Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

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Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

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There is no hunting on public land on Sundays in Virginia so it was a good safe day to check out our closest local, legal to hunt Wildlife Management Area, Ragged Island. This is a narrow stretch of swampy woods between two tributaries of the James river, close to where it meets the Chesapeake bay. I didn't have particularly high hopes for this place due to there being little fresh water and not really any reason for hoofed game to pass through. A check out of google earth revealed that there might be a couple of fresh water ponds on one of the islands so we, my wife and I, decided to check it out.

Sunday morning we slept a little late but had gear and BB guns loaded in the car by 10:00. We hit up a local diner we have been meaning to try and were pleasantly surprised. I never thought I'd be nostalgic for chipped beef (Army) but it was on the menu for five fifty with two eggs. Covered in hot sauce it was awesome! Anyway, I digress. Next stop was Bass Pro to get vests and base layer/early season shirts for wife and sprog. This accomplished, we headed to the woods arriving about 11:00. From the parking area, there is a solid hunters trail about a quarter mile long on the first Island and of course the inevitable detritus of "Hunters". Bush light and Pepsi cans, dozens of shot shell hulls, water bottles, etc. Thew initial trail became fainter and more difficult to follow but was pretty regularly blazed with marking tape. I was glad to have my Gerber brush clearer machete with us. As we hiked the trash became less but being a tidal area was ever present. In all we hiked about four miles across five "islands" and found the ponds we had seen from Google Earth. Unfortunately, as expected, the water was brackish, although no so much as the river water in the area. We saw no game or sign whatsoever. There seemed to be no nut trees of any kind so even small game was not evident. There may be a possibility to set up for water fowl somewhere out there in season but there are much better places for that close by around here and I'm not really into it.

As for the sprog, he was great and had a blast walking through the woods with a gun. He brought up the rear, shooting leaves and beer cans galore. We talked about the four rules. Talked about game sign and hunting, etc. Talked about woodcraft, etc. We have been watching Ray Mears recently and he loves it. This was his own RM adventure. I highly recommend Ray Mears, an English naturalist, to anybody looking for wholesome family TV and a way to help inspire a love and wonder of the outdoors in their children. Anyway, that's it, a great day in the woods was had by all. Pics of us with our fearsome Daisys. :)
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by lurker »

good pictures.
dang, not even my kid and i'm getting all misty-eyed.

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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

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Yay! :yahoo:
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by Larch »

Great story! Brought back fond memories of my first Red Ryder, a gift from my parents for my seventh birthday. My Dad set up a BB trap that held a target in the back yard, and I plinked happily away. Remember how you had to cock those things as a little kid? Hold the barrel with your left hand, pointed away from your head ("You'll put your eye out!"--Mom), set the inside edge of the shoulder stock against your right foot and use your right hand to pull the lever up and cock it.
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by atxgunguy »

Ah yes, good times. 9 was a great age. First pen knife, BB-gun, and camping. Shooting/burning/chopping stuff was literally the coolest thing ever. Wait, it still is! :D
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

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:beer2:
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by highdesert »

:thumbup: His dad is his hero!
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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by AndyH »

Very cool! Looks like a perfect way to enjoy a Sunday - and just the right amount of trees!

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Re: Took my 9 y/o on his first "Hunting" excursion yesterday

Post by JamesH »

Ray Mears is awesome, and glad to see you putting yourself on his level with the BB gun. Great way to teach.

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