One of the coolest things I witnessed at the recent Bowhunting.com Cabin Fever event was the number of children and youth participating in archery. And not only were they participating, many of them were shooting above average for their age. Throughout the day boys and girls could be found flinging arrows on the youth range as well as the regular 3-D course. Kids of the Bowhunting.com staff won first and second in the youth shoot. It was a great example of what happens when parents spend time on the range with their kids in practice and preparation. I was also blown away at one young man, Nathan Zimmerman, that stood on the shooting line in the middle of the adults and shot clay targets out to distances that eliminated most of the grown men….even his own dad! My hats off to the Bowhunting.com crew for including these young shooters in such a big way. You see, the building of better bowhunters doesn’t just happen. It takes deliberate effort by the ones striving to pass down the passion to the future generation.
Quality & Quantity Time
Statistics show that many dads literally spend less than 5 minutes of one on one time with their child each day. I’ve heard parents make the comment, “It’s about quality time,” as they defend the 5 minutes a day they spend with their child. The truth is, in a child’s mind it’s about quality time and quantity time. You want to see your child succeed on the archery range…and in life? You can bet it’ll take more than a quick token gesture of your time each day. They need an investment of your time into theirs. When I saw kids at the Cabin Fever event doing well on the range, I typically saw a dad at their side coaching and encouraging them. And that’s what it takes. It won’t just happen on its own. It must be built in.
Better Equipment for Better Bowhunters
As the number of children and youth entering the sport of archery and bowhunting continues to explode, so have the product offerings from companies that realize the need for better gear for the next generation. The days of shooting oversized hand-me-downs from grandpa are a thing of the past. Bow companies are now manufacturing some of the slickest bows ever, just for kids. The Mission Craze is one of the most popular bows on the market for young people and small-framed shooters. Because of the adjustability of this bow, it can be shot by kids ages 7 to 77. But it’s more than just bows these days. Release aids, hip quivers, sights, arrows, targets, broadheads, clothes, and more are all being designed these days specifically with kids in mind. Be sure to support these companies, and let them know you appreciate their efforts to provide great gear for our young shooters.
I want to encourage you to take the time to introduce a child to archery and bowhunting this summer. Whether it’s your own child, a friend, or the crazy kid next door, make the effort to invest into their life and pass on the great sport we love so much.