3 Ways Predator Hunting Can Help Introduce Someone to the Outdoors

One of the best ways to introduce someone to the outdoors is on a predator hunt that involves calling, moving around and, hopefully, a successful ending.
3 Ways Predator Hunting Can Help Introduce Someone to the Outdoors

One of the best ways to introduce someone to the outdoors is on a predator hunt that involves calling, moving around and, hopefully, a successful ending.

But even without a coyote on the ground or raccoon in the game bag, a predator hunt is a super way to introduce people to hunting, shooting and the outdoors. That's a recurring battle cry among anglers and hunters but it's not new. This has been going on for decades, long before the Old Curmudgeon knee-jerk response that "video games" are the problem. The problems with declining numbers are multi-faceted and not limited to one thing.

However, there are positive signs. According to HunterSurvey.com/ShooterSurvey.com, an online survey of active hunters and shooters, conducted by Southwick Associates, 34 percent of active hunters and 43 percent of active recreational shooters have taken at least one child hunting or shooting in the past 12 months.

Squirrel hunting is a great way to introduce someone new to hunting and the outdoors. (Photo: iStock)

At least 17 percent of those who mentored children took more than one in that same timeframe.

On the shooting side, 26 percent took more than one child.

As one would expect, most of the youth being mentored were the children or the grandchildren of the person teaching them, but certainly not all of them were.

The relationship to the mentor was as follows:

Relationship Hunter Percentage/Shooter Percentage

Son or Daughter — 50% / 47%

Grandchild — 33% / 36%

Niece, Nephew or Other Relative — 12% / 12%

Unrelated Young Person — 26% / 27%

Part of Scouts, Church Group or Other Youth Activity — 3% / 7%

“Mentors and mentoring programs are the best way to grow the next generation of sportsmen, and it’s encouraging to see this role carried out by many hunters and recreational shooting enthusiasts,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com.

Go Predator Hunting

Here are three reasons predator hunting is great to introduce someone to the outdoors:

— You can use a rifle caliber such as .223, .243 or others up to .308 that don't have much recoil and are still effective for hogs and coyotes. Those species usually don't have limits, depending on your state, so if you get into some hot action the excitement level can hit full-tilt.

— Raccoon hunting is fun because you're using hounds, treeing, tracking and then calling and shaking nearby saplings or yanking vines to get the treed coon to reveal itself. You can hunt a couple of hours and go home, too, instead of sitting in a deer stand or blind trying to be quiet to see a deer you may not be able to shoot. With gray squirrels or ground squirrels out west, your shooting opportunities will be greater, too.

— Predator hunting involves calling, so you're interacting with what you're hunting. Seeing a coyote respond to a call, a squirrel angrily respond to your chatter, a raccoon growl at your squalling or a hog come to your grunting definitely can get you fired up. That kind of excitement is hard to forget.

Take someone new with you this season, be patient, have fun, and you may have a new hunting buddy.

About the survey
To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the bi-monthly surveys at HunterSurvey.comShooterSurvey.comand/or AnglerSurvey.com. Every other month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

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