Youth hunts: Are they working?

  • Article by: Doug Smith , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 6:07 AM

It’s difficult to measure whether mentored hunts produce hunters. Proponents say any gain makes it worthwhile.

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verdepatoApr. 16, 13 8:45 PM

As a avid hunter whose father took me in the early and who has taken my sons and grandsons QUIT these early season youth hunts They ruin in for everyone else Make the kids feel as if they are above the rest of us There is no need Those that will go will go anyhow with or without youth seasons They make no common sense at all no matter how you slice it

fishanhunt2Apr. 17, 13 8:37 AM

The right parenting and mentoring in regard to introducing our youth to hunting can be done effectively during the regular seasons. There is need for youth hunts if adults recognise their responsibilities we all share in bringing the next generation along in the outdoors. Do we have early youth season for fishing? No. If we as adults do not have time to take our youth with us during the regular seasons, then maybe we need to reexamine our personal roles and as mentors and parents as to why we don't.

spierceohsApr. 17, 13 8:56 AM

You both have actually made points for having a youth hunt. Many kids don't have a grandparent or parent that is willing to take the time to mentor their child. I agree with both of you, that is the way it should be, the reality is it's not happening. This is a way to get those kids interested in hunting.

briansiApr. 17, 13 9:06 AM

It is a falsity to say youth hunts screw things up for the rest of us. This is usually an argument made by people with no eligible youth in their own household. A good hunter isn't worried about whether the animal has been "put on alert" by a youth hunt that happened earlier in the fall. I think if nothing else, the youth hunts remind the rest of us in our selfish lives that if we want the legacy to continue, we might want to introduce some young people to the sport.

tombusterApr. 17, 1310:05 AM

I'm a 72 year old life long hunter. My father was an avid hunter who introduced me to hunting by the time I was 7 years old. I did the same for my son. That's the tradition that we would hope happens, but in todays world this doesn't happen as much as we would hope. Because of this fact I am mentoring three youth this year for turkey hunting. The youth are non related to me, and are simply just kids who want to hunt turkeys but may not have a chance otherwise. Ages of the youth are 9,12,and 14. I have to fit their hunts between my own turkey hunts in MN and WI. I mentored one youth last year who was successful in harvesting a turkey. I have never seen a youth as excited about anything as he was when he walked up to his downed turkey. The moral of this story is I believe any exposure we can give to youth to the hunting sports is worth the time whether it be during a special youth hunt or a regular hunting season.

gadams500Apr. 17, 1312:30 PM

I don't have an opinion either way about special youth hunts. Participation is so low it really has no impact one way or another. I do question though why it is a purpose of the State to encourage more hunting/fishing participation at all. Do they go around encouraging participation in other hobbies? I am an avid hunter/fisherman and offer to take my son and daughter with me most times. I think the State making effort to recruit additional hunters and fisherman is just plain strange.

oldmannickelApr. 17, 1312:48 PM

My father is an avid hunter in his late 60s and he did his best to raise me as a hunter. I recall going out with him for duck/deer openers while I was in elementary and middle school and enjoying it. As soon as high school came around though, I lost interest. Sports, homework and social events were a big part of high school and if you missed out on the social scene of high school, you felt left out. At some point I drifted away from hunting because of this at about this time. I don't think I'll ever deer hunt again, but I've come back to hunting water fowl and birds. Mentoring is a great way to get kids involved but hunting isn't for everyone and kids will pick and choose their hobbies as they will.

verdepatoApr. 17, 13 4:20 PM

Disagree about early season not affecting other season Especially duck season The ducks simply move to other places (Iowa or further south) I have witnessed the early season youth pheasant season in SD move all the pheasants of the public land also No reason for this early season No reason why you cannot mentor during the normal season

gimruisApr. 18, 13 3:30 PM

When I started hunting as a kid, I went on opener just like everyone else. There was no "special youth" hunt. These youth hunts are getting out of hand. The early waterfowl hunt ruins opening day for many other waterfowl hunters. I could see an early fishing opener coming someday. If these kids don't wanna hunt, so be it. But if they do, they need to enter the lottery for a turkey license just like everyone else.

langstonApr. 18, 13 4:04 PM

Duck hunting is cold, miserable, and dumb. Don't do it! Sleep in, you'll be glad you did.


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