Crosman Corporation’s Mark DeBoard was featured in the  Spring 2010 edition of IHEA Journal, offering airguns as a great way to introduce kids to hunting. Reprinted from that issue, here is the article courtesy of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA):

When I think of my 30 years as a hunter, the first word that comes to mind is responsibility.  Whether it’s a firing line, an Army camp in Iraq or in the woods with your children, being responsible is the first lesson you learn and the first one you teach. It applies to everything you do in life.

Hunting with my two children started when they were very young. They tagged along when I went deer hunting. They helped me track, and take my deer out of the woods. Both Zachary, now 15, and Samantha, 12, were naturals at following the signs.

Because deer and squirrels are so plentiful in upstate New York, they learned how to hunt backwards, from big to small. After hunting deer with me, they honed their marksmanship skills thinning the squirrel population around home.

Airguns provided the perfect route to learning without intimidation, both for our kids and for hundreds of thousands of kids we reach through Crosman’s EASY Program.  The process of tracking, stalking game and aiming an airgun is similar to using a firearm. But you can shoot an airgun in more places, offering the young shooter more chances to practice. We even had a range set up in the house, so by the time our young hunters took to the woods, their aiming and firing skills were sharp and they understood responsibility for pointing the muzzle only in a safe direction.

Our kids are really enjoying the new Crosman Nitro Piston technology, with its great downrange energy, its improved accuracy because of minimal recoil and its much quieter operation. Nitro Piston break barrels are 70% quieter than their spring air cousins, an important factor in hunting. When you squeeze off a Nitro Piston shot, you don’t spook an entire county’s worth of game.

Perhaps what I like most about airgun hunting as a family is just that, hunting as a family. You get to spend time in the outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, the excitement of the chase, the challenge of geting close to a squirrel and flushing it out of hiding for a clean shot with your kids. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a sport for a lifetime.

At Crosman, Mark is responsible for making sure that youngsters have a good first experience shooting and learn to love it boath as a sport and a lifestyle.

The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) is the professional association for 67 state and provincial wildlife conservation agencies and the 70,000 volunteer instructors who teach hunter education in North America.. Click here to learn more.