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Your son will not have buy a license, but he will have to take a hunters safety course. He can take it online at the state website mentioned above and all he will have to after passing the test is attend a demonstration session somewhere locally. He will also need his deer tags, but you can print those off of the state website as well. If he's never shot much before, then I'd definitely start with a .22 and then move on to something bigger. For kids his age, I usually sell more .270's or .243's than I do any other caliber. I prefer the .30 caliber family (.308, .30-06, .30-30, and so on), but you can't really go wrong with anything that's been mentioned by other posters so far.
Oh, and to answer a question posed above, anyone born after august 1, 1977 has to take the hunters safety course before they can hunt by themselves.
Bryan, you and your son need to contact Ray Metzler's office at Alabama Dept. of Wildlife and Conservation, and get enrolled in Hunter Education class. Since you are not an experienced hunter, it would be good for the both of you to go through the program. It's very short, and not time consuming.
Also, I recommend a new or used Remington Model 700 ADL bolt action 30-06. That is the rifle I got at his age, and I still use it 30 years later. It's the only rifle I currently own.
Enjoy making memories for that young man which will last a lifetime.
My dad was not a hunter, but my brother and I both wanted to hunt, so dad became a hunter for several days until we could safely hunt without him. Poor little tweety birds, and the occasional trophy squirrel. :)
To get a license to hunt by yourself, you have to take a hunter's education course. It is free and offered by the state at many times throughout the year. Also, your son does not need to get a license until he is sixteen. If he does not want to take the hunters education course, he can just buy a supervisory license. This means he has to be hunting with a licensed hunter with a hunters education course and a regular large game hunting license.
7mm-08 is the perfect white tail gun in my opinion. I shoot a remington model 7 which is actually a youth model but i like it because its compact and not very heavy. The 7mm-08 throws enough lead to do the job but it doesn't have too much recoil. The .270 or .308 are also great calibers as well.
I agree that he should first get very comfortable and confident shooting using a .22 rifle. Otherwise, he needs to complete his safety course and he should go with experienced hunters a number of times before taking a stand on his own.
Great advice from everyone. We're going to take the hunter's safety course together and we'll go from there. Thank you.
I'm Rich Biotch
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Call Sure Shot in Alex City and ask to talk to Steve Cotney. Tell him I sent you. Ask him to find you the best .308 or .270 they've got for around $300 new or used. In the meantime go on Ebay and find a New in box Redfield 3x9 scope with RTA (rapid target acquisition) for around $200. You are going to spend $500 to get a good but not way expensive rifle. Redfield is now made by Leupold and the RTA really makes it easy for new hunters to look thru a scope. Get Leupold rings and base to mount the scope.
Sure Shot will bore sight it for you. Here is 1 important step - get them to "float" the barrel for you. That will really impact accuracy. When he's starting to shoot, it's critical that he learn to squeeze the trigger. Get him to shoot the gun without being loaded a few times to get the feel of the trigger and then "trick" him by leaving the gun empty when he attempts his first shot - and watch closely to see that he squeezes the trigger. It's best if they shoot off a sled where recoil is minimized because you want him to learn how to squeeze the trigger - not worry about recoil. The other important step is to use earplugs AND shooting headphones at the same time to eliminate the loud sound. I just taught my 12 year old daughter to shoot this way and she can already shoot competently. The key thing to remember is recoil is not a factor when shooting at a live deer. Squeezing the trigger is CRITICAL. Good luck!
This post was edited by nujaC 20 months ago
No war is over until the enemy says it's over. We may think it's over, we may say it's over, but the enemy gets a vote. - Gen. James Mattis
This post was edited by johnsrk 20 months ago
I assume you are talking about deer hunting. Since your son is 15, I would personally go ahead and get him a 270, which he can use for years to come (i.e rest of his life if he takes good care of it). It does kick a little bit more than a 243 or 308, but I highly doubt he will want to shoot a 243 much after the age of 17-18. Your best bet is to try to find one used that is in decent shape. The great thing about a deer rifle is that you only are going to shoot it once per hunt (if you're lucky), outside of the siting the rifle in. As such, recoil isn't as big of a concern as it can be with a shot gun duck/dove hunting. You do have to take a hunter safety course prior to being allowed to purchase a license and therefore legally hunt in Alabama. Best of luck to him.
Bryan. Looks like you've received lots of good advice. If you and your son really get into hunting, you should check out Cabela's for gear. I order most of our clothing and stuff from them and they have good sales. Check out their bargain cave section. I've found tons of higher quality technical gear at a lot lower prices than you'll typically find at local stores/outfitters.
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