My 13 year old has just decided this year that he would like to start going hunting with his dad and uncle. Going hunting with your child can be a bonding experience with the whole family, but going hunting with children is not always the easiest when it comes to logistics. Planning the whole trip carefully is essential for your safety and enjoyment. Here are a few mistakes to avoid at all costs when hunting with children.
Not Having Realistic Expectations
Children will get restless, that’s part of being a child. So, you can’t expect them to stay still for hours on a deer hunt without some form of protest. This is why it’s always better to go short at first. If you’re going to hunt, go for small game. Small game gives you the chance to move around and won’t require that you stay still for long periods of time. If you’re going for a deer hunt, don’t go over an hour or possibly 45 minutes. Anything more than that and you’ll likely have a very unhappy camper on your hands.
Not Putting Enough Importance on Safety
With any kind of hunting trip, safety should play a central role, and this is even more important when it comes to kids. Make sure that you teach them the proper safety procedures before you leave and set an example. Also, make sure that you invest in the proper gear as well. Sites like Woodbury Outfitters sell everything you need for a safe hunt at a much lower price than a regular store.
As with any trip, you have to be prepared for any eventuality. Make sure that you have enough healthy snacks on hand to keep hungry tummies satisfied. Food breaks are a great way to break the monotony of a hunt. It’s important to make sure that you bring plenty of first aid supplies as well, and don’t forget rain gear and extra layers in case it gets cold.
Not Concentrating on Fun First
Another mistake experienced hunters make when hunting with kids is having the wrong objective. When you are with your buddies, the primary goal is to make a good catch, but when dealing with children, it should be all about fun. What might seem like fun to you could be a nightmare for a 5-year-old. So, make sure that you focus on fun first and foremost.
Get your kids involved by playing games or adding an exploration aspect to the trip. Ask them to identify trees and leaves for instance. Let them forage for edible mushrooms. Anything to get them more involved.
And bringing games and electronics should not be seen as sacrilegious. A little off time doesn’t hurt, just make sure they don’t spend half their time on their iPad.
Going hunting with kids can be both a life changing experience or a nightmare. What separates both is proper preparation and expectations. If you manage to steer away from the mistakes outlined in this article, you will not only be able to enjoy your first trip, but gain a new hunting partner for years to come.