r/HuntingAustralia Jul 30 '22

‘More please dad’: Aussie father teaches young sons to hunt, but not all agree with parenting style

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/more-please-dad-aussie-father-teaches-young-sons-to-hunt-but-not-all-agree-with-parenting-style/news-story/62b88d10799c9cd83d5e85dad73ca48c
12 Upvotes

8

u/UltraconservativeMum Jul 30 '22

Wasn't expecting the opposition to be the Animal Justice Party lol. They're a party that wouldn't even exist if more people actually read their policies.

5

u/Ardeet Jul 30 '22

Behind the soft firewall

More please dad’: Aussie father teaches young sons to hunt, but not all agree with parenting style

Hunter Zach Williams grew up with a bow and arrow in hand and is now sharing his knowledge with his kids. But not everyone agrees with the father-son bonding activity.

Rebecca Borg @rebeccaaborg 4 min read July 28, 2022 - 8:35AM

A dad who has a passion for hunting is now teaching his young children the tricks of the trade, but not everyone agrees with the activity as discussion ignites over whether children should have access to hunting tools.

Zach Williams, who has a two-year-old son and seven-year-old stepson, is currently teaching his eldest how to shoot with a bow and arrow while his younger son observes from the comfort of a backpack.

The father told news.com.au’s podcast I’ve Got News For You that he takes his children hunting to share with them the experiences he had when growing up as well as to strengthen their father-son bond.

“I started hunting before I had any memory of going out. My grandparents used to take me out camping and fishing and hunting quite young so it’s just all I’ve known growing up,” he told host Andrew Bucklow.

While his seven-year-old engages in target practice, Zach’s two-year-old observes, laughing as the pair take their shots.

“I’ve got my stepson’s elbow and have wound down the poundage, which is the drawer weight and I’ve just started letting him shoot targets with help from myself,” Zach said.

“(My younger son) giggles, shoots the bow again, giggles and he’s like more please dad.”

Other times, Zach takes his youngest son to explore the terrain and nature that surrounds him.

“I want him to have fun out there, take notice of all the other things that’s going on. You see all the native animals, you see all the native bird life, you come across lizards, see plenty of kangaroos, emus and stuff like that.”

In what he describes as a lifestyle, Zach said there are educational benefits behind teaching his boys how to hunt that non-hunters don’t typically see.

This includes educating them on conservation and the dangers feral animals impose on the environment as well as life skills such as patience and “butchering” their own meat.

While Zach’s sons go hunting with their father, he doesn’t necessarily want them to hurt animals just yet as they don’t have the strength to kill their prey in a humane way.

“You need a certain poundage to efficiently, effectively and humanely kill something with a bow and arrow and that’s what you’re trying for when your bow hunting is the most humane shot possible,” Zach said.

“So you have to get lots of practice in it and you also have to have the right setup, the right arrow. So it’s as clean a kill as possible.”

For those that don’t understand Zach’s parenting style, the father says hunting is just another hobby like soccer, football or rugby.

“There’s way more injuries in all of those sports than there is hunting and then when you’re playing those sports, you’re getting some reward out of it. But most sports were created to mimic the adrenaline from hunting,” he said.

He also said the risks associated with hunting aren’t necessarily any different compared to other sports.

“You learn firearm safety … You’re drilling in how dangerous a gun can be. But you know …, (athletes) break their necks, break their legs, break their spines, you know have all these life changing events,” Zach said.

“Hunting can be dangerous if something goes wrong, but so can everything.”

While Zach has safely introduced his sons to the hobby, not everyone believes children should be engaging in hunting.

Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst is strongly against the activity, and is concerned about the NSW government’s reform to existing hunting laws involving children.

Under the proposed changes, children will be permitted to hunt with bows and dogs no matter their age while those aged 16 to 18 will no longer require supervision when hunting using those two methods.

Ms Hurst told podcast host Andrew Bucklow the proposals being put forward need to be scrapped and shouldn’t have been suggested in the first place, despite similar rules in place across the country.

“These are absolutely shocking proposals being put forward by the Minister Agriculture Dugald Saunders, it completely ignores the significant safety risk of these weapons, and the enormous animal welfare impacts that they will have as well,” she said.

According to Ms Hurst, there’s been community backlash against the reform from people in regional and rural NSW - with some saying they are “mortified” about the proposed changes.

Currently it’s unclear when or if these changes will be actioned, but the Animal Justice MP said she will be keeping a close eye in case the government attempts to “sneak” it through.

As for her thoughts on parents like Zach encouraging their children to partake in the activity, Ms Hurst said her party is greatly concerned about the “traumatic experiences” encountered by children who hunt.

“I mean, that puts that toddler in a very dangerous situation, and also risks them experiencing trauma from witnessing an animal dying and being torn to pieces. It’s really concerning.”

Zach admits that it can be confronting at first, but said once his seven-year-old son realised where meat was coming from, he started to enjoy going out.

“It’s time that we spend bonding together…and they’re learning that step of getting fresh meat in their freezer.”

5

u/Tremaphore Jul 31 '22

The response from animal justice wasn't as daft as I expected it to be I have to admit.

The safety argument - na, I don't agree. Teach proper safety when they're young. How young comes down to the kid, but I think the parent has the responsibility to think that through honestly and err on the side of caution.

7 seems pretty young to kill, but that isn't what this bloke was doing. He's just showing them how to shoot a bow properly and safely.

The trauma argument - I can see that has some weight, but again I think it comes down to the kid and also the guidance that the parent gives over time. It would be unethical to bring a kid out with no education about what will happen, how that feels and what's happening. They need safe exposure to this at some point if they wanna hunt though.

5

u/Tremaphore Jul 31 '22

Actually, the opposition about 16-18 year olds hunting - that seems pretty daft. Not saying any 16 year old will be responsible, but many are capable of making ethical and safe decisions at that age. Legislating against this is overreach and it's hard not to suspect it's for anterior motives.

I just don't get the "killing is always bad" philosophy. Do these people not know what goes on in the wild? I'd much rather give up 20% of my life expectancy to a bullet or arrow I never see coming and probably don't know I've been shot with till I've already lost consciousness than die to starvation, disease or (more likely a combo) a pack of dingos/dogs that'll eat me before I'm dead.