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Youth Hunting | Introducing Young Hunters to the Outdoors

Opportunities in Spring Turkey Season to Get Youth Hunting in the Outdoors

Connecting kids to the outdoors and passing along the traditions you grew up with are some of the most important reasons to get into the woods this spring with a child. Hunting, and particularly youth hunting, instills values, encourages healthy living and develops life skills such as discipline, respect and good sportsmanship. Spring turkey hunting is an opportunity for outdoor youth adventures to start a child’s lifelong desire for hunting by cultivating them into outdoor enthusiasts.

Think about the real reason most of us hunt. Part of hunting is certainly about being successful. Successful hunts, however, are not only defined by harvesting an animal. Most of us hunt because we love seeing game from one season to another. Hunters are outdoors people. We enjoy sitting in a stand during a silent evening sunset or listening for the sound of a turkey gobbling as the sun begins to rise on a spring morning. It is for these moments and the countless others that keep us preserving the sport. We get to see things in the wild that most have never seen and that brings with it a sense of triumph whether or not we bag an animal.

Youth hunting is about getting kids excited to be outdoors. Again, we all enjoy harvesting an animal but most of us are in the woods as much as possible because we are outdoor enthusiasts. Young children are geared for exploration. Make each hunting experience, from the very first hunt to when they start mastering the craft, an outdoor youth adventure. Allow them to explore the woods. Encourage kids to observe the natural environment around them by gathering insects or looking for birds. Teach them about the wilderness which surrounds them, such as names of trees or why a plant is growing in a particular area, all while making the connection between animals and their habitat.

Introducing young hunters to the outdoors youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Spring turkey season, especially later in the year, is perfect for introducing kids to hunting. The weather cooperates more than deer season making it easier to get youth outdoors. Warmer spring weather also means activity in the woods. Animals are active as flora and fauna begin to awaken from winter. Youth turkey hunting is much less about landing a gobbler but more so about introducing your child to the outdoors. Get youngsters geared up with a youth turkey hunting vest and other youth hunting gear so they feel like part of the hunt. If you have the opportunity, hunting out of a blind is the best way to go after turkeys with a kid. Blinds, combined with the right gear, provide more comfort for kids than setting up next to a tree on the ground. Kids can move around and softly talk in a blind while maintaining concealment waiting for an approaching turkey. A simple box call like the Primos Matchbox is a great addition to their youth turkey hunting vest. Show them the art of calling and let them practice even though it may be a bit scratchy and inconsistence, it gives them a sense of accomplishment in the field. End the hunt when they are ready. Do not push young hunters to sit for long periods of time or be uncomfortable from weather. Have fun and keep them engaged for the purpose of the hunt without the rigidity of your normal turkey setup, and the more successful your youth hunting experience will be.

Youth Hunting in Blinds – What goes in your hunting blind with you
(Video) – One of the most important parts of using a hunting blind is what goes in with you. You can move less and be comfortable than you will be more successful.

 

3 Keys to Successful Youth Turkey Hunting

  1. Safety – Hunting safely should be at the forefront of every hunter’s mind and even more so when afield with a child. Teach your children to respect and be aware of other hunters while in the woods. If that means wearing a youth orange vest for safety walking to and from your hunting spot, then do it. As they mature, get your kids involved in hunter education programs such as hunter safety courses, local sportsmen clubs and outdoor youth programs like the Raised at Full Draw Bowhunting camps. Safety is not always related to hunting. Kids are curious so be mindful of the potential for snakes and biting insects. Remember that accidents can happen to anyone, and hunting with someone who is inexperienced increases the likelihood. Don’t assume your child knows the ins and outs of hunting safety, but rather teach him or her through your own safe habits and behaviors in the woods.
  1. Correct Expectations – Setting unrealistic expectations can ruin not only your hunt but can be disastrous to your overall outdoor youth adventure. Young hunters are going to be restless. Keep in mind the hunt is more about exposing your child to the hunting experience than harvesting an animal. Encourage them to ask questions. Keep youth hunting trips short and active. Sit for a little and call them move on to another spot, only if it is just a 100 yards away, it will keep kids interested in the thrill of the hunt.
  1. Preparation – Preparing for a hunt is one of the most important phases. Be prepared with everything your child may need in the woods. Throw some snacks and drinks into your pack to refuel along the trail. Bring extra youth hunting clothes or rain gear in case it gets unexpectedly cold or rainy. Add a first aid kit to your youth hunting stuff to be ready for any minor injuries like cuts, scratches or bug bites. Also, have your child take part in hunting preparation. Let them pack their youth turkey hunting vest with the items they feel they need, which gives them an opportunity to contribute and gives you the chance to show them how to successfully prepare for a hunt.

Youth hunting is not for every child, and that’s OK. Don’t force it. The more a child feels pushed into outdoor youth adventures, the less he or she will want to do it. Back off and eventually your child may ask to go hunting with you. The earlier you introduce hunting to kids, the more likely they will continue hunting into adulthood. Use these early years to educate with the knowledge you have gained from your years of hunting to show them the wonderful outdoor world. Creating these outdoor youth adventures will produce a sense of purpose in the woods and continue the family hunting tradition. The time you spend outdoors with your children provides lifelong memories, ones that will instill within them the passion to pass along hunting experiences to future generations.

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 Gold Tip arrows at the board. They should have different colored fletching 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!