Table of Contents
1. Dress the Part – Editor’s Pick
One of the first things you should consider with someone new to hunting is that they will get into it more if they dress the part.It doesn’t have to be extravagant either. Something as simple as a camo hoodie can be a good start. It’s also a good time to explain why there are different camo patterns and how that fits into different firms of hunting. When my wife started hunting with me, we went shopping beforehand so she could get the right cloths she wanted that fit right. It may seem a little silly, but it really is important.
Pros/Makes them feel like they are starting out right
Cons/None – Camo is never a bad thing
Bottom Line/Have your newbie dress the part right from the start. It makes a difference. Trust me.
3. Scouting is part of the deal
Scouting is a really important part of hunting and something you need to have your new apprentice take to heart. I have almost as much fun scouting as I do hunting. One of the absolute best tools I have is a trail camera, and the new cellular ones are the best. To get my kids excited about hunting, I set up a camera so it reports to their phones. I cannot tell you how many times already one of them, or both, have come running to say I needed to check out a picture. It’s so much fun and really builds excitement.
Pros/SpyPoint cellular cameras are the best for the money – I’m getting pictures as I write this!
Cons/None – Buy a bunch
Bottom Line/A cellular camera is a great tool to keep someone’s interest in hunting, nature and conservation
4. Stay right next to them
Part of being a mentor is guiding your mentee through the process. I remember teaching my wife how to goose hunt. I sat next to her and guided her through the process, even helping her point the shotgun at the geese. It was a cool experience and one that brought us closer together. I did the same with my son just a couple seasons ago, and I’m taking someone new this weekend! Be right with whomever you’re taking. It will be extremely helpful for them, and richly rewarding for you. Two-person ladder stands are a great tool for helping someone learn to hunt right. Just make sure you’re using the right safety precautions. Always wear a safety harness!
Pros/A great way to mentor and experience the thrill of the hunt
Cons/Just be safe!
Bottom Line/I have spent many days in a two-person stand with some one who is learning the ins and outs of hunting. It is a perfect tool for that.
5. The right equipment
Getting new people started on decent equipment is a must. A cheap fishing rod that breaks right away is going to be a huge setback. Get something decent, like an Ugly Stik combo, to start with These are super tough rods mated to a good quality reel. The kid I’m mentoring now was in shock when I took him to the store and bought him the exact combo. He wasn’t expecting it, saying that $50 was too much. I told him I was investing in his future and to enjoy every minute of using it. We all have to learn to enjoy it and pass it on.
Pros/Great rod and reel combo that will last
Cons/None – It’s a great buy
Bottom Line/Start a person off with better equipment than the cheapest option. It pays off in the end, believe me!
Tips for the new hunter
As we take a new hunter under our wing, we need to be careful with our advice. Teach them right, so they don’t make as bad of mistakes. We want them to enjoy it and embrace it as part of who they are and who we are as hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Patience is a virtue. You have to understand that every hunt will not result in a kill, or even in seeing game.
- Safety comes before all else. Everyone comes home healthy.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This goes hand in hand with safety, and also to your success afield
- Enjoy the moment. Listen to the wind floating through the trees, the birds chirping, the leaves rustling – It is all amazing
- Realize that every moment is a learning opportunity. I still remind myself of this point every time I’m in the woods. You never really know what can happen
- Focus on your experience. DOn’t worry about other’s success. Like my buddy Michael Waddell says, “Hunt how you want and just enjoy every moment of it.”
Notice not one of these tips says anything about killing an animal or even seeing anything. You’re going to have far more unsuccessful hunts than not. I hate calling a hunt where you don’t see anything “unsuccessful.” To be honest, I consider every hunting or fishing trip I come home from as successful. Whether I bring home game, fish or fowl is completely beside the point. The point is to go and enjoy it.
Fishing is a great pastime and a way to put some truly tasty stuff on your dinner plate. If you have the opportunity to share the fishing tradition with someone new, there are somethings to keep in mind.
- Success is only to be measured in actually going. Enjoy the moment!
- It’s called fishing, not catching. You may not catch anything, but that’s ok
- Don’t over complicate things. Start off with simple tackle and choose a fishing pole appropriate for the person. My advice is to avoid the baitcaster for now. 🙂
- If you catch something and want to keep it, show your novice how to clean fish. This is a part of the process, too
- Patience is key!
- Have fun!
What do I need to go hunting or fishing the first time?
I would suggest, first of all, to ask whomever is taking you for the first time. If you’re venturing out on your own, a good option is to start at your local office for fish & game, or whatever it may be called where you live. You’ll get good advice and will also be able to learn all of the local regulations so you don’t violate any laws. That’s really import stuff to learn, too.
I’d like to teach someone about the outdoors, but don’t have anyone I can think of. What can I do?
Volunteering with any local agency or group is a perfect start. One of the best is 4H, and they have programs and are always in need of volunteers. They’d welcome you with open arms.
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