Youths can teach us a thing or two about hunting.
As adults, people have a tendency to complicate things, even hunting. Perhaps it’s time to take take hunting lessons from kids to remind you of the real reasons you love the sport.
One of the best things about kids is they keep life simple. They don’t worry about what others think or if they look silly doing something. It’s no different when it comes to hunting and being in the woods.
As an adult, you sometimes forget why you got involved with hunting in the first place. You focus on who has the nicest gun, the newest bow, the bigger buck. When you miss a shot or go days without seeing game, you get frustrated and angry.
Maybe it’s time you take some advice from kids and relearn these seven hunting lessons.
1. Be Courageous
Kids haven’t yet learned to be afraid of life. They do what they want and aren’t held back by fear of failure. Even if they think they can’t do it, they’re going to go ahead and try their hardest anyway. While you’ve learned those lessons long ago, sometimes it’s okay to let go and do something completely new and different.
Try muzzleloading for the first time. Start hunting wild boar. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right the first time or if you make a mistake. Be courageous and try something new, something you think is too hard. Don’t let fear hold you back.
2. Have Fun
When you were a kid, you started hunting because it was fun. You got to spend time in the woods with someone you cared about and, even if you didn’t see anything, you still had a good time.
Kids can find happiness and fun in just about anything they do. Remember that hunting is fun, no matter what.
Instead of solely thinking about the harvest, think about the experience of hunting and what it all entails. Think about being in the woods and having the time to yourself. Have fun, because that’s what it’s about.
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3. Brag a Little
By their very nature, kids are egocentric. They think of themselves first and don’t yet understand the world doesn’t revolve around them. When a child tells a story, they always make sure they’re the main character.
So, if you just made a killer shot or got a 600-pound bear, it’s okay to brag a little. Not a lot, but a little. You earned it.
4. Notice the Little Things
Kids find enjoyment and awe in the little things in life. When they’re out hunting, they notice the squirrel’s cheeks puffed out with acorns and watch the last leaves of fall come to the ground in amazement. They watch mice scurry from hole to hole like it’s the newest episode of Sponge Bob. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be doing the same thing.
While you’re out hunting, take a moment and look around. Pay attention to details. You may be surprised at what you see.
Kids have an endless supply of curiosity and wonder. They explore everywhere they go and can find new, exciting things in the same backyard day after day. Yet as an adult, you get into a routine. You know where your blind is, where your treestand is and you walk the same path to them each and every time.
Every once in awhile, take a break from that routine. Walk down a new trail. Sit down on a new log. Explore the woods in which you hunt. If you don’t explore it, you may never find its secrets and treasures.
6. Quit Stressing
Yes, it’s different when you’re a kid. You don’t have to worry about paying bills, going to work or making a mortgage payment. Kids are naturally stress free. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let go of that stress when you head into the woods.
Kids know how to forget about things and get lost in play, and you should observe them and learn how to do it too. That way when you’re out hunting, you can relax and find joy in the activity.
7. Never Stop Learning
If you have children, you know kids are always asking questions. They want to know how stars stay in the sky and what worms eat for dinner. They can sometimes ask you “Why?” 150 times in one day.
Although you might get tired of answering them, their passion for learning new things is inspiring. Take a lesson from then and never stop learning. Read articles on the latest hunting strategies. Learn about the newest gun innovations. Keep your passion alive by feeding it new things.