November 01, 2021
I was shaking so much when the male ran away that my wife looked me in the eye and asked, “Are you going to be okay?” It’s funny because she dropped the arrow, not me. I was fortunate enough to take some lovely animals in my bow hunting tenure, but none made me completely lose my temper like my wife’s first buck did.
Now, mentoring family or loved ones is one thing, but the most important thing is to be on the front lines and reach out to those who don’t have the opportunity to archery outside of mentoring. An example is Ryland Holt. He never knew his father and his mother was tragically killed by a drunk driver. But, mentors Scott Morris and Chris Rapier, through the Kicking Bear Foundation, took Holt under their wings and taught him how to hunt with a bow. In a sense, they have become his father figures. Holt is no longer just an archery hunter, but a skilled athlete with an undeniable work ethic. Mentoring changed her life.
I have had the pleasure of mentoring young hunters and novice hunters, and it is incredibly rewarding to guide someone through what I am so passionate about. Even if they don’t succeed, it changes them for good. And in a torn world, we need this change to repeat itself over and over again.
Almost any adult can become a mentor. If you are eager to do so, here are a few steps that will help you better understand the process.
We all know someone
To become a mentor, you can partner with an organization like Kicking Bear Foundation, or you can search your circles for someone who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to hunt. Almost everyone has people whom God has put in their life who could use mentoring. Maybe he’s a teenager without a father. It could be a city kid who wants to hunt and fish but has no one to take him away. Maybe it is someone who is having financial difficulties. Or, it could be just the average kid across the street who loves playing video games.
Either way, the hunt is an ideal mentoring tool. You are not just teaching the individual to hunt. You teach them how to make decisions, how to provide food for the table, how to overcome challenges and many other values that apply to everyday life. Identify someone who you think would like to try bow hunting, then roll up your sleeves. This is your chance to make a positive impact.
Have authentic care
Teaching someone to shoot an archery and possibly to hunt with a bow is a powerful thing, but it doesn’t happen by accident. According to Ray Howell of Kicking Bear Foundation, it starts with care.
“The key to being a good mentor is to really take care of others,” Howell said. “You must have the desire to teach them something that has brought joy to your life. This is how you can change someone’s life for the better. This is especially true when you are introducing someone to bow hunting who would not otherwise have the chance.
“For me,” he continued, “I want to get people out there and on the right path. Then I have the chance to share my story with them and how Jesus and the gospel have changed. my life. I always let people know that I mentor that whatever their problems, God has a purpose for them. I do all of this because I care about people. Again, this is one of the most important attributes of a strong hunting mentor You cannot be selfish You have to take care of others.
When you start mentoring, patience goes a long way. If you have been archery for a long time, this is practically second nature to you. But remember where you are from. Remember, you knew very little when you first started. This will help you be patient and be gracious when your mentee makes mistakes. Yes, correct their mistakes and discuss ways to correct them, but don’t be squeamish and don’t make nasty remarks. Be patient.
Obviously, bow hunting is very involved. In other words, you can’t just give someone a bow and take them bow hunting. It takes time, acclimatization and confidence to go from archery to archery hunting.
“Self-confidence is an important quality to develop in someone you supervise,” explained Howell. “Archery and learning how to do it with precision builds self-esteem. You can take a child who has nothing in the world and put a bow in his hands. When he / she starts to increase their accuracy, they accomplish a lot. It can not only boost their confidence to go bow hunting, but it can also make them feel like they have achieved something. And when accomplishments are made, praise and encourage them. They don’t have to be the best in the world, they just have to be persistent.
Show right character
Whenever you mentor someone, it’s important to note that you’re being watched and possibly admired. Everything you say and do makes a mark. Especially when you are supervising young people.
“Thanks to Kicking Bear, we don’t allow mentors to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco or swear in the presence of children,” Howell said. “If a child sees someone he or she enjoys doing these things, he or she most likely will or try to do it too. A person of integrity and of good character looks after the best interests of those he supervises. Keeping the experience free from addictive and negative influences will ensure that we are teaching the hunt from the right perspective. We don’t want people to mistakenly think that swearing and drinking are part of the hunt. We can show them a better time and a better way of life without these things.
“Hunting isn’t about drinking and leaving cans of beer in the woods,” Howell continued. “It’s about going out into God’s creation. It’s about relaxing, having a good time and releasing stress. A mentor who tells this story will provide a better experience. The goal of mentoring archery hunters is to show them what the outdoors is all about. We also want to teach them to leave the woods better than they found them.
Again, a hunter with integrity is well positioned to provide the best possible experience for a new hunter, so conduct yourself honestly. Remember, someone is watching.
If you ask why we need more hunters when it looks like there are so many already, the answers are pretty straightforward.
“Conservation is the main thing,” Howell explained. “It is better to harvest an animal cleanly with an arrow than to be struck by a vehicle or to have a fatal disease that takes weeks to produce mortality. These are tragic ways for animals to die and then the meat is usually wasted too. Animal hunting and harvesting controls populations so that we can enjoy wild animals in both hunting and viewing contexts.
“As hunters, we manage the animals by harvesting and we put food on our tables at the same time,” Howell continued. “If you ask me, this is the most effective way to control animal populations and ensure herd health. God has blessed us with these animals, and in the Bible He tells us that we are supposed to watch over them. Hunting is the best way to do it.