Want your kid (or any kid) to fall in love with deer hunting? There are a lot of things competing for a young person’s attention these days. Here are some tips to encourage more kids to go deer hunting:
- Take hunter safety together. Before they can legally deer hunt, most states require youngsters pass a hunter safety course. Take the course with them to demonstrate the importance of hunter safety while spending quality time together.
- Have realistic expectations. Your dad might have made you sit still for 10 hours in a deer blind your first time hunting, but that’s not a realistic scenario for young hunters. Take them hunting for a few hours, and bring along snacks, something to read and even a smartphone to play games on during lulls in activity. Remember, the goal is to make deer hunting fun — not something they have to endure.
- Emphasize wildlife management. Teach youngsters the history of whitetails and why deer hunting is not only an effective management strategy, but necessary to control whitetail populations and protect the environment.
- Make hunting part of a larger family experience. Don’t just go deer hunting; travel to a hunting destination, set up camp and spend a few days enjoying the outdoors.
- Go high-tech. Kids love technology. Teach them how to use hunting software apps on smartphones, portable GPS units, rangefinders and other devices for deer hunting. Make sure the electronic aid is legal where you hunt.
- Develop a harvest ritual. Many youngsters feel guilt or remorse after harvesting a deer. Develop a ritual that you both follow to celebrate a successful hunt while paying respect to the animal.