After harvesting a wild turkey last spring in our home state of Missouri, my now 7 year old daughter, Hailey, wants to try her hand at deer hunting. This blog series will detail our effort from pre to post-hunt along with a few tips for introducing newcomers to deer hunting.
"How many squirrels can we shoot? “Why is there a squirrel season?” “What do we do if we can’t find one?”
Before Hailey’s first tag-along squirrel hunt with dad was over, she was filled with questions; I was eager to answer them to the best of my ability. A number of them centered on regulations and ethics. As a 5 year old, hunting was completely new.
That first squirrel hunt two years ago has contributed to Hailey wanting to deer hunt this fall, it also started building her foundation for hunting laws and ethics.
Mentoring a first time youth hunter this fall on a deer hunt? From a regulations and ethics standpoint, here are a few items to consider:
• Before the hunt you should spend time to ensure you both have a solid understanding of the regulations related to the specific species you plan to hunt. Here are items to keep in mind:
a. Many state fish and wildlife agencies supply hunting regulation or wildlife code booklets; these are excellent resources and should be reviewed before the hunt. Consider packing them on the hunt as well for reference material.
b. Ensure you have the proper permits and explain to your budding hunter why permits are required and important.
c. Know the legal shooting times.
d. Understand legal methods (firearms, archery equipment, etc).
e. Know how many deer you are allowed to harvest and if there are any restrictions (number of points, buck or doe, etc).
f. Understand the tagging process.
• Hunting ethics can be discussed before the hunt as well, however, decisions during the hunt often make for excellent ethical discussions. Here are some examples:
a. Should you take a shot at a deer that is beyond your personal effective range?
b. Why does deer season occur during the fall?
c. Should you take a shot at a deer facing towards you?
d. Why is there a limit on the number of deer each person can shoot?
It is our responsibility as hunters to know game laws, regulations, and also follow our own ethical code. Doing so will result in future generations having the opportunity to enjoy hunting as well.