Taking kids duck hunting is a great bonding experience. Sharing in the adventure of an early morning duck hunt is truly magical. Watching your kids’ eyes light up when they see the sun rising over some placid pond with ducks tippling into the decoys is priceless.
In order to assure your duck hunting kids have a good time and want to come back isn’t a matter of getting good shooting but of being prepared.
Here are some essentials you’ll need if you’re taking your children duck hunting this year.
Neoprene chest waders. Don’t skimp here, neoprene chest waders keep kids warm in any conditions. Not only do they keep kids dry if they happen to be standing in water, they also keep them warm. It’s like wearing a loose fitting wetsuit, except you’re not wet.
Long underwear. Preferably the long underwear should be thermal underwear, the warmer and thicker the better.
Two layers of wool socks. Wool socks keep kids warm even if the socks happen to get wet.
A good coat, preferably water and wind resistant. Of course having the coat be camouflaged is also a good idea and can go a long way to making your kid think he looks pretty cool.
A warm hat is essential. I usually put my kids in warm ski hats, but the insulated duck hunting hats work well too.
Mittens or gloves. I use cheap gloves that I’m not concerned about losing. They usually get so thrashed in the marsh mud that I have to wash them at the end of the season — or throw them away.
Ear plugs. Ear plugs protect your kid’s ears from the loud blast of shotguns. They won’t like them at first but they get used to them and usually are grateful after the first shot. Ear muffs work pretty well for this purpose too.
A large thermos of hot chocolate. Bring yourself some coffee but be sure to have some hot cocoa, this goes a long way towards helping a cold child feel warm, and they love it.
Plenty of snacks. Having food handy not only feeds hungry kids but can keep them from getting bored if the hunting is slow.
Duck hunting can be cold, so keeping your kids warm and comfortable is important. If they have a miserable experience they won’t want to return, however if they’re well taken care of they’ll be more likely to become lifelong duck hunters.