Written by: Katheryn Griffiths
For parents who have been hunting enthusiasts for all their lives, passing the legacy to the next generation is a great idea. However, you need to make sure that the first trip is amazing enough to get the kid to fall in love with the outdoors. Planning is essential as there are practical aspects like safety and training to handle. Additionally, the first hunting trip can bring mixed emotions for the youngster as they may feel excited, apprehensive, and nervous at the same time. Here are some ways you can help you teen prep up for the first time.
Temper their expectations
Hunting is fun and exciting, but not always because there are good days and bad days. Help your child temper their expectations. Talk about facts like the unpredictability of weather as it can spoil an amazing day or even the whole trip. Discuss personal safety facts and the importance of wearing body armor in the wild, even if it may feel bulky and uncomfortable initially. The idea is to help the child see hunting with a realistic perspective so that they can deal with failure. It is not about presenting the situation in a negative light, rather it is all about preparing them for the best and the worst. After all, you cannot expect every hunting trip to end with a kill.
Gun training is essential
If the youngster is serious about embracing hunting as a passion, ensure that they get proper gun training even before their first time outdoors. You may train them yourself or send them for professional training. They should learn everything about handling a weapon, right from loading and unloading to checking the chamber and turning the safety on and off. Proper training makes them confident with their firearm so that they can handle the toughest situations as they go shooting an animal in the wilderness. Still, it is advisable to supervise them at all times because the first time with a loaded gun can be risky.
Give them a lesson on safety
Apart from gun training, a lesson on personal safety is also important before you take along the youngster on his or her first hunting spree. Start by explaining the perils they may face in the wild, from wild animals to tough terrain, stray bullets and the risk of getting lost. Equip them with safety essentials like a pocket knife, rope, and flashlight. Buying engarde body armor for the kid is a great idea to keep them protected year after year. Provide them with requisite navigational aids and discuss a plan to be followed in case they get lost. Being armed with knowledge makes them capable of coping with stressful situations with ease and confidence.
Even as there are inherent risks with the first hunting trip, make it enjoyable and exciting for the youngster. A great first experience promises to make it something they would want to do all their life. So make sure that you focus as much on the fun factor of the trip.