South Australia: Zach Williams teaches his sons to hunt, Animal Justice Party’s Emma Hurst disagrees
An avid hunting dad is now teaching his young children the ropes, but not everyone agrees with the activity as discussion heats up over whether kids should have access to hunting tools .
Zach Williams, who has a two-year-old son and a seven-year-old stepson, is currently teaching his eldest how to shoot a bow and arrow while his younger son watches from the comfort of a backpack.
The father told the news.com.au podcast I have news for you that he takes his children hunting to share with them his experiences growing up as well as to strengthen their father-son bond.
“I started hunting before I had the slightest memory of an outing. My grandparents took me camping, fishing and hunting quite young, so that’s all I experienced growing up,” he told host Andrew Bucklow.
As his seven-year-old son practices target practice, Zach’s two-year-old son watches with a laugh as the pair shoot.
“I got my stepson’s elbow and I took the weight off, which is drawer weight and I just started letting him shoot targets with the help of myself,” Zach said. .
“(My younger son) laughs, shoots the bow again, laughs and he’s like more please dad.”
Other times, Zach takes his youngest son to explore the terrain and nature around him.
“I want him to have fun out there, to notice all the other things that are going on. You see all the native animals, you see all the native bird life, you meet lizards, you see lots of kangaroos, emus and stuff like that.
In what he describes as a lifestyle, Zach said teaching his boys to hunt has educational benefits that non-hunters typically don’t see.
This includes educating them about conservation and the dangers wild animals impose on the environment as well as life skills such as patience and “cutting up” their own meat.
As Zach’s sons go hunting with their father, he doesn’t necessarily want them to harm the animals just yet because they don’t have the strength to kill their prey in a humane way.
“You need a certain amount of weight to effectively, efficiently and humanely kill something with a bow and arrow and that’s what you’re trying to achieve when your bowhunting is the most humane shot possible,” said Zach.
“So you have to practice a lot and you also have to have the right setup, the right arrow. So that’s as clean a kill as you can get.
For those who don’t understand Zach’s parenting style, the dad says hunting is just another hobby like football, soccer or rugby.
“There are far more injuries in all of these sports than there are in hunting, and when you play these sports, you get a reward. But most sports were created to mimic the adrenaline of hunting,” he said.
He also said that the risks associated with hunting are not necessarily different from those of other sports.
“You learn about gun safety…You learn how dangerous a gun can be. But you know…, (athletes) break their necks, break their legs, break their spine, you know, there are all these life-changing events,” Zach said.
“Hunting can be dangerous if something goes wrong, but so can anything.”
Although Zach introduced his sons to the hobby safely, not everyone thinks kids should take up hunting.
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst is strongly opposed to the activity and is concerned about the New South Wales government’s reform of existing hunting laws involving children.
Under the proposed changes, children will be able to hunt with bows and dogs regardless of age, while those between the ages of 16 and 18 will no longer need supervision when hunting using these two methods.
Ms Hurst told podcast host Andrew Bucklow that the proposals put forward had to be dropped and should not have been suggested in the first place, despite similar rules in place across the country.
“These are absolutely shocking proposals put forward by Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders, it completely ignores the significant safety risk of these weapons and the huge animal welfare impacts they will also have,” he said. she declared.
According to Ms Hurst, there has been a community backlash against the reform from people in regional and rural NSW – some saying they are “mortified” by the proposed changes.
Currently it is unclear when or if these changes will be implemented, but Animal Justice MP said she will keep a close eye in case the government tries to “sneak in”.
As for her thoughts on parents like Zach encouraging their children to take part in the activity, Ms Hurst said her party was very concerned about the “traumatic experiences” faced by children who hunt.
“I mean, it puts this toddler in a very dangerous situation and also risks trauma to him seeing an animal die and be torn to pieces. It’s really concerning. »
Zach admits it can be difficult at first, but said once his seven-year-old son realized where the meat came from, he started to like going out.
“It’s time we spend bonding…and they learn the step of putting fresh meat in their freezer.”