Everyone’s origin story for getting into hunting is unique. But for many, it all began young. It’s highly likely your dad, mom, uncle, grandpa or a family friend introduced you to the sport and became a mentor. Today, as seasoned hunters and lovers of the lifestyle, what can we do to help elevate our declining numbers and become effective mentors to the hunters of tomorrow? Here are 4 tips for raising the next generation of hunters.
Tip 1: Start with mental preparation
Hunting is largely a mental game. To prepare the next generation for the woods, start with their minds. Ensure that aspiring hunters understand what they are trying to accomplish and ALL that comes along with it. Don’t sugarcoat anything. Be clear and concise about every detail for harvesting an animal and make sure that ethics play a big part in the conversation.
Tip 2: Instill the importance of firearm safety
The majority of hunter safety centers around firearm safety. Drive that home at every opportunity and ingrain its importance to aspiring hunters. And remember, firearm safety isn’t just about keeping yourself safe, but also making sure everybody out on the hunt is safe too.
Tip 3: Encourage practice and build confidence
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. It all comes down to one perfectly placed shot, so practice and confidence are key. In the best interest of all parties involved (including the animals themselves), a hunter needs to be ready to make a seamless shot and clean kill. Whether it be rifles or archery, ensure that new shooters build the experience, expertise, and mental presence for that big trigger-pulling moment.
Tip 4: Get fired-up by the power of mentorship
Hunting isn’t something you learn overnight. There’s so much to know about the animals, geography, tactics, ethics, practices, processes and more. Being a mentor is invaluable to helping an aspiring hunter embrace the ins and outs and lifestyle of the sport. So go ahead and share your tips, tricks, and experiences, answer every question, and spread your passion to the next generation!
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