When Is The Right Age To Take Your Children Hunting?

Hunting dates back to roughly two million years. The practice was once our only way of survival. As time went on, the hunting industry witnessed several advancements.

Nevertheless, can you allow a 5-year old to handle a rifle safely? Many of today’s parents who have a passion take their toddlers to hunting adventures. However, is the practice safe?

Well, it depends on quite a few factors. In reality, only you can tell if your young kid or growing teenager can aim and shoot a rifle. Even if you are holding a weapon and pointing out the animal yourself, hunting can have varying effects on the psychological and emotional development of your children.

Although, there are several good reasons to pass on your family tradition of hunting to the next generation, make sure your kid is sensible enough to understand the sport or hobby.

Seasoned hunters shape their children’s understanding of how animals survive in the wild. That’s why they view hunting as a natural activity. However, some argue whether young children should be introduced to weaponry, even if they don’t have any access to it.

What Is The Best Age to Take Children Hunting?

When it comes to hunting, age is nothing but a number. Many hunters believe a sensible and respectful 5-year old boy or girl can safely be taught firearms and hunting. Others believe children should not be exposed to hunting until they reach the age of 14 or 15.

However, many authorities and institutions believe that you must teach children to stay away from firearms. Even if you do show them a gun or a rifle that you store in your home, you should hide all weapons.

You can see if your child is mentally ready and mature enough to comprehend the potential danger of hunting. Your child or teen must be able to follow your instructions for not hurting himself or the people around him.

Child Hunting
Child Hunting

How to Prepare Your Child for Hunting

Parents usually begin training by showing their child a hunting video. Choose a documentary or film that explains the dynamics of hunting. Your children should know that when you use a gun to shoot a deer, it leads to the death of the animal. Parents should also let their children decide whether they are comfortable with this concept or not.

Most children are already aware of how guns and rifles work, thanks to video games. But what they don’t know is that gun shots can cause death. This is why children who are brought up with guns are more familiar that guns are not toys but are accessories to kill.

Planning a Safe Adventure

When you are planning a hunting activity, parents should keep all the essential items in their gear. Apart from medication, food and drinks, you should keep a bug spray and extra clothes. Keep a few of your child’s favorite toys just in case he/she wants something to hold on to for assurance.

Remember they are kids

One great technique for hunting deer is to put up a hunting tent that will cover up all the motion that kids will do. Bring along a snack that doesn’t have a lot of scent or smell too it. This will keep them occupied if they get bored. And, a lawn chair to sit on. Always dress them for being cold, in layers, so they can take them off but won’t get too cold. And, don’t forget your patience.

Before ever considering taking a child out hunting, you need to instruct them on hunters’ safety. They have classes for this, however, it is your responsibility as a hunter to ensure they understand how powerful that gun is. What not to do and what should be done. Show by example but also in scenarios that they will understand. There are a lot of videos out there that stress this that you could use as well.

Kids+hunting

Take along a whole lot of patience

Most importantly let your child lead the way. Don’t assume your child will want to kill an animal the first time they go hunting. This is something that they need to express to you that they are ready and don’t force them or call them names for not wanting too. This can harm them emotionally as shooting an animal can be more emotional for some people than others.

Remember, when starting a child out hunting, they should have an interest in it as well. Some people are just not interested in hunting, similar to shopping, it is something that one either loves or hates. If they want to try it, give them a great experience and go for an hour or so, ensure they have dressed appropriately and let them know you might not see anything. That is kind of the thrill of it.

As you see other animals than what you are hunting, show them, so they can start to spot critters in their home environment. This is a learned trait that takes time but watching wildlife can be a whole lot of fun.

Final Thoughts

The best places to start are federal and state campgrounds. Thus, your toddlers are exposed to the outside world without facing any danger.

Patrick

I have been camping and going outdoors for over 15 years! My first experience was when I joined the scouts. There I learned a lot. From building a campfire to set up a really big tent. Then I know this is awesome. Around 2005 I also started Geocaching. This is a lot of fun. And every time we go camping we look at the map to see if there are some nice caches around.

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