Many young adults and children are introduced to the sport of hunting at an early age. Hunting can be a fun and positive experience for children, as long as they are properly educated on things like hunting safety and ethical hunting. Hunting is a learning process and by properly preparing these young hunters, the foundations can be laid to ensure they enjoy this sport for years to come.
Safety is a big concern for seasoned hunters – even more so for young hunters. It should always be the first lesson that they are taught. It is recommended that anyone interested in hunting take a hunter safety course. Many adults will take these courses with their children so that they can learn the ropes together. While the age restrictions for hunting vary by state, it is important that all young hunters know safety measures, as well as the laws and restrictions in place.
Some of the most important safety lessons include always wearing florescent orange clothing so that the hunter is clearly visible to any other hunters nearby. It is recommended that the florescent orange be worn from head to toe –but particularly the chest and head. Hunters should also never hunt alone and always let others know the area in which they will be hunting. It is also important to teach young hunters proper gun and bow safety before giving them a weapon.
Ethical hunting is every hunter’s responsibility and all young hunters need to be aware of the behaviours that are expected of them. This includes only taking a shot when it is clear that the animal will be killed and not just wounded. Once the animal is shot, the hunter needs to find the animal to retrieve it or be completely sure that they missed the animal. An animal should never be left wounded. When a hunter is finished for the day, they should always leave the area the way they found it. This means cleaning up any trash or shell casings from the ground. If an adult is hunting with a young hunter, they should always model best behaviour and ethical practices.
Hunting is not only about killing an animal; it is also about enjoying being outdoors and appreciating Mother Nature in all of her splendour. That’s why it is so important that young hunters understand how to safely and ethically hunt so that future generations may continue to enjoy the sport.