| Share or Bookmark:
Make the introduction:
Take someone small game hunting
By Doug Burt, public information officer,
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Do you remember when you first went hunting? I think most of us do.
Do you remember who took you? Absolutely, it is a life-long lasting impression.
Introducing someone new to hunting and the outdoors is a rewarding and worthwhile effort. Additionally, many recent studies show that natural outdoor activities improve health, fitness, attention span and focus, and teach a respect for natural resources and our environment.
Wildlife habitat, publicly accessible open spaces, and interest in hunting continue to decline due to increased urbanization and a growing technology-dependent population.
But there’s hope. At nearly 12.5 million strong nationally, hunters have the ability to control their future. If every sportsman were to introduce just one new person a year, hunters’ voices will be heard into the future.
Sometimes, making that introduction is as simple as asking children, family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers if they would like to tag along. Starting with the basics, just like we all did, is a great place to begin:
- Camping trips and family outings. These are ideal opportunities for kids and outdoor recreation newcomers to see, touch and experience the outdoors.
- Wildlife watching and identification. This can be fun for all ages, whether visiting wildlife refuges, parks, ponds, the desert, or just about anywhere.
- Hiking or geocaching. Exploring the outdoors with technology is a great activity for tech-dependent kids and their parents.
- Teach them to shoot. BB guns, .22’s, shotguns and archery offer a great way to teach marksmanship and safety; shooting ranges and youth programs are available to introduce newcomers in a controlled, teachable situation.
- Hunter education. Suggesting a hunter education course is a great way to have experienced, knowledgeable instructors teach a newcomer. Courses are available online, too.
After covering some of the basics, the next step is to get out hunting. Small game hunting offers a superb entry-level opportunity. Equipment needs are simple, and equipment is easy to borrow or obtain. Seasons are long, bag limits are generous, and small game species make excellent table fare.
Many seasoned sportsmen have cut their teeth on hunting squirrel, rabbit, dove, quail, pheasant and even ducks.
There is nothing better than to see the smile on a young or new hunter’s face when they hit their first game bird on the wing or carry a cleanly harvested squirrel or rabbit. It is a life-long lasting impression for them and you!
For more information on programs that help introduce people to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation, visit these Web sites: