When I was growing up, I remember that several men in my family would go off to hunt white tailed deer in the Fall. I grew up in the Midwest and being able to supplement one’s freezer with fresh, prized meat from Nature was a welcome treat. Today, we have had our youth so tied up with running from one sport to another, having so many extracurricular activities, that most of them could not see Hunting as a potential Hobby. Let’s stop this loss of our hunting heritage and engage youth NOW!
If you are not sure about how to start your son or daughter down the path to the thrill of hunting, there are many state organizations already set up to help. If you type into the search engine bar the words, “youth hunting”, you will find a number of listings for the various states. Below is an example of the first paragraph from the State of Texas site: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/youth_hunting/.
“The future of hunting and wildlife in Texas is in the hands of our youth. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department encourages experienced hunters to seek out youth and provide the guidance to make the event both enjoyable and educational for the beginning hunter.
If you live in Indiana, you will find that the DNR has listings about Youth Hunting which include “free days” for those 17 years and under to start to hunt. Click on this site to see more: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/9323.htm. In Indiana the following is true for waterfowl hunting:
“Any resident age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can take any legal game in season during these youth free hunting days. To participate, the youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age. The youth’s adult partner must be in close enough proximity to monitor and be able to communicate with the youth hunter at all times. The adult may help the youth hunter with calling game but may not carry a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow, except for a handgun carried lawfully. The adult must possess a valid hunting license, unless exempted from needing a license. During the free youth hunting days, neither a hunting license, nor a State migratory waterfowl stamp, nor a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number is required to hunt waterfowl or other migratory birds for resident youth hunting or nonresident youth. All persons 16 years or older must possess a federal duck stamp.”
“The youth hunter and adult partner must wear hunter orange. The youth hunter may use a legal firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow to take a deer. The adult partner cannot take a deer and may not possess a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field with the youth hunter, except for a handgun carried lawfully. Only one antlerless deer may be taken on DNR-managed Fish and Wildlife areas and some other DNR properties. The youth hunter must comply with all other deer hunting regulations.”
Check out your state for more information about the rules of Youth Hunting in your state.
An alternative to seeking out local land to hunt, and, to start out correctly giving your son or daughter an education about hunting from professionals, you should sign up for a hunting adventure at a reputable ranch/lodge. We at Gage Outdoor Expeditions have several options for you and your son/daughter to join us at Historic Thunderstik Lodge in South Dakota for a safe and educational Wingshooting experience. Or, depending on what you type of animal you wish to hunt, we have options all around the country. Our lodges have professional staff to help guide you and your child in learning proper gun handling and safety, learning about how to take the shot, the best ammunition, what to wear, etc. And if you would rather learn to use a Bow for hunting, our guides will take your through the safe handling for bow hunting. Call Mercy at # 763-595-5936 to learn more about this opportunity. And visit www.gageoutdoor.com to see the variety of hunts and services we offer.