By: Mark Rohlfing

Taking a beginner hunting is a great way to introduce them to the  outdoors and generate an interest in hunting to younger generations. What age should you start? Well… we took our 10-month old daughter turkey hunting this past spring. Here is what happened.


How young is too young? Author shares a nice buck with daughter Hannah.

We had the first key ingredient for this type of adventure – perfect weather! Sunshine, 70-degrees, and calm winds. My wife had a tag and we decided to take Hannah along. We packed all the necessities and headed for a likely spot.

I loaded my decoys, blind, camcorder bag, and then topped it off with the diaper bag. I wobbled from the off-balance weight as I crossed the fence.

A great day in the outdoors provides fun for the whole family.

We took an easy walk in the short grass down the hill to a nice open meadow surrounded by oaks. We set the blind up and settled Hannah on a blanket. It’s amazing to see the curiosity of young kids. She was totally entertained for a while. She picked up leaves & sticks, carefully examining them, barely looking up as I let out yelps on the box call.

It wasn’t long and some red-heads appeared. A couple jakes and a gobbler where following a hen, heading our way. Everything was going pretty well, but then Hannah realized it was too quit. Trying to muffle her only makes her talk louder! I decided there was nothing we could do to keep her quiet, so I purred and cutt, hoping to over-ride the baby sounds.

The birds were skeptical. They could see the Dave Smith Decoys and hear turkey sounds, but the “ma-ma-ma-ma” coming from our blind made the gobbler break strut. He put his head up and I could see him thinking… “are you kidding me? Do they think I’m that stupid?” It was pretty entertaining. Needless to say the birds slid by out of bow range and Hannah had a great time telling us all about it.

There will be other hunts for young Hannah and perhaps a turkey like this one Dad took earlier.

I don’t regret the blown opportunity for a minute. I was happy to share it with my wife and daughter. When taking young kids out make sure the weather is nice, keep the outing short and to the point, and don’t set your expectations too high. Enjoy the journey!