5 Tips To Ensure Your Kid Loves Hunting

Every season there is a slaughter taking place amongst the freshman class of new youth hunters. The excitement and anticipation each new hunter experienced before the hunt is quickly diminished with bad experiences. Welcome to youth hunting 101.

“I remember my first hunt. It was actually my last. I froze all day and didn’t see a thing! I’ve never understood that sport!”

This is the memory imbedded in many youth hunters across the country. Just as quickly as they are introduced to the sport, they exit stage left never to return.image3

Do you want your first hunt with your kid to be a success?

As a seasoned hunter you are wired to prepare meticulously for your hunt. The same care should go into planning a positive experience for your little hunter.

Follow these simple steps next time you introduce a kid to the sport. Doing so will ensure a life long love for the sport and wildlife conservation.

1.  Have success:  As you introduce your youth hunter to the sport, make sure you do so on a hunt with action. Introduce them to the sport in an area were you know you will see animals and have close encounters. Have success!

2.  Get in, get out:  If required, the seasoned hunter is wired to wait until the last light of the last day for their trophy to appear. Unhook your wires. Leave your youth hunter wanting more. Long days and weeks can burn out a young hunter before they even get started. Get in, get out!

The Trolli Approach
The Trolli Approach

3.  Make traditions:  I call this the “Trolli Approach.” To this day, my girls love hunting because of the perks associated with spending time in the field with Dad. Trolli sour gummy worms is the tradition. There is only one time each year when its a free for all along the gas station treat isle. That free for all occurs during the hunt. Make traditions!

4.  Build confidence:  I love telling my little youth hunter, “man, your good at this!” Highlight their knack for the sport, tracking, listening, identifying sign, spotting, and toughness. Make a big deal out of the value they bring to the hunting camp. Build confidence! image1-2

5.  There is no bad weather, just bad clothing:  All your efforts will be for naught if you have not planned for weather. Make sure your youth hunting partner is wearing the right gear.  Comfort is key to a great first time experience. Remember, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing!

What have you done in the field to get your first time youth hunters excited about the sport? Leave me your comments at the bottom. Take a minute and follow my blog on the right had column of your page!

15 thoughts on “5 Tips To Ensure Your Kid Loves Hunting”

  1. Yea sure good advice if your a rich dad .
    Try these out on public land pumpkin patch units . It doesn’t work !!
    “Have success” NO KIDDING !
    To have high success and lots of animals take preference points . Youth don’t have many preference points !
    What world do you live in man ??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What about the post requires money and preference points? To be honest I have neither so I am interested? I would assume you missed the whole point of the post if you define “success” as having a premium tag or a guide? I have neither the coin to buy hunts or the luck to draw em’ and my kids and I have a great time out hunting. Thanks for reading! Best wishes and happy hunting.


  2. Your article defines success as seeing lots of animals and excitement.
    What general OTC unit in Colorado do you see LOTS of animals and few people??
    My sons and I hike out butts off year after year and see very few animals and tons of people .
    I seriously don’t know where your hunting but I bet it’s not colorado ?
    We have a good time and we stick to it but it ain’t easy .


  3. Great Article. The warnings you speak of are exactly my experience.

    Every October I see all the trucks loaded up heading out for the big deer hunt. Each year my memory goes back to hiking Peach Canyon or the White Cliffs “private ground”, eating Caramels and the excitement of the taste of a mustard sardine or the pack of oysters I had with me. I can still picture my grandfather (picture an old WWII vet) in the opposite canyon waiting while us youngsters pushed the deer up his direction. I remember the look of disgust as I told my father I had to shit and his instructions to grab some leaf and lean over a fallen log. I remember the sheer look of disappointment in his face as I managed to shit over the log and into my pants.

    All great memories, but I lack one memory of success. In all my youth we never downed the “big one” or to that matter even a small one.

    Public or Private ground, it’s all about success for youth. Even though I have all those fond memories of the hunt, I’ve never been back. I now have an 11 year-old son who has never slain anything or even been on a hunt for that matter. I’m a product the warning signs you speak of.

    What do you suggest JDHeiner, so I can ensure success if I endeavor to take my son on the hunt.


    1. James – Your comment is pure comedy. Nothing like a good old fashion “push” with ^$&# on your drawers. Your biggest concern seems to be the “success” part. That is not entirely in your control so it is therefore the most unpredictable of the suggested steps. A young first time hunter typically doesn’t care about the “big one.” They soon will, but not today. Here are some thoughts for finding some success: 1. Surround yourself with a network of successful hunters. Do not go at it alone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. 2. Do not do your research with kids in tow. When it comes time to take the kiddos, you should know with relative confidence that you will see some action. If you are preparing the night before, you’ve failed in this regard. 3. First help your kids generate a love for the outdoors and hunting with higher success rate hunts and outdoor activities like fishing, upland game, waterfowl, or maybe a good ole’ fashion rabbit hunt. This along with the article’s other steps will give them a taste of success and they will be left wanting more. If all else fails give them some mustard sardines, a roll of toilet paper, and a pack of caramels and send them off to entertain themselves. Thanks for the comment!


  4. I’m not sure where Muley Slayer is coming from. Hunting has and will always be about finding the right spot to look for and hunt game. You talk to friends, make acquaintances, make a trade or whatever to gain access to the “right Spot”. Sure you can buy your way in but to insinuate that is the only way to make your hunt a success is nothing less than ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong conservation can be costly but we all owe it to our kids to pay that price weather it be with action or the “almighty” dollar. If you can’t swing the $ you can always help ramrod the movement.


  5. My father started taking me along on hunts before I could walk. Sometimes it was just a ride on a backroad on a rainy day. He fitted me with some earmuffs and toted me in a frame pack while pheasant hunting. Before i could carry a rifle, he had me carry a red rider bb gun to teach safety and proper handling. In California on public land, “success” while hunting deer is hard earned. My father made hunting fun by defining success as the entire experience rather that a trophy head. To be hunting, and to experience the pursuit is to be successful. The “action” we seek while hunting is all the more rewarding when it is earned. My fondest memories of hunting with my dad are not centered around kills. The time he asked me to hike to the truck and drive it a quarter mile down the road at age 10, or him offering me a cup of coffee, let me shoot his rifle, etc. These are the fondest memories. My dad found a way to make it interesting for me by making me feel useful and deserving. I got to be one of the boys at deer camp. With time came success, and great memories as well, but the fact that my dad thought to include me in his passion was most rewarding. Thanks for the article JD.


  6. My husband is a really big into whitetail deer hunting here in Dallas and he really wants our kids to take up his hobby with him. I really like the idea of having a tradition! I know that if my husband brought along Swedish Fish, our kids would love it. He has been taking our 5 year old son with him and he absolutely loves it. I think it’s such a great way to bond and spend time together.


  7. I have never been hunting and don’t know a lot about hunting. My dad has always wanted to take me hunting, but I declined because I didn’t like the idea of waiting all day to get what I came for. I appreciate that you included the get in get out method, because that makes hunting sound a lot more appealing to me.


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