I’ll never forget the sobering feeling when I first thought of introducing my son to duck hunting. There’s some material out there on how to introduce youth to hunting, but it’s not like you have that material at your fingertips 24/7.
I was going to take my oldest son Cole on his first duck hunt when he was around 8 years old. It dawned on me about 2 weeks from the hunt that we’d be hunting flooded timber, and what was knee deep on me would be chest deep on him, which meant one tough and possibly miserable hunt for his first exposure to duck hunting.
Within minutes I was scanning my brain for what else I may have forgotten about hunting, that is, in terms of trying to see it from his perspective.
If you’re looking for ways to introduce youth to hunting, consider these key truths:
Put Yourself In Their Boots. Literally. Put yourself on their level. Is it a long walk? Remember for every one step you take they take three! See what I mean?
Never Neglect Warmth & Comfort. Miss it here and you miss it all together. If they get cold, they may never want to hunt again because they can associate hunting with misery.
Assume Nothing. Think through the hunt and size the expectation. What are they wanting out of it? Ask your kid what would be a good time by their definition.
Remember: The Greatest Gift You Give Is Time. Seriously, you’re not going to remember all your kills. You’re going to remember the experience, so keep that as your target and you’ll win every time.
Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He’s the producer of Mossberg’s Rugged American Hunter series. www.JasonCruise.com