Why I’m Teaching My Kids to Hunt

When I tell people that I hunt, I hear the gasps and see the looks of shock. After all, I’m a woman. Women aren’t “supposed” to hunt, right? Aren’t we supposed to have our hair, nails and make-up done, and be dedicated to cooking and raising children? Even in 2020, far too many of us have been stripped of our permission to be wild. But I digress.

I didn’t grow up as a tomboy; I was actually quite prissy, and still am. I’m a city girl who goes to charity events and volunteers at my kids’ school in Dallas. But I do hunt. And I’m teaching my children why my husband and I choose to do so. We let them see our dead animals, their blood and their lifeless bodies. We let them play with toy guns and now they know how to shoot BB guns. They practice “shooting” the mounted animals in our home.

Sounds like I’m a horrible mom, huh?

Here’s why I’m teaching my kids to handle guns and how (and why) to hunt.

We eat what we kill.

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HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG? What’s the appropriate age for a kid to start hunting? From my experience, most people throw around the ages 7, 8 and 9. But why are these the ages most people assume a child is ready to hunt? Is there even a “right” age? ⠀⠀ A kid can go on their first hunt when they are emotionally ready to see a harvest, not at a certain age. At what age can a child comprehend death, the finality of it and the reasons behind a harvest? When your child (or grandkid!) reaches THAT age, he or she is ready. But, prior to that age, the child should be emotionally and mentally be prepared through exposure to the concepts behind hunting. . . . . . . #childhoodunplugged #childhoodunplugged_portraits #familyadventure #familyadventures #familyweekend #familyweekends #futureofhunting #getthemoutdoors #goadventuretogether #huntingfamily #kidsoutside #kidswhoexplore #letthembelittle #letthembelittleforever #outdoorfamilies #parentinglife #parentingwin #parentingwins #teachthemyoung #runwildmychild #famfirst #familylove #familyouting #familytrip #familiesareforever #familyvacation #familyportraits #famiglia #familytimeisthebesttime #familyiseverything

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We are teaching our children that by hunting, we provide food for our family. Each animal we harvest goes straight onto our dinner table. Sure, the current fad is conscious eating, farm-to-table, cage-free and grass-fed, but those who don’t hunt also don’t understand that by harvesting our own animals, we are truly doing our part to have healthy, lean and wild-fed protein.

Sure, you can purchase at your local organic grocery store, but have you ever considered the life those animals had? Which is better for an animal who will be eaten either way? Is it better for the animal to be shot in the wild with one swift bullet? Or is it better to be raised, slaughtered and delivered to the local grocery stores?

I’m not a fan of PETA, that’s for sure, but I know that as meat-eaters, hunting is the best choice for my family. We aren’t following along with the new hipster revolution; we are simply passing along what our ancestors did to survive for tens of thousands of years.

My kids learn about the Earth and conservation.

Our children know venison is deer, pork is pig and beef is cow. They know where their food comes from. They know mommy and daddy shot and killed the animal on their plate.

We are teaching our children that by hunting, we are doing our part in the conservation of our land and wildlife. Hunting is the number-one source for conservation funding. Over $200 million dollars a year is collected through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, game tags, stamps and taxes from the purchase of hunting equipment and ammunition, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

We are teaching our children that by hunting, we manage wildlife populations and allow them to thrive. It’s our job to safeguard our land for future generations and ensure those animals and habitats continue to grow and flourish. Habitat and animals are codependent, and we cannot conserve one without the other. An overpopulation of herbivores, such as deer, destroys vegetation. In fact, the Nature Conservancy considers an overabundance of deer in the eastern United States the greatest threat to the forests — possibly even more so than climate change.

It gets them outside.

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You know I’m a big believer in getting kids outside to PLAY and LEARN and I think we’ll all agree that the best learning takes place out in the great outdoors. Can I get a 🙌🏼? I recently partnered with @littleexperimenter on their new 2-in-1 kids projector + telescope. You can view constellations at night and project space-themed pictures on the walls. GIFT IDEA right here, folks! . . . . . #ad #littleexperimenter #nesstoy #childhoodunplugged #childhoodunplugged_portraits #familyadventure #familyadventures #familyweekend #familyweekends #futureofhunting #getthemoutdoors #goadventuretogether #huntingfamily #kidsoutside #kidswhoexplore #letthembelittle #letthembelittleforever #outdoorfamilies #parentinglife #parentingwin #parentingwins #teachthemyoung #runwildmychild #outdooraddict #outdooraddicts #outdooradventure #outdooradventurer #outdooradventures #outdoorbella #outdoorbellas

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We are teaching our children that by hunting, we are one with Mother Nature. My kids’ time spent outdoors is a blessing, especially in a modern American society that has lost touch with our deep roots to our land. Yes, we hunt, but we may only harvest one or two animals a year to fill our freezer. The other 99.8% of the time we “are hunting” is simply time spent outdoors, driving around a ranch, taking photos of the beauty we are so blessed to enjoy. Our time spent “hunting” is time I get to watch a sunrise or a sunset with my kids. It’s time I get to spend out in the country with no cell phone service. It’s time when I can enjoy these gifts.

Ultimately, the decision is up to our children if they choose to hunt or not. My husband and I can teach them our personal lifestyle choice, but they can choose their own path. Our job as parents is to show them all sides of life and provide an understanding of how and why things are as they are. Still, it is our hope that our children will have a deep connection with the outdoors and wildlife, no matter what path they choose.

Want a tamer way to get kids outside? Check out these outdoor toys.

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