Creating a hunter education prep course for kids

seldomseensmith

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My 7 year old is hell bent on taking hunter safety. I love the idea of it but have decided to come up with prerequisites. My plan is to build a program of modules that he will complete. The modules will be more about mountain safety than hunting. Modules I have come up with are (not in any particular order at this point)

1. Fire Building
2. First Aide (cuts and scrapes)
3. Map and Compass. Very basic.
4. Food and water. Understanding basic nutrition and packing smart foods. Importance of clean water and how to get it.

From there I would like to work towards building a kit and preparing a pack and finish with something along the lines of:

Prepare for and complete a 4 mile hike.

and possibly:

Prepare for and complete an overnight trip.

He does a lot of hiking and has done a few overnight trips so these things he is familiar with. The idea would be to move him into a more active role.

So I'm asking for input. I know there is a ton of back country experience here. Any ideas for other modules? I intentionally stayed away from hunting specific topics btw. Also looking for good reference material? Books, webpages so on. Also general thoughts?

I'm looking to slow cook this idea and would like to have the entire thing take the rest of this year. Seems fun to me. I've never been involved in BoyScouts but I imagine it would be similar in nature.

Anyway thanks in advance and something I've wanted to get off my chest since joining this site just a few months ago contrary to popular opinion... Starbucks Via Sucks!!!! And one more thing, Sawyer squeeze filters are WAY OVER RATED.

Thanks again.
 

Crotalus

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Retracted.

When I originally read your post I pictured the little guy sitting at a desk with a three ring binder taking notes while you lectured with a pointer at a chalk board.
 
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seldomseensmith

seldomseensmith

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Prerequisite was a word for you not him. I'm also glad I'm not your dad. My boys spend their lives outdoors. Just trying to have some fun with something my family enjoys. Lots of people spend hours at the soccer field and the karate studio working on skills. I don't see anything heavy handed about trying to teach your kids outdoor related skills. Jeesh
 

Crotalus

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Good luck with it, hope you guys have a great time with it!
 
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seldomseensmith

seldomseensmith

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Man this is gonna sound really dicky, but I'm so glad you're not my dad. Ugh, "training modules" at 7 years old?

Just take the kid out and show him the things you want him to know, spend time in the woods with him and transfer your knowledge to him. It will create a great bond between the two of you. Make it fun for him, "prerequisites" do not sound fun.

And by the way, how could that not be fun? "Hey kid, lets spend the next couple of weeks learning different ways to make fire in our spare time."

"Hey kid, lets pretend mommy has a big cut on her arm and learn how to wrap it up properly"

Hey kid, lets take a backpacking trip. You plan the food and make sure you have all the right gear for the trip."

Maybe I presented it wrong but I was talking to adults at the time. I don't really want to start a discussion on the merits of the idea, was just looking for help developing it.
 

fng4life

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Don't forget shelter building, even if it's inside on a snow day. Once it's up it's like a fort to them. Practice the other stuff inside of the shelter, it really gets them into it.


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seldomseensmith

seldomseensmith

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Don't forget shelter building, even if it's inside on a snow day. Once it's up it's like a fort to them. Practice the other stuff inside of the shelter, it really gets them into it.


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Thats a great idea. I will have to spend some time on that. I haven't improvised shelters in a lot of years.
 

oldgoat

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I totally cringed when I read the thread title! I pictured studying at a desk. I was ready for Hunter's Ed through ojt with my dad and other mentors which sounds like what your planning on doing! Sounds fun, I just hope my granddaughter wants to do this kind of stuff when she gets a little older, she's three. I never had kids of my own and my step kids were grown when they came into my life. My granddaughter's first bow arrived in the mail today, fixing to start planting the seeds! Already planted some last summer at the 3d course, taught her the sound to make to stop a deer for a shot and she still remembers how to do it! Good luck and post some pictures! You might look on eBay for an old Cub Scouts handbook, I remember they had some stuff like you mentioned doing!
 
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seldomseensmith

seldomseensmith

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I totally cringed when I read the thread title! I pictured studying at a desk. I was ready for Hunter's Ed through ojt with my dad and other mentors which sounds like what your planning on doing! Sounds fun, I just hope my granddaughter wants to do this kind of stuff when she gets a little older, she's three. I never had kids of my own and my step kids were grown when they came into my life. My granddaughter's first bow arrived in the mail today, fixing to start planting the seeds! Already planted some last summer at the 3d course, taught her the sound to make to stop a deer for a shot and she still remembers how to do it! Good luck and post some pictures! You might look on eBay for an old Cub Scouts handbook, I remember they had some stuff like you mentioned doing!

Yeah I guess I presented it a little strange. I will look for some old scout books. I remember having some really in depth old timey bushcraft type books as a kid I would spend hours reading. I would love to find those. Long gone I'm afraid.
 

EAT

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I like what you've got started here, I think it's great! I've got some old bushcraft type books written by Bradford Angier that i really enjoy thumbing through. Probably a little too in depth for a kid, but I think it would be pretty good reference material. I found a couple of the ones I have on Amazon for decent prices.
 

406

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The Tom Brown books have Bushcraft, tracking, and trapping with tons of illustrations. My nephew loved those.

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SquidHC

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I don't know what opportunities exist to do so where you live, but my daughter and I have been going on mushroom hunting trips since before she could walk. It forces her to walk through the woods and observe everything in detail. I use it as an opportunity to talk about types of habitat different mushrooms need, the types of trees and plants they grow on or near, slope direction and the like. All of those translate directly into hunting skills.

She's almost five now and she leads the way in the woods. I let her choose which way to go, and I follow quietly. She picks out animals by the twitch of a wing, knows which trees are associated with water, and can find and follow game trails through thick brush. We do this a few times a month, rain or shine. The other weekends we shoot 3D or fish.

That's how I've approached it, and it seems to be working well for her.

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JLH208

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I think it's a great idea, and I know you're not trying to hear it directly towards hunting, but being prep for hunters Ed I would definitely include firearms safety. I grew up hunting with dad long before I was old enough to take hunters Ed and he'd have me carry a rifle sized stick, put tape on the "muzzle" end and would call me out if it was ever pointed in a dangerous position. I wish I'd have learned a lot more about the survival/mountain safety side of things but I will say the way I learned firearm safety was invaluable and I have it engrained in my head more than I do drivers Ed.


- Jesse
 

2ski

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So first off, as a hunter's safety instructor, I see this as a great idea. And I like what you are covering. Because those aren't things that are covered in any sort of depth in MT hunter education. So if you give your kid a good background in these, I see this as a positive. And these are going to be fun. Things to keep him interested. The kids with dad's that have already invested in them before hunter ed are fun and they ask really good questions. I will second teaching gun safety as well. Its probably at least 30/40% of our hunting curriculum. I would go over the 4 rules of firearm safety with him. And then I would get him a BB gun and let him walk around with it a little. Not a lot because its going to be a lot for his brain to comprehend keeping the gun in a safe direction as he walks around and not tripping on things. And you don't want him to get tired and/or tired of it and lose muzzle control. Keep it short and fun. I would take a stick or something that you can tape a small flashlight to so he can easily see how easy it is to cover something or someone with the muzzle if you're not paying attention. As far as the first aid, I would keep it super light like you are talking about. Cuts and scrapes. Don't put the weight of the world on him going over things like broken bones or anything serious. Things that are no big deal. Maybe hypothermia but not going over how serious it is. Just something like, if you get too cold, this is what you do. And I think shelters is a good idea. When I was first hunting with my dad, he would point out places to take shelter out of wind and rain/snow.

Official Montana Bowhunter Safety Course - Online MT Bowhunter Certification

Montana Online Hunter Safety Course | Hunter-ed.com™
Free until the end when you want to print that you passed. So you can take the training and get ideas from these.

I was actually impressed you used the word module. It showed me this isn't just some thrown together teaching but something you've put a lot of thought into.
 
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