Deer hunting is often a solitary quest, yet it’s much more fun when shared with friends and family.  You don’t need a stand big enough for a gang, yet you want to include them before and after the adventure.  Toddlers can “hunt” if they tag along with their mom, dad, aunt, or uncle and today’s motorized hunting vehicles make such adventures pure fun.  Whether young or grown, here’s how to introduce someone to hunting.

Walk Before You Run

If you have a youngster you want to introduce to hunting or perhaps a reluctant spouse who finally agreed to give it a try, take things slowly.  Begin by shooting your bow or rifle in target situations.  Make sure that you have the proper ear and eye protection and always start gun hunters with a light caliber.  A novice will expect a .22 rifle to “kick,” so let them get comfortable shooting.  Hydraulics are your best friends in this situation so fill empty milk jugs or soda cans with water and use them as targets.  Each hit will cause an eruption and will build great excitement.

After you have had a session or two of shooting for fun, graduate to smaller targets and teach the finer arts of accurate shooting.  Stress safety from the first, yet speak to the kinds of rests, shooting positions, breath control, and squeezing the trigger.

Gregg Ritz used a crossbow to teach his daughter to shoot a rifle.

Teach with Crossbows

Teaching newbies to shoot with a rifle may require a range or large property which may require travel.  Ironically, you can use a crossbow to teach most of the finer points of shooting including safety, aiming, breathing, shooting positions, and trigger pull.  Actually, once your mentee gets accustomed to the bow, they may want to use it instead.

Josh Honeycutt covers the important steps of introducing a new hunter to the sport in this video from the Realtree website.  No doubt, he got extra “points” by featuring his wife in the video and I’m betting he’ll have a new hunting buddy for the rest of his life.  Check it out: