The popularity of the Hunger Games movies made it easier than ever to get kids started in archery. Take advantage of their enthusiasm and introduce your children to bow hunting and archery from a very young age. Doing so now will allow them to develop a hobby that you’ll be able to share with them for a lifetime. To get kids started in archery, follow the five S’s.
As with any sport or outdoor activity, teaching proper safety techniques is essential. You’ll want to cover the basics, like only aiming at a target you intend to shoot, never fire a bow without an adult present, and show them the correct way to hold their bow. It’s important that you point out safety issues as they arise naturally in your instruction, rather than overloading the child with all of the information at the start. If you make shooting a bow feel like a chore, it’s almost impossible to get kids started in archery.
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Though your children may not be ready to enjoy hunting at 5 or 7, it’s an ideal time to introduce them to archery. You want to start them early so they have time to develop their skills before they start hunting. Modern bows for children are designed to grow as they do, so you no longer have to worry about replacing a bow as often as you replace their shoes.
The fun part of bow hunting and archery is actually firing the bow, so get your kids to the range as often as you can. Don’t worry about whether or not they can hit the target; accuracy will come with time. Let your children experience the thrill of the shot, and see how your instructions improve their abilities. This will cultivate their existing enthusiasm and make it easier to teach them as you move forward. Before you start teaching your kids about bow hunting, make sure you have the free time to invest in their development. If going to the range is something that you can only do once or twice a year, your child will lose interest quickly, and it will be difficult to reignite their enthusiasm.
The prospect of spending a weekend in a blind without seeing any game isn’t appealing to most kids. They want something fast paced and exciting to keep their attention. Fortunately, small game hunting gives them that excitement. Squirrels and turkeys are fun to hunt at a much earlier age than big game, and bow fishing is a great alternative to sitting still in a blind. After a few months at the range, your child will be ready to spend an afternoon in the woods on their very first hunt.
Did you know there are specific youth archery seasons? Click here to learn more.
For adults, accessories improve the quality of the hunt, and help them bring home more game. For children, those same accessories can be overwhelming. When you get kids started in archery, you want to minimize distractions that would alter their shot. A simple pin sight is enough to teach your child the basics of aiming their bow, while a whisker rest streamlines the shooting process to “load, aim, shoot”. Over time you can introduce additional accessories to address their specific needs.
When you combine the five S’s with your passion for the sport and an investment of time, it’s easy to get kids started in archery.