Raising The Next Generation of Hunters
The Hunting industry is currently booming. Many Americans are realizing that the finest organic meat in the world roams in the wild. In the year 2020 more than 3 million American’s who have never purchased a hunting license bought their very first one. This is incredible news for the hunting industry and our future generation of hunters. As a parent or grandparent you may be wondering how to build an interest in hunting within your own children and grandchildren. This is our journey to build kids who love the outdoors and will respect the sport like we do.
From the time our Krew was 11 months we would throw him in a backpack every chance we had to get him out breathing the fresh air and taking in all Wyoming had to offer. We took him on these little day trips until he was 3 and joined in on his first Antelope hunting trip. My dad made the day a special one by buying him his very first “knife” a wooden toy that made him feel like one of the guys. This trip is one Krew still remembers nearly 9 years later. I am a firm believer that positive experiences early in life can shape a child in ways that will impact them greatly in the future.
We didn’t limit our time outdoors with our boys to hunting season and made sure that we got them out in the winter and summer months as well. One of their favorite winter activities has always been rabbit hunting with some coyote hunting mixed in. Their spring activities include turkey hunting and shed hunting in some of their secret spots. During the summer months we get them in the high country to go horseback riding and fishing as much as time allows. All of these little experiences have led to this moment, the moment Krew will finally have his turn being the hunter rather than the spectator.
This summer he will turn 12 which will make him eligible for big game hunting in Wyoming. This hunting season comes with a cumulation of planning to make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. The first step was finding the right firearm for him to use. After thoughtful consideration we landed on the 6.5 PRC, which ended being his big rite of passage Christmas present. His excitement on Christmas morning was enough to make the anticipation for this fall even more so. Now it is up to him to put in the work to make sure he has a successful fall. He will begin by taking hunter safety this March and spend plenty of time at the range to make sure he is capable of making a clean ethical shot. Come spring he will put in for the Wyoming resident draw. As a family we have had long conversations about what tags he will put in for and decided the focus this year will be on Antelope and deer with a possible cow elk. He has a desire to go black bear hunting so we have agreed this fall he can start his bait with his papa and dad, but he won’t be hunting that bait until next spring or the following fall.
Our hope is that this is an experience that builds a love of hunting in him. One that will show him he is capable of providing for his family, and one that will give him an appreciation of a hard hunt that has an even bigger reward. If we end up successful we will have the bigger reward of raising the next generation of hunters that will pass the love of this sport onto their children and grandchildren.