There are various reasons why we hunt – it may be to spend quality time with family and friends, to provide meat for the family, to spend time with the nature or to educate our kids on the wonders of nature. Additionally, hunting is an activity that is easily passed down from one generation to the next. Most hunters we have today learned the ropes from the older member of their families and will like to pass the same to their kids.
Time shared in the wood is always fun and educative for both the adults and the kids. Apart from the fun involved, it is a great way to encourage family bonding and also make memories that your kids will cherish forever. One of the best ways to share this outdoor experience is to construct or purchase a deer stand for family hunting activities so that even the young children can participate in deer hunts.
Hunting with the kids in a deer stand is an ideal way to educate and enjoy the outdoors with your kids while keeping them safe. However, some special consideration must be made when preparing and when hunting with your kids so that they can enjoy the activities. Urbanization is really taking kids away from any kind of convenient hunting opportunity; this is why you must ensure that their first experience is fun and unforgettable so that they can pick interest in hunting with you.
Below, we have suggested some tips to help you make the hunting fun for kids in the deer stand. Note that the important thing is to be creative when preparing for deer hunting so that the experience will be the one that they will not forget in a hurry:
Follow the steps below to keep kids entertained in the deer stand:
- Schedule the Deer Hunt Early
Kids have intense schedules these days. It is important that the hunting does not stop them from other activities they are looking forward to; otherwise they will be skulking right from the start. You will need to look at the family’s autumn calendar as early as possible and choose the weekends you want for your deer hunting. Let the kids know about your plan early so that they can look forward to it with excitement.
- Generate Serious Excitement
Anticipation is half of the adventure especially for the young and new hunters. Let them know about the first time you experienced deer hunting and how exciting it was for you. Keep on ordering the items you need one day at a time to keep them excited and anxious. Get them involved in the planning and preparation; this will help put them in the mood before the actual day.
- Make the Deer Stand Perfect For Kids
When making the deer stand, you must make special considerations for the young ones. Children tend to have tough time sitting still for long periods of time. They may need to go the bathroom much more often than adults and they have short attention span. You will need to make modifications in your existing or new deer stand to help counteract some of these issues and ensure the whole family especially the kids have fun experiencing hunting deer.
- Add Bench Seating and Heating to Your Deer Stand
Adding bench seating and heating will ensure that the kids are comfortable inside the stand. The best and easiest way to provide seating in the stand is by building a bench along the back wall using 2×4’s. You can as well add stadium seat cushions for some extra comfort. Additionally, to keep the kids comfortable during cold morning hunts, you will need to add a small propane heater to the stand.
- Come along with Food
Most kids are quite concerned with their stomachs. You can feed them early before going to the early morning hunts but you still need to go along with decent food. Foods in this case are not candy but something like sandwiches, granola bars, crispy bars or wholesome cookies. Additionally, you can go along with fruits since you are out to experience nature, you might as well eat foods that are purely natural.
- Allow Distractions
Admittedly, it is important that you keep still while in deer stand so that deer won’t spot you and run away. However, you will need to allow the young ones to be distracted once in a while. Don’t push them to focus too much, else it will seem like a chore to them. Allow the kids to come along with distractions such as books, puzzles or handheld device such as gaming devices. Just because the children aren’t staring a hole into the woods every minute of the hunt doesn’t mean they are not enjoying the whole experience.
- Know When to Take a Break
Like we said above, kids have short attention span; their interest easily wanes and in most cases, they are not as intent as their adult counterparts are on killing a deer. Keep an eye on their attitude, mood and interest level. If you suspect that these factors are getting low, it may be time to take a break.
- Coach the Shot
Teach the kids how to take their first shot at a deer. Gently direct him on how to take his shot opportunity. Stay positive, encourage him to aim properly, take away the worry and play it low key. Don’t expect them to shoot like you do or even to take up their gun without being noticed. When the aim seems alright, tell him words like “Go ahead, whenever you are ready”….. and allow him to take it from there.
- Celebrate Every Shot and Enjoy the Moment
Whether he missed or got the deer, ensure you celebrate every shot; this will fill him with positive vibe. Additionally, celebrate more than killing a deer; listen to the goldfinches, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals and other birds that call. Identify the name of other wildlife and educate the kids on their unique behaviors. You can count those sightings as part of the reasons for hunting in the first place.
- Praise and Reward Every Shot
Remember to reward every shot he got right with promise of buying him something new when you get home; this will get him excited and of course look forward to the next deer hunting trip.
Going on deer hunting trip with kids can be very rewarding. The best experiences mostly occur when the kids feel entertained and happy. If you enjoy deer hunting with your kids and you will like to bring them along on your next trip, consider using some of these tips mentioned above to organize a fun and entertaining deer hunting for everyone.