Your kids will not want to go hunting again if you do not introduce them in a right way. Try to avoid those common mistakes as well as you can.
My two boys and I were expecting to our first ever turkey hunt. I’d imagined a peaceful, quiet morning in which we waited and caught the turkey that showed up. To prepare for this, I’d already had a long talk with them and explained to them what a prerogative our hunting was. I was pretty sure that they would be grateful for the opportunity that would behave to reflect it. I would, of course, exude my wisdom and patience, while passing on our family hunting hobbies, which is our treasured traditions, and imparting to them my knowledge about hunting.
Of course, I am just kidding.
In all honesty, our hunting trip went very badly and the one who was to blame was me. You could read more about our terrible hunting trip on my blog.
Once I know that I had a lot of mistakes, the director of communications for the QDMA – The Quality Deer Management Association, Mr. Thomas, has a lot of knowledge about going to hunting trips with kids. Mr. Thomas organizes a father-daughter and father-son hunt annually with many people with their family members and friends. He says while parents always have good intentions when introducing their child to hunting trips, a lot of mistakes may happen in the way and leave bad memories for the kids, preventing them from having a passion for the hunts. You can read about the most common mistakes below.
Indeed my first error was this. Your young child will be restless and noisy, want to ask questions, talk a lot and explore. You should encourage and expect that. Try to make your hunting trips active and short, do not keep your child still for a long period of time. As they bring opportunities for moving and talking, if you are going to introducing your you kinds into a hunting trip, keep it short under an hour or, better forty-five minutes, make the trips come with a lot of moving and walking. Glide with your kids through the jungle. Stop then and there and talk to them about what they hear and see. It is the invaluable experience to them.
Forgetting about Safety
Your and your kid safety should always be the number one priority when going on a hunting trip. An accident can happen at any time and to anyone. Going hunting with little preparation and with inexperienced ones like your kids will increase this probability. Do not assume that your kid will know anything about the safety of hunting. Take your time to teach your kids about safety and also give them examples using your own behaviors and safe habits.
Ignoring the Fun Part
If in the few first hunting trips, your kids do not have fun, they will not want to do it again. Play mini-games like identifying trees and birds, collecting rocks, leaves to encourage involvement and learning. Permit them to bring toys, crayons, books or electronics to have some entertainment during periods when you have some rests.
Mr. Thomas told us that when his son, Jake, was little, someone gifted him an action figure of Bill Jordan. That gift came with other accouterments, a backpack, skinning knives, boots, binos and camo clothing. He always had hunting accessories and that toy with them. When they’d got set up completely in the jungle, no matter what where they were, treestand or ground blind, Jake would always set up the Bill Jordan action toy. He would get out its bow, put the arrows in the hand, etc. These kinds of activities could keep them a little more busy but also bring a lot of fun, which is ultimately also the goal of the trips.
Taking inadequate food, drink, and gear while hunting with kids will definitely ruin your trips. A child will get thirsty and hungry faster than an adult, a rumbling stomach will make them being fussy more often than you think. Bring a lot of food and drinks as they break the possible monotony. Bring additional rain gear and warm clothing because your child will get cold easier than you. Always remember to bring first aid equipment, antibiotic ointments, band-aids as a precaution when your kids get an injury.
Expecting Your Child to Shoot
It depends on you do decide when your kid is ready enough to take shoot her or his first animal although there is not a thing called minimum age requirement. Making your kid shoot the gun and kill a game before she or he is physically and mentally equipped can put down her or his passion for going hunting. Do not push it. Let your kid decide whether she or he wants to try to shoot at an animal.
Thomas said that when adults begin to pressure their child to have a shot, it is just a thing that parents want and not the best thing for the child. If your kids only want to go with you and do not want to take the shot, it is okay. Do not take the kill as the only measurement of the success of your hunting trips.
In the latter article, we will discuss the rest of our recommendations.