by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
Hunting is often viewed as a solo activity. It requires a lot of time, patience, and even silence if you want to come home with a successful haul. However, it can also be a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to connect and grow closer with their children, spouses, family members, and friends.
Creating a strong connection with your hunting partner, no matter their age, can instill a lifelong love of the sport. More importantly, it will give them memories that last a lifetime.
Whether you’re used to hunting with a partner or not, consider bringing your kids or another loved one along on your next hunt. You might be surprised by how close you can become, even through silent communication.
The Benefits Of Hunting With Your Children
If you’ve preferred solo hunts in the past, it’s important to recognize some of the big benefits of bringing a partner along. Some of the obvious perks include:
- Increased safety;
- A second pair of eyes;
- Boosted connections and closer relationships.
When it comes to hunting with your children, however, especially for the first time, there are some extra preparations you should consider.
First, lay down the ground rules. Safety should be your top priority when hunting with a partner, so set your expectations early on and make sure your kids know what they’re getting into. It can help to take them shooting before the big hunt so they’re familiar with guns or bows.
Second, make sure to practice silent communication. You’re not going to be able to hold a normal conversation when you’re in the woods or a field. Practice using hand signals to communicate, so you can use them effectively on your hunt. Chances are, your kids will have a lot of fun learning those things, and they’ll feel like they have their own “secret language” with you.
Third, make sure your child has everything they need to stay safe and comfortable in the outdoors. Ensure that they have warm clothing to wear, waterproof boots, and plenty of food and water.
The biggest benefit of all of this is a closer relationship with your children. You’ll have to take the time to teach them multiple things before, during, and after your hunt. Many of the skills needed are things they can use in other areas of life.
Hunting with your children can also get them outdoors. That’s especially important if your kids tend to be glued to their screens more often than not. You can motivate them to go hunting or get them interested by investing in a VR game for kids that simulates hunting. It can make them feel like they’re experiencing the “real thing,” and you can share that kind of training with them for a while, before taking them outside and letting them experience it for themselves.
How To Build A Better Bond
Hunting benefits your physical and mental health in a variety of ways. The health benefits of nature are a big part of this. Simply being in the great outdoors can boost your immune system, reduce stress levels, and give you more energy. So, you’re already going to feel good when you’re out in the woods or shooting in a field with your children.
However, you can capitalize on those good feelings by focusing on strengthening your connection.
In many ways, it will happen naturally. You’ll have to work together to track the animal you’re looking for, and use your individual skills to make sure you have a successful day.
There’s something indescribable about actually getting a successful kill with your children while on a hunt. It’s something neither of you will forget, and if your kid is the one to hit their target and bring home a prized deer or duck, they will never forget that feeling or the memories of being out there with you. Even if you don’t get an animal, you will always enjoy the memories made hiking out in nature with your child.
Whether you decide to make hunting with your children a yearly tradition or a one-time thing, it’s a fantastic way for you to get closer, teach them new things, and share an experience that will stay with both of you for a lifetime.