Life skills and hunting

Firearm dear season opens up this weekend and that brings many adults and youth into the woods to hunt. Explore how hunting can develop life skills in youth.

Michigan 4-H, along with many other organizations, promotes youth being active outdoors and exploring the greatness that can be found in nature. The 4-H Shooting Sports programs allow youth to learn from a caring adult about shooting firearms along with the importance of safety and caring for the outdoor environment.

Michigan State University Extension reminds adults that when they are teaching youth about firearm safety and hunting it is important to also make sure youth are aware of the life skills they are also gaining. Here are a few life skills that youth should be gaining while learning about hunting and the outdoors.

  1. Self-discipline: Youth should learn how to control themselves and keep their conduct in line with their character (what is right and wrong), personal values and social expectations. When hunting, youth need to think about what they are doing and whether they are following the laws or the shot they are about to take is ethical.
  2. Personal safety: Safety should always be a first priority when youth are around fire arms. Teaching kids the safe way to handle, clean and shoot fire arms is especially important. Reminding kids to always think about their safety and the safety of others is also a crucial lesson to teach.
  3. Resiliency: Coping with change or recovering after experiencing misfortune. Youth who enjoy hunting sometimes want to see deer or harvest an animal each time, but that doesn’t always happen in the woods.  Talking to youth about continuing to try and not give up is also important in hunting.

The National 4-H Shooting Sports program has a brochure that also explores the importance of skill and how 4-H develops skills and leadership within the youth involved in shooting sports. To learn more about Michigan 4-H Shooting Sports Program and to learn about getting involved, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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