For the past 45 years, Congress has declared the fourth Saturday of September National Hunting and Fishing Day. In the spirit of growing involvement in outdoor recreational activities, hunters, shooters, and fishers are urged to introduce our beloved outdoor world to someone new.
The ultimate reward of introducing a newbie to the outdoors is seeing the person’s eyes light up and the enjoyment he or she will gain from the experience. If you’ve never seen a child catch their first fish or a person see a “real live deer” in the woods, you are in for a treat. Additionally, taking the pledge puts you in the running for some incredible prizes from national sponsors such as Richard Childress Racing, Johnny Morris, and Big Cedar Lodge.
Shooting a bow, crossbow, or rifle is fun, but a little intimidating to youngsters, especially those who have never been around hunting. The trick to total enjoyment is a pace that allows them to ease into the activity with a “bang” at the end. If they will be shooting, make sure they have shooting glasses and ear protection. With bow and arrow, an arm guard is important so that their arms aren’t stung. Begin with a thorough safety demonstrations and make safety rules clear and precise.
Shooting at paper targets gets boring, even for a first-timer. Enhance the .22 experience with a case of cheap water bottles or soda. You can recycle used containers as well. Use the liquid filled targets to generate excitement. One strike instantly explodes the vessel and kids love it. Likewise with balloons and archery. Buy a party pack, blow them up and place them on the target. Popping balloons is great fun and you can vary the distance for extra challenge.
First timers don’t have to hunt to enjoy the experience. Take the first steps to retrieve trail camera pictures, scout for deer sign, or visit the hunt club. Nature is genuinely exciting and any means of involvement will spark interest and a desire for more. Here’s the website for the challenge. Sign up and help spread the word: