Family Hunting Over the Holidays
The holidays are devoted to family time. It is the one time of the year to catch up with distant relatives, share stories of the past hunting season with close family members and look towards a new year of success outdoors and within our personal lives. All those being true, it is also a great time to enjoy some family hunting.
Hunting during the holidays is not for everyone. The weather is terrible (think snow, wind chills and early darkness) and not to mention those animals that are still out there are the best of the best. Only the most mature bucks, strongest birds and fastest small mammals have made it through lengthy hunting seasons to this point. Any game left is crafty and elusive so hunting this time of year will not come easy.
Family hunting around the holidays makes perfect sense, though. Kids are off from school for an extended period and usually you also have a few days off surrounding Christmas and New Years. This presents more opportunities for families to get outdoors for some quality time hunting. There is often no better place for life lessons than the freezing duck blind, snowy pheasant field or oak flat searching out winter squirrels. Hunting with kids is not only about harvesting an animal but more related to the skills and facilitation of conversation that hunting opens up. Also, hunting is not the only outdoor activity to take part in over the holidays. Holiday break can be a great time to also introduce kids to shooting. Whether it is in the backyard with a new Bear Archery bow or time at the shooting range plinking with .22s, both give you that chance to connect with your kids outdoors.
Hunting during the holidays is also a tradition for many families. As we grow up and start our own lives, hunting is a way to reconnect with siblings and extended family members over the holidays. Instead of sitting around eating meal after meal for days, plan a hunt with family. This will get you outdoors and back among family enjoying the sport of hunting you grew up with. Family holiday hunting can either be scheduled at a hunting club or outfitter or it can be simply a preplanned time to get a few family members to head out to the local public grounds for a half day small game hunt. Either way, family hunting over the holidays enables a reconnection with the past, the ability to relive hunting experiences and an opportunity to start your kids hunting among family.
Family Hunting Options for the Holidays
For those looking to plan some hunting during the holidays, there are numerous opportunities depending on where you are located. Most states have small game seasons open throughout the winter. Also, select deer seasons come back in around the holidays such as late-season archery and traditional muzzleloader. If nothing else, game farms and hunting preserves usually have family hunting opportunities. The upside is that most hunting opportunities available over the holidays are better suited for a family. For instance, deer hunting is often solitary. You may hunt the same general area with your kids or friends but usually, it is you by yourself in a tree stand for hours. Hunting waterfowl, small game or upland birds, all of which are typically in season around Christmas, aligns more with group family hunting trips. These types of hunts are fun and shareable with friends and family.
Tips for Balancing Hunting During the Holidays
Even though the holidays are a joyous time of year, they are jammed packed with dinners, visits, and other family related activities. Do not worry, however, there are ways to accomplish it all and take part in some family holiday hunting. With some planning and a little compromising, you can find ways to get outdoors over the holidays. Here are five tips on how to balance the holidays with family hunting.
. With hunting, you know what is in season this time of year so there are no excuses not to schedule a time to hunt well in advance. Marking your calendar early ensures you schedule time for family hunting trips but it also allows the rest of your family to plan the remaining holiday season.
. Preplanning is similar to scheduling, except once you have hunting scheduled during the holidays you need to plan all that goes into it. If you plan ahead of time, you will not have to spend precious time away from family around Christmas and New Year’s searching Scheels for winter Under Armour clothing or other last minute gear you may need for winter hunting.
. The most important tip for balancing hunting during the holidays is communicating with your family about your schedule and plans. Communicate your intentions for the holidays (days you will be gone, when you will be available, etc.) but also remember to stay in touch with family while you are away. Your holiday household will be much healthier if everyone is on the same page regarding the holiday schedule.
Experiences Matter Most
. Family hunting comes down to spending quality time outdoors with your kids and other family members. Plan hunts that are ones where all your family can get involved and enjoy. Great experiences outdoors will lead to a family holiday hunting tradition shared year after year.
. As the years go by, life changes. We grow up, have families and change priorities. It is important to compromise over the holidays. Years ago you may have spent all your time off around Christmas hunting. However, you may now have to narrow that down to a few days. By compromising between hunting and non-hunting activities over the holidays, you will have a complete and enjoyable holiday season.
The holiday season brings with it traditions and time spent with family that is unique to this time of year. Family hunting is one of those traditions that provides an opportunity to bring together different generations outdoors. Make the most of this holiday season by spending time with you kids hunting and enjoying time with family and friends outdoors.