When your son joins you on a hunt or it’s his first time aiming down the barrel, make sure comfort is a priority. Sure, their goal is to pursue a successful hunt, but when youngsters are involved, that goal has an equal. You want your children to enjoy the outing. Good experiences add up to a youngster wanting to get more involved in hunting. Repeated bad experiences can mark a young hunter for life. It’s simply too easy for youngsters these days to replace hunting with a host of other competitive activities.
Believe it, hunting clothes are in fashion. Certainly, you buy hunting clothing to be effective against the elements, weather, or terrain. Still, she’s not turning a blind eye to the fashion aspects, as new patterns with trendy logos appear at her local Bass Pro Shops. Previous or novice hunters are an impressionable bunch. They see what you and your friends wear on the field. Don’t ignore this fact and dress them in vintage clothing that fits like a baggy rodeo clown costume. Buy outfits that fit well and protect them as if your new performance outfit would keep you dry and warm.
Old-fashioned cotton clothing can get damp and chilly for a young hunter. Oversized clothing can make walking difficult and even dangerous if they try to pick up a gun to shoot. Also, baggy jackets can catch a bowstring and cause a new hunter to miss, adding another bad experience to a possibly rain or snow marred trip.
Many companies now tailor camouflage or mountain clothing for young hunters. If your budget won’t allow for a new purchase, place an ad on one of the many online social media marketplaces looking for tiny fashions.
fighters that deliver
You want to be successful in your hunts. You want your young hunter to feel the thrills, highs and deer fever he experiences as he hunts, whether they’re watching or pulling the trigger themselves. To swamp them in this euphoric atmosphere, plan hunts that are engaging and highly successful rather than taking them on a seven-day elk hunt on public lands with little success and bodily abuse. Hunts with a higher comfort range that include high success should be the first choices.
Watch hunts with movement and interaction included. Waterfowl hunting combined with decoy placement and calls, pigeon hunting in a field of sunflowers, or even an afternoon at a shooting range where both dog and young man get to train in a controlled environment and give in the White.
If big game appeals, consider hunting deer, especially where you can bait to ensure activity at your hunting site. Spring turkey hunting combines calls, lures and sunny days that can be overdone with a turkey strutting in the foreground. The first hunts I took my own kids on were turkey hunts. The warm days and screaming wolverines added up to a hunt that required a later stop at the Dairy Queen to celebrate. Even Western hunts, such as water hole pronghorn hunts, where the animals are plentiful and out all day, can be considered excitable youngsters.
The sky is the limit when choosing a hunt. If the hunt isn’t grueling and the action is plentiful, you’ve left a memory with an impressionable new hunter.
inside when possible
When possible, plan your outings for bluebird days. When the threat of rain, snow or wind appears on your hunting calendar, put up a blind for weather-resistant comfort. Portable or permanent blinds may not be as celebrated in hunting history as trail cameras or hunting apps, but their simple shelter is a sure way to ensure a nice day when the great outdoors isn’t. .
The level of comfort extends beyond the safety of a splash and splash storm. The shutters just make it comfortable to go hunting. I remember sitting with my children hooked on an exposed ladder. It was almost impossible for them to sit still for more than 15 minutes. A window shade provides the perfect environment to hide any impatient movement a youngster might display. Sitting in the shade of a blind or hunting stall allows young hunters to look at their smartphone, read a book, enjoy a sandwich, and whisper additional hunting lessons.
Additional benefits include being able to help them aim if they’re the one doing the shooting, or cloaking them if they need to move to another window to see you shoot. Regardless of the hunt, consider a blind if opportunity allows.
Entertainment adds to the experience
Be honest, all hunts are not exciting. Some can be downright boring. Think about the last time you sat in a tree all day with only squirrels to keep you company. It is your responsibility to keep any hunt exciting for a new hunter. You are the entertainment director. Fortunately, you already have many of the tools at hand to keep youngsters entertained, educated, and enlightened. Open your toolbox.
Regardless of whether you outfit your child with their own gear or share yours, go for it. Remember, idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. A binocular, rangefinder, game calls, lures, compass, headlamp, knife sharpener, first aid (if knife sharpening goes wrong), and other must-haves provide distractions when there’s a lull in the action. Add a quality backpack so they can transport their gear to the field efficiently, and be sure to pack plenty of snacks.
Kids can help with the game’s location, as well as hone their talents, like adding a border to a leaf or learning old-school skills like orienting a compass. Improve mapping skills by adding a hunting app to your smartphone and they can choose the next hunting location while sheltering in their current location.
Plan your introductory hunts in great comfort along with an entertaining variety of hunting activities. There’s plenty of time later to make a kid trudge through a swamp to catch a blind deer or a backpack in the desert for a big game. Right now, it’s all about cementing your interest in hunting.