When I was young my Dad and I always talked about how we would one day go elk hunting together, but that never came to fruition as he passed away som 23 years ago unexpectedly while backpacking Mt. San Jacinto in CA. I promised myself I would take my boys as soon as it was legally possible...
So, when they turn 12 I buy them thier own rifle that we put our own touch on by painting the stock together and getting it bedded. Two of the boys have Remington Model 7s in 7mm-08, but my youngest wanted to be different so he got a .308 in the model 7. Matter of fact, just today we sold some bobcat pelts we trapped to fund his scope for the rifle.
I start them off with just cow elk tags in Unit 61, but they love it. They love the year long anticpation of "thier" hunt and all the gear we purchase to have them outfitted adequately. I take them out of school for a week, and of course, there's no complaints on their part. To date, the two oldest boys were successful and I hope to do the same this year with my youngest. Matter of fact, just today we sold some bobcat pelts we trapped to fund his scope for the rifle.
The last picture is my oldest 5 years after his first elk (the steep a$$ elk wrapped around the pine). He's a senior this year and he wanted to go after elk with his bow. I'm not sure how many miles we packed in but we didn't see a soul. Some close calls with the elk, but they eluded us this year. We had a great time even coming home empty handed.
If you've got kids, don't let those years pass by without taking them to the backcountry. I now have three addicts, but they're worth every penny! All that said, after not being able to really hunt myself these last few years, next year it's Dad's turn!
Love the youth forum...great idea!