The idea of hunting with kids can scare a lot of people. But, a fear of hunting typically comes from a lack of knowledge about it or confidence in your own capability to do it. This can be handled, though, by teaching your kids to hunt while they are still young. Not only does it help handle fear, but there are also a plethora of reasons teaching your children to hunt is a good idea.
1. Hunting Teaches Kids to Pay Attention
Having the proper skills to hunt is absolutely crucial. It takes a lot of paying attention to the world around you. You have to have an eye for details such as animal tracks and even the direction the wind is blowing in.
This can teach kids a valuable lesson that they need to be acutely aware of the world around them – a lesson that seems harder to drive home the more they have access to impressive technology.
2. Hunting Gets Kids Outside and Helps You Bond
Jumping off the last point, kids today spend a lot of time behind a screen. Between school work and leisure time, most people – even and sometimes especially children – get far more than the recommended amount of time sitting in front of a computer or playing around on a phone.
By taking your kids on a hunting trip, you can help get them away from the trappings of modern technology for a while and spend some quality time as a family and help them appreciate the outdoors. Hunting can be quite a bonding experience when everyone is working together and teaching one another.
3. Hunting Builds Confidence
Every parent has seen their kid’s “I can do it alone” attitude from time to time. Children strive for independence and, as a parent, it’s your job to build them to the point when that independence is plausible. When it is and they do something for the first time, the confidence and excitement they show are encouraging.
As mentioned before, hunting takes a lot of skill. As your children are taught and retain those skills, the more proud they will be in themselves and the more driven they will be to learn more. In addition, as they get older and are able to do more things on their own, you will see their confidence in those skills and in general grow by leagues.
4. Hunting Teaches Responsibility
For all the enjoyment that hunting can bring, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. A hunter needs to learn how to properly and safely handle their weapon and know how to make a clean, quick, and humane shot when taking out their game. On top of that, hunters need to know and follow regulations and guidelines set out for the activity.
All of these boil down to the fact that anyone who hunts has to be incredibly responsible for their actions. This isn’t something that will only stay with hunting either. Most hunters take this level of discipline into other areas of their life, making them more accountable on a broad level.
5. Hunting Promotes Physical Health
Hiking through the woods to find the perfect spot, trekking through thick brush, or hauling your latest catch can be quite the workout. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to do it, but you do need to be reasonably healthy.
This is another reason to teach your kids hunting – to keep them active. With all the screentime we discussed earlier, it can be easy to live a rather sedentary lifestyle. Not only will hunting trips get your child off the couch, but it will also give them a lifestyle or at least a pastime that they will want to stay in good health for. This is another lifelong lesson they can carry with them.
6. Hunting Teaches Kids Conservation
If there is one major thing hunters do that they don’t get enough credit for, it’s conserving the environment they hunt in. It’s, by nature, the way of most hunters. Not only do we want the game we hunt to stay available, but hunters also appreciate the world they hunt in. They are attached to the land they are using and have an authentic investment in seeing it grow and thrive. The best way to keep this land growing and thriving is to teach the next generation what they can do to continue caring for it.
7. Hunting Teaches Kids To Appreciate Hard Work
Finally, hunting can teach your children the value of a hard day’s work. Any hunter can tell you it isn’t as easy as going outside and getting the perfect shot right away. A lot of groundwork and waiting needs to be laid out but with the right dedication, there’s a great reward. This teaches children that if they put in the time and effort, they can achieve their goals.
From the lessons it teaches to the lifestyle it promotes, hunting can be a great pastime and a valuable learning tool for the family.
Photo credit: John Hafner