Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Youth Who Hunt and Shoot Can Positively Influence Peers
A new research project commissioned by the Hunting Heritage Trust and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) found that “the more familiar youth are with individuals their own age who hunt and target shoot, the more likely they will be to support and participate in these activities.”
Parents know that the activities we choose for our children and support them in doing affect their development. And, of course, we should be aware of who our children are hanging with after school. So, it makes perfect sense that not only should we be role models for our children and their friends, but we ought to be training our children to be role models for their friends, too. Participation in safe and ethical shooting and hunting bolsters relationships and forms lifelong skills.
Said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF's director of industry research and analysis, "This study shows us that today's youth that hunt and target shoot are important role models to other youth that have yet to participate in these activities. What they say about hunting and shooting and how they conduct themselves reflect on those activities and can have an effect on whether their peers will participate in them."
This is sweet music to our ears and gives us inspiration to reach out of our own familial circle when hunting or shooting and ask the neighbor kids’ parents if it’s all right to invite them, too. And while you’re at it, invite the parents, too. In fact, the NSSF offers invitations that you can make online to "invite somebody shooting."
What hunting or shooting activity do you recommend for children and their friends? What have you done to support this type of education?