If you feel that your child is ready to learn how to hunt, you will need to start with the basics. Teaching a child to hunt can be extremely rewarding for both of you as you bond over such a tradition. Creating memories is important, but being safe and having a few basic rules will also last them a lifetime.
Below, we are going to give you some of the basic rules you should teach your child when you are going to take them hunting for the first time. One major rule is not to push them to hunt. When they are ready, they will tell you. Read on for more.
You need to build up some anticipation for your child’s first hunt. Together, you should plan a date ad location in which to hunt. You can both figure out the plan for the day, which game calls to use, and what food to take along on the trip.
Take them to the store and have them get the proper gear, such as warm clothing, hats, gloves, a rifle and more. Doing so will help them look forward to hunting day, and creating memories of their first hunt and possible kill.
This is huge. You need to be sure you and your child are extremely safe around guns, as accidents can and do happen. Since you planned your first hunting trip with the child far enough out, they can take the meantime to get familiar with a new rifle. Let them practice shooting and give advice where you can.
This can also be a time to get them accessories for their rifle such as the best air rifle scope, which will help them get a more accurate shot.
Let your child know that there is no pressure when hunting. They are learning and therefore, are not expected to bag a deer the first time out, with their first shot. If they do happen to make the kill, then that’s fine, but it is not going to make or break the trip.
Remind them that you are bonding and make the day fun for them. You can do so by giving them advice, answering their questions, giving them hunting stories from your past, or just having a laugh. There will always be another deer that comes along, so no pressure.
Before you go hunting in the wee hours of the morning, you and your child should have a hearty, healthy breakfast that will keep you full for hours. Depending on how long you will be gone, you are going to want to bring along some food so that you won’t lose out on a deer because it can hear your stomach growling from yards away!
Be sure to bring healthy, yet fun snacks like trail mix, sandwiches, and a few beverages. Both of you need to be nourished enough to drag that deer back home!
Take a Break
Your child may not be as skilled as you are about waiting for a target to come along. They may lose their attention span and get antsy waiting so long for an animal to cross their path. Hunting can take a long time, so you should absolutely take a break or two while you are in the blind or tree stand.
Let your child get some fresh air, walk around, chatter, and have fun. This is where the true bonding comes in, because you can keep each other company while taking a break. Doing so will keep your child more interested in hunting with you, and in the future.
If you find that your planned day is rainy or bitterly cold, you may want to reschedule. Your child does not want to go out in such weather on their first trip. This is going to lead to them getting bored and possibly not want to go hunting again.
Don’t be afraid to reschedule your hunting trip. While you both may be disappointed by the weather, at least your child hasn’t lost interest in the sport because of a terrible time. Remember, your child does not have the experience you do in hunting in various weather.
Youth Hunting Events
Do you know of any youth hunting events in your area? One of the best ways to get your child interested in hunting is to get them into a community of like-minded people. These youth hunting events generally happen before the Opening Day of hunting season in each state.
This type of event will allow your child to get interested in the sport, in a less pressured environment. They can target practice and meet other kids like them, and much more. If you want to get your child into hunting, this is definitely a great way to do so.
All About Them
You want to make your child comfortable and have a positive first time hunting experience. Make the day all about them, since they are learning after all. They should be involved in everything from planning to packing gear, buying gear, and setting up in the field.
Have lots of talks about hunting, animals, and shooting before you go on the trip to make them not only informed, but show them that you have an interest in making them do well. They are not just an accessory to take hunting, they are there to be a part of the action and to learn all about the sport.
We hope that you have found this article insightful when it comes to getting your child into hunting and taking them on their first trip. Now that you are aware of some of the things to do, such as getting them gear, making them comfortable around guns, and learning safety, they should be confident enough to head out into the field and take their first shot! Good luck!
About the author:
Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com