Each season ends in May, and I have the time to sit back and relax. In relaxing at home, I get to finally catch up with my two sons and my wife. My sons will ask how my season ended up, and the question is always about the number of birds killed or hunters in camp. It really makes me contemplate the future of hunting.
We need to discuss with our children the ins and outs of hunting and take them into the field. We need to introduce them to the outdoors, guns and animals. The sights and sounds of nature at first light, the smell of the marsh while putting out decoys, and the friendships with hunters and retrievers should all be something we share with our children. If we don’t take more kids hunting, then the sport we love will die with us.
Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas are just a few states that offer a youth weekend and youth only waterfowl days. These days offer a wonderful time to get outdoors and focus not on the birds but on the kids we are taking. Nothing in the world is more rewarding than taking kids hunting and watching the smile on their face after their first experience with dove, deer, ducks or turkeys.
I had the pleasure of taking out a young girl from South Carolina last season on her first turkey hunt. She was nervous, excited and scared when the turkeys started their morning on the limb. As the turkeys flew down and started to strut their way across the field, she grabbed my arm and squeezed. I lost feeling in my arm quickly, but the turkeys made a fast approach. She killed her Tom Rio Grande turkey at eleven steps, and the smile stayed on her face the rest of the day.
It is our job to take a kid hunting today and tomorrow and each season to better their lives and secure the sport of hunting in the future.