Archery Games and Tricks to get Todays Youth Outdoors | Raised Hunting

Archery Games and Tricks to Get Today’s Youth Outdoors

Get Our Youth Outdoors | Swap Video Games for Bow Shooting Games

It’s a simple fact that today’s youth face an extensive addiction to technology. A flood of information washes over them every day, which isn’t necessarily the problem, nor is it always a bad thing. Today’s children can learn some really amazing things that prepare them for the future using this technology. But it’s no surprise that many kids don’t even spend a half hour outside each day when the outdoors has to compete with the latest video games. With summer approaching that needs to change…we need to get our youth outdoors. We can do that by using archery games and bowhunting education to entice our youth outdoors and get them involved as new hunters.

But many people ask why it’s even an issue, and why they should bother taking time to introduce their youth to bow hunting in the first place. The simple answer is that it’s a healthier lifestyle. Youth bow hunting keeps them outside doing physical activities instead of sitting on their rear end watching a screen for hours. Multiple studies have proven that today’s office workers suffer from several physical and mental ailments, including posture problems, hip joint tightening, and eye strain, usually because they sit motionless in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day. Getting your youth outdoors doing physical work will set them up for success.

But beyond that, it’s important to teach your child a real skill that they can use forever. If your family values wild game meat and conservation, your kid will most likely value it someday down the road, if not already. Equipping them with the skills to participate in the conservation process and fill their freezer with fresh and wild protein is something that they’ll appreciate for the rest of their life. So now let’s dive into some archery games that you can use to spend some quality time with your children, while teaching them bowhunting education. 

Archery Games to Replace the Remote Control 

To effectively compete with today’s video games and social media, an activity needs to be engaging and interactive. While teaching them these archery games, you need to show your enthusiasm and make it as fun as possible, while still teaching respect for the weapon. Bow safety needs to trump entertainment, but there are ways to incorporate the fun too. Getting the whole family involved and dedicating time for practice and competition is one way to accomplish that. Another way to introduce and keep your youth outdoors is to register your child for an upcoming Raised at Full Draw (RAFD) youth hunting camp. Outdoor youth programs like RAFD allow them to practice their archery while being surrounded by their peers in a friendly environment. Through outdoor team building games and applied practice, youth participants learn quickly and have a lot of fun.

Archery Games and Tricks to get Todays Youth Outdoors | Raised Hunting

3D Archery Games

One of the easiest ways to get kids engaged in outdoor archery shooting games is to let them shoot at ultra-realistic 3D targets. They are available in so many forms, from elk to bear, and even include dinosaurs or aliens. If it will keep your kid engaged and wanting to practice more, try to cross the video game barrier by investing in some fun targets. Video games help kids use their imagination by letting them experience a different reality. After a day of shooting Delta McKenzie big game animal targets or aliens at 3D bow shoots, they’ll definitely be more likely to continue instead of reaching for the game console controller. If you don’t want to buy targets yourself or don’t have the space to shoot at them, bring the family along to 3D archery courses, which you can find at an increasing number of places these days. These ranges usually have some amazing targets and are an easy way to have fun with your kids. If they’re just starting out, you may want to go on an off-day so there’s not as much of a crowd.

Tic-Tac-Toe

Another fun archery game is a twist on the pen-and-paper version. Simply tape a piece of cardboard or paper to a target and draw nine squares (three high by three wide). Take turns with your child (or have your kids take turns) shooting some arrows at the board. They should have different colored fletching or use NAP lighted nocks to make things simpler. When an archer hits within a square, they have claimed that square, and the objective is to get three squares in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). If someone shoots into a claimed square, they should shoot again until they claim a new one. Archery shooting games like these take an outdated game like this and turn it into something fun again. They also challenge your accuracy when you have to pick a single square.

Archery Games and Tricks to get Todays Youth Outdoors | Raised Hunting

Balloons

As far as archery games go, this is one of the simplest. Blow up several balloons (aim for 5 to 10 per player) and tape them to a target or similar backdrop. You can either do time trials individually or a live shootout. For time trials, each player takes their turn shooting their Bear Archery youth bows. The goal is to shoot all of their balloons in the shortest amount of time. This game can be done with competition or against yourself. The player with the shortest time wins that round. You can also do a live shootout, where each player has their own balloons on their own target, and the first player to shoot all of their balloons wins. Balloons are cheap, so this is a very simple option. 

H.O.R.S.E.

You’ve likely played this game before, but on the basketball court, not at an archery range. The concept is the same. Each player should take turns, with the first player of the round determining the type of shot that everyone must complete to continue. For example, one player might decide that everyone needs to shoot at 30 yards, with the target quartering away. If the players don’t put an arrow in the circle or vitals, they earn the first letter ‘H’ and continue in this fashion until they have spelled “HORSE.” At that point, they lose the game. This is a great game to play at a 3D archery range since there are multiple types of targets and different shot opportunities.

Robin Hood

The next game can be called whatever you want, but the idea is to challenge a shooter’s distance ability. Start at 10 to 15 yards from a target, and take turns shooting. Everybody who keeps their arrow in the designated zone can proceed to the next distance. Move out away from the target in 5-yard increments. Whoever stays in the competition the longest is the winner. This is a useful skill if carried out over time because it extends your maximum effective distance under pressure, which is critical for hunting. For that reason, it’s really one of those outdoor games for all ages.

Archery Games and Tricks to get Todays Youth Outdoors | Raised Hunting

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to turn routine archery practice into fun archery games without much work. The most important thing is to stay excited about and involved in the games with your kids so that you can all challenge each other. A family that shoots bows together stays together, or something along those lines, the lasting importance here is getting and keeping our youth outdoors!

Why Youth Hunting is so Critical Today

Why Youth Hunting is So Critical Today

Bowhunting Education | How Youth Bow Hunting Can Make Lifelong Hunters

Surely you’re familiar with the popular idiom, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Here’s a surprising fact for some: this isn’t just about crappie tactics. It’s really about the value of teaching over just doing for someone else, which is especially true for youth hunting. Most of the time with children, it’s just easier to do something for them (e.g., tie their shoes, answer their math question, etc.) instead of teaching them how to do it themselves. But they’ll never learn and will always depend on you for that task. As parents, it’s critical that we equip our kids with the knowledge and skills to grow up and do things on their own.

This is an extremely important lesson for youth hunting. Sure, we could always feed our kids venison. But that’s cheating them of the amazing experiences that the autumn woods hold for archery fanatics. Bow hunting doesn’t just teach us about the natural world, the resilient wildlife species that inhabit it, and food awareness. It also teaches us virtues like patience, respect, ethics, confidence, responsibility, and emotional control. It doesn’t take much imagination to agree that more children would be better off as adults with these traits.

But on a larger scale, hunter recruitment and retention is extremely important for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. Hunters are consistently at the forefront of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration efforts. As hunter numbers decline, so too does the funding and interest in these causes. Introducing children to the sport is the cure-all solution. Here are some tips and techniques to help introduce your child, relative, or family friend to youth hunting.

Awareness in the Early Stages

One of the first and most necessary things you should do is to get your youth interested and excited about hunting. This is fairly easy to do as most young kids are fairly interested in wildlife and nature already, but some will take to it slower than others. Have them watch your favorite bow hunting programs, such as Raised Hunting. Take them on walks in the woods or farm to explore new things. In the late winter and spring, take them with to go scouting and shed hunting. Teach them why deer rub trees and shed their antlers, and make it feel like a scavenger hunt. If they get tired or bored, accept that their attention spans will be shorter and be willing to leave early.

Try sitting in a blind with them where they can get away with some fidgeting and movement without spooking wildlife. Hopefully they can watch turkeys and deer at close range and feel the excitement that goes with it. Also show them the animals you harvest with your bow, so they can get an up-close view of the animal they are chasing. Make your excitement contagious when you’re showing them so that they can feel the same way.

This stage needs to focus on keeping things fun for them. You don’t want it to become a forced march for them against their will. If they have to hike long distances and get yelled at for goofing off, they may not be so inclined to go out again. The biggest thing you can do to help is just trying to have fun while you’re outdoors with them. Try not to be as rigid as you usually are while archery hunting on your own, be willing to laugh and joke with them, and don’t scold them unless it’s a dangerous behavior. The fun memories are ultimately what will get them to come back to try it again.

Time to Pick Up the Bow

If they seem interested in being outdoors and hunting in general, the next step is to get them their own youth hunting gear and a bow to practice with. Start young kids (i.e., 5 to 10 years old) off with a small compound bow that’s easy to pull back, such as the Bear Archery Scout compound bow for kids. Also be sure to grab some Gold Tip Falcon 35 Arrows, and a Tru-Fire Junior Release. You can even use round-tipped play arrows for a while. They can practice with these to grasp the basic concepts and safety considerations until they are able to use a youth compound bow. Most states allow youth hunting with a bow at ages 10 to 12, provided a licensed hunter accompanies them.

You can find youth compound bows for sale at almost any sporting goods store, like SCHEELS, near you or bear compound bows for kids through Bear Archery. Either way, they can help you find one that fits your child well. Like any hunting gear for kids, it’s tricky business because you don’t want to get one that’s too large for them, but don’t want to buy a new bow every couple years as they grow. Try to find a happy middle ground between these two approaches. Regarding the size, a proper bow shop can match a bow to your child’s frame, and determine the best draw weight. Start small at first (i.e. generally around 15-20 pounds), but allow them to work up the strength as their form improves. If you start too heavy, your youth may pick up some bad habits that will need correcting down the road. They won’t enjoy practicing and it could even discourage them from continuing to hunt.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once they’ve got good youth bows to fit them, you need to make sure they practice. As with any skill, the more they practice, the better they’ll get. The same is true for youth hunting. But as in the first step above, you need to keep it fun for them. In other words, don’t tell them they “need to practice 20 arrows a day or you’ll never be good enough to shoot a whitetail.” Hopefully that’s common sense, but it needs to be stated. Instead of that approach, get them interested in practicing on their own by setting up a small 3D target range in your back yard or taking them with to an archery range. When they get to shoot at anything from whitetails to dinosaurs to aliens, you can bet they’ll stay interested. Even for adult bow hunters, it’s nice to have some variety! Get them comfortable shooting from ground level before moving to an elevated position.

Raised At Full Draw Camps
(video)- Raised At Full Draw Camps, educates and involves the youth in the outdoors. These camps are to save the heritage of hunting and to pass it on to the next generation

 

If they seem really interested, you may want to send them to youth summer camps to learn some more archery skills, practice with peers, and just generally have a fun time. The Raised at Full Draw (RAFD) bow hunting camp exists to help youth learn archery and hunting techniques through hands-on outdoor education activities in a fun camp style of learning. It follows the curriculum of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) book, and ultimately does lead to bowhunting education certification.

Another nice way to keep them practicing is to start a weekly family bow hunting practice session, where the whole family gets to work on their shooting skills. A family that bow hunts together stays together. Or at least that’s what they say, right? Keep it interesting by playing different archery games and challenging each other in friendly competitions. For example, the best shot of the week gets to choose a fun meal for the family. Or perhaps they get out of doing dishes or mowing the lawn that week.

Why Youth Hunting is so Critical Today

Take Your Youth Hunting

If they’ve practiced like we discuss above, they should be ready for youth bow hunting in a real situation soon. You’ll have to make that call based on the accuracy, consistency, and dedication of your youth. It’s usually required to sit with them during the youth hunting season the first couple times in a blind or tree stand, so you can advise them in a pinch and observe how safe they act in the tree stand. Set them up with a Rage broadhead to ensure their quarry won’t go far.

If you feel like they are acting safely and responsibly, and could ethically make a good shot, you may decide to let them hunt on their own the next year. This can be a nerve-racking decision, but you have to let them “fish” on their own at some point.

Congratulations! You helped create a potentially lifelong bow hunter, who will likely teach their kids and others someday, thus ensuring the future of our cherished sport. And if we all introduce at least one child to the tradition of hunting, our future looks brighter than ever.

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!