UPDATED ON: March 25th, 2014
By: Tracy Breen
John Schaffer from Schaffer Performance Archery owns an archery company that manufactures the Opposition Sight and Rest and an archery pro shop in Minnesota. Over the years, Schaffer has introduced dozens of kids to archery and bowhunting so he knows how to get kids involved in archery and keep them interested. “I think many dads try to introduce their kids to deer hunting first. I believe that can be a mistake. In today’s fast-paced world, kids are used to playing video games, sports and watching TV. To keep them interested in archery and hunting, kids should be introduced to something like turkey hunting first. Turkey hunting is fast-paced. You don’t have to stay in one spot for long and you can call a lot which keeps kids interested in the sport.”
When it comes to choosing a bow for a child, Schaffer suggests a Mission Menace or Craze. “Both of these bows have a wide range of adjustability and are fairly lightweight,” Schaffer explained. “Kids need a bow that fits them well and parents need a bow that doesn’t break the bank that will last the child a long time. Both of these bows fit the bill.”
If you’re starting with a young child that is too small to hold and shoot a Menace or Craze, consider purchasing a Mathews Genesis or a Mini Genesis. My son turns five in June and I will start him out with a Mini Genesis.
Regardless of the bow you start your youngster out with, make sure they always have fun when shooting. “I don’t force my kids to shoot their bows,” said Schaffer. “If I am going to shoot a few arrows, I often ask them if they want to come and shoot with me. If they shoot a few arrows, great; if not, no big deal. I will ask them to shoot next time I shoot. I don’t want to make work out of archery and scare them away from it.”
If you want a child who loves archery and loves bowhunting and the outdoors as much as you do, start them in the sport when they are young. If you wait until a kid is twelve years old before buying them a bow, they will be in five other sports offered by the school and won’t have time for archery.
One last thing, kids love personalizing their gear. Pine Ridge Archery offers a wide array of colored bow accessories. If you get your kid a bow make sure to trick it out with a Pine Ridge Archery string loop, stabilizer and peep sight.
About the Author:
Tracy Breen makes his living as a Wild Game Dinner Speaker and outdoor writer. Each year Tracy travels the country speaking at Beast Feasts, men retreats and fundraisers telling his unique life story and sharing hunting techniques and the gospel. In the past several years, he has been blessed to hunt, fish and speak all over North America.