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Post you suggestions as to how to get more youth into hunting.

Folks,

What would motivate you to introduce a kid to hunting?

Not a son, daughter, close niece/nephew, etc.; but a kid that wouldn't have the opportunity, otherwise.

Don't be shy or humble with your suggestions. What incentive would put you in the woods, this spring, with a kid who wouldn't be going if not for you?

Focus on turkey hunting as you offer your replies.

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Sound like your saying, a kid who is not related to the hunter. like a kid that lives down the street from you.
First problem, if anything goes haywire and the child is injured, you are likely to get sued.
 

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I wouldn't want the responsibility on public land but if I had my own property in a heart beat! Need more kids involved. To many video games engulfing the youth of today.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guys,

Those are valid concerns. And I share them. Hence the question. What would motivate you to take a kid hunting? The parent/ guardian would accompany. And instead of a complete stranger, think about the kid down the road, or the kid that goes to school with your kid (But, their only chance of being exposed to hunting is likely thru you).


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I would and have if asked. If the parents are OK with it, and I know the kid a little bit. I would take him/her shooting first to see how compfortable they are shooting. Then some scouting, and if everything is good, I would take them hunting, if I was just asked..
 

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This is an interesting twist on the old question of how to get kids started in hunting. I'd be interested to hear what caused you to ask.

Over the years I've participated quite a lot in getting kids involved with the outdoors; organized youth fishing tournaments, helped create the county's first National Hunting and Fishing Day events, promoted youth involvement in pheasant releases, etc. At my current stage of life though, I'm not too sure I could be lured into contributing much time. Limited vacation, and grown kids of my own who live far away (requires travel time to visit them), don't allow much time to dedicate to others without taking a real hit out of my own hunting and fishing. I guess I'm just selfish with my time.

All that said, as I get closer to retirement I sometimes think about what I'm going to do with my extra time. Mentoring kids in outdoor activities is high on the list of ideas. There are kids with the need and interest. Did you ever attend a Hunter Safety session and notice the kid whose non-hunting mother brought him because the kid just wanted to experience hunting? The opportunity is there.

I don't see myself donating much time for the next two or three years. Even then I'm inclined to think I would opt to start them fishing or shooting clays before turkey hunting, but I do believe if you could get a kid out and have an old Tom gobble from about 10 yards behind him, you'd have him hooked. At least that's what happened to me.
 

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The nature of the questions makes me believe you may be affiliated with NWTF, and if so, thanks from the bottom of my turkey hunting heart. I would be a dues paying member if only I could afford the dues.
The three things that would motivate me the most to take the kid down the street turkey hunting would be time, money and location.
Time, as has already been mentioned here, is in short supply. Early youth season would work, and I would love to get some extra field time any way i can, but scouting where I'll be hunting takes time too. Also, I have a young family, and my wife is already about to strangle me for the time I'm not home!
Money for me is tight, even down to the gas in my tank. I would like to invest in the future, and I will take just about anyone hunting who are willing to share a ride, but driving halfway across the state for a weekend to help kids get involved would just not be in the budget.
Lastly, the only land I have is owned by the state. There can be good hunting, but it does take resources to prepare for a decent public land hunt, whether that's travel expenses to the right area or time to scout out the areas that are accessible. The goal would be to get a kid the best opportunity and that takes both of the above with what I have available in this category. In addition, hunting pressure where it is close enough to reach and where time is not as much of an issue is awful, and could be frustrating for a new hunter at best and just plain dangerous at worst.
If you can solve these, in full or in part, I might be interested in lending a hand.
 

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Folks,

What would motivate you to introduce a kid to hunting?

Not a son, daughter, close niece/nephew, etc.; but a kid that wouldn't have the opportunity, otherwise.

Don't be shy or humble with your suggestions. What incentive would put you in the woods, this spring, with a kid who wouldn't be going if not for you?

Focus on turkey hunting as you offer your replies.

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Why? What's your purpose?

By the way-update your profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys,
Thanks for your input. Bandit, it is insight like yours that helps me understand some of the obstacles.
A couple have asked why I ask the question (and, no, I'm not affiliated with any organization)-

Short answer is, I believe hunters and conservationist are one in the same.

Fewer kids are getting into hunting, because there are fewer exposure opportunities for them. That's not a good thing for hunting or conservation.
I came from a non-hunting family. But, I was fortunate enough to grow up in the country and have a buddy that exposed me to hunting. As hunting has been my passion ever since, I am forever grateful for both of those opportunities.

Fewer kids are afforded those opportunities nowadays; especially those that live in the city.
Outside of introducing a few of my family members to hunting, truth is, I've never done anything to really pay it forward. I need to change that. Hunting and the outdoors has given me too much over the years. And given the #'s of folks putting down their bows/guns, I also believe that we (hunters) are at a critical point in the future of hunting.

So, I'm giving some thought as to ways I might be able to do something about it; if even on a local level. Which is why I posed the question to you all. I need to understand what might motivate someone to get involved.

Thanks again, and please keep your thoughts coming.


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I absolutely agree with everything you said but have to wonder why you aren't affiliated with any clubs. All the conservation organizations have youth related programs. NWTF has Jakes, Ducks Unlimited has Green Wings, etc. There is strength in numbers and a person can have a lot more impact with the backing of a solid organization. Those organizations need member volunteers like you to make things happen.

I mentioned above having started a youth fishing tournament. The first year that event was sponsored by a small conservation club and (on a rainy day) only ended up hosting 8 kids. The following year the weather was nice but we still only ended up with about two dozen participants. The 3rd year we held the event during National Hunting and Fishing Day and co-hosted with the NWTF. NWTF provided prizes, volunteer staffing and funding for advertising. More than 240 kids participated! The strength of the organization made all the difference.

Todays's kids tend to be social creatures who like competition and group activities. My guess is that if you can get substantial numbers of them together the ones who have a real interest in hunting will find the kind of contacts (like yourself, and me again in a couple more years) who will make their hunting experience possible. Laying the ground work is critical.

Along those same lines, my son brought something to my attention that he thinks will hurt the future of hunting. He said he remembers when he was too young to hunt and I would take him to the check stations when checking in a deer. He said the excitment at those check stations: deer, hunters, stories and the whole atmosphere was exciting to him and made him want to be a part of it. His concern is that on-line checking takes that away. Sad to think, but I believe he's right.
 

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I would second the opinion that if you want to help get more youth outdoors join an organization. There are many great organizations that have the same concerns about getting the youth involved. I've been involved with the QDMA for 5 years and our youth events are as rewarding as any hunting I've done myself.


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I agree with mossback's kid. Growing up in FL all the wma's had check stations at the entrances. Anyone who harvested would stop off and have the animal inspected and measured. You could admire someone elses kill or enjoy an attaboy from your peers, and for a kid that meant a whole lot. Sometimes you could get a quota hunt permit from someone who signed it over and score a hunt you might not have been drawn for. All in all, I miss the check station system even now as an adult, but I always looked forward to stopping on the way out as a boy.

You know, a social enviroment like that in an organized youth hunt would be a good way to really excite an otherwise unreached kid.
 

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I remember being in high school our FFA had a pest hunt every year. Now us country kids had the upper hand, because most of us had places to kill pests and had the equipment to do so. There was a set number of kids that lived in town though that they got interested in seeing how we came in with our weekends kill every monday. Many of them asked to start going along and before we knew it we had a possy of FFA kids killing birds, woodchucks, coyotes, anything and everything that walks and crawls and doesnt have a season.
I feel as though it was the sense of competition combined with the general interest in shooting and hunting that drove many of the kids that lived in town to step out of their shell and want to start hunting.
As a college student i had many friends that found out that i was a hunter and many of them became very interested. I would tell them stories of my hunt, share meat with them(which i think got them most interested), and offered to take them. Those of us that met in college that already hunted started a deer camp with 4 of us. that number has grown in the past 3 years from 4 to 15. out of that 15, 7 of us grew up in the country and of the 7, 5 of us hunted as kids.
The kid has to have a general interest in the sport, and i feel as though that has to come from his friends, or just observation. invite on to go out scouting, set stands, shoot guns or bows. I feel as though all kids should at least have the opportunity available, and by making yourself available to them you get them interested. As the Nuge says, "take your kids hunting, so you dont have to hunt for your kids"
 

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I find it hard enough sometimes to pull my own kids away from the ps3 to go out shooting or hunting.

That being said, I think a good way to introduce the kid down the road or someone else is through your own kids, or grandkids.

If you get them involved, you can then tell them to see if one of their friends would want to come over and shoot sometime. If their friend enjoys that, you can then proceed to see if they would want to join you and your kid on a hunt sometime, maybe just observing at first. If they enjoy that and want to pursue it more, you could help them get set up for a hunters safety class, and let them actually hunt with you the next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I hear you guys, and completely agree. Especially that there are strengths in numbers, and that the social aspect plays a big role (like check-in stations and FFA) I have considered joining an association. Can I ask?:

Which organization/s do you feel does the best job in this respect? Why?

Do you feel these organizations are having the impact hunting needs; especially as it pertains to outreach?

If not, why?

Please understand that I'm not asking with the intent of challenging any of the organizations. They are all doing good, no doubt. I'm asking because I wonder if there is a void to fill that might add to their/our efforts.

All have been awesome with your responses; I'm finding pearls in each of them. Please continue.




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I don't have kids but I did get into hunting partly through an outreach program - NWTF's Women in the Outdoors. A lot of my friends from the program do have kids. The program is genius. What another great way to get kids into hunting. There are a lot of kids being raised with mom often being the primary custodial parent. If mom hunts then the kids get exposed to the sport. Even in intact families, I see many of my friends where dad and mom and kids all spend a lot of time together hunting. So just wanted to point out a different way that outreach programs can help get kids into hunting.

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great thread...its hard today to get your own kid into hunting...i'm the type that dont push them into this...but mine went the way of video games...maybe i should have pushed some...:nono:

as for helping others...especially with their parents being involved...i've hoped for awhile now to purchase some land near public ground for the deer camp(wn)...and a big focus will be put on getting families to the camp...it wont be as much as me getting a child into hunting but where a parent or parents can bring their child to hunt and camp...it would be a fantastic time to be a part of something like that...something i would call priceless...and that it would be...:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't have kids but I did get into hunting partly through an outreach program - NWTF's Women in the Outdoors. A lot of my friends from the program do have kids. The program is genius. What another great way to get kids into hunting. There are a lot of kids being raised with mom often being the primary custodial parent. If mom hunts then the kids get exposed to the sport. Even in intact families, I see many of my friends where dad and mom and kids all spend a lot of time together hunting. So just wanted to point out a different way that outreach programs can help get kids into hunting.

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Bluedog,

Great point. It's got my wheels spinning. My sister raised my nephew by herself. She was always looking for ways to expose him to "guy stuff"; and as importantly for her, opportunities for him to have strong male influence in his life.

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Which organization/s do you feel does the best job in this respect? Why?

Do you feel these organizations are having the impact hunting needs; especially as it pertains to outreach?
If not, why?

I'm finding pearls in each of them. Please continue.
I'm not sure how many pearls are left in this old oyster but I'll take a stab at your questions.

Best organizations?
It isn't so much the organization as the involvement of the local chapter. If you Google "youth events" along with the name of any conservation group you'll find that a lot is being offered. The problem is, there may be very little offered in your area. The good news is that people like kids and many local chapters would be willing to support a youth program is someone was willing to come forth and take charge. This is one time the masses prefer to be Indians, not Chiefs. The leaders spend a lot of time organizing while the workers get to enjoy the fun of game day. Keep in mind that while an organization like Ducks Unlimited isn't interested primarily in turkeys, they are interested in conservation, they do have funds, and they MAY be the best group to help you achieve your goals.

Outreach and impact?
As for impact, I'd say "absolutely." Today's organizations are more focused on conservation and management of the resource than ever before and their future depends on the impact they have on the upcoming generation. There was a time when hunting was a means of filling a game bag and freezer. Responsible hunters have come to realize that we don't have an endless supply of game unless we manage it properly, and conservation groups are the tool they use support that. I'd much rather today's youth learn about wildlife and habitat management through a group (organization) of concerned volunteers than from Uncle Jeb who believes anybody who doesn't limit out each trip out is a loser.

As for outreach, we're back to how strong a chapter is. Reaching out can be a lot of work. It is more than just posting a notice on the bulletin board of the local grocery. An agressive recruiter may talk with the area's game protector, visit (with prior approval) hunter safety courses, solicit donations and prizes, organize volunteers and be willing to think out of the box about how to draw the attention of kids. You get out it what you're willing to put into it.
 
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