Hunting is a big deal in the Pacific Northwest. For many families, it’s all about filling your freezer with meat. After all, a good-size elk can feed a household for a long time. While every hunter wants to bring back the biggest prize, one of the best byproducts of hunting is the comradery and the possibility of continuing or creating a tradition. Whether you’ve been hunting for generations or you’re new to the sport, here are a few ways to get even more from a hunting expedition with your family.
Start with Education
The tradition of hunting can bring families together, especially if you start your kids when they’re young. Sure, it’s normal to take kids out of school for a week or more during hunting season, but kids still need to pass a specific hunting class before they can go. Look for hunter safety courses in Oregon and Washington. Chances are, there are classes in your area.
Plan Ahead for the Season
Oregon and Washington have their own set seasons for specific game. Although most seasons do overlap, it’s best to check online or call your state’s office of fish and wildlife to be sure. When you’re ready, you can apply for your specific hunting permits online for both Oregon and Washington.
After you decide what you will hunt, get everyone in the family involved in the planning process. Talk about what you will need for the hunt, such as clothing, shelter, food, licenses, guns, and ammunition. Want to add to the excitement? Take a spring or summertime hike in the area where you will be hunting. While you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, see who can find the biggest antlers. Younger kids love contests like that.
Leave the Phones Behind
Anytime you enter the forest, urge your family to leave their smartphones and other electric devices at home or in the rig. Part of building comradery is spending time together. While smartphones and computers connect people around the world, they can often drive families further apart. Without phones constantly buzzing in their pocket, you’ll find that you have your family’s undivided attention.
Take Plenty of Pictures
Sure, Facebook has some regulations around posting certain hunting pictures, but that doesn’t mean you cannot take a picture of your hunter with his or her trophy. Bring along a camera and capture the amazing smiles. Just the simple act of documenting a family event with photos and a quick note can often solidity it into an annual tradition.
Yes, it’s nice to come home with what you are hunting. In hunting circles, we call that filling your tag. Just remember, you might not fill your tag on the first day. You might not fill it at all. The important part is to grow closer as a family, build a tradition, and instill wholesome principles that can last a lifetime.
Start Your Hunting Trip at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal Farm & Ranch has everything you need for your next hunting trip. That includes guns and ammunition in our outdoor department. You’ll also find camping gear, trail food from Mountain House, warm-weather clothing designed for the Pacific Northwest, and expert hunting advice to help you fill your freezer with meat and your heart with wonderful memories.