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!

To My Little Huntress

Dear Kate,

Your recent comment took your mom by surprise. She called me at work to tell me about her experience. What you said was both sweet and heart wrenching. “Mom, if you have a boy Dad won’t want to take me hunting and fishing anymore.” You are aware of your Mom’s desire for number five. Maybe we will finally get that boy? That concerns you. I am trying to come to terms with the idea of five kids as well.

My concerns are different than your concern. I want to give you and your sisters every opportunity the world has to offer. I wasn’t sure how I would take care of one and here we are at four. Your grandpa Heiner always says, “each child will bring its own bread.” It is his way of saying the Lord will provide a way. I always laugh and tell him “that is easy for you to say when I am the one footing the bill.” To grandpa’s credit things seem to work out.

Kate, it is important that you know a hundred boys could not replace you. You are irreplaceable. You have a toughness about you that a boy could only hope to match. It seems natural for a son to hunt and fish with his dad. It is truly special to have a daughter that wants those same things. You are just as capable of weathering the storm. You are just as able to climb the hill. You are just as strong to handle a horse.

Kate, you need to understand two things. You are irreplaceable. You are strong. As a result you will always be welcome in my camp!

Love,

Dad

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Utah Elk Hunt 2012

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10 Reasons Kids Should NOT Hunt

I recently spent the weekend shed hunting with my daughter Kate. With a kid in the mix you could say it takes major work just to get out the door. Tasks preventing me from enjoying my weekend piled up. These tasks were largely kid related. To be frank, they were “Kate” related.

She didn’t have the right clothes which required a trip to Cal Ranch. She was also hungry. “We will take one chicken sandwich and hamburger plain.” As added frustration the horse trailer had a flat and one of the horses needed her hoofs trimmed. Upon gathering water bottles, getting fuel and purchasing trail treats, my Saturday had nearly slipped from my iron clad grasp.

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Kate and Meg

Admittedly, I asked myself “why?” After much thought, I have come up with exactly 10 reasons why kids should NOT ever hunt in all its forms.

  1. Hunting teaches kids how to provide. Really? What kid needs to learn how to provide? We are no longer cavemen or pioneers. Our kids are entitled not only to basic needs but to added comforts.
  2. Hunting teaches kids how to be uncomfortable. What kid needs to learn the value of cold hands and blistered feet? Kids should never be expected to sleep on the ground. As an advanced society we are certainly above this. All the comforts of the world should be ours. Our time is best suited teaching our kids actual lessons of value like how to get something for nothing.
  3. Hunting teaches kids how to stay fit. Good health is overrated.
  4. Hunting teaches kids how to respect God’s creations. Who’s that guy anyway? Isn’t America’s prosperity the result of our own great minds? Aren’t those awe-inspiring hills and all that is in them a result of some big bang?
  5. Hunting teaches kids how to prepare. Prepare for what?
  6. Hunting teaches kids how to work. We live in a day and age where every one of our kids are entitled to a job despite their work ethic, reliability, prior training or education. To really spend the time teaching a kid to work would have been valuable maybe 52 1/2 years ago.
  7. Hunting teaches kids how to survive. Survive what?
  8. Hunting teaches kids how to conserve resources. Resources are plentiful. Do you really think they are going to run out? If the goal is to conserve, wouldn’t killing do just the opposite? Maybe PETA is on to something. Clearly hunting and conservation do not go hand in hand.
  9. Hunting teaches kids how to solve problems. Problem solving is for the birds. The risk of encountering too many problems while hunting is real. Clearly my own attempt was chuck full of unnecessary problems. I should have known better than to leave my recliner and remote.
  10. Hunting teaches kids how to have fun. To be honest the high-pitched shriek of kids laughing can be annoying. It is certainly counter intuitive to hunting. Perched behind the glow of their iPad in the darkest corner of the house their laughter and tears are only a distant squeal.
I guess greater clarity can be found in putting your thoughts to the figurative paper. As I read back through this post I have come to the realization that the above 10 reasons are exactly why my kids WILL hunt. It is these 10 reasons that make sense of the madness found in hunting with kids!
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Kate and Miya
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THE LOOK THEY GIVE WHILE READING THE BELOW COMMENTS. ENJOY!