The biggest thing I’ve learned from hunting with three kids is to make it fun for them. With my first kid, we got in the stand before daylight and sat there until I was ready to go home. Now, I’m on my third kid and I can look at them and can tell if they’re having fun or not. If they’re not having fun, we head home.
It’s not even about killing something for them. There are days we can sit there for four hours and they are content… they’re not bored, and are having a good time. However, there are also days that we’re out there for 45 minutes and they’re tired.
Over time, I’ve learned not to push them to stay out longer than they want to be out there. I want them to enjoy hunting, and enjoy spending time with Dad in the woods. I do what they want to do.
That’s one good thing about me bow hunting – that’s my time! At home, I don’t have any interest in rifle or muzzleloader hunting, so that gives me time to take them and I don’t feel like I’m missing something. Nowadays, I feel like I have to kill a giant and it’s kind of taking the fun away from hunting smaller deer. What has brought that back for me, though, is hunting with my kids. There are days where they will happily shoot a 6-point and days that they’ll pass on 6-points. But they’re like I used to be, where if I’m in the mood to take a smaller deer, I’ll do it.
It’s important to get your kids into hunting and the outdoors, but know when to call it a day, otherwise it will leave a bad taste in their mouth and they won’t enjoy it, or worse, not want to ever do it again.
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