With the season now underway, it’s time to achieve those resolutions you made in January. If you’re an adult who cares about hunting’s future, there’s one resolution that should be a priority: Take kids hunting this year.
The future of hunting rests firmly on the shoulders of youngsters who take up the sport, and it is up to us as parents, adults and mentors, to ensure we provide that opportunity to as many young people as possible.
We should take steps to make going afield as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Plan short hunts. Kids have very short attention spans and if they have to suffer lengthy bouts of boredom they’ll be less inclined to go again.
Go when the weather is favorable. If they get wet, cold or otherwise uncomfortable, it will be less enjoyable.
Make it fun. If the hunting’s slow, find other ways to make a hunt more enjoyable. There’s usually plenty of non-game around so you can turn your trip into a natural history lesson, or look for sign. Little things mean a lot.
I’ll often take my kids hunting by canoe or side-by-side vehicle. The ride along is enough to pique their interest, and we can get farther into the woods, away from the crowds. When they’re old enough, they can drive their own ATV, giving them a sense of empowerment and responsibility.
Parents know the rewards of taking their own children hunting. But there are a lot of other kids who might not have that opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to bring other kids. It could be a niece, nephew, neighbor or a friend of your own children.
You can be the person who plants the seeds of a child’s lifetime passion for hunting.
States Are Helping
Many states now have special youth days or seasons where youngsters can get a first crack at turkeys, deer and waterfowl, among others. It gives them a chance to get out without the hassle and the worry of competition, giving them better odds for success and a more positive experience.
Many states also offer reduced licenses and, in some cases, liberalized bag limits for youngsters.
The International Hunter Education Association has also worked with individual states to provide an online hunter safety course.
After an introductory classroom session, youngsters (and adults) can study course material and take section quizzes at home, as time permits. They are then tested and given certification at a final classroom session.
Editor’s Note: For many more tips by Yamaha Outdoors, visit here.
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