It’s that time of the year when many of you make a New Year’s resolution. Some center on that protruding portion around your waist that mysteriously seems to grow a bit each year. Others of you may cut down on other indulgences, go to church more often or even to curb your cussing. A few of you are silently promising to predator hunt more this year, but if that’s your goal then you might want to expand that goal and help the entire hunting community. Instead of just going hunting with you or your friends, consider taking a non-hunter out and becoming a mentor.
Check out this story about getting a kid involved in hunting. Nine-year-old Alex Collins desperately wanted to go hunting, but he lives in a single-parent household with his mother who is ill. The Pennsylvania pair stumbled across a Facebook posting that appeared to come from their local county sheriff department with an offer to take youth hunting. They quickly applied and dropped off their application only to discover that the offer was for a county of the same name in South Carolina. With a bit of ingenuity the two sheriff departments conjured up a plan to get Alex to South Carolina to go hunting — complete with new gear. Do you think this kid is hooked for life? You bet!
You don’t have to go to that extreme. You can simply take your own kids hunting, neighbor kids or even a spouse. You can also check with local organizations like the National Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scout troops, Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs and the likes. They are all great places to find kids interested in shooting and hunting. And with the growing number of single-parent homes in America you could change some kid’s life and introduce them to a lifetime sport.
Once you grab someone’s interest be sure to enroll them in hunter education and a shooting sports program. There are other programs like the National Archery in the Schools Program, the Jakes National Wild Turkey Federation program and others. These organizations teach, engage and offer competition to keep new shooters excited.
One pursuit you can take them on 365 days a year is predator hunting. It’s an excellent way to introduce new hunters to the predator-and-prey relationship, and how hunters help in managing wildlife today through hunting. Plus, predator hunting is simply downright exciting.
It’s the New Year. Make a resolution that makes a difference in someone's life and makes a new hunter. Happy New Year!