Shooting Safely – 3 ways to help your young hunter with their shot
Shooting sports are becoming ever more popular for kids. For some of these youngsters that are more adventuresome or “outdoorsy,” their next step may be entering the world of hunting. Introducing a young shooter to hunting can be a thrill for everyone. Let’s hope the excitement is in the chase, and not in mishappen events.
Thankfully, most parents want to always keep their children from harm so they teach, and reinforce safety rules. With hunter education, laws, and good training, hunting has become an activity that is safer than skiing.
Tagging along is a great way to learn, but the next step is to become a hunter themselves; So, let’s get started by making sure that youngster passes a hunter education course (consider sitting through the class as a refresher and for moral support). Then, practice before they take to the field.
Below, you’ll find three basic tips to help them (and you) make better shots.
Before you head out on the hunt…
- Attach a sling to your young hunter’s rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader. You can teach him/her to use the sling for support when you’re teaching shooting positions. You can also teach them to safely carry their firearm while they hike.
2. Bring shooting sticks as a secondary tool to use in steadying their shot. It is a good thing to teach a child to shoot in a kneeling or prone position, but there are times when nature will afford a better rest. Stumps, logs and large rocks may come in handy. Don’t forget to teach them to use what’s available. In the event there aren’t any of those welcomed items, shooting sticks, as you know, come in handy.
3. Teach them how to use their optics. It may seem like common sense to look through a scope, put the crosshairs on the mark, and pull the trigger. What some new hunters forget is to look beyond the target and see what else is near the target. Teach the youngster to look at their target with both eyes before they close one eye to look through the scope and line up the crosshairs.
A bonus tip is to attach a suppressor or muzzle brake, but we’ll get into that later.
These 3 simple items will help a new hunter immensely. Sometimes when you’ve got a youngster tagging along on a hunt, being safe may involve mom or dad becoming the Sherpa. Another thing that YOU may want to do is be prepared to carry said items when the youngster gets tired. Be safe, and Happy Hunting!
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