Troy, I do the same thing that Rich described. I allow my 5 year old son to accompany me on quail hunts and bring his "toy shotgun". He's carrying it around, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, just like my hunting buddies and me. He feels that he is an important part of the hunt and gets to see first hand the dogs working, shots being made and the retrieves as well. He wears hunter orange and ear/eye protection too.
My hunting buddies always make Parker feel welcome, even though they know I may have to sometimes interrupt the hunt for an unscheduled potty or refreshment break, etc. If the child wants to be with you on a hunt, I can think of no better way than to spend quality time with your kids. Plus, you can use the time afield as a teaching tool about gun safety, etc. Man, the stories they will tell their friends about hunting with Dad/Mom will make you an even prouder parent!
It is important to listen to your children and not "force" them to go with you on a hunt. No matter how much we would like for our kids to feel the same way about hunting as we do, it is possible to turn them against hunting if you make them go afield with you each and every time. I guess it's like training a bird dog. Each one is different and it is up to us to know our dogs and children in order to introduce them to the next phase. This past Saturday, we didn't go bird hunting because he wanted to sign up for Upwards Basketball at church, which will take up many of our Saturdays between now and the end of February. So, it's give and take. I'm participating in something he wants us to do as son & dad and he participates with me in the pine thickets and broom straw that holds the quail that we enjoy hunting.
When Parker was born, my in-laws bought his lifetime hunting & fishing licenses. Now all he has to do is take the Hunting Safety Course when he reaches 10 years of age and he will never have to pay for his licenses for the rest of his life. I look forward to many days afield with my sons (got a 5 month old too), both now and when I am an old man.
"Crawl, walk, run......"