Lots of Gunnison Country residents are avid hunters. The passion many of those people have for hunting began on their first childhood hunting trip, and countless hunters fondly recall this milestone moment in their lives.
If there’s a first time for everything, parents know that kids’ initial forays into any activity comes with ups and downs. Hunting is no exception to that trend, but parents can consider these measures as they prepare their youngsters to go hunting for the first time.
• Emphasize the importance of safety. Safety is of the utmost importance on any hunting trip. Kids should be aware of all safety protocols pertaining to their guns and the hunting grounds. Hunter’s education courses can teach kids about hunting safety, but parents can quiz youngsters in the days leading up to the trip to reinforce safety protocols.
• Explain how hunting trips typically unfold. Giving kids an idea of how a hunting trip may unfold is another good idea. Explain the timing of the trip and why it’s beginning when it is. Kids without such knowledge may be less enthusiastic about early morning hunting excursions if they don’t understand why they need to get out of bed early on a day off. But they might be more excited if they recognize they’re more likely to see wildlife and enjoy a successful trip if they’re willing to sacrifice sleeping in.
• Bring some extra activities for kids to do. Screens are a no-no, as they could deter wildlife. But hunting requires patience, which is not exactly a virtue many youngsters possess. So bring some books along or encourage kids to keep a diary of their first trip, describing it in detail so they have something to look back on as they get older.
• Purchase comfortable hunting attire. Kids will likely be wearing new attire on their first trip, so parents should have them try the clothing on prior to the trip. When shopping for hunting clothing, make sure it meets all safety standards and is functional for hunters, but don’t overlook comfort. Hunting involves a lot of waiting, and the trip will be more enjoyable for everyone if kids are comfortable throughout the slow periods.
• Recognize the day could be emotional. A child’s first hunting trip can be an emotional roller coaster, as kids may feel excited, bored, nervous, sad, and even guilty at any point during the day. Parents must allow kids to express any of these emotions during the day and emphasize that it’s alright to express their emotions.
A child’s first hunting trip is a milestone moment. Parents can take steps leading up to the trip to ensure their children are ready for what’s to come.