Young Hunters and Trophy Deer

I recently received a couple of letters from readers asking my advice as to whether young hunters should be encouraged to hold out for a trophy deer or be allowed to harvest a lesser quality animal.

Hunting is SERIOUS BUSINESS, DEADLY SERIOUS.

When you put a weapon capable of killing a big game animal in the hands of a child, he or she is no longer a child. They hold the power of life and death in their hands. This is serious business.
My recommendation is to always allow the young hunter their choice on which animal to harvest. Too often, parents attempt to relive their childhood through their children. We all want our children to achieve a level of higher success that we have. The tendency is to make the hunt easy for the child. This is always a mistake since humans thrive on a challenge.

Even a 10-year-old with a gun or bow in their hands must be capable of making the proper decisions on how to use that weapon. Every hunter regardless of age must make their own decisions in the field, including which deer to harvest.

I always ask young hunters what they expect to harvest. I informed them of their responsibilities, the difficulties and challenges they will face, and asked them if they are willing to do the work necessary.

After that, it’s up to them.

Good Luck and Good Hunting,
Jim

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