Mom Knows Best Part 2

By Jason Reid

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

As we continue into the heart of the conversation started last week, this week we meet the parents. Erica, Kristen, Tiffany, Christie, Peg and Lindsay come from different backgrounds with children of all ages and discuss their thoughts on introducing kids to hunting.

 

The introduction to hunting can be a fragile act, like balancing glass plates on the either end of an arrow. Mothers understand mentoring hunters must be of quality character. Erica, the mother of three young adult men added, “Respect for life must be taught by the mentoring hunter. Personally, I needed to have a high level of trust in the people who took my kids hunting to impart respect and ethics since kids are so impressionable. You don’t want to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a child.”  To back up this claim, a friend of mine and business executive says he won’t hunt after watching someone uncleanly dispatch a wounded doe at the age of 13. He does not hate hunting, but told me the experience stuck with him and he never had the desire to hunt.

Moms must be able to trust the mentoring hunter.
Moms must be able to trust the mentoring hunter if it is not themselves.

Christie, the mother of two young teenage kids says, “When entrusting the well being of your child with a mentoring hunter, as a mother, you have to keep an eye on them to ensure they are being taught right. Not simply the basics of gun safety and treestand safety, but you must be looking out for their mental wellbeing in order to make sure the child is learning appropriately about what they are taking part in.” Mothers must trust husbands and other mentoring hunters to be able to talk with the child through the entire process to impart the sensitive wisdom of the act of killing an animal. Erica added, you must look keenly at the character of the mentor if you as a mother are not the one taking them afield.”

Last time I checked, mothers are excellent judges of character and are tough to fool.

Peg, the mother of David Jr, a young teenager with an interest in the shooting and hunting culture says, “You have to know your kid. If the kid is not into it, don’t push it. Respect the sport and respect the child.  Some kids that are more inclined to try it than others and much of it does depend on the household environment.”

The appropriate age to introduce a child to hunting  has always been a debate. The mothers who gave insight to this article say the starting ages of their children ranged from two years of age to thirteen. However, Kristen, mother of two young daughters says, “Get them out there around the age they start school. Start taking them out in the woods with you when you hunt to teach them safety, proper firearm handling and respect. Teach them how to act out in nature. Teach them right from wrong. It can be a wonderful experience to share your child and if done the right way, the connection can last a lifetime.” Kristen also noted children can be keenly observant, “They watch you and learn from you. My husband and I love hunting together and share that with our daughters. It’s a great to be able to experience that as a family.”

Some kids gravitate towards hunting earlier, others later.
Some kids gravitate towards hunting earlier, and others later in life.

Tiffany, the mother of young middle school children says, “I feel that teaching my children to shoot and hunt will allow them to love and respect wildlife. My husband and I have been teaching them since they were toddlers.”  Lindsay, the mother of young daughters says, “It’s very difficult to determine the proper age for when a child is ready to hunt. I think developmentally, a child may be ready by age 10 to be supervised in a hunt. However, I think parents should not rush children if they are not mentally or physically ready to fire a weapon or handle killing an animal.”

Arkansas Youth Turkey Hunting Camp
Arkansas Youth Turkey Hunting Camp

While some may say introducing hunting and shooting at young ages isn’t appropriate, the small moments spent in the woods create inseparable bonds with friends and family while instilling greater wisdoms.   Mothers understand their children learn the values of life, the responsibility of handling firearms and how to become stewards of the wild.

About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. Jason’s work can be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com