Introducing New People Into The Outdoors
Something a lot of people ask me - mainly men and dads- is… “How do I get my daughter/wife/kids into hunting?” To be honest, there is no simple answer. Everyone is different and for some people, it’s just not their thing. What I do think a lot of people would enjoy is just being outside, and in the outdoors in general. Anything from hiking, to kayaking, to boating, to camping, to just being out in nature. It is said that 15 minutes outdoors getting Vitamin D from the sun is essential to happiness and mental well-being. I encourage everyone to give it a shot and see where it leads them.
But to the original question, how to get someone into hunting? A few tips and advice I have for you are:
- Don’t take them whitetail hunting on the coldest day of the year. No one enjoys freezing out there, especially if it is there first time. It will put a bad taste in their mouth about it, especially if they don’t see anything! The more they get into the sport, the more they will be able to bare. So take them on a good day!
- If its kids, keep them entertained. You are going to have to have patience with them. Don’t expect them to sit there still the whole time, and not say a word. I know that is what you are supposed to do, but it’s a learning situation for them. Getting onto them the whole time is not going to be fun for them. Make it fun!
- Explain to whoever it is what hunting is and why we do it. What you do with the animal after the harvest, how you determine a mature animal to be harvested, and talk them through everything. Don’t make someone feel dumb. You’re educating them so that they can pass down the information to future generations. Belittling someone or making them feel dumb is not going to make them want to learn more about the sport.
- Play games with the kids. Like who sees the first animal, make up things just to keep them entertained and not be bored in the stand.
- And most of all MAKE IT FUN! Whether they harvest something or not, make it a time they will enjoy and remember. You don’t want them to associate the sport with being miserable because they just kept getting in trouble. They can get more serious about it later on and learn as they get older.
- SNACKS, snacks, & MORE SNACKS!! Being hungry in the stand is one of the worst things possible lol so be sure to pack plenty so they aren’t thinking about food the whole time…. I learned the hard way!
- Kids like to actually be able to participate. So, if you don’t see animals or if they don’t get a shot, have other activities available. Targeting shooting. Driving or navigating the ATV, if available. Let them participate in hunting camp procedures, etc. And my most favorite …. Smores!
Just a few ideas that I think would be beneficial. If you know you want to get them into hunting at a young age, let them grow up around it. Bring them along when setting up trail cameras or shooting your bow. The more they are exposed to it, the more they will probably want to participate!
I hope this article gives a few helpful tips and pointers. I’m sure other people have other ideas of how to introduce new people into the outdoors/hunting. So feel free to leave a comment on what has worked for you!
Stay tuned for more articles to come. If you have any questions feel free to email me and just maybe that will be one of my future topics!
Happy Hunting and as always, God Bless!