It is important to teach young people survival skills
I just read an article about a teacher who shot a moose in Alaska. He brought the animal to school where his students cut the animal up for freezing. It may sound like a strange class project, but was it?
There are many in this world who would love to see our country defeated. What if a foreign power does it and we take 100 years of hindsight. The first thing they would do would be pick up the weapons and cut off communications. Cell phones would be worthless waste. Food sources would dry up and Americans would struggle to survive.
I pray on my knees that this will never happen. My dad would always say, “It’s all right as long as you can see the American flag flying. He was always right.
But what if we were attacked and grocery stores were out of stock? This is exactly why you should take these kids out hunting and fishing while teaching survival tactics. Hopefully they never need to survive on earth, but these are skills they can teach the next generation and the next generation.
I definitely recommend the Boy Scouts for your children. They specialize in survival tactics. I can’t think of anything better than this amazing group who build strong ethics while teaching useful skills.
I am a hunting education instructor. Recently, I helped teach a class in which a teenager sat in the front row. He asked absolutely excellent questions and was only one of two to get a perfect mark on his written test. Before leaving, he explained to the instructors that he had never touched a gun before that day, but wanted to learn and it was a good place to start. He was right. We taught him how to safely handle a loaded firearm and he did very well.
He said he talked to his friends about what it would be like to survive through hard times. How would they eat when no food was available? We were touched by his concerns.
Young people have never needed a pleasant, clean outdoor experience so much. They read all the headlines and know what’s going on in our world. Now is the time to take them hunting, fishing or camping to discover the beauty in the open air.
Teaching hunting or fishing techniques is easy, you just need to start with simple techniques. I recommend fishing for bluegill on a dock with worms on a small hook and float.
Just start with species that are easy to catch, then move on to more difficult fish. I was delighted to catch bluegill with a cane stick decades ago. Since then, I have fished both freshwater and saltwater fish, my most notable catch being a 402-pound Bulldog Shark that allegedly scared this little boy to death with a sugar cane.
Need advice on taking a child fishing? Contact me at [email protected] I will send you a program I wrote for free. I too have developed a program for mentally and physically disabled children. I only need your email address.
Hunting is another matter. I recommend that you start young people at a target range, but only after taking hunting education lessons. Safety always comes first when handling firearms.
Your children should learn to handle a firearm safely before shooting. Then I recommend an old-fashioned squirrel hunt on a pretty fall day. Don’t be afraid to try the fried squirrel, cut up and prepared like fried chicken. You will be surprised at how succulent the meat is.
Then you can work up to hunting game birds or waterfowl. At this point, your child should be able to handle a firearm safely and with confidence.
You will eventually have a deer or elk hunting partner, but let them grow old enough to safely and comfortably handle a high powered rifle. Young people almost always jump at the loud sound or kick of a bigger gun, so let them decide when the time is right.
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that the teacher brought his moose to his students to butcher. I cannot stress the importance of teaching your children to fillet fish or carve wild game. Then include them when cooking wild meat – the internet is full of recipes.
Many years ago, a friend and I shot an antelope in Wyoming and left it hanging in a nearby shed. While we were hunting mule deer, someone broke into the hut and stole our food except for a few potatoes. We were staying in a cabin near the mountains and that night a huge snow locked us up for several days.
I had carved meat with my father for many years and sliced antelope chops for the grill while leaving intact enough to legally register the animals when we could finally get out of this magnificent containment. We were lucky that a bear didn’t smell the meat and took the rest. This meat with potatoes has helped us survive in style.
Hopefully our America thrives flawlessly and the children never need to survive on earth. But in the meantime, share the beautiful spaces with them and maybe they will teach their children or grandchildren the skills to survive or at least how to take advantage of our beautiful natural resources.
Kenneth Kieser, a veteran outdoor writer and member of the Waterfowlers Hall of Fame and the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, writes a weekly column on the outdoors for The Examiner. Contact him at [email protected]