10 Ways to Hook Kids on Hunting


Now is the best time to introduce a youngster to hunting. Yes, even more so than on opening day. In the preseason, kids can be active, noisy, and inquisitive, the way children normally are.

South Dakota Turkey 010 006This article from the National Wild Turkey Federation magazine has a number of excellent suggestions, one of which is to take your child shooting. Shooting guns is fun, but exploding targets are terrific. Here’s how to do that without alerting the bomb squad. Buy a case of store-brand soda at your nearest grocery store. For less than $5 you have 24 exploding targets for .22, .17, or .308. Kids especially love making this happen, so get them up close for major excitement. And be sure to recycle the aluminum!

1. Take Them Hunting
Make it fun. Check the forecast and only take them during pleasant weather.
Don’t go on an expedition. A short hunt that isn’t exhausting will leave a positive, lasting impression. Outfit them with gear so they won’t shiver, or get wet or sunburned.
When I took my kids winter coyote hunting, I pulled them in on a sled so they didn’t have to fight the snow. On the way home we always found a big hill to slide down to end the day.

2. Visit a Sport Show
Attend the annual NWTF Convention or plan an afternoon at a local sport show.  Getting kids in the aisles to see the world of outdoor gear, outfitters and people introduces them to the social side of the outdoors.  Let them choose an item to purchase, buy them a hot dog and take in a seminar. It’s all part of enjoying the characters and culture of the pastime.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.