If you’re a hunter, chances are, in your youth, a respected adult instilled in you an appreciation of the sport.
After all, not all self-respecting pre-teens would volunteer to wake up at 4 a.m. and trek into the cold to sit quietly and wait. But you did, and you are a better person for it today.
Naturally, as a parent, you would want to share your love of hunting with your child, but finding the right approach can be a challenge.
If you want to get your children into nature’s fresh air to learn valuable lessons, you can do so without pressure, bribes or trickery.
Here are several ways you can encourage your kids to appreciate hunting, teach them lessons about the outdoors in a educational but fun way, and teach them the ethical way to hunt and respect the land, so that they can one day do the same for their children.
Be One With Nature
Want to get your kids interested in the outdoors at an early age?
Take them to pick flowers and learn the names of each part, take walks in the woods, play with worms and ladybugs, and teach them which animals are dangerous and which safe.
Not only will you be introducing your kids to the outdoors, you will also be helping them to make lifetime memories.
Plan an outdoor scavenger hunt or get them involved in Geocaching, a kind of modern treasure hunt where players use a GPS or smartphone to find locations where “treasure” is located.
The cache are small boxes filled with trinkets you can trade with other players, and there is always a logbook to sign that indicates when you were at a specific location.
Family Hunting Trips
When your kids get a little older, take them with you on your hunting trips.
Sure, this means you will need to shorten the duration of your hunts and take a few more “nature call” breaks, but introducing your child into the world of hunting is worth it, and spending quality time with their parent is irreplaceable.
Enroll Them in Hunting Classes
After observing them in action, when you feel your child is old enough, it’s imperative your child takes a hunter safety course.
Depending in the area in which you live, there are likely free courses offered, and nearly all states require novice hunters to complete the class.
A majority of these courses will be taught in three or four hours blocs and run between two and fours days. Upon completion, your child will feel prepared to embark on adventure.
Practice Gun Safety
As an introduction to firearms, kids can start off with plinking with airsoft guns as a fun pre-cursor to handling a loaded firearm while hunting.
Even when handling an airsoft gun, children should still be supervised and instructed.
When your young one is ready for their first forearm, consider a .22 rifle.
Though everyone and their mother has an opinion on what make and model makes the best first gun, the .22 rifle is good for learning:
- How to handle a firearm safely
- The ideals of hunting small-game animals
You can’t assume your kids will find their own way into the great sport of hunting. As such, it’s up to you to teach them the lessons and honor hunting can provide.