Is It Time...
When do you hand the gun over to youth? It’s something that plays out in my mind constantly. However, I’ve come up with a sure-fire way to know when your kid is ready to take their first big game animal.
Let’s get something out of the way. I’m not addressing when to take them out. My oldest boy has been walking in my footsteps since he was four. We’d go out scouting, hiking and hunting—the basics. While in the stand, we’d talk about why we hunt, and after harvest we’d come full circle and take a hands-on approach to processing and consumption.
So, how do you know if they’re ready? It’s in their eyes and in the way they understand the hunt, and you’re the only one who knows those things. No test of manhood or bravery exists, but you know the look and have the understanding on how they process information. You decide. No one else!
One of the most important lessons isn’t about the hunt. It’s about the entire process from the work we put in, to the meals on the table.
My boy understands and loves the experience, but I’ve never felt he was ready to pull the trigger. Now, I’ve known kids who have been shooting deer since they were five. Way to go! However, my boy just wasn’t ready. That’s where I think the solution lies. Every kid differs in attitude and pace. Nobody on this planet knows your kid like you! Whatever you do, don’t rush it.
Get them out enough, and they’ll be ready to knock over big game in no time. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma, but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter, and knows his way around a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.