If you’re an avid hunter, chances are you want to pass that love for the great outdoors down to your kids. Hunting is a great way to bond with your children while teaching them responsibility, patience, discipline, and other valuable life skills that will help them develop into well-rounded adults!
It’s important to introduce your child to the hunting process at the right pace and with the best intentions so they have a positive experience that evolves into a genuine interest or passion. A family hunt can become a beloved annual tradition or even create a new generation of dedicated hunters.
Set your children up for a successful hunting experience by guiding and supporting them through every step of the adventure!
Before the Hunt
Get them interested in the outdoors.
Instill an appreciation for nature in your children while they’re young to set them up to fall in love with hunting as they get older. Take them camping, go on a family fishing trip, do some family hiking, or just play with them outside on a regular basis! When they start to reach an appropriate age to test the hunting waters, take care not to push them too hard or make them feel pressured if they’re simply not interested.
Train with your child interactively.
Sit down and make a plan together detailing what skills your child needs to learn and the best way to practice them. Start by thoroughly reviewing and emphasizing hunting safety. Then, set up times to show them how their tools work, which resources they’ll need to be prepared, and give them an opportunity to practice with them. Help them learn about the sport and the animals they’ll be targeting to get them excited!
During the Hunt
The quickest way to deter your kid from wanting to hunt is with a negative first experience. Go into your first hunt fully prepared with first-aid materials, appropriate weather gear, and plenty of food and water. Spending hours in harsh weather or with a rumbling stomach is not going to be comfortable or enjoyable for anyone.
Be patient and give them a chance.
Hunting with kids isn’t always the easiest task, but your priority should be having fun over bringing home game. Keep your expectations reasonable as you head out to the field. Kids don’t always make the best hunting partners—they’re still kids! They’re going to be antsy, loud, and probably hyper from all the excitement.
When it comes to participating in the hunt, don’t pressure them to shoot if they’re not ready. Also, don’t allow them to shoot if you think they’re not ready mentally or physically. If they seem eager and prepared though, let them take their shot.
After the Hunt
Check in with how your child is feeling.
Be open and honest with your child after you’ve returned from the hunt. See if they enjoyed it, have any questions, or have decided it’s not for them. If they made their first kill and are feeling sad, don’t brush it off or shame them for it. Validate your child’s feelings, assuring them that it’s perfectly normal to be emotional. Comfort them by explaining again the value of hunting.
Plan more trips.
If your child tries hunting with you but decides it’s not their thing, respect their decision. Don’t push them too hard to try again because it will only drive them further away from the sport. They might come around given some time and space!
On the other hand, if they loved the thrill and are enthusiastic about getting back out to the field, make time for them to join you on future trips so they can further develop their abilities and interests.
Introduce your child to hunting by planning a fun family trip to Lawrence Bay Lodge! What better way to pique their interest and show them the ropes than with a large, gorgeous hunting area and a night or two in a cozy lodge? You can even book a guided trip and give both of you a chance to learn from an expert.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your first hunting trip with your kids unforgettable!