Sunday, September 08, 2013

Mentoring a Young Shooter: Joe's First Hunt

Joe with first hunt bag

Introducing young people to the traditions of hunting is important for members of the gun culture.   Hunting is a rewarding activity that teaches significant lessons about reality, responsibility, and ethics.

It is a life changing activity that requires considerable thought, judgement, moral decisions, and actions. 

Joe's father has some medical problems, and had not been hunting for five years.  Joe had accompanied his father on a previous dove hunt, but had never shot at live targets before.   He had shot a shotgun one time before this, at a stationary target.    Joe is 16 years old.

I was more concerned with making the hunt a pleasant experience for Joe than I was in shooting any birds myself.  I gave Joe a lesson on the hunting laws and on hunting conservation and ethics the night before. 

I coached him on wing shooting.  I helped him spot doves and get ready to shoot.

Joe has native talent.  We were pleased to see Joe shoot several doves on his first hunt, and he was quite excited about it.

I urge everyone who can, to take the opportunity to mentor a young hunter or huntress.  You will find that it is at least as rewarding as the hunt itself.

 The doves were mourning doves in Arizona. Joe is holding an Ugartechea Spanish double in 12 gauge.  The shotgun to the rear is a Browning Double Auto 12 gauge.   I started him off by only allowing one barrel to be loaded, using Federal subsonic 1 1/8 ounces of 7 1/2 shot.   We all wore Peltor  electronic earmuffs for hearing protection, which may be more than necessary. 

Dean Weingarten

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