Youth Hunting

How to Get Your Kid Started Hunting in Mississippi

Getting your kid into hunting is a great idea, and Mississippi is a great place to do it. Not only do the rules, regulations and opportunities promote youth involvement, the fees and requirements are reasonable. Hunting is an excellent hobby for kids because it encourages exercise, enjoying the outdoors, quality interaction with friends and family, and respecting nature and its resources.

Many children of hunting parents will be interested in hunting from the get-go. Most kids can sense the enjoyment that their parents and older siblings get from hunting and will automatically want to be included. Because Mississippi does not have a minimum age requirement for kids to participate in hunts when under the supervision of a licensed adult 21 years or older, parents must decide when their kid is ready to start. This can be tricky. This article will discuss ways to prepare them for their first experiences and how to determine the timing for getting them started.

Pre-Hunting Preparations

Safety should be the primary concern when you are deciding when your kid should start hunting. Of course, it would be disappointing if you started them too soon or too intensely and they burnt out at a young age. However, that is not a big deal compared to what could be a tragic accident if safety rules are not followed.

A good way to teach your kid safety lessons is to have them shoot an air rifle, which will also help them develop some shooting skills. If they are able to handle the airgun safely and follow directions well, then you can start looking for other indications that they are ready to go along on a hunt.

Some other things to look for would be their physical stamina, whether they are patient enough for a short hunting trip and how interested they are in coming along. If you gauge them to be ready by those standards as well, you can start planning a first trip.

The First Hunt

While some states have an age minimum for hunting, Mississippi lets the parents or guardians decide when a kid is ready. Until they are the age of 16, a youth hunter can hunt under the supervision of a licensed adult 21 years or older. This rule offers great opportunity for the kids to be taught safety, ethics and hunting skills. Kids ages 12 to 16 can hunt alone if they have passed an approved hunter education course. Once a kid is over 16, they are required to have passed hunter safety to purchase the license needed to hunt.

Youth Hunting Opportunities

Mississippi offers dedicated youth hunting opportunities for deer, squirrel, turkeys and waterfowl. These seasons generally occur at a time when the kids have better odds of success and fight fewer crowds than when hunting during the general season. These seasons represent a great time to get your kid involved when they are likely to be successful and create positive first experiences.  Consult the annual regulations for dates and new opportunities.

Things To Remember

Whether it is mentors or adult supervision in the early license years, the requirement of hunting with an adult provides great opportunity to teach the child ethics, safety and hunting skills. Make sure that during these hunts questions are encouraged and a great amount of emphasis is put on safety and respect of both firearms and animals.

Some other things to consider on the early hunts are:

-          Focus on the available opportunities where lots of encounters are likely

-          Pick good weather days if possible

-          Make sure they are dressed to stay warm and dry

-          Bring lots of snacks

-          Do not force them to stay out once they are ready to be done

Conclusion

By following these tips and taking advantage of the opportunities that Mississippi offers, you should have a good chance of getting your kid to fall in love with hunting. If there is not an immediate interest, back off instead of adding more pressure, as they may come to enjoy hunting in later years. Make sure to savor the chances to be in the field with your young hunter and hopefully there will be many such trips over the years.