Young hunters gear up for annual youth turkey hunt

States across the country are beginning to focus on early youth hunts to increase the involvement of young hunters. All experienced hunters need to find interested youth and get them involved in outdoor activities, being that they are the future of our beloved sport and the conservation of our lands and waters! The lessons children learn afield such as persistence and patience will be applicable in many other life experiences. For the adult taking a child afield for the first time, there are a few things you can do to increase the young hunters odds of harvesting a bird.

Proceeding safely afield should be at the forefront of a youthís outdoor education, teaching when, where and how to do so are the most important tasks of the adult. Itís a proven fact that children involved in activities at younger ages tend to continue that activity throughout their lives. Our state has fortunately stepped up to get youths involved in outdoor sports at younger ages. Hopefully this will keep outdoors men numbers up in the future.

I have taken youth hunters out since the programís inception, but have noticed a lack of involvement from adults. With single-parent homes on the rise, there are more kids than ever needing this form of education. I consider it our job as sportsmen to locate and educate every willing child to the ways of the wild. To be honest, I feel sportsmen are dropping the ball. When I only see two to three other sportsmen afield daily with youths, I wonder why so few are being taken afield?

Greed is what I believe to be the most insidious deterring factor in youth-typed hunts. The fact is that most hunters donít want to give up a bird because of their possessive nature. I have personally heard many turkey hunters griping about the early youth hunts. The most common statements made are that the early pressure on animals hurts their odds of harvesting one. and that kids donít know how to call. And if they do call, shy birds will be created.

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