One of the best things of having hunting as a hobby—or even your job—is that it’s something you can share with your family. Your time out in nature can produce some of the best memories your loved ones will take into the future.
But hunting is, of course, not the safest scenario. How can you ensure your kids, family members and friends who are new to the sport aren’t placed at risk?
We summarized a few important guidelines and tips. Use it as a checklist to help you create safer trips for your family.
For starters, not all children are allowed to participate on all hunting grounds. States differ in their legislation. Some have age restrictions, so it’s best you keep to these guidelines and not try to sidestep them.
You should also keep the participants’ ages in mind when you plan your days. How often will you have to stop for bathroom breaks? Can everyone walk the entire distance you plan on traveling?
Your schedule must cater for younger and older abilities. If hunters start to feel tired, uncomfortable or irritable they may stop paying attention to all the safety guidelines and cause an accident.
Get Proper Gear and Clothing
You can ensure some level of comfort by ensuring each person has the right gear and clothing. Clothing that is specifically designed for outside adventures made by brands like Kryptek will keep hunters warm when it’s cold and allow for easy movement so fatigue doesn’t set in too quickly.
You can’t expect young hunters to carry the same gear as adults. Guns and hunting equipment must be appropriate for their skills and be light enough to carry.
Manage Hunters’ Mindsets
Also, realize that kids may not be ready to shoot the first time they go out on the hunt. Allow them to choose when to shoot and support them if they feel sad about killing an animal.
You can see that many of our tips are to create a comfortable, enjoyable and dynamic experience. Why? Because you want your family to stay positive about the trip. If they feel demotivated they may not stay diligent in keeping safety rules.
A wise approach is to make the trip about enjoying nature, rather than killing an animal. If no one ends up shooting an animal they won’t feel it was time wasted. They’ll stay positive throughout.
Children also have a need to feel safe. By showing them that there are safety guidelines they’ll be more at ease and enjoy the hunt.
Are They Educated?
Important note: the responsibility to create a safe environment rests on everyone’s shoulders. You’ll need to monitor whether everyone is keeping to the rules, but they need the information to align with your expectations.
The best option is that everyone completes a hunter’s education class. They’ll be empowered to practice safe hunting.
Note: for hunters between 12 and 15 years of age these classes are mandatory.
Hunting trips with your family can be how you build strong bonds between each other. But that only happens when you have positive experiences. Otherwise, they may never want to join you in your sport again.
Ensure their enjoyment, keep them safe and make memories!