Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content
Call Us Today! Experts now available 24/7.

Hunting with Your Children: Bonding Outdoors

 Posted on: September 23rd, 2021

Hunting with Your Children: Bonding Outdoors
Father and Son bonding during their hunt

The fall hunting season is fast approaching! For avid hunters with children, this might be the year you decide to bring one or more of your kids along with you to experience the activity for the first time.

This is no doubt an exciting milestone for every child who grows up to be a hunter. And as the parent, it’s your responsibility to do everything you can to make sure this is a bonding experience that will go smoothly and safely.

Discount Ramps team member Chad and his son enjoying quality time bow hunting in the Midwest
Discount Ramps team member Chad and his son enjoying quality time bow hunting in the Midwest

While hunting, spending time with relatives and the memories created are priceless. This happens not only during the hunt, but prior to and after.

Chad C.
Team Member

Here are a few tips to help you make your child’s first hunting experience go off without a hitch!

Teach your child about hunting safety

It is absolutely critical that your child be very familiar with all gun and hunter safety rules before you take them out on a hunting excursion. A hunting trip should never be the first time they hold a gun—they should be well-trained in gun safety ahead of time. If they will be shooting, they should have some range experience. In addition, most states require child hunter safety courses if the child will be shooting a gun.

Safety is imperative whenever firearms are involved, so make sure any kids you bring are comfortable around guns and have a respect for the safe use of them.

Discount Ramps team member Haley, as a young girl, posing with her father and one of her first deer harvests
Discount Ramps team member Haley, as a young girl, posing with her father and one of her first deer harvests

Talk through what to expect

Children who haven’t been hunting themselves before are likely to be curious about what will happen on the trip. So be sure to talk through the trip with them, and answer any questions they have. Go through all of the preparation work you do and why you do it, what they will be doing out in the wilderness, how you pass the time and what happens if you get a kill.

Pack correctly

Your kids will probably need even more gear than you will to stay comfortable. Beyond all of the comfortable clothing and safety gear associated with a hunting trip, kids will need additional diversions to keep themselves entertained when out in the wilderness.

Consider a special pack just for your child that includes all of the necessary supplies, plus special snacks, juice, water, books and other activities that can help them pass the time. You can also create your own reference materials and written plans so your child can remind themselves of what will be happening.

Go out during pleasant weather

Great hunting can happen in bad weather, but children are unlikely to want to spend a lot of time outside when the conditions are poor. Whenever possible, try to make their first hunting experience during a time when the weather is pleasant and is unlikely to be disruptive to their experience.

Make it fun

Find ways to allow your child to play a role in the experience. If they’re an active participant rather than a bystander, they’re much more likely to enjoy their first hunt.

Don’t push them hard or pressure them into doing anything they’re uncomfortable with. Instead, go slow and let them progress at their own pace, and maintain a positive attitude throughout the entire day.

Child taking break after hunting in the woods

Seeing the amazement in a child’s face after they’ve watched animals walk by without knowing you’re there is just as powerful as they happiness they show after harvesting an animal.

Chad C.
Team Member

Ultimately, there’s a chance your child won’t enjoy the experience, and that’s okay. Hunting isn’t for everyone, and they can always try again if they want. What’s important is that you enjoy the time you have together out in the wilderness.

Check in regularly

While you’re on the trip, make sure you keep a close eye on your kids and check in with them regularly. Be conscious about whether they’re getting overwhelmed or tired. Their comfort is important—the last thing you want to do is make their first experience unpleasant or traumatic, as that will put them off wanting to do it again in the future.

You might have to go out for a shorter day than you’re used to when it’s just adults. That’s okay—it’s all a part of getting your kids introduced to hunting and setting them up for a lifetime of enjoyment. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Remember to be the grown up

It’s your responsibility to keep an eye on your child, to be have responsibly and to make sure your child is acting safe. Be prepared with the basics of first aid to administer if necessary, and be understanding if your child is nervous or anxious about the experience, or gets disappointed with not getting any game.