Preparing Your Child For Their First Deer Hunt

Alyssa Murray

A person's first hunt can be anything from a necessity of life to a rite of passage. With so much weight given to it, a parent should take all possible steps to ensure their child is as prepared as possible. With so much to think about, it's important that you recognize all you need to do to get your child ready.

Keep Them Safe

More than anything else, make sure you've instilled the need for safety in your child. Not only will you be handling firearms and live ammunition, you'll be out in the woods away from civilization. Teach them the finer points of gun safety first, but make sure they have proper respect for that weapon as well as awareness of their surroundings.

Before your child ever takes aim at a game animal, make sure they know how to operate the rifle they'll be using. Find a local shooting range, and let them run rounds through the gun until they're comfortable with the action, the recoil and the process of loading the weapon. This will help to prevent panic in the event of a misfire, and instill the importance of keeping the barrel pointed away from anything they don't intend to shoot.

Keep it Legal

Double check your state regulations on hunting, especially during deer season when many hunters will be out in many prime locations. Game wardens are usually on high alert during prime hunting seasons, so make sure any licensing, tags and permits are on hand when you go out. The last thing you want is to have your child's first hunt spoiled by a large fine and the confiscation of your game or rifles, so make sure you're abiding by all rules and regulations on hunting.

Set Yourselves Up for Success

Hiring a whitetail deer hunting guide, especially if you've never hunted a particular location before, can greatly improve your odds of finding and taking home a respectable deer. Most professional guides either grew up in the region where they work or have spent a good portion of their lives there. They'll be able to direct you to the best locations, and may have already set up bait stations to help improve your chances.

More than all the rest, make sure your child is aware that they'll be taking a life and feeding your family if the hunt is successful. It may only be a deer, but it's still a powerful act and they should have respect for that and not treat it like a game.