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Looking in my newborn daughter's eyes I realize how important it is for our children to learn about the outside world around them. I’ve helped with several children’s programs that help introduce them to hunting and fishing. I love to watch a child’s eyes light up when they catch their first fish or see their first deer in the wild. Keeping our sport going is very important to me. If you enjoy hunting and fishing it should also be important to you. The future of our sport depends on our youth getting involved.
A question I hear often is how best to get children involved in the outdoors. The most important thing is education. There are a few common mistakes made when children are learning to hunt that should be avoided if possible. Educating the child about the reasons we hunt and how it helps our enviroment is key in sparking their interest.
When beginning, involve the child in the entire process not just the hunt itself. From buying camoflauge to scouting, help them understand how and why each part of the pre-hunt planning process is important. Explain the senses of the animal you intend to hunt. For example, you have to wear full camo for turkeys not to see you because that is their best defense and a deer’s nose is very sensitive so you have to be careful with scent. Learning all they can will keep them interested.
To start out, plan on taking them out on days when the weather forecast is calling for decent weather. I understand that weather can be tricky to plan for, but take them out when the weather forecast is comfortable. Make sure the child is clothed well for the temperature and keep in mind children usually want more layers than you. You can always remove clothing and put them in a backpack but dressing them too lightly can drastically shorten a trip.
Another common mistake involves weapon preparation. Many people are afraid that shooting the weapon before crunch time will cause the child to be afraid of it. It’s important to take the time beforehand to help the child learn how to hold, aim, and make a clean shot. Children unprepared tend to end up with bruised arms and sad hearts because they take and miss a shot, when in fact it is because they haven’t had the proper education on when and how to use the weapon.
So make sure you properly educate the child and prepare to make for a enjoyable hunting experience for both you and your child. Look for local events put on by the state wildlife organizations, National Wild Turkey Federation and Kids Hunting for a Cure. Sharing in events like that is enjoyable and educational. Above all ,we will never get them out there if we don’t take the time. So please help keep our sport going! Share the experience with a child!
Alaska and the Yukon
North Alabama, Mississippi p
and North Georgia
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