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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter is 9 and really wants to "hunt" something. Are rabbits about the best choice for someone her age? What about a suitable gun? I bought her a .22 Magnum awhile back, but really it is still too long and heavy for her. I'm thinking now about a youth .410 ?

I don't know if it's fair, but I told her I wasn't going to let her shoot at rabits unless she was willing to try eating them. Predators aside, I don't typically shoot stuff that I don't plan on eating - but that's just me...

What has everyone had success with, when it comes to kids this age and size?

Here she is "helping" me on my deer hunt last year


Few years ago
 

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i like the youth 410 thats a good choice and another one is a youth .22 long rifle like the chimpunk they are really good for kids. as for eatting what you hunt thats what we do also i give you a thumbs up and get her in a hunter ed class when she is 10 years old tons of info for her :)
 

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I have a youth model Win .223, and a couple of .22's that my kids use. As for the eating it before you hunt it. I dont care either way, as there are folks in the family who will eat anything. The wife on the other hand is a staunch supporter of it. She will only hunt things she will eat (elk) and the kids seem to follow her lead. And of course all the kids have their own bows. Mostly stick bows, but #2 shoots a compound.

Rabbits, Dove, Quail, are all good starters for that age. Just make sure to let her see dad miss a few first, and keep the encouragement up the entire time, even if none are hit. LOL.. Thats the challenging part.

Good luck, and keep her out in the fields, She will end up being part of your most memeorable hunts.

Shane
 
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I think I would stay away from the 410 as a starter. A 410, in my opinon, is for the advanced shotgunner not a beginner. To many misses and she could get discouraged. All of my kids and grandkids have started either on the 28 or 20 gauge, not near the misses.

She sure is a cutie.
 

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I have a 20 gauge single shot that might work for her. Kick's like a mule though but a recoil pad would probably help a bunch. I got it from a friend of mine years back for my son who was about 8 at the time.
Let me know if you're interested...it's not in great shape, but would make a good starter shotgun for a young'un (with a recoil pad that is). Couldn't tell you what brand it is - somewhere out of Brazil if I recall correctly.
It's just sitting in around gathering dust - be happy to make you a heck of a deal on it.
 

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I agree with chief about the .410, and the shells cost about 3 times as much as 20 gauge. I just recently bought a winchester 1300 youth 20 gauge pump for my 8 year old son. maybe something like that might work for her?
 
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Excellent choice, 20 ga for birds & small game, 22LR for plinking and a 243 for deer & javelina. She'll probably get her first javelina before dad does.
 

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I agree that the .410 is more for advanced wing-shooters, but it can work extremely well for non-avian game such as rabbits and squirrel. First squirrel and rabbit that I shot as a kid was with a single-shot .410.

Also, most of the eurasian dove that I encounter are usually perched on dead trees, utility poles or fence posts and rarely on the wing, so in that regard, it would work well for perch-swatting.

I feel the .22 LR is the wiser choice. IMO, rifles such as the Chipmunk and Ruger 10/22 are both excellent choices for beginning youth hunters in quest of small-game. I think the first exposure to a .22 rifle should come from a single-shot, bolt-action .22. Graduating to a semi-auto should come after advanced shooting skills and safety consciousness traits are observed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She has shown an interest in hunting turkey. Is a 20ga sufficient for turkeys?
 

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I was in exactly the same situation. My daughter wanted to hunt with me and was willing, but I had a really hard time finding guns that worked for her size. So what I ended up with was a Ruger 10/22 with a junior sized stock that I got from Brownells or Numrich. It worked great! Light, compact, and she even hit what she was shooting at from time to time.

Shotguns were a little more tricky. Knowing my daughter as I do, I know she isn't as tough as some kids her age. I knew I didn't want to bang her up by shooting a 20, never mind the fact that it was too heavy. I finally decided on a 1100 .410. I knew there wasn't a lot of shot in a .410 shell, but I figured if I could get her used to shooting, in time, a bigger gun would follow. The important thing to me was to get her out and let her bang away comfortably. Again, I bought a very short stock from one of the parts houses and even cut it down some more to ad a recoil pad.

At first it was a little too heavy and she had some trouble, but by 10 she had grown into it and was able to break a few targets to boot. I have asked her if she is ready for a bigger gun yet repeatedly, but she is happy for now.

Her hunting has been not much more than squirrel hunting and dove hunting. She has a ball doing both.

It is all about the kid. If they are comfortable and want to be out shooting, and they don't care if they miss or rarely hit, then I am happy. The bigger guns, the talk of fine shots on a bird and bag limits will come in time.

Doug Gordon
 

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When I lived in Vermont the rod and gun club I belonged to mentored alot of young people. I was in charge of Hunters Ed and the combat handgun games. We found that a singleshot shotgun in 20 gauge could be reloaded with a light enough load (usually less powder and a slower velocity so you had enough shot to break the targets) to get the youngsters shooting well on the trap field and they never felt the difference when we went to the field. They also loved knocking over the 22 silhouettes. Punching paper bored them. Steel swingers are good too. The nicest 22 I've seen lately is the CZ Scout. My girlfriend has one and is deadly with it. It has a small stock an adjustable trigger and is light enough to shoot well offhand. It's about $170.00. She has started shooting Silhouettes at Rio Salado and loves it. Eating what you kill is why I started hunting. We always needed the meat. God's provision.
Mark
P.S. The 20 gauge at close range is okay on turkeys. With the 1 1/4 ounce loads it is equal to the 12 gauge loads I started hunting turkeys with. At 25 to 30 yards with no. 6 shot it kills well.
 
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