I’ve often heard people ask when it is the right time to take their child hunting. The best answer I have heard is, “When they enjoy it.” While I don’t want to put pressure on my son to hunt, I want to give him the opportunity if he wants to. So, I must admit that I was excited I offered to take my son hunting and he said yes.
While I would love to take him big game hunting, there will be a time and place for that later. For now, we enjoy going after one the most horrifying of small game; the fearsome and terrible bunny.
Bunny hunting has several advantages with 7-year-old boys. First, if you have ever been with a 7-year-old, boy or girl, you know that their definition of quiet is very different than your definition. While it helps to not be screaming, I have found that bunnies are a little more tolerant of noise than your average deer or elk.
Another advantage is a little easier hiking. The terrain where cottontails are found usually isn’t that rough and where we go hunting we are able to take a couple big loops around on fairly level terrain.
That leads to another advantage, the opportunity to keep moving. I made the mistake before of telling my son we were going to sit quietly for a bit in one spot…..it lasted 12 minutes. Now to be fair, he is his father’s son and I don’t sit all that well myself, but after 12 minutes of listening to what sounded like a twitchy cow rolling around in the grass, I decided that maybe walking around would be a bit more effective.
Another advantage of bunny hunting is slightly better odds at harvesting an animal than say a deer or elk. While I don’t want my son to get the idea that we must get something every time we go out, I am trying to make it enjoyable for him…. And getting something is always more exciting than not getting something.
Well, on this trip we had a great time. Earlier in the evening we spotted a bunny and after chasing it around a bit, I was able to get it with my .22. My son was thrilled.
Later in the evening we came across another bunny and I kindly demonstrated why we practice shooting…. I shot 8 times as the crazy little bunny and missed every time. At least my son enjoyed it and had a good time laughing at his dad missing. Oh well.
I hope that this trip is just one of many we get to enjoy in the future, but for now, we will enjoy the memories and experiences this one provided!