Tips on Teaching Your Child How to Hunt Game Safely
Hunting is an outdoor sport that has been passed on from parent to child for hundreds of years. While every hunter has his own style of hunting, what type of animal he hunts, and hunting preferences, there are a few set safety standards that every parent hunter needs to pass on to the child. Safety is always the priority when teaching the child the ins and outs of hunting. There are thousands of hunting accidents every year, many which might have been avoided if proper safety protocols were taken.
One such lesson is that of when to load and unload the weapon. It is important that a child learns that one should never load the gun prior to entering the woods. At the same time, the gun should be unloaded just before exiting the woods. All too often a weapon is brought home loaded and forgotten about, leading to the potential for serious injuries or even fatalities.
Once the gun is loaded, it is important that the safety is on. The safety must be on until the prey is spotted. Even with the safety on, parents need to make sure that the kids do not have their fingers on the trigger while walking through the woods. Sometimes the safety can accidentally be turned off. When this happens, a child will often unconsciously put pressure on the trigger resulting in accidental firing of the gun.
Then, of course, there is the aspect of being careful where the child points the weapon. One of the first lessons should be that the child always goes to great lengths to make sure the gun is pointed either at the ground or at the sky. The gun should never be leveled unless there is a target within sight.
Beyond the weapon, there are other safety issues that should be approached, such as footing. Hunters should teach their kids that, though they are sneaking through the woods and forests, they need to always make sure that their footing is solid, even if that requires spooking potential prey. Something as simple as tripping and falling can be dangerous, particularly if you are carrying a loaded weapon.
Another important safety lesson is that of knowing where your hunting partner is. A child needs to know that it’s important to always be aware of where other hunters are. Tell your child that if he does not know where his hunting partner is, or cannot see him even if he does think he knows his general location, that no shot should be taken. Many of the accidents reported by hunters are those where one hunter accidentally shoots another.
This leads us to our next lesson, visual surety of your prey. Your child should never take a shot at an animal that he cannot see clearly. If a shot is taken at what appears to be an animal behind a bush, the hunter might just find that he actually shot another hunter that he did not know was present. Children should be aware that they aren’t the only hunters in the woods.
Teaching your child the proper safety protocols for hunting is the most important step in creating the hunters of tomorrow. Taking time to teach these few lessons not only educates them, but may someday save a life.