Bring my 12 y/o nephew or go solo?

SecretSpot

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Hey guys, so i have a five day antelope/deer trip planned for the beginning of november in eastern montana. I plan on having a motel everynight, however i will be up early and out past dark none the less. Ill be putting some miles in away from the truck to glass and work the coulees. I have 3 antelope tags and a deer tag, my nephew only has one deer tag.

Do you think bringing him on such a long trip (8 hour drive one way) and spending countless hours in a truck is too much? I plan on him dragging ass here and there but should i just abandon the idea altogether. When i was his age i went east for a week and loved it. but nowadays video games/phones and constant stimulation has made youngsters weak. Id hate to bring him out there and find out he cant hang. Previously ive taken him on day hunts with no issues and would like to indroduce him to the prairie and wide open country in hopes he keeps his interest in the outdoors. (His dad and mom dont do much to support hunting and the outdoors)

Id appreciate some opinions/experiences and some advice to consider. Feel free to ask questions also! Thanks in advance
 

Justin Crossley

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Getting him out there and making sure he has a great time will be way more rewarding than filling your tags. I feel it's extremely important to instill a love of the outdoors in the next generation.
 

wildwilderness

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Depends on the kid. If I take my kids and their friends I make the hunt about them. Stop when they want, eat when they want, sleep in if they want. It’s about them enjoying the experience and associating positivity. Now we do work hard when needed, but not forced.

so if this hunt is about you getting out and accomplishing your goals and don’t think the kid can hang don’t take him. But definitely maybe plan a second trip for his deer tag! I go in solo hunts all the time

the flip side of you sacrificing your time/hunt now is you will hopefully train a new generation hunter who is better than you! My 18 yo son and his best friend I taught are now a huge help to me with all aspects. They never would have developed well if I hadn’t taken the time when they were young to instill a love of the hunt.
 

Rich M

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If he's interested take him - if he isn't leave him home. Trip will be fun, lotsa truck time but the hunt is exciting and very doable with your nephew.
 

Ucsdryder

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Depends on the kid. I’ve taken my daughter a couple times and had a great time. It’s a different hunt though. It’s no longer about you. It’s about them and their comfort and happiness. If you’re willing to change your style of hunting, most likely hunt a little less and not go after the biggest, farthest buck then take him. If you expect this to be a hardcore 10 hours a day grind it out hunt and aren’t willing to change then leave him or see if his parents will bring him out half way through the hunt.
 

silverbullet555

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It depends on the kid. If you bring him, you potentially have to change your hunt schedule if he can't keep up, you can't just leave him.

If he can keep up or you can adjust, it could be awesome. It is a long hunt though so his emotional passion will be important.

My son is 13 and he is in his 3rd year of hunting. His passion grows yearly as does his physical ability. But, he isn't able to hike the country I hike for deer. Antelope he does better because it is flatter.

I take him on his own hunts where the agenda and expectations are aligned with him.

I'm not saying you shouldn't take him. I'm saying know his limits and be prepared for it impacting how you hunt and your potential for success.

If you take him, make it fun, make memories and grow his passion. In 5 years he may he your #1 hunting partner and someone that out hikes you.

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Grumman

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I’d say bring him. My son is 12 and while there are sacrifices opposed to solo hunting the memories we make and lessons we learn together are well worth it. At this point I would be lonely without having a kid along. Don’t worry about the drive, if he brings an electronic device that will keep him occupied. Just make sure he is able to stay warm, has plenty of snacks, and can get a nap in. Have fun!


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74hntr

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Nov 24, 2019
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Take him unless he is kicking and screaming not to go. I been taking my kids on all hunts since they could walk. Don’t regret a second Of it even when it slowed me down. most kids can outlast adults if they want to be there so food and good clothes help them stay in the game. 12 is plenty old for just about anything if they want to be there. My uncles are the reason I hunt and I can never repay them for letting me tag along. If your lucky you might make your best future hunting partner.
 

6mm Remington

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Take him and have a great time. It's all about fun and getting some great critters to eat!! Make sure he has good warm clothing and boots. Hunt what pops up in front of you, but if given a chance I'd sure think I would try and put him on a deer first if possible. Make it a special trip for the young man.

Make sure he always has food in his belly. As you know he will graze on the food all day long. Make sure you guys have snacks in the truck and lunches in the day-packs. Lots of water and drinks. Sugar free gatorade's and drinks similar to that are great for a little flavor and some electrolytes and vitamins for the body.
PROPEL makes some mixes to add to water. They come 10 packets in a little box and mix in 17oz of water per packet. Grape is my favorite but Berry is also very good. Can be put in a water bottle or hydration bladder, either way.

Summer Sausage & Cheese plus crackers makes great snacks for in the pack and you don't have to worry about trying to make a sandwich. I slice up the sausage into bite size pieces and chunk up a block of mild cheddar cheese, or munster cheese, or similar. Ritz crackers or other's are great. You can have these all cut and in zip-lock bags ready to eat so you don't have to mess with them in the field or a motel.

Fruit- seems that an apple or two in the pack is also nice to have. Jerky is always a favorite too.

Try not to get him too cold or too wet and uncomfortable. It does happen as we know it's hunting after all but you might cut it back a bit if it's too much or you see in his demeanor that it's a bit much. Best of luck and have fun!
 

505Wapiti

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Absolutely bring him along. I just witnessed my 11 year old son take his first animal ever last Sunday and it was more rewarding than any of my previous hunts hands down. Raising future generations of hunters and those who respect and love the outdoors and all it provides us is important to pass along. And for what it’s worth, anytime we can get kids away from a computer and video games is a win : )
 

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browning2480

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I echo what everyone else says. It depends on the kid. I have three boys and they are all different. My oldest and youngest (19 & 11) have been willing and able to hunt just like me from an early age.

my middle son who is now 16 is different. He will do his own thing and I have learned to let him. Used to push him, but it wasn’t good for either of us. Let him hunt his way and style and everything is great!
 

RemiR7

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Bring him. I just took my son who just turned 9 on his first trip for rifle antelope. 17 hr drive over two days and while yes times were tough and yes he couldn’t exactly always keep up he never stopped. 0530 wake-ups for us to be in our glassing spots and 1 mile to 3 mile hikes from the truck were tough for him
at times but in the end he loved it. Take breaks when needed, pack extra snacks that he will enjoy, try and make the little things enjoyable for them. Give him optics while glassing and let him do some work on his own to find animals. I know my son enjoyed finding animals on his own. Don’t be too serious even though it may be hard not to be. Go at their pace, but don’t drag feet, but make him push himself. Out of all the hunts I’ve done this past trip has been the best and will be hard to beat. While I was behind the gun, it was just as much his hunt as it was mine. The buck was no where near the biggest I’ve taken, but the animal was only the cherry on top. it’s a memory that will last forever and hopefully it opened up the door for him to head out west with me for the future. Give him the option to decide whether or not he wants to continue it. Take him.
 

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Justin Crossley

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We just got back from a week long antelope hunt where my 14 year old filled all three of his tags and my dad filled all three of his tags. We also brought my buddy's 3 year old son and he had a blast! Lots of work but so worth it.





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Michael54

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Take him. A little tag soup on your end isn't the end of the world. In his eyes this trip could be the trip he talks about 40 years from now.
 

JeffP_Or

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PDX
I agree with taking him if he has interest. Maybe sit him down and explain what all will happen? Make sure he has some binos of something else to carry and help? Reach a 'hunting partner agreement' with him....

I was ten years old when my mostly non-hunting father was invited on a NM scailed quail hunt [sans dogs]. It got down to 10 degrees which is cold and potentially miserable for a skinny, 10-year old Texas kid - but I recall it most of all the things a family member did for me hunting/fishing. I was not even hunting and recall many times just sitting in the truck since I was so cold while the others chased birds - no phones or computers back then so I counted shots in the distance [and was thoroughly surprised how few birds for those shots returned to the truck - haha].

It meant a lot. A tremendous amount in fact. Good luck on the hunt.
 

Che

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Oct 21, 2020
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I've taken my nephew on two mule deer hunts starting at 12 yrs. old, 3 years ago.
It does make hunting more difficult. The patience to glass, drive to wake up at o dark thirty, and desire to gut an animal were not there.
He's over hunting but.... He still wants to go just to hang with his uncle.
My vote is - take him if he's interested and have low expectations of him being as enthusiastic.
Sometimes just the time behind a car window getting there is the real value.
 

mooretitan

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CA
Depends on the kid and the goal you have for the hunt. I agree taking kids is great but only if you are there for them to enjoy the experience. I have taken all of my kids hunting at some level but an out of state hunt to me has to fit the kid to enjoy it for all ends. My oldest 13 can go anywhere I can go with out thinking about it. The only thing that slows him down is carrying lots of weight. He is only 75lbs so anything crazy I am carrying most of it. But he can do the hike and hunt for as long as I can. My 11 year old can also do pretty much anything but his own enjoyment level is not the same. I still make him do a few hard Chukar hunts just to test him but I don’t force big game hunts on him. My 9 year old daughter is all game just doesn’t have the motor of my boys. We quail hunted this Sunday I went off the mountain early because she got tired and had to many stickers. That’s something my oldest son what have never even mentioned at any age. My youngest 7 year old has been a few quick hunts and one over nighter. I had to carry her up a couple ridges and hold her hand when she was five but she still talks about the big bear that we saw that day.
it’s always more about you adjusting. They will enjoy it if you make it about them
 
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