How to Have a Successful First Hunting Trip with Your Youngster
Hunting is an American tradition that is proudly passed down from one generation to the next. In fact, for many people, one of the most anticipated moments is taking their child hunting for the very first time. This will be an event that your child will remember for the rest of their life. With a little planning, you can make sure that their memories are happy, and that the first trip is just the beginning of a lifelong love of being out on the land. The team at Norton Sporting Goods would like to share the following tips to help you make the most out of this occasion and to instill a love of hunting that will last for many generations to come.
Even children who have grown up in a hunting family and have been raised to respect the process and purpose of hunting can be timid when they first get going. A good way to help them overcome any anxieties is by starting small. Begin by hunting for small game, such as squirrels, rabbits or doves. Smaller game allows for the use of a small caliber firearm that is easier for kids to handle, such as a .22 rifle. Be prepared for an emotional change if your child is successful on the first trip; it is perfectly normal for kids to express a degree of remorse for taking a life. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate respect for all life and to talk about the importance of making full use of everything that is killed.
Make Sure You Buy the Right Gear
One of the best things about hunting is the chance to connect with nature, and most hunts require a significant amount of time spent outdoors. There is no faster way to have a bad experience than spending a day in uncomfortable or ill-fitting gear. Prepare for your child's first hunt by taking them shopping to find all of the things that will be needed. If new boots or shoes are on that list, be sure to let your child wear them around for a few days prior to going out to hunt, so that they can get used to the fit and feel. It is also important to pay attention to the weather conditions and make sure that your child will not be overly hot or cold during your time outdoors.
Keep Expectations Realistic
Introducing a child to hunting should be about far more than what they might bring home. Be sure to emphasize the many benefits that come with the sport, including spending time together, improving skills and enjoying nature. Make sure your child knows that not every hunt results in a successful kill and that there will be a learning curve. Talk about the fact that hunting requires a wide range of skills, and how proud you are to have the chance to guide your child as they learn where their talents lie.
At Norton Sporting Goods, we understand the importance of bonding with your children over a love of hunting. We hope that these tips are helpful as you prepare for that special day, and we look forward to helping you find the perfect gear for the coming hunting season.