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Mentored youth?

Old 03-04-2009, 07:15 AM
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Default Mentored youth?

I don't want to [&:]bird that other thread so I'm starting this one.

I am not in agreement with the mentored youth program. Getting kids to build a life time attachment to the out of doors is a noble goal yet I feel the unlimited age rule is wrong in so many ways.
In some cases 12 years old might be a little past prime to get a kids interest and develop it into a life time passion.But just as 12 might be old 5-8 year olds have none of the developmental aspects of actually hunting.
I feel that dads ego is more the driving force than a child's desire to enjoy the outdoors. I also feel that thispre youthapproach will lead to adolescent burn out and that these kids will find new and more exciting adventures as teenagers and they to will leave hunting as a "Been there done that " sort of sport.[]
Target shooting and fishing are great things for youngsters ,lets not push hunting on them before they are capable of understanding the highs and lows of the sport we all love.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:31 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

I was actually thinking about this as well...........I fully appreciate and understand the need to get their noses out of the Portable Playstations and away from Hannah Montana and at least expose and introduce them to the outdoors but the unlimited age things is a little sketchy for me too.
It has nothing to do with being greedy about the animals they are killing, it's more of the notion that these young kids are maybe being pressured into feeling like killing something is the driving force and THAT'S the definition of success.......at 5,6,7 years old is a kid developmentally ready to shoot a deer with a high powered rifle and kill it? Hell they're still watching Sponge Bob at that age.

I think there should honestly be levels for participation , small game and squirrels for kids 7-10 which would eliminate the adult ego concern and give the kids more plentiful game and maybe a concept of life and death a little easier to grasp than standing over a deer. Then at 10-12 they can graduate to actual mentored deer and turkey hunting. They're more mature as kids and better able to handle the arms needed to take these animals.

At some point we need to realize that our kids involvement in the outdoor sports and namely hunting have more to do with the time shared with a caring parent or mentor rather than the attempt at instant gratification of "Scoring"
It's an Xbox world and I don't think we should turn the woods into that either even though the Xbox is apparently stiff competition.

There are plenty of ways for a youngster to be involved with dad on a deer hunt, the killing IMO is not necessary.

I'm 100% in favor of mentored youth hunting but not wild about the way it is being regulated personally. I know if I'm lucky enough to have a son or daughter or find myself charged with introducing a youngster to hunting i will do it a bit differently than "All in" at the earliest age and put the emphasis on killing.
I want the desire to hunt to come from something else.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

When you see a seven year old kid working on a turkey slam you know that its not the kids Idea.
And any one who is serious about hunting hopes their kids will find the same satisfaction and enjoyment from a life time of outdoor activities.But that ultimately is up to the child.
I see some adultsthat refuse to let their children be children.
I don't know who's to blame more,the guy that names his son "Hunter" ,or the one that names him "Harley".
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:15 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

I'm in favor of the youth program -WHEN DONE PROPERLY. I had the great pleasureof being able to take my then 7 year old daughter out last spring for the youth turkey hunt. WE practiced with the shotgun and practiced her sitting still right in my lap between my knees, so I could help her shoulder the gun and give her every instruction. As outlined in the regs, I carried the weapon to and from the field.WE had an aweosme time and she still talks about it. I had located a flock of five jakes and had them patrened before the season, even roosting them the night before. She had a very long, steep, uphill climb in the dark to get up there to them, and I was so proud she didn't complain at all. WE had them going and all gobbling together and headed our way when they just turned off. We disvovered later that another hunter just above us with his son had inadvertently spooked them, but we really didn't care. We had action and she had an unforgettable experience listening to those five birds gobbling every time I hit the call. She cannot wait to go with me again this year, and my little buddy (5) is already better on a diaphragm call than some adult men I know. I will take him possibly next year...if I feel he is ready. That is the key and why the PGC left this reg so open ended with regards to what you can and cannot do. Each of us with kids is charged with making a responsible decision as to if our kids are ready. Done right, this has the potential to steer our kids in the right direction and give them a taste of things to come before the competitive sports and other activities win them away. I personally think that it is one of the few positives to come from the PGC in the last few years. Let US decide when they are ready. Each child is different. Dobn't force it on them, and don't expect them to have to be successful to please you. The best times are had when the childrenknow that regardless of the outcome of the hunt, the most important thing to you as a parent is being with them, and enjoying the outdoors together.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:16 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

BTW, my son's middle name is HUNTER... and he loves it!
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:50 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

Was there a fault in the way you were introduced to hunting?

I really have to question how many seven year olds look forward to 4 AM alarm clocksand dark woods as to a warm bed and sponge bob.

Myself, I think sunny days bluegill fishing after hot dogs over a camp fire are more likely to draw kids to the outdoors than apredawn plunder through the woods being really quite.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:02 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

ORIGINAL: bawanajim

Was there a fault in the way you were introduced to hunting?

I really have to question how many seven year olds look forward to 4 AM alarm clocksand dark woods as to a warm bed and sponge bob.

Myself, I think sunny days bluegill fishing after hot dogs over a camp fire are more likely to draw kids to the outdoors than apredawn plunder through the woods being really quite.
We have plenty of those sunny days spent catching bluegills. This hunt last year was a one day occurence, not a week or month long routine.That is for us older hunters...ahh, the insanity otherwise known as spring turkey hunting! She thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the hunt. Thatis the gauge of the youth hunt success...not a dead bird. Do I wish I was introduced differently? Perhaps. I know I longed to participate for several years before I was twelve, and though I "tagged along", I still wished for the chance to get a deer. I had been shooting deer rifles very well for a couple of years by that time. I think I would have definitely been ready and prepared to harvest a deer by the age of 8 or 9 with the proper supervision. A good friend of mine several years ago started taking his young son to out of state hunts where he could hunt at the age of nine. Now at age thirteen, this young man has harvested close to a dozen deer mostly with bow, two buffalos with his bow, and several exotics as well. He absolutely loves hunting and I know his dad never pressured him to do anything he didn't already want to do. It is all in preparation. If you don't feel your kids are prepared enough, then just don't paticipate. Don't hate those of us that feel our kids are ready.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

Introducing young people to the outdoors. This is what we must never forget,they are kid's. Make it as fun as possible when you take your own or someone else's child to the outdoors. My daughters first outdoor experience was fishing. We took along her favorite board game at that time. we fished a little,then we played board games.When I first let my daughter(age 8)shoot,it was a pellet rifle. I set up cans at ten feet away and almost side by side.So she almost couldn't miss. Don't worry about groups and bullseye's.Each time when we went shooting ,I asked first,if she wanted to go. When she did,it was her choice.When I first took my daughter for a walk in the woods,I kept it a short easy walk and we packed a little lunch.I just let herfind what's interesting toher at that time,while on our walks.If you have your child along for a hunt,don't be so serious. Ask the child if and when they would like to move to another spot when action is slow. Ask the child when they want to take a snack break. Ask the child when they want to call it a day.Any other method that you can come up with to make that outdoor experience fun,"DO IT" After all,they are kids!
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

I have no problem with any of the mentored youth hunting programs and have already heard the arguments against it.

If the kid and parent think the kid is ready, fine with me. There is also now a move to let a mentored youth shoot a doe, IF the mentor/parent has a doe tag and will let the mentored youth shoot the doe, thereby using the mentor's doe tag. No problem with that either.

Many other states have neverhad a minimum age to hunt, left it up to the parents to decide. For many years NY wouldn't let anyone under the age of 16 hunt big game, now I think they've finally dropped it to 14 in recent years? 14 years is too long to wait to let kids hunt deer and turkeys.

Somewhere in between those two "extremes" is probably the best answer to introducing kids to hunting and it's most likely below our age of 12 for the first hunting license.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: Mentored youth?

My grandson is 4 years old. Obviously not old enough to hunt. He is too small to even hold a gun let alone shoot it himself. But he loves to go with me. I take him setting stands, preseason scouting and I've taken him with me for squirrels to see how he could tolerate it. At that age, they just can't sit still and are constantly jabbering and asking questions. But how else can they learn. He already has a .22, a 7-08 and a 20 ga shotgun waiting for him in my safe. He still needs a few more years under his belt. But we are not pushing him.
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