Elk NetworkWhy We Need to Teach Children to Hunt

General | September 21, 2017

Below is an article by Dr. John Huber that appeared in the Outdoor Wire.

The outdoor industry advocates for outreach, especially to the next generation. We all take it as accepted wisdom that teaching outdoor skills is beneficial, but that’s not a concept easily accepted by some. If you’ve never experienced a sunrise from a blind or watched the sun sink under the horizon while you’re working to get in just one more good cast, it’s something hard to imagine.

In fact, many of us have a hard time actually verbalizing why teaching outdoor skills- especially hunting- are beneficial. To that end, Clinical Forensic Psychologist Dr. John Huber’s more than willing to offer six reasons why it’s beneficial to teach children to hunt.

Gun Safety
Knowing how to safely shoot and handle firearms is an essential skill for people to learn.  By teaching your children to hunt, you’ll be teaching them skills that will teach them to respect guns, not fear them.

Gaining Confidence
Learning about wild game their patterns and habits (natural science), taking that knowledge applying it, adding shooting skills and patience, all the things that must come together to get that first buck.  That amount of empowerment and accomplishment is not easily duplicated.  Teaching life skills about preparation, hard work and determination.

Hunting teaches respect for laws as they gain knowledge about game and land management. Establishing a strong character to make a good citizen. I will never forget watching my 11-year old daughter watching a beautiful 14-point buck walk within 40 feet of her as she watched that buck through her night scope.  Listening to her ask if she could take the shot then watching her just focus on that animal as it walked away.  It was still before first light and I told her that she had to wait.  She watched as it finally disappeared into the brush some 350 yards away, still too early to shoot.  Teaching etiquette and sportsmanship can pay big dividends later in life.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle
Getting outdoors, away from the internet, hiking through the woods in 20 degree weather with frost on the ground hours before daylight is not for the faint of heart.  Experience that will teach our children they can overcome many obstacles in life.  It definitely gives a reason to get off the couch if you know that in a few months you will be on the game trail.

Parent-Child Bonding
The bonding experience between a parent and their child as the take on a task that few in modern times will learn. The attachment and mutual respect that can only come from an experience such as hunting. Creating memories and traditions that will shared and explored for generations.

Teaching Conservation Hands-On
Understanding the circle of life, how nature works without a text book.  There is nothing like watching a fawn and its mother in an open field looking out for predators then watching that fawn grow year after year grow and develop eventually having offspring of its own.