This question, asked on this site earlier last week, has required some thought. Traditionally, relatives have taken youngsters under their wing by ‘showing them the ropes’ and taking them on hunts and fishing expeditions.
With single parent homes, this tradition has fallen away. Fewer than 3% of hunters and anglers are now under 17 years of age. (For more info on this, see my earlier articles: Where Have All the Hunters Gone? parts 1 & 2, and Why Should You Get Your Kids Interested in Hunting?
A Generation of Non-Hunters & Anglers
I’m surprised to read how many people are trying to get started hunting and/or fishing. This is a wonderful sign, but it must be difficult for newcomers. How does an adult experience something he/she didn’t learn earlier?
Here’s the list, then I’ll explain.
Find a mentor/friend.
Would-be hunters need to take a Hunter Education class.
For anglers, take Boater Education class. (or like-named course)
Get proper license(s).
Start target practice, sighting in gun, with help of friend or mentor.
Go on a fishing or hunting trip (or 2 or 3) with mentor/friend (possibly using his/her extra equipment).
Now, go purchase gun and/or fishing equipment.
Finding a mentor will simplify the task greatly. You’ve probably heard hunters and anglers talking about their latest trip. Take someone you feel friendly toward aside and ask if you might join him/her.
Contact your state “parks and wildlife” department for info about hunter and/or boater education classes. These courses discuss archery, as well as conventional firearms.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Internet site is: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us and their telephone # is: 800-792-1112. They can direct you to info about your state.
Bear in mind, even learners must have a license to fish or hunt. Most sporting stores, gun shops and Wal-Mart have the annual issued by your state on this year’s hunting and fishing regulations.
Pick up a copy and read it carefully. Ignorance to the law isn’t considered a valid excuse for breaking a game law. A ticket can really dim your enjoyment of the sport!
Archery, Guns, Equipment
Most sporting newbies want to hit the gun shops first. However, you lack the skill or experience to make a great choice. By borrowing or renting equipment, you have an opportunity to ‘test drive’ before you buy.
In my experience, hunters & anglers are a very generous group. Just letting others know you are interested is enough to get you started – in most instances.
But remember, once you are an experienced hunter/angler, share your knowledge with others! I’ll bet there’s a youngster in your family who would love to join you! Pass it on!
Did I leave something out? Share your knowledge with others! Leave a comment!
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com