June 22, 2009
On the Right Track
By Scott Bestul
Hunters who parent young kids (and I am one) are always seeking ways to get their offspring interested in the outdoors. It is an interesting tight-rope to walk: You want to provide opportunity and encouragement, but not push or force-feed it to them. Some kids are seemingly born with a coonskin cap on their heads (and the accompanying instincts and drive that make a great hunter), others, well…they need smaller, well-spaced doses. It is our responsibility to be sensitive enough to know when our kids are ripe for such experiences, and when they just need to play with a ball in the yard.
One way to get kids interested in hunting is to take them on a blood trail. I have a friend who makes every recovery of a bow-shot whitetail a family event. Even when he sees the deer go down he leaves it in the woods, drives home to assemble the family, and everyone participates in finding the deer. This has all necessary elements of a cool outdoor experience; camaraderie, mystery, observation, recovery, and respect. Jeff starts his kids on blood trails at a very young age, and they have all developed into fine hunters.
Click here to check out a great video that shows such an experience (though not filmed by my friend). If you watch it until the end, I promise you'll laugh uncontrolably. This young lad gets to see it all…and the clip highlights the beauty of sharing the outdoors with a son or daughter. Enjoy!