Predator hunting may be in a slowdown for summer, but that doesn’t mean your obligations to the hunting tradition should also take a hiatus. In fact, spring and summer are perfect for focusing your attention on recruiting a new hunter. You may have kids living under your roof, a spouse suggesting new outdoor activities or even a neighbor kid who looks at your predator rifle and Mossy Oak camo with interest. Put aside a weekend of lawn care and take some time to create a new hunter and get involved in a shooting program.
For kids, the timing is of ultimate importance. Other summer activities will be grabbing their attention, along with the disturbing trend of too much screen time. Plus, research shows that if you don’t get a kid involved in an activity by the time they are 9 or 10, it may be difficult to cement that activity for their future benefit.
If you don’t feel a responsibility, then read the following points to validate my point on the importance of introducing new hunters to shooting sports and hunting.
- Firearm safety. Most shooting programs include firearm safety and certification. Firearms are all around us, and your child (or a new hunter) should know how to respect one even if you’re not around.
- Create funding for wildlife management. The tradition of hunting needs recruitment to keep it alive and well. Plus, license and equipment sales go towards conservation. We need to keep the pool of hunters healthy and conservation programs wealthy.
- It’s a lifelong sport. Shooting and hunting are activities that can bring enjoyment from the cradle to the grave. Whether you bag a coyote or a clay target, it doesn’t matter. Just have fun.
- Personal safety. When your loved ones are out and about, you want them to be safe, especially once they leave your home. Knowing that they understand how to responsibly use a firearm could save their life if you’re not around.
- It’s in the Constitution. Giving your child or a new shooter the knowledge and education of their Second Amendment rights is a history lesson in itself. Having them utilize this right is good for family and for the nation.
Believe it or not, getting youth and new hunters involved in shooting sports is easier than you think. Organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America provide youth with a well-rounded immersion in the outdoors, including shooting sports. Another leading youth organization I’ve experienced firsthand with both my son and daughter is 4-H, specifically 4-H Shooting Sports. 4-H offers one of the finest local shooting sports programs that establishes an atmosphere of firearm respect, scheduled practice and even competitive matches. Local sportsman’s clubs often host the 4-H shooting clubs so youth are exposed to a variety of shooting disciplines as well as archery. Finally, check with your local shooting club. They generally have the schedule for hunter safety courses, they plan personal defense courses and they host a multitude of shooting activities.
Take some time this summer to make a new hunter. They could very well be your next predator-hunting partner.
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