Our children are the future of hunting. Although that's important, there are many other reasons for teaching them to hunt.
Children like to do whatever the adults in their life do, and hunting is no exception to that rule.
If your children are showing interest in hunting, go ahead and take them into the field or woods with you. Teaching your child to hunt not only gets them involved in the sport, but does so much more for them than just about any other hobby out there.
Here are 10 different reasons to teach your children the joy of hunting.
1. Bonding time
One of the best things about teaching your child to hunt is the bonding time it gives the two of you. In today's world where parents and children are often going in two different directions and have little time together, hunting gives you something to do together that can leave lasting memories. Going to hunting camp, early fall mornings, trekking through freshly fallen snow--these are the things memories are made of.
2. Making a tradition
In many families, hunting is a tradition handed down from one generation to the next. You taking your son or daughter into the woods with you carries on that family tradition, as you teach them the same skills that were taught to you, your parents or your grandparents. If hunting is not a tradition in your family, then this is your chance to make it one.
3. Teaching conservation
Hunters are, by our very nature, conservationists. By getting your children in the woods and teaching them about nature and animals, you can stir the conservationist in them. Teach them about harvesting only what they need and the balance of taking and giving. Explain the role of hunters in conservation and what we can do to ensure land and animals will still be available for their children when the time comes.
4. Building an interest
It's sad to say, but hunting is a dying sport. For every 100 adult hunters, only 69 children are learning the sport. Do your job of promoting hunting by sparking an interest in your children. By taking them hunting and getting them involved, you'll not only be teaching them skills and sport, but you'll help keep hunting alive.
5. Connecting to the outdoors
It's no secret that being outdoors is good for you. It's good for your spirit and mind, and has been shown to help people relax and lower blood pressure. In a world where everything moves so fast and needs to be done so quickly, teaching your child to hunt can help them connect to the outdoors and teach them to slow down and enjoy simple moments in nature.
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6. Promoting health and fitness
If you've ever hiked over a mountain in search of the perfect spot or trailed a deer through thick brush, you understand the importance of being physically fit when you hunt. Get your kids off the couch and into the woods. By taking your children with you hunting, you can help promote a physically fit lifestyle and show them alternatives to simply hitting the gym.
7. Developing life skills
If teaching children to hunt does anything, it helps develop positive life skills in your child's life. From discipline, to patience, to endurance, to learning to deal with disappointment, hunting helps develop skills in your children that will turn them into well-rounded adults.
8. Teaching responsibility
Hunting is a big responsibility. You handle a weapon. You take the life of an animal. You leave the woods as you found them. You respect other sportsmen. By teaching your children hunting ethics, you can help instill the sense of responsibility. By teaching them proper hunting skills and sportsmen etiquette, you'll be teaching them responsibility that can spread into other aspects of their lives.
9. Building confidence
There is nothing more gratifying than the feeling of watching a buck fall. It will be no different for your children. When they make the first kill, their confidence will soar, and so will yours. Watching the glee and excitement on your child's face, knowing the work, patience and skill that all had to come together for that moment is priceless.
10. Teaching gun safety
Guns kill, and that scares a lot of people. Knowing how to safely shoot and handle firearms is therefore an essential skill for people to learn. Without proper knowledge, people panic and react quickly with a gun in their hand, not knowing what to do. By teaching your children to hunt, you'll be teaching them skills that will teach them to respect guns, not fear them.
So, don't let our cherished sport die with the next generation. Get your kids away from the video games and take them out in the field. They will thank you one day.