One Obstacle in Getting Kids Started Hunting

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Mike Belt

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I don't ever remember seeing anything like this posted and don't really know why it popped into my head since I no longer have kids hunting but...

One of the hardest things to do when getting kids started hunting and particularly during rifle season when it's really cold outside is providing them with the clothing they need to keep them warm and dry. Sure they make and sell boots and clothing that will fit them and do the job but generally speaking it's only good for a year. By the following season they've outgrown them. That can get really expensive especially if you don't have multiple kids that can grow into those outgrown by their siblings. I've never known of any outdoor store (Bass Pro, Academy sports, Cabelas, etc.) that offer what I'm thinking of which is renting hunting clothes. Rent a pair of boots, rent a set of bibs and a parka, rent raingear. Rent by the day or multiple days, rent by the week, rent by the season. Of course any place that might offer this would have to make enough renting their attire to cover the cost of whatever you were getting and for the maintenance and cleaning. In fact it might be cheaper to buy what you're looking at rather than rent for the season but then you're back to it only lasting one season and the store needs some type of incentive to carry out this type of program. Almost any sporting goods store caters to hunters and this seems like it would be a great way to promote hunting to the youths. As an afterthought, it might not be such a bad idea if some place like Tndeer set up a swap forum specifically for exchanging youth clothing that didn't have much wear on it and was still reasonably adequate for hunting purposes. This would serve as a member benefit that could save people money as well as promote kids hitting the woods.
 
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huntintn

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Almost broke me, 4 boys. Every year 1 or 2 out growing clothing. Boots sometimes twice a year. They learned quick to take care of their stuff.

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TX300mag

TX300mag

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Thrift stores and hand me downs. I've got six that either hunt themselves or go to the deer stand.

I'll say this-those little guys can take the cold a lot better than me and I'm not cold natured. I've seen them tough it out in the 20s in cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a hoodie. I guess they can suit themselves...literally.


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pass-thru

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You can recoup a lot of cost on gently used selling on ebay and craigslist. Also, kids can get by fine without camo, so the clothing need not be just for hunting. My boys are 5 and 7 and I took them both out over Thanksgiving. Needed to buy warm socks for the older one and the only suitable ones I could find in the store were $20. Feet are one of the first things to get cold though. Lucky we got them because it was 25 degrees the morning we took him out. After 2 hours he was getting cold...I said 15 more minutes, he said OK, 10 minutes later a 7 pointer stepped out, I shot it and he was completely thrilled...forgot all about being cold.
 
Shooter77

Shooter77

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Cost of clothes is crazy! I've seen kids hunting boots 49-109. Heck it's 30-60 for some outwear stuff and rarely goes on sale much. No way would I pay that for one season. What I've been doing is buying my 7 y/o stuff over the last few years after season. I got him a bunch of stuff at academy sports for very little over the past few years. Winter camo jacket was like 12.00 reg 49.99. Got him pants, t shirt, hoodie and the jacket around $30. 2 weeks ago I bought him a pair of Cabela's instinct fleece line pants (wish I had a pair), says 59.99 on tag, paid 11.49 + tax for them. One thing, I know most kids have under armour or similar where they play ball. My son uses his UA cold gear from ball that we bought him for hunting base. Works great, just need to get him some boots for next year. tennis shoes don't cut it.
 
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DRSJ35

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What ever happened to the blue jeans and a red and black flannel shirts.wish i would have thought to invent camo. its everywhere these day's.lol
 
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Winchester

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Been there and done that with 2 boys myself. For gun hunting, especially from a ladder stand or ground blind, a good ol sleeping bag will solve most of your cold problems with the kids.
 
infoman jr.

infoman jr.

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Some of my most vivid memories of growing up hunting were freezing my butt off and wearing over-sized clothes. Maybe that's why I'm so obsessive about hunting clothes now.
 
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Ridgewalker1

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I'm lucky I have 3 kids all 3 yrs apart so I can buy some decent clothes then hand them down
 
Pic IN the Casa

Pic IN the Casa

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Thrift store is a good place as mentioned. Also, Me and my 13 y/o still pack sleeping bags to slip in if it gets crazy cold in a stand. Even brought buddy heater to stand.

As for renting clothing. I always thought about stuff like this. ESPECIALLY bridesmaid dressed. I bet my wife spent a grand on those things. A guy can rent a tux but a girl has to buy their dress???
 
JeepKuntry

JeepKuntry

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Getting ready to go through this with my oldest. She will be 7 in March. Already in a girls size 8. Hoping to find some things at Goodwill. Wonder if Carhart has some smaller sizes?
 
Biggun4214

Biggun4214

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My youngest son's shoe size and age was the same from 8-16. :)
 
Poleaxe

Poleaxe

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Everybody wants to always scrounge on their kids gear(like my brown carhart coveralls when I was a kid. To keep kids interested and driven to want to keep going out there they need to be comfortable. Always in first of December tons of places have their kids cloths warm/and cold weather gear marked down to nothing. Just last weekend scent blocker had their three piece parka/ jacket 80% off marked down to & 30 normally 125. Their bibs normally $200 down to $50. If they wear a youth medium this year go ahead and get a large for next. My 7yr old sat up in the stand two weeks ago for 4 & 1/2hrs and never complained. Cause he has good gear.
 
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bamarp

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I have 3 that love to hunt with me. My oldest is 16 and he is 6"7 and 300 lbs and wears size 16 boot. He is bigger than me so hand me downs are out of the question. Heak I get his hand me downs. lol I need to get him some warm boots now but have yall priced a good pair of hunting boots for cold weather in a size 16 lately? lol
 
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TheLBLman

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Mike, while I agree with you that the clothing issue is an "obstacle" in getting kids started hunting,
kids today have never had it so good when it comes to hunting clothing. Their hunting activities are extremely "pampered" compared to how kids started hunting a couple generations or so back.

infoman jr.":38nqfw6x said:
Some of my most vivid memories of growing up hunting were freezing my butt off and wearing over-sized clothes. Maybe that's why I'm so obsessive about hunting clothes now.
x 2
Except my "hunting" clothes growing up were as often too small as too large.

When I was growing up, "hunting" was more about a wide variety of game and fowl, with deer being little more than just another thing we hunted.

I had but a single set of "hunting" clothes, which consisted of a vest, a coat, and a pair of pants, all of which were brown heavy cotton. When it was colder, other "work" clothes and/or long johns were layered under these "hunting" clothes.

During "deer" season, around mid-morning we quit deer hunting, then started hunting something else, which usually meant rabbits or quail. Late afternoon, we would get back on a deer stand. Never changing clothes. Used the same shotgun, too. I killed a ton of deer with my Browning Sweet 16, and a ton more other stuff.

Also, back then, here in TN we had either a 1 or a 2-buck limit when I was young, archery season was truly "primitive", and there was no muzzleloader season. The archery season segment ended on October 31st, and there was no deer hunting period thereafter until the "gun" season opened a few days before Thanksgiving. If we didn't hunt something besides deer, we wouldn't get to hunt so much annually, as the deer season was also closed most of December as well.

Back then, the idea of a pre-season "juvenile" hunt had not yet been conceived. In fact, there were many years when deer season did not open on a Saturday, and most juveniles such as myself were not allowed to miss school, such as when deer season opened the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Interestingly, most of those with whom I grew up (and are still alive & kickin') became lifetime hunters, and still hunt a variety of game today. I really believe the focus on a variety of hunting experiences helped make us into lifetime hunters.
 
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TheLBLman

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With all the above posts & thoughts in mind,
imo, we would do better getting more youth into HUNTING if we eliminated the January "juvenile" hunt.
(Please note I'm "all for" the early juvenile hunt which precedes all other gun deer hunting annually.)

I say this mainly because of what's been stated above, while believing if this late winter hunt didn't exist,
more juveniles would be out stomping for rabbits or hunting other small game instead,
which seems a more productive cold-weather activity in producing LIFETIME HUNTERS.

Farther note that juvenile hunter participation is relatively low on this January date,
but it's existence actually prevents perhaps a larger number of juveniles from hunting other game.
 
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Mike Belt

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LBL... Agreed on the juvi hunts. I can see the pre-season hunt because it gives them a shot before the mass pressure. I just don't see the benefit of the post season hunt. Once the regular season opens they can go as often as any other hunter.

Clothing... I need to go back and look for some pics of my kids when I first took them hunting. They're almost comical. Older clothing several sizes too big with some of it home made cut down and stitched back up to accommodate the fit better.
 
Poleaxe

Poleaxe

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I would love to see the late juvi closed and give them that whole entire week of the end of October instead that Saturday and Sunday. Your right about the lack of participation in January. So many years I've planned on taking kids and gearing them up to have the weather keep us from going or only giving us one setting. So by the time gun opens up 3 weeks later they've already been educated. If they had those 7 days thats possibly 5 more after school evening chances they could have. The participation would really be the same adding those 5 vs the numbers in January.
 

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