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Open sights or scope for young hunter?

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  • Open sights or scope for young hunter?

    A few years ago I bought my son a .22 and put a scope on it. He had shot his Red Rider with open sights and I wanted to get him used to a scoped rifle since I have a scoped .243 youth gun for him to hunt deer with. He does fine at the range with the .22 and .243 but has been unsuccessful at finding deer in the scope when hunting. He was even hitting a bowling pin at 50 yrds every time with my scoped muzzleloader with a patch and round ball. Two separate occasions we’ve had nice bucks broadside. One at 20yrds, one at 35yrds. Poor guy could not find the deer in the scope and the deer just walked off. I’m thinking of going to open sites for him for muzzleloader season. Any suggestions on teaching a kid to shoot with a scope? Or advice on how to explain bringing the scope to your eye vs your eye to the scope?

  • #2
    He should understand he needs to see the full field of view when looking through scope. If he does not see a full, round circle of view his eye is not lined up with the scope properly and that could be due to improper scope install or a bad fitting stock so he is not getting a good cheek weld. Not only will he not find game but if he does see game, the shot will be affected. Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      First, is this "hunt-fish-trap"?

      Scopes are nice, but proficiency with iron sights is the way to start a kid.

      If he is unable to locate a deer in his scope at 20 yards, you can have one of several problems.
      1) excessive or inadequate eye relief - be sure he's getting a full field of view.
      2) variable power scope on highest setting - reduce scope to lowest power setting
      3) non scope eye closed - keep both eyes open until the deer is located in the scope, then close the "off" eye if you wish.

      Have you talked with him that maybe he just doesn't want to kill a deer?
      Stranger things have happened!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
        First, is this "hunt-fish-trap"?

        Scopes are nice, but proficiency with iron sights is the way to start a kid.

        If he is unable to locate a deer in his scope at 20 yards, you can have one of several problems.
        1) excessive or inadequate eye relief - be sure he's getting a full field of view.
        2) variable power scope on highest setting - reduce scope to lowest power setting
        3) non scope eye closed - keep both eyes open until the deer is located in the scope, then close the "off" eye if you wish.

        Have you talked with him that maybe he just doesn't want to kill a deer?
        Stranger things have happened!
        Not hunt-fish-trap. Long time reader, first time comment or. Just signed up today. Didn’t know there was a username so close. Sorry for any confusion.
        I thought about eye relief and he says he sees the whole picture with no black. The variable power on the 3x9 is always set at 4-5 where we hunt. At the range he keeps both eyes opened but I’m not sure about in the woods.
        Good point about him maybe not wanting to shoot a deer. That’s a conversation to have! He gets excited about going and we discuss it all year long. But I can’t say we’ve had a conversation about actually taking a deer other than proper shot placement, meat preservation after the kill, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          My wife brought up that he is colorblind. Asked if we’ve ever practiced shooting at a deer colored target in the woods. An excellent point and a way we’ll practice more often. Does anyone know how/if a colorblind person sees differently through a scope?

          Comment


          • #6
            Went through this with the youngest. Range, scope no problem, living animals, scope is a problem. I put an oversized, I think it was a 42mm, red dot on to hunt but kept practicing with a low power, 2x, scope. The red dot made it a slam dunk under 100yds or so. Not pretty, but pretty effective. Think the dot would still be visible to colorblind as a floating ball.

            Comment


            • #7
              The usual problem for youngsters is their smaller stature leaves the eye to far from the scope. Move the scope back until they can quickly get proper view. If the scope will not slide back far enough you may need tp buy different mounts that will allow more backward movement. Kindest Regards

              Comment


              • #8
                Usually the cause is the youngster’s small stature for the rifle stock leaves their eye too far from the scope. Slide the scope farther back in the mounts until they can pick up the view. It may require different mounts that allow even more rearward positioning. Kindest Regards

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
                  Usually the cause is the youngster’s small stature for the rifle stock leaves their eye too far from the scope. Slide the scope farther back in the mounts until they can pick up the view. It may require different mounts that allow even more rearward positioning. Kindest Regards
                  Remember as the youngster grows in size, the scope will need to be moved forward. A sliced eyebrow is no fun

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hunt_Fish_Eat View Post
                    My wife brought up that he is colorblind. Asked if we’ve ever practiced shooting at a deer colored target in the woods. An excellent point and a way we’ll practice more often. Does anyone know how/if a colorblind person sees differently through a scope?
                    I am color blind. Never had trouble finding deer in my sights, but color blindness is not universal. I’d give it a try.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I sort of agree with Bubba. I have a feeling nerves/possibly being afraid to pull the trigger is the issue here. I still remember the first deer I had a shot at. When questioned by my dad why I didn’t take a shot I said her chest was behind a tree despite being out in the open broadside.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You mentioned distances of 20 yards and 35 yards for the two deer. If hunting shots in your area are in the 50 yard range as a usual, I would not think a scope was even necessary and might make it easier for your son regarding this issue. Make things as simple as possible when starting, there will be enough time after he is more aclimated to the full hunting scene ! The scope issue could cause hesitency in his hunting progress. If a scope is not needed, relax and be more basic with him for awhile. I wish both of you luck in this matter !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I,ve started lots of shooters young and adults, eye relief,proper scope mount along with a scope with a wide view is favorable. I believe in kiss, keep it simple stupid. Open sights worked for many great shooters before scopes were around.It seems like with open sights the drop in ballistics is easier to understand. Just like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest,learning to shoot with both eyes open is optimum ,whether open sights or scoped,but the habit developing this is more natural with open sights. Open sight use also helps quicker target acquisition,more time to study the target and less target panic finding and holding crosshairs.The shooter will let you know when they feel ready to move up to a more accurate sighting system. Peep sights also help transition novice shooters from open to scope. Make the few young years fun,let up if your not making progress and try to end each session on a high note. Good Luck,Good Shooting,Be safe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I,ve started lots of shooters young and adults, eye relief,proper scope mount along with a scope with a wide view is favorable. I believe in kiss, keep it simple stupid. Open sights worked for many great shooters before scopes were around.It seems like with open sights the drop in ballistics is easier to understand. Just like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest,learning to shoot with both eyes open is optimum ,whether open sights or scoped,but the habit developing this is more natural with open sights. Open sight use also helps quicker target acquisition,more time to study the target and less target panic finding and holding crosshairs.The shooter will let you know when they feel ready to move up to a more accurate sighting system. Peep sights also help transition novice shooters from open to scope. Make the few young years fun,let up if your not making progress and try to end each session on a high note. Good Luck,Good Shooting,Be safe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It sounds to me a case of buck fever with a rifle stock not fitting him! You dad have not said his age??

                              Comment

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