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Old 09-24-2021, 08:48 AM   #1
Justin Spies
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Default Teaching Young Ones Shot Placement

I have been practicing with by almost six year old shooting. I feel that he is doing great, and that he is ready to try on a live animal. I show him the vitals on pics and youtube videos. My question is where would you have a young first time hunter aim on a deer or pig with a rifle? He will most likely be shooting an AR in 6.5 Grendel possibly a .243. Stay right behind the shoulder or have him shoot directly in the shoulder? I didn't have the privilege to deer hunt until I was a teen and took myself so I never tried the smaller/light duty rounds. I plan to keep him within 50 yards or so for now.

What worked for your kiddos? Any other tips appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:00 AM   #2
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Get some Caldwell paper deer targets. They are life size paper targets, and show the vitals. Put a piece of tape, or draw a crosshair where you want him to aim. I told them to shoot right behind the shoulder, and placing the crosshair on the target will help him figure it out quickly. I did this with both of my boys, and they caught on real quick.

Also print a picture of a broadside deer, and draw a crosshair on it. Laminate that and take it to the stand with you so that you can study it with him.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:02 AM   #3
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I tell mine right above the shoulder. Gives them more room for error also.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:03 AM   #4
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There was a meateater episode where they take some non-hunters from the office out WT hunting. Before the hunt (After some instruction), they went page by page in random wildlife books and practiced "where would you shoot this animal?" depending on how they were standing. Slight qtr away, broadside, etc. Seemed to be a good/fun exercise.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:06 AM   #5
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I was told shoot middle of the shoulder. Thatís what I did and still do, sure you lose meat but Iíd rather have them go down quick vs hitting too far back and canít find

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Old 09-24-2021, 09:07 AM   #6
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Along with the above suggestions, I also showed my kids pictures of deer on my phone while in the blind and asked them to point out where they would aim.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:10 AM   #7
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I also use this pic as a reference for slightly quartering. Put any of the 2 rounds in that area with a good Bullet and youíll have backstrap for supper


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Old 09-24-2021, 09:13 AM   #8
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all great suggestions here, my boys were taught high shoulder, which to me is straight up the leg and about 1.5 "X's" higher in that illustration above. that X is where they have been taught if we have the crossbow with us.

you might look into one of these also, it has helped a lot with my boys. we have the caldwell field pod but this one is on sale right now...

https://www.amazon.com/FieldPod-Adju...35&sr=8-1&th=1
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:14 AM   #9
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I was always told "behind the shoulder", however, I don't think that was a very precise description and most of my early shots were too far back.

So how about " straight up the front/back leg, in the middle of body", or "straight up in between the legs, in middle of body"?
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:16 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that the entry point is irrelevant based upon body position. (I'm sure you know this but it's worth mentioning)

I'm a fan of younguns aiming behind the shoulder, lower third of the "kill zone" when standing dead broadside. Reason why is if the shooter pulls or is "off", there is still a great chance of a lethal shot and a recovery. Aiming for the shoulder itself, could turn out less fatal if the point of impact is in front of the shoulder.

Once the "first" one is under his belt, then more precise shooting instructions can be taught. Body position, elevation, detailed vitals and what I consider most important is "aim for the exit". Imagine the shot passing thru the animal and visualizing where the vitals are in relation to the shot angle and what vitals will be hit.

Another thing is to have him not look at the animal as a whole when he's about to shoot. Have him "lock in" on where he is going to shoot. This is especially helpful when shooting a buck for the first time. Kids will look at the antlers and get a worse case of "buck fever".

There used to be an app called "Shot Simulator" you could download to your phone that showed what vitals where hit depending upon the shot and angle. Unfortunately it has been since removed from the app store. There is another one (I haven't downloaded yet but lookes similar) called "Deer Target Shooting: Pro". Might be useful as a better visual aid instructor.

Good luck to the youngun!!
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:19 AM   #11
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My kids are close as well. 4yo and 6yo boys.

When they are ready to pull the trigger on a live animal, we will probably set up in one of my bow blinds with the .223, and shoot one at 20 yards.

Right through the shoulders is the plan.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:30 AM   #12
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another thing we have done, and i read it here i believe, is my boys didnt shoot their "deer rifles" at the range, only 22s and 223 for practice. my 13yo has a 7mm08 and my 11yo has a 6.5c, they have had them since they were younger and i liked the idea of them not getting gun shy of the recoil, so i zeroed them.

when it came time to shoot an animal, both shot a pig first, neither of them were scared of, or even thought of the recoil, and even when asked after the shot, they said they never felt it or even heard the shot.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:32 AM   #13
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Right above the elbow joint
Easy to see & dead deer
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshouse View Post
all great suggestions here, my boys were taught high shoulder, which to me is straight up the leg and about 1.5 "X's" higher in that illustration above. that X is where they have been taught if we have the crossbow with us.

you might look into one of these also, it has helped a lot with my boys. we have the caldwell field pod but this one is on sale right now...

https://www.amazon.com/FieldPod-Adju...35&sr=8-1&th=1
I jumped on this deal already. He started on it yesterday!
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
Get some Caldwell paper deer targets. They are life size paper targets, and show the vitals. Put a piece of tape, or draw a crosshair where you want him to aim. I told them to shoot right behind the shoulder, and placing the crosshair on the target will help him figure it out quickly. I did this with both of my boys, and they caught on real quick.

Also print a picture of a broadside deer, and draw a crosshair on it. Laminate that and take it to the stand with you so that you can study it with him.
I got some of those that should arrive today.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:41 AM   #16
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We use old hunting magazines and have the girls use a marker to put a dot where they would shoot. It also helps with teaching deer position, if they don't like the position they tell me why they did not mark it.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd350 View Post



I also use this pic as a reference for slightly quartering. Put any of the 2 rounds in that area with a good Bullet and youíll have backstrap for supper


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We have a crossbow for him as well, but I am still a little worried about him getting a finger/hand in the way of the string during the excitement.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:54 AM   #18
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Paper targets that show vitals are great. Also, we went through a TTHA magazine and I had the kids mark with a sharpie where they would aim. Works well because it show a few different angles.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:57 AM   #19
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With Grendel or .223 my daughter shoots dead center of shoulder. You will loose some meat…. But they will have a deer
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:00 AM   #20
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I use to take a good laser light pen and show my youngest son where I'd aim if I were going to shoot a particular deer that we were watching that day when he/she was standing at different angles
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:12 AM   #21
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My grandsons have been taught to line the "up n down" crosshair up with the front leg and put the other crosshair less than 1/2 way up the body... So far they're 5 for 5 on hog, deer, and javelina and all deadly V hits.


I also let them practice with my AR15-223/adjustable stock, then when we go hunting they shoot my 6.8SPC... They've never even said anything about recoil.



To teach them how to pull the trigger, I put their finger on the trigger (with the gun unloaded and safe, then I put my finger on top of theirs and showed them what is meant by squeezing the trigger vs. pulling it. They both shoot paper extremely well for 7 and 9 year olds... (will be 8/10 this coming season, their third hunting). The younger one is still having issues with buck fever so he has not actually taken a shot at a live animal because he cannot stop shaking when the time comes... (it's funny as heck to watch, but it breaks my heart that he can't calm down enough to shoot)... We are hopeful that this year will be his year!
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:14 AM   #22
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I would say right on the shoulder. It is easier for an excited person to find that than saying "put it two inches behind the shoulder and 8-10 inches above the white of its belly." lol make it simple.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:22 AM   #23
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I taught my son, right in the middle of the shoulder. Itís easy for them to pick out and deer donít run far if anywhere. Also, lots of room for error


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Old 09-24-2021, 10:24 AM   #24
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Default Teaching Young Ones Shot Placement

We followed the front leg up 1/3 of the body. Most of our rifles are sighted in a little high under 100 yards anyway, and I have found that most rookies miss high off of a rest if they miss.

If they are turned enough that that shot wonít work, we donít shoot.


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Old 09-24-2021, 10:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
I jumped on this deal already. He started on it yesterday!
I just ordered one as well. Good deal there
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:49 AM   #26
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center of the shoulder.
knock out his running gear and all the goods behind it.

have fun
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:04 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Moser View Post
We followed the front leg up 1/3 of the body. Most of our rifles are sighted in a little high under 100 yards anyway, and I have found that most rookies miss high off of a rest if they miss.

If they are turned enough that that shot wonít work, we donít shoot.


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Yep, pretty much what I have done with my grandsons... No broadside, no shot... If they can't line up the front legs with the up n down crosshair, there's no shot...
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:07 AM   #28
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Another thing that I've found is that even though we started shooting off a Caldwell Dead Shot Field Pod, when I switched last year to a clamp mount carbon fiber single point tripod, they are much more comfortable with that, and they can mount the gun more properly... Resulted in better paper shots... Oldest killed his first buck and a doe and told me he found it much better than the old tripod... could hold it on target easier...
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:18 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
Another thing that I've found is that even though we started shooting off a Caldwell Dead Shot Field Pod, when I switched last year to a clamp mount carbon fiber single point tripod, they are much more comfortable with that, and they can mount the gun more properly... Resulted in better paper shots... Oldest killed his first buck and a doe and told me he found it much better than the old tripod... could hold it on target easier...
I have both the Bog Field Pod and the Death Grip. I am trying to figure out which is better for him
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:01 PM   #30
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My daughter liked the death grip better. She felt it was sturdier and moved smoother when repositioning the gun for a shot. I also had her get the scope on animals we were not going to shoot and practice aiming. This seemed help a lot.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:06 PM   #31
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Shoot for the offside shoulder. If deer is perfectly broadside it goes right on the close shoulder. Quartering away further back but aim for the opposite shoulder and the bullet has to go through the vitals or atleast into them from any decent angle. .
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:21 PM   #32
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We started with a pig saddle mount, on a Primos trigger stick tripod.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:50 PM   #33
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I had my daughter shoot her first deer square in the shoulder. Had her line up the vertical crosshair with the front leg. She used a 7mm-08 with low recoil loads and drop the doe in her tracks. Bullet didn’t exit so the deer absorbed 100% of the energy from the bullet.

We are fortunate to have deer in the yard everyday so I took her out and sat against a tree and practiced using shooting sticks and aiming on live deer. I bought a snap cap for her rifle and also had her practice squeezing the trigger so she was comfortable and confident.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:38 PM   #34
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I have accra-swiss adapters on the hand guards on the AR's my boys shoot, so it's easy to mount to the tripod using that adapter to a camera fluid head ball mount... It's smooth as glass and tension adjustable... I tighten it up a bit when I use it for my AR-10 and it works really well for that too... It's a shooting system my boys can grow into, AND it takes up WAY less space in the blinds... Last year we were shooting out of a new style Krivoman and we had both boys and my wife in there all sitting comfortably... Almost always 3 people in the blind when shots taken... The Field Field pod made things a bit cramped with 3 but we still got it done... the straight up shooting tripod is a much better option for us...
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:07 PM   #35
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Right in the middle of the shoulder. A LOT of the time if you tell them (goes for lots of grown ups too) right behind the shoulder...that turns into mid-body. Middle of the shoulder shots turn into short track jobs.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsh-Rat View Post
Shoot for the offside shoulder. If deer is perfectly broadside it goes right on the close shoulder. Quartering away further back but aim for the opposite shoulder and the bullet has to go through the vitals or atleast into them from any decent angle. .
X2, this. Easy to line this one up, and it is deadly.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:23 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Who Brought'em View Post
We use old hunting magazines and have the girls use a marker to put a dot where they would shoot. It also helps with teaching deer position, if they don't like the position they tell me why they did not mark it.
X2, started doing this early age with my son and his Red Ryder BB Gun.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:20 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
I am trying to figure out which is better for him
Just ask him which he likes the best. I think you are putting too much pressure on his dad. I like the idea of shooting the .22 and .223. Bought my wife a Youth Vanguard .223 they come in 1 in 9 twist now she loves it 3 DRT. https://www.fieldandstream.com/story...oads-for-deer/

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Old 09-24-2021, 07:12 PM   #39
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I can't speak for the killing power of the 6.5 Grendel but I know a .243 shooting 100 grain softpoints will blow a hole through a big heavy bodied deers shoulder and come out the other side. So I'd tell him to shoot there. The reason being is shooting at a live target might shake him up a little. So if he's off just a little he's still going to hit vitals. Whether it's the neck or right behind the shoulder or a little high.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:01 PM   #40
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2/3 up body at leg…Mid shoulder for rifle. Disable the locomotion. I train mine repetatively with dot placement on game magazines and a pencil. Animals in file on a mountain at differing angles has been a good exercise.

1/3 up the leg to center mass for archery. Were not wholly there yet.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:10 PM   #41
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The main thing I have found is not to tell him he can kill the deer, my 10 year old is 7 for 8 on deer. His rifle is in a tripod and he looks at all of the deer thru his scope. If he knows he can kill it he gets jittery waiting for it to position. I tell him to aim and practice his kill shots on the deer he sees, then if it's a shooter I tell him to shoot it and he can get it done before the jitters set in.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:08 PM   #42
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Right above the elbow joint
Easy to see & dead deer

Simple and effective


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Old 09-24-2021, 09:20 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
I have both the Bog Field Pod and the Death Grip. I am trying to figure out which is better for him
My 10 yr old daughter is 10/10 with the bog death grip. this includes a bobcat, 2 pigs 3 deeer a wildebeest a giraffe a crocodile and ostrich. giraffe and croc were both head shots at over 100 yrds. IT WORKS.

6.5 is a lot of gun for a 6 yr old. even on the bogs. there wont be recoil but there is a lot of repercussion. My suggesting would be some solid copper bullets in a 223.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:25 PM   #44
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As for shot placement middle of the shoulder. straight up the leg middle of the body. you have about 6-8" of forgiveness in any direction. remember he needs to keep those eyes open and watch the deer drop (even if it runs) in the scope.

And as stated above work on squeezing trigger vs pulling or jerking trigger.

I don't claim to be an expert but I'll my dad is. He was a firearms instructor in the army, for the SO where he worked for 30 yrs and has shot pistols, rifles and shotguns all competitively (shotguns on national circuits).

shooting my first few deer with a rifle we focused on breathing, squeezing the trigger, keeping my eyes open, not flinching/anticipating the shoot. We shot quiet guns without much recoil and I never missed at an early age. Have only lost 1 deer with a rifle in my life and I was trying to head shoot a doe at about 250 yrds. She lost a bottom jaw and made it to the neighbors property before I could recover her.

Last edited by JBJTX81; 09-24-2021 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:56 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Who Brought'em View Post
We use old hunting magazines and have the girls use a marker to put a dot where they would shoot. It also helps with teaching deer position, if they don't like the position they tell me why they did not mark it.
This is what we did. Then stopped marking and started shooting the pics with BB guns.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:52 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by JBJTX81 View Post
My 10 yr old daughter is 10/10 with the bog death grip. this includes a bobcat, 2 pigs 3 deeer a wildebeest a giraffe a crocodile and ostrich. giraffe and croc were both head shots at over 100 yrds. IT WORKS.

6.5 is a lot of gun for a 6 yr old. even on the bogs. there wont be recoil but there is a lot of repercussion. My suggesting would be some solid copper bullets in a 223.

We also have a .223 AR. I havenít had any luck finding hunting ammo


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Old 09-24-2021, 11:11 PM   #47
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Bass pro sells deer targets that are great for this!
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:12 PM   #48
trophy8
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She just turned 6 a few weeks ago.
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:22 AM   #49
Mike D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
I have both the Bog Field Pod and the Death Grip. I am trying to figure out which is better for him

Death grip by far. The field pods have too much play in them and the rear support gets in the way.


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Old 09-25-2021, 10:08 AM   #50
Justin Spies
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Hunt In: East Tx, Kansas, South Africa, Waiting for IOWA!!
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She just turned 6 a few weeks ago.
Good stuff man. What caliber do you have her shooting? What rest have you liked for her?
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