Hunting teaches children gun safety, survival skills, responsibility, patience, and hard work. It also provides a great opportunity for families to bond and carry on traditions that may be passed on to the next generation. If you are excited to buy your child their first fatigues, you should prepare them first. Here are four things your kid needs to learn before you take them hunting.

Safety

First and foremost, you want your child’s first hunting excursion to be safe. Speak clearly about safety rules while handling a gun and while hunting around other people. Experienced hunters can teach their children, or you can take a class together. Hunting is safe with only about 9 injuries in one million hunting days, but proper safety precautions help keep hunters safe.

Respect for the Hunt

Years ago, hunters braved rough terrain and dangerous conditions to hunt because it was the only way they could provide for their family. They used as much of the animal as they could for food, clothing, shelter, and supplies. Animals were a gift and were respected. Teach your child to respect nature and the circle of life for what it is and to make the most of their kill. You should also teach them to never make an animal suffer unnecessarily.

Relevant Hunting Knowledge

Hunting is a skill that requires training as well as a natural affinity toward the craft. Set your child up for success by teaching them what you have learned in your years. Be specific with tips that will help them on your upcoming trip. For example, if you are going on a deer hunting trip, stick with tips relevant to hunting deer.

You should also teach your child about the gear and supplies they’ll need to use on the trip. One of the things they’ll need is a weather-proof hunting backpack to carry their supplies and keep them safe. This is especially important if you’re hunting in wetlands or in poor weather. You don’t want water to seep into their pack and ruin all of their supplies.

For each hunting trip, teach your kids to pack water, food, a first aid kit, a flashlight, as well as any supplies specific to the type of hunt you’re on.

Realistic Expectations

Many have spent a hunting trip waiting for an opportunity that never arrived. It is part of being a hunter, and your child should learn that they may come home empty handed from time to time. Set realistic expectations and realistic goals. Your kid may not have made a kill, but they should still have plenty of knowledge from the experience to take back home with them in their hunting backpack that can help them make a kill the next time.

Creating memories with your children is a gift that will continue to give for the rest of their life. They will look fondly on those bonding moments and the people who shared those moments with them. Ideally, the hunting tradition will continue with the next generation.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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