First western hunt suggestion for a 10 y/o

CJnGA

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Aug 23, 2021
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This year will be the third year we (my dad and I) have made the trek out west for hunting. First year was WY Antelope last year was WY Muley. We were able to fill at least one tag each year. This year, we're going full-bore and going after elk in MT while doing our own DIY base camp.

Hearing us talk so much about previous trips and planning this trip has finally gotten to my 10 y/o son and I don't think I can push him off for tagging along next year. I think we have a good grasp on how to do these hunts safely and have some concept of what the heck we're doing without having to worry about the youngster fanning the flames of frustration with "what are we doing now?" when I really don't even know myself (I still don't really know, but I'm better at faking it now).

So question for the peanut gallery - what would be a good intro hunt for a 10 y/o? He hasn't shot any 'big' guns yet - he is a dead eye with a crossbow from 50yds and he's plinked a bit with a .22LR & WMR. We have a .25-06 as well as a 6.5x55 Swede that I think we could work up to before next year - might also be able to sneak in a .243 or similar. My initial thought was antelope again as I have a WY point right now and could still buy another (I think). I mentioned that next year maybe we'll do a fishing trip but he poo-pooed that idea saying he wants to be "in the real stuff in the mountains!" Granted, he's not ready for long grueling hikes, but is there anything I'm missing that might work out for a good intro to western hunting for him?

TIA,
CJ
 

marshman

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Where do you live? Is there upland game birds or waterfowl around?
My first hunting trips were for Pheasant and ducks. I did the same with my son. A great way to introduce the sport, safe gun handling, and respect for the game that we kill. If bird dogs are involved even better.
Not the big pressures that can sometimes come with big game hunting.
 

CJnGA

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Aug 23, 2021
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Where do you live? Is there upland game birds or waterfowl around?
My first hunting trips were for Pheasant and ducks. I did the same with my son. A great way to introduce the sport, safe gun handling, and respect for the game that we kill. If bird dogs are involved even better.
Not the big pressures that can sometimes come with big game hunting.

Sorry.. Should have been more clear - we live in GA and we do the typical squirrel and deer hunting (with xbow) around here , but he's itching to see what all the hype about these western hunts is. He's watched enough YT videos with me that he wants to see it for himself. ha!
 

Wallydeuce

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I'll be watching the feedback from others myself. My soon to be 12 grandson asked me to teach him how to hunt.

In your case, I think Wyoming antelope is probably the fastest option. Although not an easy hunt by any means, the terrain is usually a bit easier. It'll give you an idea how he handles both the physical and mental challenges of big country hunting. Good luck.
 

WYWINCHESTER

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Tagging along would be an exciting time for young-uns. Antelope would be a good high percentage hunt. Success is always a plus for kids. Prairiedogs would be great training for anyone learning to shoot. Fun and beneficial.
 

brymoore

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Antelope because success is more likely and more opportunities.

My kids all started with a 257 Roberts and have killed antelope to elk with it. From your collection, I’d use the 6.5 Swede. No reason to buy a rifle unless you’re looking for an excuse to do so.
 

JV842

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San Antonio TX
Took my 8yo grandson on a Montana spring bear hunt back in May. Took horses so he could ride n not have to hike so much, made a big camp so it wasn’t “too rough” on him. N just hunted evenings so we could make breakfast, fish, n mess around most of the day. He had a blast. Made it a trip for him to have fun n not so much for me to get a bear. Kids definitely add a spark to a hunting camp, everything is brand new to them n we all fed off of that.
 

OntarioHunter

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Age restrictions and hunters safety certification will be the obstacles of concern. Montana is still age twelve although I seem to recall some special exceptions in recent years but only for residents I think.

So, he will skip school for a week or two? Not sure that sets a good precedent.

Consider taking him to Africa to hunt. I'm not kidding. No age restrictions or safety certification. And he wouldn't have to miss school because winter hunting there is during our summer. The lodges often run special deals for father-son packages. Right now my lodge has a special deal four days hunting and four animals for $2400 (blesbuck, impala, wildebeest, and springbuck). The hard part would be stopping at four (been there done that). There's always management culling available too at cost of daily PH rate. That would be a good option for a youngster. I guarantee you'll see a thousand animals of all sorts. He won't be bored. Just getting there will be an adventure in itself. I just paid the taxidermy bill for eight euros including a big cape buffalo and it was $900 which isn't bad. That bull euro skull only cost $200. We are finishing up a client's huge bull moose euro today at $450 (they are a mega pain - I try to price it so clients go with moose cap mount instead) Still have to pay freight to ship the trophies. Hunting Africa is expensive but not as expensive as you might think.
 
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BRoth82

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South Central Minnesota
Look into Nebraska, youth non resident tags are only $8. It can ne crowded but you can also get away form the pressure as well, the other plus side is that you can buy extra whitetail doe tags in most units. Reach out in a PM if you want to talk more.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Antelope in a decent population unit is gonna be hard to beat for when he's on the trigger...easy terrain, should be lots of target opportunity, if he messes up a stalk there will be more chances, easy to create camp atmosphere, etc. Gonna have to wait 'til 12 for WY though.
 

Iowan

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Jan 20, 2017
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I will try to imagine what I would have wanted at 10 years old knowing what I know now. Take me somewhere that I can catch a bunch of fish (trout) but we can also hear elk bugle and watch them. I remember driving to the Black Hills in SD as a youngster - all I wanted to do was look for antelope on the ride out and mule deer once we arrived - I was sort of hunting in my own way. Make the trip about him - not your hunt. If you feel it needs to be a hunt - hard to beat antelope for a young kid or in my case someone with limited patience.
 

reallyoldman

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Oct 6, 2021
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How about just taking him on a tour of a national park in the West ? The elk are going nuts in Estes Park right now and you can really get an idea of what they are all about. You could also go to Wyoming or Walden CO and look at the antelope.
 

R.K.

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Jan 24, 2017
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MT
Start building WY antelope points for him. Get the hunters safety taken care of.

Take him along for an antelope hunt, as an observer, and for the experience.

If you feel like you absolutely have to let him pull the trigger, Nebraska sounds like a good option.
 

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