MULHERIN: Preparation for hunting for young people; Get your young hunter on paper and blindfolded | Sports

If you can’t believe it’s September already, you’re not alone. September means a lot for outdoor enthusiasts, but for deer hunters it means it’s Liberty Hunt time, which is the weekend when young hunters and hunters with disabilities can hit the trail. land and kill a deer on private land.

Your young hunter can use a bow, crossbow, shotgun, muzzleloader, or rifle as long as you hunt in the appropriate area for those weapons. This article covers how to get your young hunter to practice spotting, what to bring to the blind, and other tips.

First of all

If you haven’t read lately, you might want to check out “Required Harvest Reports” at This year, the state will implement an online deer harvest reporting system. You will therefore need to either download the app or visit the website within 72 hours of harvesting and before transferring the deer to a taxidermist or processor. With September temperatures, I know I would download this app. Your young hunter can fill out the forms on the way to the Transformer this way.

The DNR app is called “Michigan DNR Hunt Fish” and is available on Google Play Store or iTunes Store.

You can also go to and fill out the form from your smartphone or computer.

Rifle Considerations

Your young hunter should become familiar with their bow or firearm before attempting to take down a deer. Bows and crossbows can be practiced in the backyard, but you really need a trip to a shooting range to aim a gun.

If your hunter is a beginner, think carefully about the caliber or gauge you will be using. Common youth rifle cartridges are .243, 7mm-08, and .223. There’s a lot of debate about whether .223s are adequate for deer hunting, but DNR rules say they are, and they’re definitely the softest legal cartridge from a point of view. of hindsight. If your child is lightweight, a .223 might save him unnecessary punishment and keep him from flinching. It is something worth pondering.


If your rifle is equipped with a scope, this is just an easy trip to the range where your young hunter should practice three-shot groups from a rest similar to the one he will use in the field.

If your rifle has a new scope or has been abandoned or stored for ages, you can try aiming it. The fastest way to do this is with a commercially available laser, but if you have a bolt-action rifle, you can remove the bolt and sight at home. My aiming device is the back of a couch in the basement. I have one that lines up with an electrical outlet on the wall, so I pop the bolt out of the rifle, lay the rifle on the back of the couch, and view the barrel from the end of the breech. If I can see this exit through the barrel, I grip the rifle firmly, then raise my head to peek through the scope. I dial in the range until I have this exit in the crosshairs while keeping the barrel pointed at the exit. This usually gives me “on paper” 25 yards or even 100 yards.

Within reach

Before going to the shooting range, take a newspaper. Your hunter will shoot targets, but a piece of newspaper behind your target can be a lifesaver when you don’t know where his bullets land. I like to use grid targets for aiming. Some ranges have them in stock – Fin and Feather Club will often have them in the (retired) newspaper boxes of the ranges.

MULHERIN: Preparation for hunting for young people;  Get your young hunter on paper and blind

We started at 25 yards. Even though I know I could be on paper at 100 yards, I like the kids to shoot one at 25 yards and make adjustments. Don’t forget that their gap at 25 meters will be multiplied by four at 100 meters. So one inch high at 25 meters will be four inches high at 100 meters. So when you see that “¼ inch per click at 100 yards” on your scope buttons, you know you’re going to have to move it four times as far at 25 yards.

Once they’re on paper at 25 (which is usually a hit or two), then I move to 100 yards.

At 100 yards, you’re going to want to teach the basics of shooting: shooting with empty lungs, not flinching, etc. If you see they hesitated, ask them to try again. Observation with children can be troublesome as they may flinch for 10 or 15 shots, so buy two boxes of ammo, minimum.

Your hunter should aim from a solid base so you know where the rifle is shooting. After that, your child should practice shooting from something similar to what they will use in the field: if you’re using a monopod or bipod, have them practice from that.

I don’t usually bring a spyglass to the range unless I know it will be crowded. I like the walk to the target and back and think it’s helpful for young shooters to get up close and see the holes in their target. Once they start hitting, it will boost their confidence.


We all want our kids to be the focused hunters that we are, but that takes time. To build an appreciation for the long blind hours, you have to let the kids relax a bit.

First, bring the snacks your child, grandchild, niece or nephew enjoys. You can, however, feel free to ditch the crackle bags and put them in some type of resealable container that can be opened and closed quietly.

Understand that naps are okay for your child. If there is something to watch, wake them up, but if they fall asleep waiting for the action, let them sleep.

You can also let them bring a book or play on their phone — a little. It’s a different world from the one we grew up in. As long as they take the time to scan regularly with binoculars and look at the terrain once in a while, they understand.

If you try to make him look exactly as he was when your grandfather took you, you may deter him from hunting. Give a little and maybe they’ll get more intense in the hunt as their appreciation grows.

Finally, celebrate the experience as well as the results. This is called hunting, not harvesting. A stag or buck is not guaranteed, especially this early in the fall. Teach them to appreciate the experience, to be grateful for the time spent in the woods with the freedom to hunt. The deer is a bonus and the antlers, well, they’re just wall decorations. They should be appreciated, but not revered or distressed.

Send photos to [email protected] We always accept and publish all deer photos we receive. We do our best to print them in the order they arrive, as space permits. That said, sometimes we have a hole for a vertical photo and your horizontal photo can wait a week – or vice versa. Please ask your child to kneel beside or behind the deer and support the head by the antlers – or by the jaw in the case of a doe. Wipe up the blood, stick your tongue in your mouth and take a field shot if possible. We reserve the right to edit or reject photos for gore. All deer harvest photos must have a hunter in the photo.

About Debra D. Johnson

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