Guest Post by Jon Sutton of OutdoorEmpire.com
Why we should introduce kids to hunting
Today’s youth are in desperate need of the outdoors. Kids today seem to be right on the edge of an unhealthy dosage of technology instead of time being active indoors or outdoors. Many kids have also never been exposed to how food makes it to their table. Introducing kids to hunting gives them a wholesome, healthy activity that affords them a better understanding and respect for how resources become food.
Hunting also is conducive to quality interactions with family and friends, often representing multiple generations.
Juxtaposed with the reasons hunting is good for kids are the reasons that kids are good for hunting. As the world becomes increasingly more modern and developed, hunting is at risk of becoming a historical hobby. The next generation of hunters will be responsible for preserving not only our hunting opportunities but lobbying for protection of natural resources and gun rights.
As an adult hunter, getting youth involved in hunting is your part in making sure the opportunity exists for generations to come.
How to Get Them Started
Once you have a child that is old enough to have the interest and attention span to tag along on a hunt, it is time to plan their first experience.
Odds are if you are a serious hunter, you have spent at least one day in the woods where you find yourself questioning what motivated you to be out there. Long days, slow hunting and inclement weather all increase the satisfaction of being successful, but should be avoided for early youth experiences.
Of course, as an experienced hunter, you also will know that it is hard to predict or plan the perfect day in the field. When deciding on the right hunt, consider these factors:
- Go when the weather is moderate
- Do a hunt where action is likely- waterfowl, varmints, lots of deer, etc
- Pick a casual hunt, NOT your high-stress, once in a lifetime draw hunt
- Choose a hunt that has flexible duration/intensity
- Your state youth hunting laws
After you have chosen a hunt to bring them along on, make some special accommodations to ensure they enjoy the experience:
- Bring lots of snacks
- Make sure they are properly clothed for the conditions
- Involve them by giving them binoculars, a pack for their snacks, etc.
- Call it a day when they have had enough
- Bring more snacks
Things to Avoid
Over a period of time, hunting is a valuable mechanism for learning a variety of lessons about persistence, determination, respect, adversity and the circle of life. However, using it to teach those lessons to a young hunter too soon might discourage them from hunting. If the passion for hunting sticks, those lessons will be learned as the individual matures as a hunter and a person. With that in mind, here are some things not to do on their first trips:
- Do not force them to stay out much longer than they want
- Do not give them a lesson in endurance/durability
- Do not require that they watch or participate in a kill-shot/field dressing/butchering
Early hunting trips are the perfect opportunity to impart a love for hunting in your child, as well as teach them the ethics and skills they will need to become hunters themselves. In the long run, hunting should be an enriching hobby that helps put food on their table. Ultimately, they will be responsible for perpetuating hunting opportunity by passing it along to the next generation.
Full article: https://outdoorempire.com/how-to-get-kids-into-hunting/