John Schaffer from Schaffer Performance Archery owns an archery company that manufactures the Opposition Sight and Rest and an archery pro shop in Minnesota. Over the years, Schaffer has introduced dozens of kids to archery and bowhunting so he knows how to get kids involved in archery and keep them interested.
Shaffer stated, “I think many dads try to introduce their kids to deer hunting first. I believe that can be a mistake. In today’s fast-paced world, kids are used to playing video games, sports and watching TV. To keep them interested in archery and hunting, kids should be introduced to something like turkey hunting first. Turkey hunting is fast-paced. You don’t have to stay in one spot for long and you can call a lot which keeps kids interested in the sport.”
When it comes to choosing a bow for a child, Schaffer suggests a Mission Menace or Craze. “Both of these bows have a wide range of adjustability and are fairly lightweight,” Schaffer explained. “Kids need a bow that fits them well and parents need a bow that doesn’t break the bank that will last the child a long time. Both of these bows fit the bill.”
If you’re starting with a young child that is too small to hold and shoot a Menace or Craze, consider purchasing a Mathews Genesis or a Mini Genesis. My son turns five in June and I will start him out with a Mini Genesis.
Regardless of the bow you start your youngster out with, make sure they always have fun when shooting. “I don’t force my kids to shoot their bows,” said Schaffer. “If I am going to shoot a few arrows, I often ask them if they want to come and shoot with me. If they shoot a few arrows, great; if not, no big deal. I will ask them to shoot next time I shoot. I don’t want to make work out of archery and scare them away from it.”
If you want a child who loves archery and loves bowhunting and the outdoors as much as you do, start them in the sport when they are young. If you wait until a kid is twelve years old before buying them a bow, they will be in five other sports offered by the school and won’t have time for archery.
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Great story can’t agree w/ you more. I just finished an archery mini course at our church/school a couple weeks ago. Last week was the first week of the Centershot archery mission program where people of all ages learn about the three greatest things in life- God, archery and families. If you are ever in the area stop on in got a few guys interested in your rest just can’t find a pro shop with them since Jeff had to close the doors. He did such a great job setting up my Z7 w/ a Schaffer rest – I keep showing off my rest to everyone I come across and hope to get you more business in the future. If you talk to Jeff M. soon tell him thanks again and thank you for an awesome rest.- Rich Frohmader