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I'm going to take my son to his first 3d shoot. He is 6 and I want to make sure he has fun......I know that a chance at getting a trophy will make it extra memorable for him. But, he is going to need some help on yardage (what pin to aim with) in order to have a chance to hit most targets. He is a pretty good shot for a 6 year old I think and can hit an 18x18 square at 20 yards almost 100% of the time.

Would it be appropriate to help him? I'm divided on the topic. What do you think? I don't know if there will be kids there that are honestly "earning their keep" and doing it on their own. If there are, I sure don't want to take away from their chances by helping my son.

I'm going to work with him the next few days on recognizing "close, medium, far" and associating that on which pin to use.

I may just pay for a "fun round" and buy him a trophy from a local shop and make it look like it came in the mail for him!
 

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I dont see a problem with helping him with aiming with the correct pin or with the yardage unless it is unmarked and he actually competing. If it is unmarked I think it would be cheating to help out with the yardage.

It has been my experience that there are not very many kids in the under 8 category on most of the shoots my daughter has shot in. so early on I just let her shoot for fun so I could help her out.

Your boy will have enough fun shooting he wont need you to go buy him a trophy
 

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FIGJAM
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At our club the cub stake is always pretty close. I'm not sure if any of them are over 20 yards (more like 10-15 yards on most targets). I certainly see your delima, but I would have to say start him off right. Make sure he understands that you have to guage the yardage yourself and work with him on doing that before you go. At a close range he shouldn't miss very many targets (or lose too many arrows). Sometimes working toward a goal (trophy) is more fun than getting one right out of the gate. It's kind of like shooting a 200" whitetail on your first hunt. It will only go downhill from there. I wouldn't judge you either way on this decison, but I would have him make the distance decisions by himself. It sure is nice to see them light up when they win though!!!
 

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One of the places we shoot at, the class my daughter shoots, the stake is no longer than 10 yards. See hasn't grasped the concept of a peep and using the pins yet, so I help her if she ask for it. She shot the R100 in Ohio with me and she only wanted help on the smaller targets. I say let him shoot and if he ask for help then you can help him. I think kids have more fun shooting foam animals than an old bag target with balloons on it.
 

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At age 6 ... I would see no problem with helping him with yardage if he wants it. Most of the events I've been at EVERY kid that age gets a little ribbon or prize.

I would rather he had fun than get discourages by missing a bunch of targets.

The other way you may consider is when he gets to each stake ask him "how far do you think it is?" If he is at least reasonably close then let it go, if he is far enough off that you feel he will miss the target you could suggest that he "take another look" before shooting. This way you aren't giving him the yardage, just making sure he isn't way off.

Mitch
 

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I just came in from shooting with him and I'm pretty impressed. I talked to him about the "short, medium, far" concept for his 3 pins and he grasped it before I finished saying it. We walked all over around our targets and he would tell me short/medium/far with pretty good accuracy. Maybe I wasn't giving him enough credit?

for him (and his sight pins)

Short=10 yards
Medium= 15 yards
far= 20 yards

I'm just going to work with him for a couple days and let him run with it. Finding his arrows is never a big deal! They don't go far or bury under much with 15# of DW @ 16" DL!
 

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My daughter started shooting 3D with us when she was 6. We have lost a lot of arrows, but we have never helped her. Like the others have said, most of the time, the stakes are only 10-15 yards, and I have seen them as close as 5 yards. Most of the local clubs allow cubs to "walk up" if needed, and we let her if we see the need. If she starts hitting 14's we put her back on her stake. As far as I know, all the clubs in this area give out medallions to the cubs for participation.
 

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In my opinion (raising two young archers now who are 13 and 10, started them at 5) the most important thing is to not pressure them in any way or fashion. Second let them be kids but always reinforce safety at the young age. If she wants to walk up...let her. If she wants to shoot her stake...let her....if she wants to shoot from your stake.....let her. This is how kids learn. Buy lots of arrows and don't cuss when you leave with 6 and arrive back with none! It happens all the time! :)

I can't always say I followed all the guidance above, but that's what being a parent is about also....we are constantly learning from our children too! Kids are the future of our sport and the best thing we can do is make it fun. My kids have both already gone through a lull where they didnt want to shoot! This is the most important part.....dont pressure them or MAKE them shoot. This is one area where I might have screwed up! it's been almost a year now for one of them and just recently they ASKED me if we could go and shoot! That was the biggest smile I have had in a while!

I hope this helps a little. Have a great time! :)
 
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