Kids have strange hobbies these days.
Maybe we’re old-fashioned, but with smart phones, Snapchat, Pokemon Go and all the other new technology, it seems like kids are losing touch with the real world around them. It’s less common to see a kid riding a bicycle with a fishing pole across the handle bars, but you can see plenty of kids staring at a screen and never making eye contact with the world around them.
However, your kids don’t have to be like the neighbor’s. Your kids don’t have to be part of the virtual reality generation. You can save them, and one of the best ways to do it is to take them hunting.
No matter what the age of your kids, they’ll benefit from a season in the woods, and here’s how to make it happen...
Safety First, Second, and Third
This should be second-nature to any hunter, but safety needs to be the #1, unequivocal, top priority for anyone taking a child hunting. You need to be extra diligent for shooting lanes, proper firearms handling, tree stand procedure, and every other safety detail that goes into hunting. If appropriate for the hunt, make sure your child has their blaze orange so they are easily identifiable at all times.
What’s the Best Age to Start a Child Hunting?
As you may have guessed, there really is no perfect age to start kids into the sport of hunting. Whether they are seven or seventeen, hunting requires maturity, respect, and a complete regard for safety.
Legally, every state has specific laws for when a child can actually hunt, but there are almost no laws prohibiting them from joining you. For example, while the kid may be too young to actually hunt, there’s nothing keeping them from joining you in the duck stand for an afternoon.
So when are they ready for hunting? The easiest aspect to judge is physical ability. If you’re hunting pheasant, can they take the long hours of walking? If you’re hunting turkey, will they be able to handle a heavy 12-gauge shotgun? Being physically capable of handling the hunt is essential.
Mentally-ready is more difficult to judge. The child must start with an appreciation for the hunt, the land, and the animals. They must recognize and honor safety rules, and be willing to follow your direction to the letter.
What’s the Best Game for Kids?
When you’re taking a kid hunting, it’s best to start with small animals that are more numerous. Two come to mind: squirrel and rabbit. A woods full of these animals allows for two distinct advantages. First, there is plenty of game to keep the kid interested, and second, these animals can be harvested with smaller firearms that young hunters can handle safely.
Plan for a Shorter Trip
While you may love your sunup-to-sundown hunting adventures, kids need a break. Plan for about three to six hours if they are young kids, and allow for plenty of breaks to let them rest.
Target Practice First
Practice is essential. Whether your young hunter is using a .22-caliber rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun, give them time to become familiar with loading, unloading, and shooting. They’ll be more likely to place their shot, which will inevitably increase their chances for falling in love with the sport of hunting.
Plan Your Hunt and Find Excellent Hunting Ground with Foggy Trail
If you are taking a kid hunting, let us help with the entire process. We can assist you with licenses, tags, safety courses, and more. You’l be able to find the perfect location for hunting with a kid, and we can even help you connect with experienced guides.
Plan your trip with FoggyTrail and you’ll get the assistance you need for a wonderful hunt!