Like many young Montanans, Ella Anderson’s first time pulling a trigger was on a BB gun. She took to shooting right away and it wasn’t long before she was begging her parents to shoot the “big gun,” a bolt-action .22 rifle.
On Christmas morning children across the state ripped wrapping paper from new BB guns, single-shot shotguns and bolt-action rifles. The state’s hunting participation rate is among the highest in the country and the firearms tradition is often passed on during the holidays. But parents can struggle to navigate the many paths available when deciding what age to get a child into shooting, which gun to choose and how to get them acquainted with their firearm.