Tips for Taking Kids Hunting

The goal when taking your kids, grand kids, or any youth, is to try to make the trip fun, leaving those young hunters wanting more. We don’t want blow a chance at hooking a kid on hunting. We got the passion and we want to pass it on. It’s up to us. They are the future!

Here are some great tips to turn taking a kid hunting into a good positive, fun experience and hook them on hunting for the rest of their life.

Safety first
Safety should always be the number one concern for hunters. However, when hunting with a kid safety should occupy an even more prominent place in our minds than usual. Risk often increases with inexperience. You are laying a foundation. So slow down and take the time to teach and practice good safety.

Educate your kid
Do some research together with you child before you hunt to allow them to learn more about their quarry. This will increase both their anticipation for the hunt and their respect for the animal. Also, discuss how you intend to hunt the animal and what must be done to improve your chances for success. During the hunt itself, use every chance you get to teach and instruct. Kids are curious by nature, so take advantage of it.

Practice sound ethics
Remember, kids are very impressionable. Ethics they are the standards that guide us before we decide to take an action. We should always observe the game laws whether kids are present or not. Kids learn by our actions more than by what we say. Don’t be foolish and think your offenses will go unnoticed. So if you can’t bring yourself to practice good ethics because it is right, at least do it because small eyes are on you.

Build anticipation and excitement by planning their hunt in advance
Involve your young hunter in the planning. Getting them involved generates excitement, making a list of things to bring, activities they want to do, etc. Your list could include marshmallows to cook on the campfire, drinks, snacks, camo and plenty of fuel for the ATV. The more you discuss your trip, the more excited they’ll become.

Equip them adequately
Keep them well concealed. The better concealed a child is, the more likely he or she will see game. The more game they see, the more fun it is for them. Regardless of what you are hunting, good concealment not only improves your chance of shooting something, it keeps the animals you don’t intend to shoot around long enough to allow your son or daughter to observe and enjoy them.
Another thing that can spoil a kid on hunting is not having adequate attire. Make sure their boots are warm and waterproof. Invest in a good warm coat, hat, and gloves. They want camo just like the rest of the hunters.

Make the hunt about them
Make getting out of bed while it’s pitch black something fun and exciting. Help them to prepare for the day ahead. Take time to practice shooting, show your child how binoculars work, how to ride an ATV. Kids will have trouble sitting in one spot for hours on end. Instead of hard hunting, help them identify wildlife, teach them to read deer signs, talk to them about hunting. Don’t push too much or they won’t enjoy the hunt. They will enjoy the time you spend with them for the rest of their life. They’ll even remember that long hike through the woods to a secluded blind or stand. Remember to discuss all the rules with them before you’re in the stand, including hunter’s safety.

Bring along some comforts
Kids have a hard time going for long periods without food. They get restless or cranky. Try taking along a few small, quiet snacks for them to hold them over in the field. If you can keep their stomachs from growling, you’ll get a couple hours longer in the woods.

Know when to take a break
Younger kids tend to have short attention spans and less endurance. For a four or five-year-old you might start with an hour-long hunt. Try to pick a day that they are well rested and not feeling under the weather. what it was like when you were forced to do something you didn’t want to when you was a kid. Don’t push them, let them know it’s ok and you understand if they want to quit early.

Exercise patience and understanding
All parents are aware that kids drop things, break things, and lose things. They are loud and they fidget and usually they do it at the worst possible time. It can drive us crazy, especially if we are on a mission to kill. But shooting something is of secondary importance. So, if you get irritated easily, grin and pray for patience. Hunting with your child is a gift you are giving him or her. Make it special.

Start small
Small game, that is. There are several reasons why deer hunting is not ideal for very young kids. For one, he might be unable to appreciate a hunt that ends without something being harvested. Five-year-olds and under will get more out of an outing if it’s plinking squirrels, catching bluegills, gigging frogs, or blowing a box of shells on doves than if it’s sitting motionless for hours on end. Try to put them in the action.

Plan an overnight trip
A day hunt is great but there’s something really special about an overnight hunting trip. You can almost bank on your kid never forgetting the excitement of traveling, exploring a new place, sleeping in a tent, the smell of the campfire, the fellowship, and of course, the hunt. Consider making such an overnight trip an annual tradition.

Allow your child to participate
Your child is probably not going to carry his own bow or gun into the field. But he can blow a grunt tube, tickle some tines, or operate a can call. If you allow your child to feel like he is more than just a spectator, the hunt becomes more memorable to him. If nothing else, let them carry the binoculars. Tell him that he has an important job and must be ready when the binoculars are needed. Regardless of your child’s age, let this principle guide you: Look at the hunt through their eyes.

Don’t leave out your daughter
It’s a fact that most hunters were once boys. However, that doesn’t mean that your daughter wouldn’t absolutely cherish the chance to go out and experience the hunt. In fact, she probably would. And she might just pick up the habit herself. Any benefit that comes to sons from hunting applies equally to daughters. By all means, take her along if she wants to go.

Let your young hunter tell the story
When you get back to camp or back home, let them tell their story of what you seen and did. It’ll make it a better experience for them, and you might just learn a few things as well.

Aug 02, 2013 | Category: Blog, For Parents | Comments: 2


2 comments on “Tips for Taking Kids Hunting

  1. Ed

    I took my 6 year old daughter hunting for the first time this weekend. No turkeys, but she did get to see a nice blacktail walk up on us in our blind. She’s hooked.

    When are you going to do more episodes. She’s watched “the one about how to pee in the woods” several times and we keep checking back.

  2. Ashlee Wozniak

    I’ve taken my 6mo out in a baby carrier with me no shooting happening apart from with the camera 🙂 he loves it he sits at home and stares at the stag mounts we have

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