April 06, 2022 2 min read
When taking a young hunter out this turkey season, follow these tips for a fun, safe, and successful trip afield.
Keep Them Comfortable
If you want your youth hunter to be your hunting buddy for life, do everything in your power to ensure they’re comfortable so they can enjoy the experience.
You don’t have to invest hundreds in a hunting wardrobe that a growing kid might wear once, but you should make sure they’re not tripping over hand-me-down pants and have a decent pair of boots that won’t give them blisters.
Eliminate the effects of mosquitos, ticks, and other pests with sprays, clothing treatments, or even a Thermacell unit. Take plenty of snacks to prevent hunger pains. And whether you’ll be posted up in a turkey hunting ground blind for hours or running and gunning through the mountains, make sure your kid companion has a comfortable seat or chair for turkey hunting that will keep wiggling around to a minimum.
A setup like the GhostBlind Runner is great for concealing fidgety kids and even lightweight enough for them to carry.
Even if you stock them up on snacks and bug spray for turkey hunting from a ground blind, the odds of your pint-sized hunting pal remaining perfectly still are slim to none. Kids might spook a Tom or blow a chip shot, so be prepared for them to test your patience.
Their little legs probably can’t move as fast as yours, so expect to move at a slower pace than usual.
If your youth hunter will be the one pulling the trigger, take them to the range for some target practice in the weeks leading up to hunting season. Review firearm safety rules several times so they know to always point the barrel in a safe direction and only take a shot when they know what’s behind their target.
Explain the proper precautions to avoid dangerous incidents with other hunters, especially if you’ll be hunting on public land.
Teach them how to approach a downed bird so they don’t take a sharp spur to the shin.
Beyond safety measures, be sure to share every little aspect of the hunt before stepping foot in the field.
Explain the importance of staying still, how to differentiate between a hen and a gobbler, and where — and how far — to shoot for a quick, ethical kill.
Show them how to spot turkey scratching or identify turkey droppings and tracks.
This should all culminate in demonstrating an appreciation and respect for wildlife. Stick to tasteful trophy photos and teach the importance of putting all meat to use without waste.
Kids don’t know what they don’t know, so it’s up to you to teach them everything you’ve learned.