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Is Your Youth Hunter Ready for Deer Season?

Start Preparing Youth Hunters Now for Deer Season

 

Deer season is approaching fast. Many states are in full license allocation mode and hunters should be starting to think about how to prepare for this upcoming season. Whether you are planning to take youth hunters out for the first time or another deer season, there are a few considerations to think about during the summer.

 

What is the Right Age?

 

This is the hardest question a parent has to face when deciding on taking kids hunting. One thought is that your kids can never be too young to start getting involved in the outdoors. While this is true, there is a big difference in getting kids involved in the outdoors and actually hunting with them. Youth hunters have to have the attitude and ability to be part of the hunt. Kids with a prepared attitude should be able to deal with harvesting an animal and have an understanding of the great responsibility that brings. Hunting with kids that can accurately shoot, be patient to sit for long stints and be able to physically and safely deal with environmental conditions are all important ability aspects.

 

So what age should I start hunting with my kids? While there are regulations in many states as well as mentored youth specific programs for hunting, there is no specific age when a child is ready to hunt. You as a parent will know and be able to assess this summer how another year has added to their attitude and ability when it comes to being ready for this year’s deer season.

 

 

Formal Hunter Education for Youth Hunters

 

Besides the experience and training, you can provide your youngsters, formal hunter education programs are ways to teach your child about hunting. These hunter education programs are often mandated for kids and required before young hunters can take to the woods or buy a license. Each course is designed to teach new hunters about safety, regulations and being a good sportsperson. Courses usually consist of a full day of classroom work followed by a test of knowledge, which requires a passing score to be able to become a licensed hunter. These courses are offered throughout the summer months through your state wildlife agency and in most cases in cooperation with local sporting groups.

 

 

Mentored Youth Hunting Programs

 

Age, and more importantly attitude and ability, determine when a kid is ready to go hunting. But how does one build those skills with youth hunters? The answer is what hunters have been doing for years and has recently become part of most state wildlife agencies programs. Mentored youth hunting programs are designed for kids who either do not meet the legal age or are not all the way there enough to fully take part in hunting. This allows younger kids the ability to learn all aspects of hunting, including harvesting certain game species within a set of specific guidelines. A powerful way to get and keep kids involved in hunting. As part of preparing for deer season, review your state game laws now in summer and see what requirements there are if you are thinking about taking kids hunting for deer this season.

 

 

Practice Hunting Safety Throughout the Summer

 

Safety in hunting comes down to weapon safety. Whether it be with a firearm or bow, nothing is more important than making sure your kids and other hunters are all safe while afield. Summer is the perfect time to practice safely operating a gun and getting comfortable shooting and handling it. Cover all aspects of gun safety such as handling the firearm, loading it safety, safe shooting and range and hunting etiquette. A good choice to start kids out with is a Gamo air rifle, which is easy to handle and has low recoil to get kids comfortable shooting safely. Summer camps that provide instruction on shooting, hunting and the outdoors such as the Raised Hunting Bow Camps are a complete and valuable resource to get your kids involved in the sport.

 

Hunting Safety Tips

  1. Know your surroundings. Focus practice this summer on getting kids concentrated on the act of hunting. The most dangerous time hunting with kids, for them and you, is when they get distracted and forget about their surroundings with a loaded firearm.

 

  1. Be sure of your target. Teach your kids that you only pull the trigger when you are 100% sure of your target. When hours of hunting finally pay off with a deer within range, you need to be completely sure of your shot and what is around, behind or near it before you take the shot.

 

  1. Practice then practice again. Summer gives you the opportunity with longer days to spend more time practicing safety. Head out to the woods and practice situations your youth hunters may encounter during deer season. This will instill safety as priority one while hunting.

 

Summer Preparation Activities for Youth Hunting

 

Along with safety and hunter education, there are a number of activities you can do this summer to prepare kids for deer season. Although there are much more, these three activities will have you and your kids ready to go on opening day.

 

  • Spend time in the woods. A child’s hunting experiences will be much more enjoyable if they know exactly what they are in for. Taking kids in the outdoors often over the summer provides them a chance to explore the woods with you and get comfortable with all the sights and sounds. They will learn how to walk through the woods, look for deer sign and understand how game moves with the goal in mind of preparing for deer season.

 

  • Gear up. Do not skimp on youth hunting clothes and other gear. They will be more comfortable and more likely to enjoy the sport if they are outfitted like a hunter. Start with Under Armour youth hunting clothes matched with a good weatherproof layer and topped off with a kids orange vest and hat. Also be sure to get quality boots to keep your youth hunters comfortable and dry. Gear up in the summer so clothing and boots can be broken in before deer season. The most important piece of gear, the youth bow or gun, should be very familiar for the youth hunter by now. If they do not have a bow or gun specific for their size then go get one!

 

  • Plan Hunts Now. Each hunt is more critical than usual when taking kids hunting with you. A bad trip or two can quickly turn off the enthusiasm. Summer is when you want to plan your youth hunting Scout areas that are not too far off the trail and have little hunting pressure. Consider if you will be hunting from a stand or blind and be prepared with several locations within walking distance so you can move as patience wears. Have these spots prepared and ready to go come opening day.

 

Preparing for deer season now in the summer is even more important if you are planning on taking kids hunting in the fall. Youth hunters should be properly educated and have the attitude and ability to be part of the hunt. Focus summer activities on safety and basic hunting skills in these months leading up to deer season to ensure successful youth hunts this fall.

 

Don’t know where to start? If your kid is the right age to begin hunting, then go ahead and start with the gear. Check out Whittaker Guns for great prices on youth guns, bows, and gear! After the gear, get them acquainted to it and go over hunting safety. Then follow the rest of the blog’s advice all the way up until deer season!

How to Get Kids Hooked on Turkey Hunting

Take Time for Turkey Hunting with Kids

 

PHOTO: A few months ago we posted a photo of a 15 year old young man Austin Ochsenhirt who was in the midst of chemo treatments to battle Leukemia. This weekend I had the privilege to hunt with this young man and his grandfather “Pap” at a Hope Outdoors event in STE Genevieve MO..We can proudly announce that Austin is not only in REMISSION!!, but he is officially a RAISED HUNTING turkey reaper!!!! Please join us in saying THANK YOU GOD!! – David Holder

 

If you have children in your life, you likely want to pass some of your outdoor passion and skills onto them at some point. You probably learned how to hunt from your parents or grandparents and have many fond memories of it. Now you desperately wish to be that kind of youth hunting mentor to the next generation. The spring turkey season is the perfect way to get them involved right now and teach them the skills they need. But turkey hunting with kids can be frustrating sometimes. It’s not always easy or enjoyable, and that’s especially true when you don’t take the right approach. If you miss certain truths about hunting with kids and don’t take the necessary preparatory steps first, it will be an uphill battle you’re likely to lose. What’s worse, you could risk turning them off of hunting for several years or throughout their lifetimes if you do it wrong.

But it’s obviously critical for more youth to get involved in hunting again. As each generation grows up and more people leave rural areas for cities, the number of hunters drops. That’s a huge problem. Hunters are largely responsible for funding wildlife and habitat projects across the U.S., and have a real interest in the success of those programs. Hunting can also teach kids many core values that are important and relevant in their everyday lives. So if you’ve been thinking about taking your kids turkey hunting, now is the time.

 

Remember Hunting Safety First

 

As you start turkey hunting with kids, you need to remember one thing above all. Make sure you take time to teach your kids about safe hunting practices. Even if they’re just sitting with you and not physically pulling the trigger, they need to understand what’s safe and what isn’t. That means you also need to demonstrate safe behaviors yourself. Kids learn mostly by observing role models in their lives. If you take time now to set a positive image in their minds, they will be more likely to be safe hunters once it’s time for them to go out on their own.


 

Tips for Turkey Hunting with Kids

 

There are a couple things you can proactively do to keep your kids happy (and you sane) while turkey hunting. That’s probably the biggest principle you can take away from this article: keep things fun. If your kids don’t have a good time or they feel like they’re being yelled at or ridiculed, they might be more inclined to pass on the next hunting trip. Not to say you should coddle them either; take advantage of teachable moments without resorting to yelling.

 

Hide Your (Kids’) Movement

It’s often been said that the hardest thing to teach a kid is to be still. Just look at them. They’re always reaching for something, fidgeting around, or not-so-quietly whispering something. Obviously all of the above are bad news when it comes to hunting turkeys. Wild turkeys have amazing eyesight and can notice when you even slightly shift your shotgun, let alone when your son or daughter is practically vibrating. In addition, the weather during turkey hunting season is usually pretty dicey, especially in the early parts of the season. It wouldn’t be uncommon to hunt in cold, windy, and rainy conditions. As you can probably guess, that’s some of the worst weather to try turkey hunting with kids. That is, if you’re exposed.

 

 

The easiest way to conquer those issues is through using a hunting blind. Within a blind, they can stay dry, feel comfortable, and have the freedom to move around a bit without jeopardizing your hunt. Primos® Double Bull Bullpen blind features 180-degree view and plenty of room for a couple kids and even a camera man. Placed on a clover field or hay field that greens up ahead of most other food sources, you can be sure you’ll see turkeys. Even if it’s all hens and jakes, just being able to watch turkeys in the wild is a valuable opportunity for your child. But a word of warning: a hunting blind should not mean a free pass for your kid to do what they want. They’re still learning how to hunt turkeys after all, which means holding still and being quiet. If they don’t learn that lesson while in the field, they will be set up for failure later on.

Turkey Hunting Practice Tips

If your child is of a legal hunting age and can actually hunt with you instead of just observing, you need to set them up for the best possible outcome well before you go hunting. Plan on practicing shotgun youth shooting skills beforehand until you feel they can make an ethical shot and handle the pressure. Let them pattern their youth shotgun on a turkey outline so they can feel confident about themselves and not fear the recoil. Teach them how to use their own Primos® turkey calls and practice with them in the weeks before the season. In the field, let them do a few calls themselves. It might not sound great, but that will be a learning experience in itself. Take time to watch turkey hunting videos together and make sure they understand the process as much as possible before you go out.

 

Keep it Fun

As mentioned earlier in the article, the best way to fuel the hunting fire in your son or daughter is to have fun with them. Turkey hunting with kids can be frustrating, but only if you go into it with the wrong expectations. Try to not pressure your kids into hunting with you; instead, ask them to go, but don’t push them if they don’t want to. Let them come to you. If they’re interested, go shopping with them and let them pick out some of their own Realtree® turkey hunting camo clothes.

 

 

Adopt a different frame of mind when you hunt with your kids. You’re not really out there to kill a gobbler; that’s just a bonus if it happens. You’re out there to spend time with your kids in a different capacity and introduce them to the beautiful sport of hunting. As such, keep hunts on the short side, especially if the weather is poor and you’re not in a hunting blind. As soon as they start losing interest or complaining, it might be time to pack it in for the day. But if you’d like them to stay as long as possible, bring some snacks and talk with them. Make it feel like a fun adventure with their mom or dad, not a boring time of being quiet.

 

Try Turkey Hunting with Kids

 

Remember that in the end, taking kids hunting can and should be a really fun experience for both of you. It should be a time of bonding, not frustration and anger. Also remember that hunting teaches life lessons that your child will really benefit from; don’t cheat them from it. Take time to be a good hunting mentor and role model for them, and you’ll gain a hunting partner for life.

archery form

How to Correct Your Archery Form Problems

Perfect Archery Form Through Perfect Practice

 

Most people don’t think of archery practice throughout the winter. The weather’s not exactly great for outdoor sessions and it can get old practicing indoors (if you even have a barn or shed big enough to do that). In most cases, bow hunting seasons also just ended and there are tons of winter activities to keep us busy. Plus, it’s always nice to take some time off between bow hunting and jumping right back into offseason archery practice. But before too much time passes, it’s best to practice a little before your archery form slips. Letting too much time go by is a recipe for small mistakes and form issues to creep into your routine. If you let those small problems go unaddressed until mid-summer, it can be too late to really fix them before hunting season starts back up again in the fall. So if you’re wondering how to shoot a compound bow the correct way, read on.

 

To really stay in good archery form throughout the year, you need to address physical strength and conditioning, archery gear, and your specific archery technique. If you can dedicate some time each week (starting now) to each of these areas, you will be more prepared for hunting season than you’ve ever been. Why is that important? First, your body will be more capable of longer sits in the woods or dragging a deer out of them. You’ll also be more confident in your shooting abilities, and will be much more likely to make a great shot on a deer even in poor conditions. While all of those will help you on any standard hunt behind your house, they will also prepare you for a trip to some place new. Even if you don’t plan on it, it doesn’t hurt to be willing and able. Let’s dive into the specific archery form preparation steps you should take right now.

Physical Strength and Conditioning

 

You’ve probably heard it from your doctor more times than you care to admit, but staying in good physical health should always be a priority commitment. It’s not only important for general health purposes as you get older, but it’s actually a very critical part of hunting. Whether you are hiking to your tree stand in the morning or climbing up into it, field dressing a deer or dragging it out of the woods, having a good physical base level is important no matter how you look at it.

 

 

The nice thing about archery exercises is that you don’t have to dedicate your life to them to see some benefits for hunting purposes. Granted, the more effort you put in, the better results you will see. But there are two things that a bow hunter needs most: a good aerobic capacity and a strong core and upper body.

 

Basic conditioning exercises will help you develop your aerobic capacity, which is your ability to bounce back from increased heart and respiration levels. When you stress your body (through dragging a deer or hiking with a loaded backpack), your heart beat and breathing increases, right? If you train for this capacity, you can basically raise the level of activity at which your body starts getting more labored. This is important for archery form when you have to hold your bow for a long time. But shooting with an elevated heartbeat and breathing also simulates shooting at a deer with high adrenaline levels. To get your body used to this, try combining your conditioning exercises with shooting your bow. At the Holder obstacle course, we combine running with strength exercises that will all build our aerobic capacity and increase our agility and strength. At the end of the obstacle course, we shoot at our 30 yard 3D archery targets from Delta McKenzie®. After running through the course, your heart is pumping, your lungs are gasping, and your muscles are shaking, which almost simulates the nerves you get from shooting at a mature buck.

 

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From an archery standpoint, having the strength in your back, shoulders, and core is vital. Obviously, you use your back and shoulder muscles to raise, draw, and hold your bow. The more you can develop these archery muscles for that specific purpose, the better off you will be. You can eventually raise your draw weight to provide a little more punch or hold your bow for longer in those situations where a deer pauses behind some brush after you draw. Having strong core muscles (abdominals and lower back) is critical for holding your bow at full draw, climbing into your stand, or general stability.

 

You can set up a similar training course in your back yard to practice this summer. But right now, focus on building your conditioning and strength however you can. Do a combination of pushups, pullups, rows, squats, and planks to build your muscles. Burpees or jogging are good ways to build your aerobic capacity.

Archery Equipment Problems

 

The next category of things that can affect our archery form is our actual gear itself. Shooting a compound bow that doesn’t fit your body can produce some pretty sloppy and inconsistent shooting. If the bow itself is too big, it will be hard to hold steady. If the draw length is too long, you will have to overextend your bow arm to fully draw it to the back wall; whereas, if it is too short, you will have to stop awkwardly and hunch up your body. These issues aren’t easy to correct after buying a bow, so do your best to get the right fit from the start. This is especially important for youth hunting, but it’s also critical if you buy a new bow. If you suspect your bow doesn’t fit you quite right, you can measure your perfect draw length at home. Check out the video below for some easy ways to measure your draw length and determine your eye dominance too.

As you can see, it’s important to determine your eye dominance before you buy a bow. If you get that wrong, you will always fight your bow and that will make shooting accurately an issue. It’s also critical to consider your archery accessories. You should include a quality bow stabilizer on your hunting bow if you’ll likely take long shots or hunt in an open area (most western hunts come to mind for these conditions). While stabilizers are usually more associated with target archery, they offer a tremendous benefit to western hunters too. LimbSaver® stabilizers balance the bow and keep it steady throughout the shot, which will help you make a more accurate shot and keep the bow from jumping out of your hand.

Archery Form Problems

 

The last and probably most critical issues that affect your shooting form have to do with your actual routine. If you practice the right moves, you will shoot more accurately in the field. If you have a sloppy archery form, you will shoot poorly. Check out the following archery shooting tips to tighten your groups before next hunting season.

 

Start with your archery stance, which is the very base of your stability. An improper stance will put you off-balance and introduce a lot of error to your archery form. Generally, you can use the following archery practice tips to fix your stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, which provides the most stable base for you. You should also practice on different contours (where one foot is higher than the other) so you can get used to adjusting your feet in hilly areas. Each person is different in terms of shooting preferences, but usually an open stance (quartering 45 degrees to your target) will produce the best shots. The leg on the same side as your bow arm should be in front, with your other foot shoulder-width away. Consciously think about keeping your torso upright and straight so you don’t hunch over. The more consistent you can keep your body, the less likely you will be to miss the shot. Try to hold your bow using back tension instead of your arms because your back is stronger and will keep you more stable, while your arms will start to shake. Keep your knees slightly bent so you don’t lock them. Locked knees will make you tipsy after standing still for a while, but bent knees allow you to adjust your core easily.

 

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Similarly, your bow arm should be slightly bent (not locked) for the same purposes. The archery elbow position is an often neglected area that most people don’t think about. Focus on keeping your elbow rotated up and down, instead of giving into the tendency to rotate the inside crook of your elbow up. If you don’t keep your elbow up and down, the bow string will more often than not slap your forearm as it fires. That will get old quickly if you practice in a t-shirt. But if you have your hunting clothing on, which is bulkier, it can get caught in the string and cause some more archery form issues.

 

Your archery grip is really important too for making consistent and accurate shots. Most beginning archers tend to grip their bows tightly because they think it makes it more stable. While that makes sense at first, the truth is actually pretty counterintuitive. When you grip your bow tightly, you essentially introduce a small amount of torque that twists the entire bow to one direction. While the string will still be anchored at your face, the bow frame will be twisted one direction, which will cause your Gold Tip® arrows to wobble like crazy when they leave the rest. Instead of tightly gripping it, try this instead. Make an L with your thumb and pointer finger on your bow arm. Your bow grip should rest right on the meaty part of your thumb below the inside corner of the L. You can loosely wrap your fingers around the grip as you draw it to make sure it doesn’t move. But after drawing your Bear® archery bow, let the grip rest against your hand in the position above and relax your fingers. Basically, you will use your archery release to hold the bow in position without grabbing the bow grip.

 

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Where you decide to place your archery anchor point (or points) will determine how consistent you shoot. An anchor point is usually where your draw hand or bowstring rests against your face, and it is a really important part of good archery form. While one anchor point is a must, having multiple points is even better because it really dials in on the specific position. By having very clear and consistent anchor points, you can easily repeat good shots. One very common anchor point when using a bow release is to put the crease between your thumb and pointer finger along your jaw bone or at the corner of your mouth. Another common one is to rest the bow string on your nose, which puts the archery sights right in line with your eye. One of the best archery secrets for consistency is to keep your anchor points rock-solid on every shot, practice or hunting.

 

Finally, as you squeeze your archery release to fire an arrow, make a conscious effort to hold your bow arm still until after the arrow reaches your archery targets. It’s a common problem for hunters to quickly drop their bow arm after they fire. It’s a natural tendency; after all, we want to see where exactly our arrow went. But this can create problems too. We start to anticipate dropping our bow arm, and even start to do it as we hit the release. Even though it’s only dropping for a few milliseconds, it can affect the arrow’s flight path after it leaves the bow. One way to combat this tendency is to count out loud. After you shoot an arrow, count out loud to five before you drop your bow arm or move your draw hand from your primary anchor point. This will help you develop some muscle memory that will carry over into a hunting scenario.

Tackle Your Archery Form Now

 

Even though we still have months left until spring weather returns, you should start practicing your archery form now and keep after it throughout the summer with specific archery practice drills. Most of these exercises above can be started indoors. If you don’t have anywhere to shoot your bow right now, simply practice your stance or drawing your bow until you can get outside and start shooting again. It will go a long way to helping you prepare for next fall.

The First Episode | The Beginning of Raised Hunting

Season 1, Episode 1

Raised Hunting

Here it is, the very first episode of Raised Hunting that aired back in July of 2014! This is the beginning of the story, the first episode of the show that represents “Raised Hunting”. In this episode, you will see a family truly realize how hunting brings them together and the lessons that can be learned from it.

Raised Hunting Season 1, episode 1 – “Proud”

 

This is a story, of a 12 year olds first deer season through the eyes of a father, and the guidance of a big brother.” -David Holder
Newly planted in Iowa, Warren and Easton Holder look for permission to hunt Iowa whitetails. It is the story of how Easton harvests his first buck, with the help of his older brother. The boys take it upon themselves to find land, ask hunting permission, scout it, set up their own stand, and put in the time and patience to achieve success. Nothing comes easy, and by working together the boys can accomplish their goal.

About Raised Hunting

Raised Hunting is about an average American family that has used hunting as a platform to teach ethics and values to their family. The Holders share their North American hunting experience and use real adventures from their journeys. Raised Hunting captures the raw emotion that comes from an animal at close range, all while focusing on bringing you ultimate adventures with the highest regard to cinematography. Raised Hunting is the show that keeps you on the edge of your seat and looking for more when it’s over.

Where to Find More from Raised Hunting

Want to see more of Raised Hunting? Subscribe to the Raised Hunting YouTube Channel to get updates of when other episodes and videos are uploaded!

processing game youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Processing Game With Youth | Youth And The “Dirty Work”

Processing and Preparing Wild Game I Leading the Way for the Youth

processing game youth hunting | Raised HuntingThere is truly something special and spiritual about the fall, cooler air, the changing of the leaves giving way to the first snow of the year. Fall is truly a magical time to put on the Realtree and hit the woods.  Fall is also the season of the harvest. Not only harvesting game, and processing game, but also for farmers. The hard working and dedicated agricultural producers of our Country begin to literally and figuratively reap what they have sown, providing a means to take care of us here in the United States as well as many countries overseas.

Of course, you cannot think about fall, and especially the month of November without thinking about the tradition of thanksgiving. Giving thanks for all we have, that too is a very magical and spiritual thing itself.  Giving that fall is the season of harvest and a time reflect and give thanks on the bounties that God has provided, perhaps it’s only fitting that hunting season occurs during this time of year.  Having the ability to head out into the woods, and enjoy the cool fall atmosphere with friends and family, enjoying the bounty that nature has provided is something that all of us should be thankful for.

One of the most popular characterizations of hunters by non-hunters is that we do not appreciate nor respect true animals we are pursuing.To them, all we care about is all letting the GoldTip fly, and nothing more past that. If you are a hunter, you know that this premise could not be any further from the truth.  Sportsmen and women do more to conserve and protect our natural resources and the wildlife that we pursue than anyone.This goes along with many other non-game species as well. We give billions of dollars annually to help manage our wild landscapes and the animals that live within, and we self-impose limits and restrictions to ensure that others can enjoy these resources for generations to come. Hunting and the hunting lifestyle instills ethics and  an appreciation for our environment and our natural resources. It teaches hard work, discipline, compassion, and unity. You see it’s not all about the kill, it’s about enjoying nature and harvesting a hearty and healthy food source to help feed our families. We are thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy nature in such a way!

The Other Side of Hunting

processing game youth hunting | Raised HuntingWhen we talk about the sport of hunting having the ability to instill a work ethic, many would have you believe that it is all about the work that goes into making the hunt happen. While that is certainly the case, the work doesn’t end once the animal is one the ground.  One of the best ways to get youth involved in the sport of hunting in a way that will help to teach them what it means to truly “harvest” an animal is to get them involved in the “dirty work”.   Harvesting, processing game, and cooking your own harvested meat usually requires a lot of work, especially if you are planning to process the game yourself. While the small game doesn’t require much effort (other than packing the Gamo) as say a white-tailed deer or elk. Cleaning and processing wild game is a skill and requires attention to detail and there is not a better way to learn than “hands-on”.

If you are introducing a youngster to the art of self-processing your game, sometimes it’s almost better to start out with a larger animal like a white-tailed deer. Reason being is it’s easier for them to see what you are doing, and there are opportunities to get them involved right away. Regardless if they are holding a leg, or holding a light getting them involved early helps to ensure that the lessons you are instilling take hold. It’s can be very easy for a young mind to wander, getting them engaged is critical.

Talking them through the process is good, showing them the process is better, letting them help while explaining the “why” and the “how” is best.   It is important for them to learn and understand that if you plan to harvest an animal, you had better be prepared to put in the time after the trigger is pulled.

Though big game animals are great for illustrating the principals behind cleaning and processing wild game, for their first solo attempt, nothing beats working on a smaller animal like a squirrel or a rabbit. Although the process is a little different, game bird species like quail and waterfowl are also excellent starter animals. Though the process may be different, the concept is still the same!  You might just surprise at just how many do not take the time to properly educate young hunters on the process of “field to freezer”. Will the pickup bits and pieces along the way? Sure, and is there something to be said about learning by doing?  You bet, but by taking the time to step them through the process and teaching them how to use a knife effectively you can certainly save them a lot of time and frustration.

Never Too Late to Brush Up

Now, you might be thinking “yeah this is all great, and I can see teaching my child how to field dress a deer but we take our game to a processor”. If you are one of the many who elects to have their game professionally processed, that is fantastic as well. There is not a thing wrong with having your harvest processed by a professional.  That is your choice!  At the end of the day, it is all about the lesson that comes from the harvest, and that is simply “respect the animal”.

processing game youth hunting | Raised Huntingprocessing game youth hunting | Raised Hunting

As we have made mention several times up to this point, processing wild game is certainly a skill. The skill necessary to effectively process wild game can certainly he honed over time. However, there are many of us out there who have probably never really be taught the “proper” way to process wild game. Whether you are taking the animal to your home for processing, or you a the type who prefers to debone the animal in the field there is certainly a right and wrong way to complete the process.

If you fall into this category, don’t be ashamed. There are many just like you!  Regardless if you have never been officially taught yourself, or you just want to brush up on your techniques there are opportunities out there to do just that.   For starters, pay a visit to your local butcher. Generally, they are more than willing to discuss proper cutting techniques, types of cuts and can generally provide you with a few helpful storage tips as well. If you are looking for a something that is a little more hands on, many states offer “field to freezer” courses through their fish and game departments.  These courses provide hands-on learning opportunities that can teach everything that you need to know to clean and process both large and small game.

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor

Teaching a youngster that the work isn’t over once the trigger is pulled is a very valuable lesson that will help them develop into excellent outdoor men and women.  Giving the tools and information they need to be able to properly clean and process the game the harvest is a really important piece of the whole hunting experience.  The final piece of the puzzle that helps paint the whole picture is enjoying the fruits of your labor, and preparing a meal that consists of the game you have harvested.

There is no doubt that cooking is a very technical skill that can often require many hours in the kitchen to perfect and hone the craft.  Luckily, when it comes to a wild game there is a plethora of menu options and recipes that are available either on-line or in a wild game cookbook that anyone can complete and enjoy.

Click Here For Raised Hunting Wild Game Recipes!

From grilling, jerky and baking to crockpot meals, there is an abundance of options that even a youngster can master in just a few tries.  The wild game lends itself to be very easily incorporated into a wide range of ingredients, herbs, and spices and with a little research and practice; you can be eating well all winter long.

Having a youth hunter involved with not only the harvest, but everything that comes after (cleaning, processing, and cooking) really helps to them to understand the entire process that is involved in harvesting an animal.  It helps them to understand that you if you don’t plant to consume the animal, or provide the animal for consumption by someone else, then it are simply not worth harvesting the animal.  It helps so them not only the importance of ensuring they utilize the animals that they harvest, but that wild game is also excellent table fare and can be easily prepared in a short amount of time.

As mentors in the outdoors, you have the ability to set the example when it comes to youth hunters and the experiences that they have in the great outdoors.  In order to ensure that they are as active, passionate and share the conservation values that was passed down to you from your mentor.  As you find yourself in the outdoors this fall, especially if you are fortunate enough to find yourself sharing a tree stand or turkey blind with a new or young hunter, just remember the responsibility that you have to set the example and not only teach them how to hunt but to ensure that they are equally prepared to do the dirty work that comes with harvesting wild game.  If you take the time to do that, then the hunting heritage that we love so much will be in good hands for many generations to come, and we can rest easy knowing that our fish and wildlife species will continue to be a priority and be managed for, for generations and you will have done your job in passing the traditions along!

hunting ethics youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Hunting Ethics In Today’s Culture

Instilling Hunting Ethics In Our Youth

Ethics, many of us “understand” the word and can most likely apply it to our everyday lives. Living an ethical life can sometimes means different things depending upon who you are and what your background is. Webster defines the word ethics as “Rules of behavior based upon ideas of what is morally good and bad”. If you take this definition literally (and most of us do) then there are codes of ethics for almost everything we do on a day to day basis. From riding the bus, to crossing the street, this list goes on. This includes hunting ethics.

For most of us, our code of ethics was instilled in us at a very young age, beginning with our parents or guardians. They taught us the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. For most of us, a little reinforcement was often necessary to drive the point home. (Steal a piece of candy from the grocery store…BAD!) (Help and elderly neighbor mow their grass…GOOD!) The Point is that most all of us were given the structure and tools needed to one day become ethical adults at an early age. These lessons were often reinforced through various activities such as school or sports that we were involved in along the way, all helping to shape us into the men and women we are today.

The sport of hunting is absolutely no different. As a matter of fact, many would argue that the sport of hunting might be one of the best tools to help educate someone who is going youth hunting for the first time the importance of life, family and conservation. This is often a point that is lost among those who are less indoctrinated into the hunting lifestyle or the sport of hunting. The common misconception is that it is all about “the kill”, and while that can certainly be a highlight it is much, much more than that.

Youth Hunting Lessons

Exposing a youngster to the hunting lifestyle through a youth hunting or mentor opportunity is a very big responsibility, and should be on every hunter’s bucket list. For many, it will be their first time every being around a firearm or a bow, and it can be very intimidating. Sometimes it is simply the act of putting on the Realtree Camo pants or jacket that makes it exciting! The point here is that youth are very impressionable, and when it comes to installing conservation and hunting ethics, it is important to do it right.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are doing all you can to teach your youth hunter right from wrong in the woods is to make sure you are always communicating. Remember that you are a teacher, and they are your student. Having an appreciation for the sport of hunting often comes from the effort that is required to be successful. This is an excellent lesson that can be applied to everyday life; you get out what you put in! Keep communicating! Help them to understand the “why” as much as the “how”.

The reality of it is that the more time you spend in the woods with your youth the more opportunities you have to be an example to them. The more time you spend taking a youngster out youth hunting the more opportunities you will have to show them the right way from the wrong way, the more opportunities you have to educate them on the topic of conservation, on the importance of taking care of the land and being a good steward of our natural resources. There are no two ways about it, simply spending time in the outdoors with a youth hunter teaching them how to be an ethical hunting by being the example is the absolute best way to ensure that your youth hunter has an understanding of what being an ethical hunter means.

Keeping It Fun

The early you can introduce a youth hunter to the sport of hunting, the better. It can be important to develop an interest early in life before other distractions begin to compete for time. Now, no one ever said taking a very young hunter to the woods was an easy task, or at times even a fun task but that is all beside the point. Sometimes, it is just about being out in nature with them whether you are packing a Gamo air rifle looking for squirrels or just flinging a few GoldTip’s down range at your McKinzie it is all about keeping your time in the field fun and exciting.

If you get lucky and harvest and animal, fantastic! However taking the time to show them the wild things that live outside our towns and cities, and educating them on the responsibility we have as hunters to ensure that the animals we chase live and thrive is even more important. It is this love of wildlife, nature and conservation that drive us all to hit the woods every year, and the conservation ethic that has helped make us who we are. It should be the responsibility of all hunters to see this legacy and conservation ethic passed on to the next generation, so if you have the opportunity to expose someone, especially a youth to the sport of hunting, we hope you will take the opportunity to do so!

Hunters Are Teachers | Raised Hunting

Why Hunters Are Some Of The Best And Most Essential Teachers

Passing on the Tradition of the Outdoors | The Importance of Youth Hunting

When it comes to conserving, restoring and enhancing our countries natural resources, hunters have lead the way in supporting initiatives that helped keep our woods and waters full of game. The sport of hunting has a long history in the United States, and while the roots of hunting run deep, the numbers of hunters that make it to the woods or to the polls continue to drop each and every year. The hunting heritage has helped shape the lives of men and women all over the country, and today more than every hunters need to ensure that they take the time to expose the next generation to the joy and wonder of the outdoors.

The Importance of the Hunting Legacy

Not too long ago the topic of hunting would have never been considered a controversial one. In rural America especially, you wouldn’t have to look too far to find someone who hunted. The tradition of hunting and the outdoors was something that almost every youth would have the opportunity to be exposed to in some shape or form. Being outside helped connect young adults to the importance of nature, and develop an appreciation of wild places and wild things. Whether it was pitching a tent on a camping trip, or chasing down rabbits and quail, the outdoors inspired youth and helped to keep their imagination vibrant. Just being in the outdoors as a child can have almost the same impact as watching a magician or something of that sort, the feeling that there is still a part of this world unexplored, wild and untamed is a very magical feeling that every child should have the opportunity to experience.

For many of the uninformed, who have not had the ability to experience nature through the sport of hunting, feelings may sway to the opinion that all the hunters do is grab their Bear Bow with a Quiver full of Gold Tip Arrows and head off in search of game… Anyone who hunts, and the history books could argue this point. The sport of hunting provides an opportunity to teach young men and women many life skills that they will use for the rest of their life. Hunting teaches responsibility, trust, honesty, and respect. Hunting provides an excellent opportunity to teach and refine work ethic, as well as persistence and patients. It is probably a safe assumption that hunting has helped shape the lives of many across this great Nation.

If you take the time to think back, one to two key individuals will appear in your mind. These individuals were responsible for exposing you to the sport of hunting. Perhaps it was your father, mother, grandfather, uncle or possibly and a neighbor from down the road? The fact remains that someone in your life took the time to expose you as a youth hunter to the joys and wonders of the outdoors. When it comes to recruiting a young hunter, you can be certain it is for life, this one facet alone is critical. The percentage of hunter recruitment drops off steadily the older the hunter is to the point in which it is almost impossible to recruit a new hunter once they reach adulthood.

In today’s world of electronic entertainment and instant satisfaction, youth hunter recruitment is declining in most states. It may come to your surprise that it only takes one generational gap to go from a family of hunters to a family of non-hunters. While the tradition of the sport hunting is still strong across the country, it is more important than ever that hunters do their part to take time to expose today’s youth to the outdoors and the sport of hunting.

What is at Stake?

The opportunities and success that we enjoy as hunters can be traced back to the fact that hunters as a group are the largest group of conservationists in the country. Thanks largely in part to hunters standing together and speaking out, we have millions of acres of public land across the country that is available to us, with abundant game species for hunters to pursue. We have tax funding that finds its way back to the states that enable them to purchase and manage lands for fish and game and other non-game species. Thanks to the support of the hunter, we enjoy clean water and clean air. Lost on many that look at hunting as a negative, this sport has helped make our country better environmentally in many ways.

As the number of youth hunters recruited each and every year declines, so does the number of voices as the table when the time comes to rally around a cause such as the environment. So does the number of supporters of pro-hunting legislation. Most importantly, so does the number of youth that have the opportunity to develop an understanding an appreciation for the legacy and sport of hunting and what it truly means to be a hunter. That it’s not about the harvest of the animal, it’s about being and nature and appreciation the wild things that still remain in our world. Hunter recruitment is critical to securing the future of the sport and its legacy. As hunters we all have a responsibility to ensure we do our part to expose a youth to the outdoors whenever we have the chance.

Connecting Youth with Nature

Connecting a young hunter to the sport of hunting is very significant and there are many different ways to begin the process. Whether it is using Scent Crusher and twisting on a Rage broadhead in search of a big white-tail, or picking up a pair of Nikons to watch spot game on the mountain slopes, it is important to help develop the appreciation for nature in today’s youth that will last a lifetime.

If there is one tip or “trick” to help make this process more long lasting, it is simply to make it fun. Whether it is bringing along coloring books while they sit in the deer blind, a few extra snacks to munch on the trail, in the stand, or in the duck blind, it is vital to make sure they truly enjoy themselves. Remember that the successful harvesting of an animal is only the icing on the cake; it is about spending time in nature and sparking their interest and curiosity. They have to want to go, before they will want to truly participate in the sport. You don’t want to force the issue, just simply make it a fun experience. If you do that the rest will take care of itself.

Opportunities are Everywhere

Fortunately for youth hunters there are many different opportunities available for them to enjoy. Whether it is simply grabbing a can of worms and setting around a farm pond, or chasing small game like rabbits and squirrels, to simply taking a hike or camping trip, every state offers a wide range of opportunities to choose from. There are also several programs and camps available in the hunting community. Raised at Full Draw (Bowhunting Camps) is such a camp. It is a non-profit organization designed to promote archery, hunting and outdoor education.  The goal of these camps is to pass knowledge and techniques on to the next generation, and allow them an opportunity to learn in a safe hands on environment.  An environment where they get to practice immediately the skills they are being taught.  In addition, there will be a focus on how to hunt responsibly, effectively and learn all of the other attributes of ethics morals and values they come along with spending time outdoors. We want the kids to exit camp as skilled archers, but more importantly we want them to leave with an appreciation for hunting and the outdoors as a whole.

Hunters Are Some Of The Best And Most Essential Teachers | Raised Hunting

As hunters, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to hunt themselves let alone take someone new. In today’s competitive world of hunting, some hunters may even find that taking youth hunting is a hindrance that they would rather not bare. While this is unfortunate, the former is something that many states have taken into consideration. As a result, many states offer youth hunting seasons for many different game species such as waterfowl, deer, and turkey that occur prior to the “official” opening day. These youth seasons provide youth hunters the opportunity to chase game that have yet to feel the pressure of the full force hunting season. These youth season provides the opportunity to avoid conflict with hunters that do not want to sacrifice time in the woods themselves.

No matter where you look there are opportunities to expose a youth to the outdoors through many different sports like hunting. As hunters, conservationist and sportsmen it is our responsibility to ensure that the legacy and tradition of hunting in North America stays strong with the next generation. If we don’t teach it to them, who will? If the next generation doesn’t understand what hunting really means, how will they articulate it to the generation after them? The short answer is that they will not, and the wild things that make this country so great will inevitably suffer.

Hunting means many things to many different people, from spending time in the outdoors with friends and family to finding solace in being alone in nature. However, it all started with that very first trip afield, so many memories made that all started with one. Be sure to do your part instill those same values and provide those same opportunities in a youth hunter this year!