Are Hunting Good For Youth?

    By Brandon Cox / August 1, 2016
    Are Hunting Good For Youth

    Introducing your son or daughter, (we don’t discriminate anymore), to hunting, is normally because you were introduced to it at a young age. And most times, it was because it was passed on from generation to generation before that.

    However, there are times when a person picks up the sport of hunting because a friend enjoys the pastime or more uncommonly, they see the art of hunting as a means to either providing food for their family or producing an income. Whichever way it occurs, there is a growing concern about parents and guardians that propose the idea of hunting to those younger than 18 years of age.

    In America, which is the largest continent of gun owners, it seems obvious that the youth will get involved in some kind of recreation involving guns. Many will argue that presenting the option of hunting to a child is wrong, that one is encouraging them into a world of violence. However, there are very strong opinions that hunting is a controlled sport, where the child learns to respect the firearm as well as the rules applicable to hunting the various animals.

    Let us take this a step further, and break it down into the Pros and Cons around whether hunting is good for youth.

    CON - DANGER

    The potential for accidents is higher when it comes to youth and this applies to any sport or recreational activity. A younger person just doesn’t see the potential danger as clearly as an adult, although many will tell you that there are plenty adults that could be classed as children on their lack of fear factor alone. Having said that, it is a very real concern.

    Danger Hunting

    An accidental gun shot out into the wild could potentially injure an animal and leave them in a suffering capacity, without anyone being the wiser and in turn could also hit a fellow huntsman fatally. The worry that children will hurt themselves is also on the up and up concern list when it comes to youth hunting.

    PRO - DANGER PROTECTION

    Not to minimalize the realism of the danger of hunting with youth, but all the states that have specific youth hunting seasons do this for, not only this danger factor prevention reason, but also to protect the sport in terms of potential poaching and in turn to help the future of the sport.

    Hunting Company Protect

    With very strict rules in place, the youth season allows under 18 year olds to go out with an accompanied non-hunter adult who will be there to monitor and mentor the youth in the specifics and dangers of hunting. The stats do show, as well, that the accidental rates have not increased significantly since youth hunting season has been introduced.

    CON - MATURITY VS AGE

    Many argue that age is one thing, but maturity is another. It does not necessarily mean that because you are of a certain age that you are mature enough to handle hunting. Not only with respect to the fact that you are deliberately allowing a young person to go out with the intention of killing a living animal, but that you are exposing them to the wild and to many other potential dangers. Whether a young person can handle the mental aspect of killing is something under heavy debate. But, we have a flip side to this too.

    PRO - MATURITY VS AGE

    In this wild and somewhat dangerous world we live in, are our youth not exposed to killing all the time anyway? Think about the rampage of killings littering our schools of late. Yes, many will argue that putting a gun into a child’s hands and instructing them to go out and kill an animal, doesn’t help that precarious situation at all.

    Hunting For Food

    Hunting For Food

    We agree, but that is why the process of introducing hunting to a youth needs to be dealt with carefully. The child must be taught the etiquette and reason for the hunt. If you are a family that hunts for food or income, then explain that to your child. If you hunt for pure sport, then another conversation needs to be had, however always the firm rule of safety first is paramount.

    How you communicate this to your child or the youth you are mentoring, is a crucial part of a safe youth hunting pastime.

    PRO - HISTORY

    Passing down years and years of history is important, especially in the American traditional family unit. If your family were descendants from hunters, then you surely would want your children to know all about it. Americans are fiercely proud of their heritage and making sure your kids are aware of where they came from and what their ancestors got up to, will be an important part of their birth right.

    PRO - RESPECT

    When it comes to training a youth in the art of hunting, especially and in particular bow-hunting, there is a huge drive towards educating them on learning to respect nature, the rules of the state regarding hunting, the ethics involved as well as being responsible for your own actions. Bow hunting has become a real skilled sport and kids are taken regularly to shooting ranges to perfect their aim.

    Bow teach for youth

    With all the movies nowadays where there is an archer involved, such as The Archer from Marvel Comics or even Legolas from Lord of the Rings, many a child wishes they could be as good with a bow and arrow as they are. Teaching them respect first then skill is what should be done before the sport is engaged.

    CON - TROPHY HUNTING

    Trophy Hunting

    Trophy Hunting

    It is important to make it clear to the youth that hunting should not be geared towards trophy collecting, i.e. To see how many animals or fowl one can kill in order to have this as a boasting right. Sticking to the rules of each state regarding how many and when to hunt is paramount for a safe and sound youth hunting pastime.

    At the end of the day, you should be weighing up all these options before you introduce youth hunting to your child, children or the child you look after.

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