Tips for a Successful Youth Turkey Hunt

As when hunting any type of game, the excitement builds well before the hunt, and grows as the tom drums his way to your setup, getting so close and so loud his calls echo against your soul. There is nothing quite like the thrill or anticipation of a turkey hunt. Unbelievably, this intense excitement can be topped. But only by the smile of a young, new hunter’s face as he looks over his quarry and tells his story.

Youth can learn most of life’s lessons (patience, attentiveness and a respect for conservation and wildlife) through these stories and by simply spending time in the woods. Ensuring young people have a good experience in the woods, however, depends on those who take them hunting.

Mentors play an extremely important role in teaching young hunters ethics, safety and the importance of conservation. From comfort to safety, the adults play a key role in how a child will remember and react to his first hunt.

Here are some tips for Turkey hunting with youngsters:

1. Safety first

Thoroughly cover all topics of safety and answer any questions your child may have. It’s never too early to start this, and there is no topic off limits. Overstate safe gun handling and other healthy field practices. Encourage them every step of the way. Point out all the wonders of nature they might not have considered, and teach them the hunt is not just about the kill.

2. Include them

Once you and your child feel comfortable, explain what we are looking for in the woods. This goes along with safety by explaining and showing them what could be between or behind the turkey and what is considered a clean shot. With children, it’s easier to show them as well as telling them because they tend to remember the visual more than the verbal.

3. Get comfortable

Make sure young hunters stay dry and comfortable. Giving them a hunting vest with lots of pockets is a great way to carry snacks, extra clothes and rain gear. A vest also promotes confidence and makes them a part of the hunt

4. Keep it kid friendly

Snacks are a great way to break up a morning hunt. The fresh air of the woods, combined with exercise when hunting can increase the appetite of young hunters. Peanut butter crackers and bite-size candy bars, for example, are a great addition to your snack pack. Remember their short attention spans as well.

5. Come Prepared

Bring the first aid kit. You never know when a fall will result in a skinned knee or elbow. Add insect repellent and sunscreen so you’re prepared for any type of situation.

6. Calling All Young Hunters

Get young hunters involved by allowing them to call. Push-pin, box or slate calls are the best for beginners. If they are proficient callers, let them call. Or, let them call between setups to practice.

7. Further Their Education

Don’t be afraid to point out different types of trees, tracks and birds you find during your hunt. What your young companion learns in the field on a turkey hunt will likely be remembered a lot longer than what the teacher said in English class.

Most importantly, have a blast, laugh and realize it’s OK to leave a temporary sting on their hand from the powerful high-five you give after they succeed in harvesting an animal. And in the end, make them the hero- every time.

Aug 08, 2013 | Category: Blog, For Parents | Comments: none


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