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youth hunting

Why Spring Is the Perfect Time to Get Kids Outdoors!

Spring Youth Hunting and Outdoor Opportunities

 

Spring time is upon us, and it is a great time to share the outdoors with young outdoorsmen and women.  Spring is youth hunting and outdoor season, and a perfect opportunity to introduce young men and ladies to the outdoors.  There are many opportunities to spend quality time with youth in the spring of the year.  Many states conduct youth turkey seasons, and special youth only draw turkey hunts.  Working on food plot and stand strategies for next fall is a great opportunity to get young folks involved in the outdoors and next fall’s hunt.  Introducing and developing young archers and marksmen is a great springtime activity to help young men and ladies develop hunting skills.

Spring brings with it mild days and cool nights.  The daylight hours lengthen and offer some of the best conditions of the year to enjoy the outdoors.  These ideal conditions lend themselves to introducing young people to outdoor activities, or developing youth that has already begun their outdoor journey.  Spring is youth season and a terrific opportunity.

 

Youth Turkey Season

 

Turkey season and youth hunting is often the first thing that comes to mind when outdoorsmen and women think of spring.  The same can be said for young outdoorsmen and women.  All across the nation states host youth only turkey seasons, and youth only special draw turkey hunts.  Turkey hunting for young men and women is a great introduction to the outdoors and the sport of hunting.  Here is a list of some of the best locations for a great youth spring turkey hunt.  Mild temperatures and fast action that turkey hunting is so famous for are prime for young people wanting a heart-pounding introduction to the outdoors.  For many hunters, spring means turkey season, spring can also be youth season.  The sound of a tom gobbling in a stand of hardwoods echoing down a spring creek lined with green grass leaves an impression.  A young hunter armed with a simple push – pull hen call, or a small box call can easily trigger a spring gobbler to sound off and leave a lasting memory in the heart and mind of a new hunter.  A few key tactics like hunting from a blind, the use of decoys and locating the roost ahead of the hunt can play huge dividends in making a turkey hunt enjoyable for a youngster.

 

 

 

Spring Outdoor Chores

 

A great activity to share with youth in the spring is work on food plots and stand strategies for next fall.  The time spent in the deer woods in the spring and summer is much more low key.  Noise and scent are much less of an issue this time of year, and it is a great opportunity to introduce young people to the outdoors.  Spring is youth season, and youth cherish opportunities to learn and grow outside.  The deer woods and food plots are a terrific place to help a young outdoorsman or outdoorswoman develop a love for deer hunting and the outdoors.  Putting a seed in the ground and watching it grow is something magical that leaves a lasting impression.  Coming back to a food plot after seeds are germinated and growing, and wildlife is using and feeding on the forage a youngster help to establish is fascinating.  Playing a critical role in the management and nutrition of the game animals is an amazing accomplishment that young people are happy to be apart of.

 

 

Offseason To-Do’s

 

Youth can also play a role in the planning and selection of stand and blind locations for next fall’s hunts.  Working outdoors in the spring cutting trails, trimming shooting lanes and considering wind direction and food plots for next fall is great practice and an opportunity to learn a skill set for young hunters.  Spring is youth season, and young people appreciate investing themselves and applying themselves.  Working outdoors to develop next season’s hunting setup this spring is a perfect opportunity to involve youth in hunting and the outdoors.

 

Get Them More Acquainted to Equipment

 

Spring is also a perfect time for young men and women to practice their marksmanship, and allow them to get more acquainted to equipment. The mild days and longer daylight hours provide a great opportunity for youth to practice their shooting skills.  There are many products on the market for young men and women to develop the expertise with a rifle or bow.  Time spent at a safe range with a qualified instructor developing safe practices and accuracy in the spring can go a long way in developing marksmen.  Spring is youth season, and youth developing their archery skills is a great spring pastime.  Developing muscle memory with a bow and range estimating skills can often come as second nature to a youngster.  Practicing correct form and repetition with a quality youth bow provides young archers with accuracy and confidence for their first hunts.  The mild days of spring spent at the range with young people learning to sharpen their marksmanship is time well spent.

 

 

 

The spring season brings many opportunities with it to enjoy the outdoors.  Developing the sportsman and sportswoman of tomorrow can get a head start this spring.  Spring is youth season and a great time to get outdoors with a young person and pass along generations of outdoor tradition.

Want to get your kids involved in the outdoors? Raised at Full Draw bow camps are a great opportunity. Click here for more information!

 

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised Hunting

When Is the Right Time to Take Your Youth Hunting?

Youth Hunting | When Is the Right Time to Take Kids Hunting

Doesn’t it seem like each fall disappears in a crazy blur? Between schools starting back up, getting ready for winter, and of course hunting seasons, it’s easy to lose track of time. As a result, we tend to push some things off our plate, resolving to do them in the mythical “later” category. But “later” might not happen. That’s why it’s important to dedicate time now to life-altering things like taking your youth hunting. Think about it; if you go hunting with a child and patiently pass on your outdoors knowledge to them, you will theoretically create another grounded and responsible adult who’s connected to their food source and the world. Hunting teaches ethics, responsibility, patience, and respect. What more could you want for your children?

So it’s obviously important to get your kids in the outdoors when they’re young. How young? That depends entirely on you and your child. Some kids are ready to go afield much younger than others. It can be challenging to teach them everything, but family hunting is also a great way to spend more time with your kids doing something you love. In this post, we’ll look at some common signs your child may be ready for youth hunting, and some tips to help you teach them what they need to know.

Signs They May Be Ready for Youth Hunting 

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised HuntingIf you notice the following behaviors about your son or daughter, they may well be ready to head to the woods with you. First, if they’re asking to come with you on a hunt, it’s definitely time to start doing some kind of outdoors activity with them. Even if you’re just doing a mock-hunt (discussed below), it’s a great time to get your youth outdoors.

Similarly, if they routinely ask a lot of questions about hunting-related activities, show them in the field instead of simply telling them. Better yet, put them in situations where they can learn the answer on their own without having to explain it. If they are going on make-believe hunts on their own, they’re probably ready too!

If they are intensely curious when you bring a wild game animal home, they may be ready. Encourage them to hold or handle the hide, antlers, feathers, etc. and teach them throughout the butchering/processing task. Some people worry their kids may be too sensitive to see a dead animal. If they seem to be bothered by it, explain the emotions you feel when hunting and that you’re respecting the animal by eating it around the table.

General Rules of Youth Hunting 

One of the best and most important things you can do to teach your child about hunting is to be patient. Kids are going to be too loud in the woods, make mistakes, have short attention spans, and do all sorts of other things that will make you think about quitting. Keep your emotions under control and use any mishaps as teachable moments.

You also may want to start them on smaller animals, such as birds, squirrels, or rabbits. These seem to carry less emotional weight for most kids, and are more their size. As they get used to hunting small game animals, start to introduce larger ones like whitetails.

Try to make every hunt or time in the woods as fun and enjoyable as possible for them. It’s not the time for all-day sits or extreme temperatures either. Keep the field adventures short, comfortable, and enjoyable. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to want to go back. From there, you can slowly introduce reality to them without putting them off.

Emotions of Youth Hunting

Think back to your first successful youth hunt. It may have been exhilarating. Or it may have caused some tears to flow. Teaching your kids beforehand about the emotions they might feel is a good approach. Watch hunting shows with them and show them the wild game you have killed. How do they react? When/if they make a marginal shot and are kicking themselves for it, encourage them. Let them know that it happens to everyone. But as long as they do everything they can to find the animal or exhaust all possibilities, they haven’t done anything wrong. Also let them know that killing an animal shouldn’t be done lightly, and that they deserve a lot of respect by hunting ethically.

First Field Trip 

If they seem like they’re interested in hunting and you have done a few of the steps above, it’s time for your first hunting trip together. Ask them if they’d like to go hunt with you in a ground blind somewhere. Obviously if you’re hunting with kids, you shouldn’t go on a high-stakes hunt after a hit-list buck or you’ll just get frustrated. Instead, simply set up a ground blind in the backyard where you can watch wildlife, even just squirrels or rabbits. Use the time as an opportunity to teach basic hunting skills (e.g., how to be quiet, how slowly to move, how to listen and look for animals, etc.). If they like sitting with you, you could bring a Gamo® .177 or .22 caliber rifle with and have them shoot their first squirrel or rabbit. This is assuming that they have gone through all the necessary firearm safety courses and are legally able to hunt, of course. If they are interested in bow hunting, consider sending them to bow camps for children where they can learn about archery. If they’re really interested, consider getting a Bear Archery® youth hunting bow.

Moving Up to Larger Game Animals 

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised HuntingAs they get better about hunting small game animals, it might be time to introduce them to larger ones. If they’re not quite ready for a full day in the woods, take them out after you get an animal to help you track the blood trail. After you shoot a whitetail, for example, follow the trail and check to make sure they are down. Then bring your kid out to “help” you find it. Show them where you shot it, and help them stay on the blood trail. With your helpful nudges, they should eventually lead you to the deer. Explain how grateful you are to them and that you could have never found it without their help. This encouragement and the excitement of finding a deer usually cements their interest in youth hunting. Your passion and enthusiasm is contagious with kids, so let them see it in your actions.

After they’ve helped you in the woods, try a few co-sits together, where you’re both actually in the tree stand or ground blind with the purpose of hunting deer. While there’s not a lot of required hunting gear for kids, make sure that they are dressed in appropriate and comfortable youth hunting clothes like Under Armour® clothing. Stop by Scheels® to load up on any essential hunting gear for them. Offer help or advice to them throughout the trip, but also use it as an opportunity to test their skills and knowledge. If they do really well without your help a few times, they’re probably ready for their first deer hunt all by themselves. If possible, try not to impose too many quality deer management rules on them their first year. Let them take a doe, a spike buck, or a mature buck – anything they want. This will keep them interested and lay the foundation for future hunts.

Get Started Now 

Taking kids hunting can be a lot of work, it’s true. But youth hunting is also some of the best quality time you can spend with your child. If you start exposing them to the outdoors and wild game at a young age, they will be much more likely to become confident hunters one day. And you’ll have created one of the best hunting buddies you could ever have.