The people who taught me how to hunt and introduced me to bowhunting hold a special place in my life. Now I get to be that person to someone else by being a hunting mentor. I’m taking a friend on his first turkey hunt this spring, and in the above video I go over my plan for his introduction to hunting.
I started by simply asking my friend if he wanted to join me on a hunt or even just on a scouting session. He said that he did, and he added that he’s always been interested in hunting, but no one had ever asked him to come along.
We chose turkey hunting for his first experience for several reasons. For one, we didn’t want to wait for fall. It’s also easy to share a turkey blind with a new hunter, and the hunts themselves can be short. Plus, hearing your first wild turkey gobble is unforgettable.
My friend has already completed the necessary hunter education requirements for our state, and he has purchased his hunting license. To me, that’s exciting to hear because it shows he has a genuine interest and is taking initiative.
If you’re mentoring someone who isn’t sure if they are going to enjoy bowhunting, you can introduce them with a half day of hunting or an evening spent roosting birds. If they love the experience and want to get started, help them with the critical first steps of becoming a bowhunter.
- Recommend an archery shop where they can take a lesson and look at bows.
- Help them find a public or private piece of property to hunt.
- Explain the hunter education requirements in your state, and tell them how and where to buy a hunting license.
My main priority is to make sure my mentee is prepared for his first hunt. I’ll make sure he has the necessary gear and learns as much as possible ahead of time. On the day of the hunt, I just want him to have a great experience and to learn how he can hunt on his own. We don’t have to shoot a turkey that day, but if he leaves with first-hand experience of how he can do it, then the day will be a success.
After the hunt, I want to be there for him and answer questions that will inevitably pop up as he starts hunting on his own. I’ll also be on standby to help with photos and meat processing when he shoots his first animal.
Mentorship is a rewarding experience and one that can have a positive impact on someone’s life. This spring, ask someone if they want to go hunting with you and share your experience with us on the Bowhunting 360 Facebook or Instagram. Follow the hashtag #LetsHunt to see more mentorship content.