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Is there a species more exciting to hunt than an ol’ loudmouth gobbler? (Hint: No. There isn’t.)

Harvesting a spring long beard is a thrilling experience and one worthy of passing along to the next generation. It’s also a great way to bond with the young ones in your family and create memories with them that will last a lifetime, not to mention carrying on this tradition ensures the survival and viability of the sport of turkey hunting for years to come.

Here are five helpful tips for passing on turkey hunting to the next generation.

1) Teach Successful Scouting

Scouting before your hunt ensures your young partner will actually see and hear turkeys. Spending hours in the turkey woods without seeing or hearing turkeys can lead to frustration, boredom and discouragement if you’re not used to the hunt. Scouting ensures a more enjoyable and engaging experience for your young hunter.

2) Choose Their Weapon Wisely

Giving a young hunter a gun that is too big and doesn’t fit properly is one of the biggest mistakes we can make when introducing a kid to the sport of hunting. A gun that doesn’t fit or kicks too hard can make the experience uncomfortable or downright painful. Once you let a kid get kicked too hard, it won’t take long before they are scared to shoot the gun, or they will develop bad flinching habits as they try to anticipate the recoil of their gun. By matching the size and gauge of the gun to the size and age of the kid, you will create a more fun and educational experience.

3) Practice for Success And Safety

One of the most crucial parts of any young person’s hunting success is their ability to use their gun safely and proficiently. Spend time with your kid at the range before you head to the woods. Missing out on harvesting a wild turkey because of poor shots can quickly discourage your young hunter. Practice, practice and more practice is key!

4) Setup for Success

When setting up and choosing your hunting position with your kid partner for the first few times, it is critical to remember they are not as experienced as you. Do your best to put young hunters in positions to have close and clear shots. Decoys can make this situation much better, since using decoys allows you to set them up closer. Decoys also distract the turkey, turning the turkey’s attention on the decoys. This allows young hunters to get away with a little extra movement as they learn to master the sport of turkey hunting. Always do your best to give a young person a setup that helps guarantee success.

5) Make it Fun

Make having a fun experience your primary goal with your young hunter. Be aware of how long you sit in one spot since sitting for hours at a time can be hard for a new hunter. Pay special attention to how well the young person is sitting still. You will be able to tell when they are losing interest.

Another key to keeping it fun is making them comfortable in the field. Wearing appropriate clothing for either cold or hot days is critical. One thing is almost certain: if you let a young hunter freeze to death on their first hunt or two, they won’t want to go back. Many times a ground blind is a great option for cold weather situations. The blind allows for them to stay warmer and more comfortable while allowing you to be in a better position to coach them through the execution of making a good shot. Preparation and attention to detail help ensure a fun experience.

With more young people growing up in a world of more and more electronics, it is vital to get kids in nature and let them experience God’s great outdoors. Introducing young people to the sport of turkey hunting is essential to help guarantee the future of our great sport. Hunting and the total outdoor experience teaches young people so many valuable skills, like patience, marksmanship, woodsmanship, respect for the game we hunt, respect for others’ property, how to obey game laws and giving thanks to God for His wonderful outdoors.

Turkey hunting can be a life-changing experience. We hope you’ll commit to passing on the hunting lifestyle to future generations with us.