my nephews how to bird hunt. the advantage is that you can stop the hunt at anytime to give instructions( your hunting put birds theyre not going anywhere far) there are no age restrictions on who can hunt and you will be able to let her fire the gun as many times as she needs to be comfortable with it before you actually hunt. i would see if you could start her off with a smaller guage gun like a 20ga. or 410. if possible, if i was there id loan you mine for the day. dont be afraid to start them young my Katie was shooting my 20 ga.@ 7 years old and my 12 the next year.
DD

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