We live in an extremely fluid world where public perceptions and opinions on issues can change by the hour.
Just because hunting has been around for 90 percent of human history doesn’t mean that it will be around for the next 50 years. We cannot take our rights for granted. Preaching to the choir will not save hunting; we must influence others outside our circle to further our message.
If we want to preserve the proud traditions of hunting for future generations, we must expose and mentor those generations to the most basic of human behaviors. Here are a few places to start.
1. Become a Hunting Mentor
Though I spent lots of time at the shooting range as a kid, I grew up without exposure to hunting because there was no one to take me out and teach me the ropes. Not every child has a parent who hunts or has the time to be a good mentor.
Whether you mentor your own children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or just a family friend or neighbor, you can do your part in passing along your knowledge and enthusiasm to another generation of hunters. Taking someone hunting just once could be life-changing for that individual—and you’ll never know whether they’re interested if you don’t ask.
My own kids are too young to take hunting at this time, but I still bring them along when I’m scouting for sign or checking trail cameras. They enjoy the time spent with Dad and are gaining an understanding of the connection between the outdoors and the food on their plates.
Can’t find a kid in your area to mentor? You can become a digital mentor through an app called “Powderhook.” The app allows new hunters to ask questions and gain insight through anonymous interactions with more-experienced mentors. In just a few minutes per week, you can help guide the next generation.