upland hunting

3 Tips For Teaching Kids About Hunting

Live the Legend |

If you are a mother or father who is part of a hunting family with young children in the home, odds are idle summer months prior to the approaching fall hunting seasons are bound to bring the inevitable question, “When can I go hunting, too?” In some states, game laws have some say on the matter regarding how old a child must be before he can take hunter education or carry a gun while hunting. But in many, it’s a decision still left up to the parent and one that requires serious consideration regarding the maturity of the child, the time the parent has to invest in teaching their child proper firearms and hunting safety and the time the parent has to monitor the child on those first hunts until they are old enough to go it alone. World hunter and veteran outdoor writer Tim Herald offers the following advice to any parent looking for the best way to bring up a responsible future hunter.

field huntersKeep Shooting Fun

Starting off plinking with an airgun or .22 rimfire at targets or even shooting one of the many youth bows that are available these days is a great way to introduce kids to shooting. Once kids get a little older, shooting clay targets or moving up to centerfire rifles seem to keep them engaged. I am a proponent of the 20-gauge with light field loads, such as Winchester’s AA shotshells (available in a reduced recoil round as well), while the .243 is an excellent centerfire caliber for young shooters looking to take their first deer. Winchester’s 95-grain Ballistic Silvertip or 100-grain Power Max Bonded bullets are two excellent choices; they are plenty lethal on whitetails and light on recoil.

Choose Action-Packed Hunts

If you’re introducing a kid to hunting, make sure there will be lots of action, some degree of success and little pressure to do anything but have a good time. Dove hunting is a great way to start kids out. Dove shoots are laid back, you don’t have to be completely concealed, still and quiet the whole time and there is usually plenty of shooting and action. Turkey hunting is another great way to keep hunting action filled. It takes place during a nice time of year to be outdoors, if birds are gobbling there is action and if you utilize a good ground blind, kids don’t have to sit still for hours on end.

upland huntingBe Patient

As adult mentors, we as parents must remember to be patient. It is about the kids, not us, and we must keep them as the priority. If a kid misses 10 clay targets in a row, or spooks a deer out of a field, take it in stride, be supportive and let the kid know it’s okay. There will be plenty of other opportunities. We want them to come away from every outdoor experience with a positive feeling.