In the Wild with Greg Wagner

HUNTING WITH YOUR KIDS by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
September 21, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: Hunting | Tags: , ,
One of the most rewarding experiences for me has been making time to take my own kids out hunting. I have worked hard to pass along that great Nebraska hunting heritage and to instill in them an interest in hunting with an appreciation for nature. Consequently, today all of them enjoy various hunts here in the Cornhusker State. Having four kids ages 21, 17, 15 and 12, I know what it is like to usher in, nurture and train young hunters. I speak from experience – the best teacher! To the right is my young, 12-year old Son Noah with his first deer shot in the 2008 Nebraska Firearm Deer Hunting Season.   

 With that stated, here are my Top Ten Tips for taking kids hunting, with an emphasis on the gateway species of deer and turkey. Remember to be patient, not make hunting a competitive thing, accent the positives and double-check requirements for youth hunting before you take to the countryside.  

 1. Involve the kids in the entire process. It is important for young hunters to understand the hunt from beginning to end, from pre-season scouting to cooking their game.

 2. The right clothing. Young hunters need to be comfortable at all times in the field and the appropriate clothing for the weather is critical. Layering is best!

 3. Leave your own firearm or bow at home. Concentrate on the kids and the safe handling of his or her firearm or bow that they’ve been shooting. YOU can hunt another day!

 4. Kids & Landowners.  I always make it a point to have my kids visit with landowners.  I’ve even gone as far as to arrange to have my kids go up and ask landowners for permission to hunt!

 5. Teach & Preach Conservation. Make certain your kids understand why you’re planning to hunt in a certain location and point out the importance of good habitat. We are here to hunt _______ because of these key habitat components: ___________.  

 6. Wildlife Lessons. Kids need to comprehend the connections in nature as well as the role that nongame wildlife species play. One thing that my kids and I have always done is to enjoy a fun game of wildlife identification when our quarry isn’t moving. Whether it is trees or songbirds, we assign points for what’s positively identified with our small field guide books kept in our packs.     

 7. Bring the Binocs. Oh yeah, one particular piece of equipment that helps keep kids focused and occupied  while hunting is the use of binoculars.     

8. Pack the Snacks. I cannot stress to you how crucial it is to pack some snacks (and quieter ones at that). I’d recommend bringing a couple sandwiches, a few soft batch cookies or granola bars along with a couple bottles of water.

 9. Ground Blinds. Forgiving on movement, protection from inclement weather and having that fortress-like feel, kids love and appreciate being in portable, camouflage ground blinds while hunting.   

 10. Keep the session short. If your kids have whined about not being in the field for a very long time, you’ve done your job! Keep ‘em hungry to come back for more! Happy hunting!


6 Comments so far
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Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

Comment by Tnelson

Thanks very much! Do check back on a regular basis because a variety of outdoor subject matter will be coming your way!

“Wags — Greg Wagner

Comment by Daryl Bauer

This is probably one of my favorite photos as well as the fantastic rewarding experience of
learning how to hunt. Father and son relationships are so important. By the way I
was the first to see Noah and his Awesome deer.
I know I will get to see this again soooon.
Yes, it touched my heart and Always will.
Keep up the great accomplishments.

Comment by Mother

A nice buck off Grandma’s farm! A delicious breakfast, wonderful conversation and stories of the hunt afterward at Grandma Wagner’s place — priceless!

“Wags” — Greg Wagner

Comment by Daryl Bauer

I often think about the same thing while I am hunting. In fact my son is still to hesitant to pull the trigger so he just watches from his binoculars

Comment by Bobby

There’s no question that it’s all about the experience, enjoying nature and having great conservations with your youngster in the family. Bagging game is purely a bonus!

Comment by Greg Wagner

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