Reasons to Take Kids Hunting

Screen shot 2013-07-13 at 9.20.56 AM There is nothing more fulfilling than being out in the wilderness on a hunt. It’s truly a chance to relax and get away. If you are a hunter, you probably escape to the woods to get away from all of the demands of your life. Work stresses, marriage issues and parenting struggles can make people crave the peace and solitude that nature provides.

While deer hunters’ numbers are still strong, it’s mostly a dwindling group. The number of young hunters is steadily declining each year. There are several things that contribute to this decline. Parents are busy, life is hectic, and kids don’t have that mentor to take them hunting. In the rush to get out of the house and into the deer stand, sometimes hunters can forget that there might be some little people in the house who are growing up into the next generation of hunters.

All people, especially kids, have schedules loaded by activities that do not allow for much free time. This unfortunately means that many hunters do not bother taking their kids or teenagers along for the ride. This is a real shame as many children are not as exposed to nature as they once were, rather they spend time inside the house, staring at the TV or playing video games.

Hunters need to pass the passion for the outdoors along to our youth. They are the future of hunting. It’s up to us to teach these future generations the values of our land and wildlife, taking a kid hunting or fishing is a great place to start. What better way than spending time than sharing these experiences with our kids, families and friends. Who knows, they may be the ones taking you someday.
Here are some great reasons why we should be taking more kids hunting.

Screen shot 2013-07-13 at 9.21.26 AM Encouraging Kids – That may be the number one reason why it’s the perfect way to bring new hunters into the fold. Think of the impact you can have on a child who you bring into the woods with you. Can you remember what it was like to be small and get to go hunting?
Family Affair- Hunting is something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It allows time for fellowship and bonding. Instead of everyone running in different directions all the time, you get to spend a lot of time together enjoying yourselves.

Taking kids hunting helps ensure the future of the sport- Think back to the first few times you hunted. Most likely your current passion for the sport is because someone cared enough to get you started. There are other reasons people start hunting, but it is usually because someone took the time to take them. Studies have shown that for every 100 adults hunting in the United States, only 69 youth hunters are growing up in the sport, ready to hunt in their places as the previous generation ages or passes away. This means that to protect the sport of hunting, adults who hunt must mentor at least one young person over the course of their hunting career. Are you up for the challenge?
Love of Outdoors and Respect for Nature- Most people don’t have the luxury of living in areas where they are regularly exposed to nature. For many reasons, children just aren’t permitted to roam the outdoors like they did in past generations. Most of them spend a good portion of their lives in the house staring at some sort of screen.

By taking a child hunting, you will broaden their exposure to the natural world. They will also be learning about the intricate cycle of life and understand the interdependence of each component of the natural world. Hunters are nature lovers, despite what some people believe, and by simply observing the circle of nature, they have a greater appreciation of the importance of protecting the environment.
It’s Physically Challenging-Pursuing live game takes skill and a hefty dose of physical exertion. Miles can be walked through heavy brush, steep terrain, and rocky hillsides, all before even getting to your hunting spot. Of course, ATV’s and horses can ease the load, but hunting is demanding work. I like that hunting gets kids off the computer, or the television gets turned off and gets them outdoors.
It Teach Responsible and Safe Hunting Practices – Nobody cares as much for a child’s welfare as his parents do. Therefore, no one is going to teach them how to safely conduct them self as well as they are. By teaching the basics of hunting, you can have the knowledge that they will be learning the right way. You are instilling the proper values in your child in this manner. They will learn from you the importance of following the hunting laws that are in place and caring for the land where you hunt.

Character Building-Hunting will teach many things that will become a part of a person’s character. Some of these include patience, coordination, endurance and toughness. They learn to be a good sport when they spend hours hunting and come home empty handed. They learn how to play by the rules when they abide by the hunting regulations in your area.

Hunting memories can last a lifetime -When a child reaches a certain age, they pull away from their parents and become focused on friends and their own budding independence. By this time, the years in which a parent can make the greatest impact on a child’s life are almost over. You cannot simply tell your child that he is important; you have to demonstrate his importance to you with your time.

A child will remember a few hours they spent with you doing something they enjoyed more than they will remember a toy you bought them. Even if it never results in harvesting something, just the fact that you cared enough to take them, will forever remain in their hearts. When you take the time to take a kid hunting, you are giving them memories that will last a lifetime.

The point to all of this is simple: Take a kid hunting. And, when you tell them you are going to, make sure you fulfill your promise. You know how excited you still get on opening morning? Well, that kid is probably just as excited when you tell him that you will take them hunting with you. Don’t let them down!