Teaching a child to hunt with a bow and arrow starts with learning about hunter safety and hunting regulations. All U.S. states require hunters to have a license. Although most children under the age of 16 do not require licenses, they may be required to complete a hunter safety course before they are allowed to hunt. Hunter safety education is offered for free or for a nominal fee by your state's Game and Fish Commission or Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Items you will need
- Hunting targets
- Binoculars or spotting scope
- Arrow puller
- Broadhead arrow tips
- Broadhead wrench
Choose a compound bow that is the correct size for your child. Sight in the bow using targets placed at 10, 20 and 30 feet.
Explain to your child that the broadhead tips used for hunting are expensive and extremely sharp. They can cause injury if handled improperly. Demonstrate to your child the correct way to attach a broadhead tip to the arrow shaft.
Have your child practice hitting a hunting target. Use target tips until the child is able to hit the vital organ area consistently. Start with a target 10 feet away and continue until he or she can accurately hit a target at 10, 20 and 30 feet out.
Understand how to read a topographical map and know how to use a compass. Teach your child these skills before you go out to hunt. This will enable you to find your hunting locations easily, and it will prevent you from getting lost in a wilderness area.
Take your child to select a hunting area. Have several areas selected in case you cannot access your first choice. Make sure that you have all of the proper hunting permits for you and your child. You must get written permission from the property owner if you plan to hunt on private property.
If you plan to hunt from a tree stand, make sure that your child wears a properly fitting safety harness and that the tree stand meets current safety standards. Teach your child the correct way to enter and exit the tree stand. Demonstrate how to safely lift the bow up into the stand and how to safely lower the bow to the ground.
Tips & Warnings
- If you cannot safely shoot a compound bow in your backyard, find an indoor archery range to practice shooting.
- Hunting big game well takes years of practice. Start your hunting adventures with smaller game, like turkey and deer.
- Using an arrow puller will make removing arrows from practice targets much easier.
- Compound bows and compound recurve bows are used for hunting. Do not attempt to use a bow designed for target use for hunting; it does not have the power to deliver a fatal shot to an animal.
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