Tips for Accompanying an Apprentice Hunter

"Take a friend – Make a hunter"

Thanks for introducing someone new to hunting! As a seasoned hunter accompanying an apprentice, your role is to guide and support your apprentice in becoming a safe, ethical and responsible hunter who continues in the tradition of hunting. Your guidance and behavior are key to your apprentice’s success as a New Hampshire hunter. Here are some helpful tips:

Safety first
You and your apprentice must closely follow all the rules of safe firearms handling (click here for the 10 Commandments of Hunting Safety) and safe hunting behaviors.

Practical practice
All aspects of hunting should be practiced well before the hunt. These include safe firearm handling, shooting practice with firearms or bow and arrow, scouting, and care of equipment. This is when your apprentice begins to develop their hunting knowledge.

Patience
Remember, you were once a new hunter. Your skills took many years to learn. Be patient with your apprentice; don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Keep it simple – and above all, remember that your goal is fostering a new hunter’s understanding and skills, not to take a shot every time you hunt.

Sharing gear
Most apprentices will not yet own a lot of hunting gear, including firearms or archery equipment. Successful mentors should be prepared to share gear or help their apprentice select and acquire their own. Don’t forget to talk about the importance of wearing blaze orange clothing.

Keeping the spirit
Hunters tend to think about hunting throughout the year, even in the “off season.” Apprentices need your help to keep up the spirit of hunting – and develop their hunting skills – all year round. Scouting trips, trail camera pictures, visits to sporting goods shops or hunting expos, and reading sporting media are just a few ways for both you and your apprentice to stay involved. You might also want to suggest they join a local fish and game club or sporting organization.

Put your time in
Seasoned hunters know that it takes time and practice to be successful afield. Help your apprentice understand this by making time to go on outings together, doing some target practice or making pre-season scouting trips. Multiple trips will help your apprentice transform into a true hunter. Know your partner’s skills, endurance level and attention span; they may not be able to hike for miles or sit for hours.

Expand your horizons
Your apprentice may wish to seek out other hunters who can offer a different specialty. It’s fine for a new hunter to be accompanied by different hunters during the various seasons. You may also want to explore different hunting methods and types of game to pursue with your apprentice.

Remind your apprentice...
With the completion of a Hunter Education course, your apprentice’s hunting experiences will last a lifetime. The N.H. Apprentice Hunting License is valid from the time of purchase through the end of the calendar year. After that, be sure to help your apprentice find and complete a Hunter Education course so they can continue to hunt in years to come.

Ethics is key
Be a good role model. Follow all laws, regulations and license requirements. Help instill in your apprentice a set of values that will lead them to make sound ethical decisions in the future.

The fine print
The Apprentice Hunting License requires that the apprentice be “accompanied” on the hunt. That means when hunting with your apprentice, he or she must be within sight and hearing at all times, so that actual physical direction and control can be effected, without the use of electronic devices. In addition, as the person accompanying the apprentice, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must be properly licensed.

“The journey is the destination”
Emphasize the process of hunting over the end result. Hunting success for new hunters is measured in more ways than just harvesting game. We wish you and your apprentice every success in your hunting endeavors!

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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