Tag: hunting season

How to Prepare Youngsters for Their First Hunting Trip

A young person’s first hunting trip can be an incredible experience, sparking a lifelong love and appreciation for nature and wildlife. Parents who grew up hunting likely remember their first hunting trip and want to recreate that experience for their own children. As memorable as a first hunting trip can be, parents of current youngsters might not recall all the pre-trip preparation their own folks did to make that first hunting experience so memorable. Such preparation can ensure today’s youngsters enjoy the same magical experience their parents did when going hunting for the first time.

Make sure kids are ready. Kids’ maturity levels merit consideration before taking them hunting for the first time. Children may experience a range of emotions on their first hunting trips. Such emotions can include excitement, nervousness, sadness, and/or guilt. Parents should assess their children’s maturity levels prior to announcing a trip to make sure they’re ready for that emotional roller coaster. Kids mature at their own pace, so assess each child individually, resisting the temptation to assume one child is ready at a given age because an older sibling was ready at the same age. The American Forest Foundation recommends parents first take their youngsters along as hunting apprentices, which allows them to participate in the rituals of the hunt while their parents can gauge how mature they are to handle the hunt itself.

Make sure kids can handle their guns. Wide Open Spaces, a website devoted to providing up-to-date information for hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, notes the importance of kids knowing how to use their guns before they go hunting for the first time. Kids should know how to load and unload, check the chamber and turn the safety on and off. Kids should be confident with their guns, feeling comfortable enough to pull their firearms to their shoulders, get the gun’s sights on the animal and pull the trigger.

Temper youngsters’ expectations. Hunting is a rewarding hobby, but also one that requires a lot of work. Weather also can be unpleasant during hunting season, and that can quickly spoil youngsters’ impressions of hunting. Temper kids’ expectations in advance of a hunting trip so they know it won’t necessarily be all fun. In addition, let children know many hunting trips end without a kill.

Focus on the fun factor. The AFF notes that surveys indicate that young hunters are more excited to have fun and enjoy quality outdoor time than they are by the prospect of bagging and taking home a trophy animal. Parents should focus on the fun and the beauty of nature when taking youngsters hunting to ensure kids have as good a time as possible.

Some pre-trip preparation on the part of moms and dads can make youngsters’ first hunting trips successful.

Stay Safe this Hunting Season

Hunting is a thrilling hobby for millions of people across the globe. In fact, non-hunters may be wide-eyed to learn just how popular the sport is. A recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that 11.5 million Americans participated in hunting in 2016. Many hunters spend a lifetime hunting without ever suffering an accident or injury. However, hunting can be a dangerous sport, which only highlights the need for hunters to emphasize safety at all times.

Firearms

It’s essential that hunters exercise caution with their firearms at all times. Firearms should always be considered loaded, even when they’re not. This approach should apply while hunting and while at home. Maintaining such a mindset can help hunters avoid dangerous, potentially deadly mishaps should they mistakenly believe a firearm is not loaded when it is. When hunting, only point the firearm when you plan to shoot, making sure to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Only shoot when a target is clearly identifiable and you’re certain about what is beyond the target.

Weather and Gear

The right attire can protect hunters from Mother Nature and their fellow sportsmen. Weather can be unpredictable during hunting season. Hunters should always check the forecast before leaving home, making sure to dress for the weather. Even if the forecast calls for agreeable weather, hunters could be at the mercy of Mother Nature should the weather unexpectedly change. As a result, it behooves hunters to prepare for cold, wet weather, which could put them at risk of hypothermia if they are not dressed properly. A water-repelling outer layer can protect hunters in wet conditions, and it’s also ideal to dress in layers. To lower your risk of injuries suffered at the hands of other hunters, avoid colors and patterns that blend into natural surroundings. Such colors can include earth tones, blacks and browns. Animal patterns may confuse fellow hunters into thinking you’re an animal, so avoid these as well.

Staying in Touch

Hunters, especially those who plan to go it alone, should always let others know of their plans before going on a hunting excursion. Sharing plans can help rescue teams find you should you suffer an injury on your trip and prove incapable of returning to your campsite or vehicle without assistance. Let others know when you plan to return and indicate your plans to call or text them when you arrive back at your vehicle. This way they can promptly alert the appropriate authorities should you not contact them on time.

Millions of people across the globe enjoy the sport of hunting. Hunting trips are even more enjoyable when hunters prioritize safety.