Brianna is like any other seven year old in the neighborhood. She plays outside with the neighborhood children, trying to learn how to ride a bike and learn to swim during summer break. There is something that sets her up apart from other kids in the immediate neighborhood. We enjoy outdoor activities like camping, hiking, target practice and hunting. As a family, we like to visit the local gun range, where we practice our skills.
Brianna has been taught there are three reasons to own a firearm: hunting, protection and sport. We love the sport of shooting and didn’t want to raise our children to fear guns (like how her mom was raised). We instill safe handling and always provide supervision by a parent. Brianna uses a Ruger 10/22 at the rifle range. It’s a small caliber with little recoil. She really enjoys herself. At first she would plow through 10 rounds in less than five seconds, but as she’s become older she’s actually looking at a target. We put a little scope on the 10/22 so she could see where the shots were being placed. She’s also learning how to tuck the stock in her shoulder pocket and is learning trigger control. As she gets older and stronger, we will teach her how to handle a pistol too.
In our family, when you get to the age of 11 or 12, you are invited to go out on a big game hunt. You get the whole camping experience with all the parent’s attention you can handle. She has shown interest in going pheasant hunting with her mom (me). I think she will enjoy watching how the dogs work the field. At the age of 13, it is important to go to a Hunter’s Safety Course. Here in California, the course lasts two days and has an eighty question test at the end. We always use the course manual as a teaching tool to enforce safety.
Brianna has been around firearms her whole life and with all our children, we expose them little by little over time. Whether out in the backyard with mom, practicing the compound bow or an afternoon at the gun range, we have fun.