does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

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does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby blackduckkilla13 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:02 am

I waterfowl hunt with guys from all over the state and from some of the hotspots to areas with little or now pressure. After this weekend, the youth hunt, I was left asking "does the youth hunt serve its purpose"? Is the youth hunt really increasing youth hunter participation fromkids who would otherwise not go? Personally, it does not affect me as my kids are to little, and it does not disrupt where I hunt so I just listened to the guys who it Does affect. What I learned from what other guys are seeing is that the youth program fails because the kids that go out are ones that would go out with an adult anyway. IE a dad or family member would take them hunting without the youth season. Consequently, the youth hunt does somewhat disrupt the opener in some heavily hunted areas as birds are simply blown out of the area.Therefore, if this fact is true, that the youth hunt is not gaining new waterfowlers that would never go without this season, should we ask for it to be removed? Real curious as to what you guys think????
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby A-Bomb » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:13 am

Im torn here, and this is why. If anyone has hunted a bingo at all, youll know what i mean. A youth season where the adult can not take the gun, has low/moderate turnout(at the area near my home anyways), while a bingo with youth priority during regular season, where the adult can also carry a gun, has a higher turn out. Hunting area is also limited youth vs. regular season because of whats flooded and whats not, so that is also a factor. Outside those youth hunts, you rarely see the kids there. That is my issue. I think its important to take the kids all season long. Get them involved, thats the best way to know if its their cup of tea or not. If they enjoy it,theyll wanna go, if not the wont.

Now, here is why i like the youth hunt. Its warm out, allows the kids to get out and be comfortable. Also, the birds are very cooperative, the chances of getting good opportunity is very high. It truly can grasp the interest of a young person and make them wanna do it. Proof is my cousin Will. His first ever waterfowl experience was on a youth hunt when he joined our family via marriage. Three years ago was his first hunt. Absolutely no hunting back round. After that youth hunt, all he wants to do is waterfowl hunt. He is included on all of our hunts that he is not in school or staying with his Dad. Now, last year he asked a friend of his to join him on the youth hunt. Came from a hunting family, but not a waterfowling family. So, we took him along, gave him the opportunity under the nice conditions, lots of birds etc. Guess what, the kids hooked. He goes with us whenever he can and participated in the youth hunt again this season...Its my belief that he will take up waterfowling on his own once he is able to do so. All started by the youth hunt which gave him a high percentage of success.

As far as pushing birds out, i dont think it has a long term effect. Its two days and thats it and then a week to eighteen days before the opener depending on the zone your in. Plenty of time for birds to move back into these areas. And if theyre not there, its time to get out and go scout and find some birds instead of having a one and done spot type approach. If someone hunts that way, theyre gonna have a long season when they blow the birds outta their themselves anyhow.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby sws002 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:39 am

I think it serves its purpose, for a couple of reasons. First off, I've killed a lot of ducks over the past 13 years or so that I've been allowed to hunt them. But I still remember every little detail of the first duck I shot, a mallard hen at some serious distance, irrigation motor humming in the background, having trouble seeing her flying over the cattails, how hard that single shot 12 gauge kicked (we call it the Mule now). I can honestly say that all it took was one suzie to get me hooked, now it may have taken a few years of juggling, high school, college and football to get there, but it was always all I ever wanted to do, just a matter of time, now I spend all my free time doing it. Now, that being said, it also helps that I had a father and in the case of my youth hunt a grandfather that were very supportive and into the sport as well, so I can see both sides of this argument.
However, we were able to round up a couple youth to take out for the youth hunt this weekend. Funny thing is, in our eyes, the thing was a total bust. We had been hunting the same couple fields all early goose season and seeing literally thousands of ducks every day. We have footage of ducks nearly landing on us while we are standing in the spread. We didn't see a single duck. A little background on these kids, one was 10 and the other was 14, both of them have some hunting experience, but like the majority of youth, it was deer hunting. As a matter of fact, one of the kids showed up wearing an orange hoody underneath his camo vest. We were about an hour into shooting light and had seen probably half a dozen geese working a couple fields about 3/4 of a mile away, so we'd call to them to see if we could get there attention, but it wasn't happening. We were absolutely frustrated when the weirdest thing happened. The 14 year old sat up in his layout blind, turns to us and goes, this is WAY more fun than deer hunting. I was bewildered, here, we were absolutely blown away that we couldn't find a bird for these kids to shoot at, but yet, they were having a great time.
Anyway, we did get them a shot at a goose and a couple other close encounters to get their blood pumping. But it didn't matter, the kids still had a great time, and if that leads to them becoming future duck hunters just like it did me, well I'd say the youth hunt is a great success and at that I could honestly care less if it screws up my opener.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby blackduckkilla13 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:36 pm

Thanks, and I think we can all agree about the enjoyment and memories made while duck hunting. Also, I applaud both of you for taking kids out when most people and parents don't. I like hearing both sides of an debate and hope that the youth hunt grows waterfowlers that would never go if it was not for you guys and the special season.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby A-Bomb » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:05 pm

Oh yeah, i know the kids have a blast, but i dont think they fathom in the least how much fun i am having watching them have fun. I mean, with Will i got to be part of his first two limits of birds on back to back days a couple years back, seeing the smiles on their faces, seeing the birds work, calling, reinforcing proper gun handling, teaching ID on birds etc etc. All that stuff is part of the youth hunt. ID in particular with birds that are basically brown ducks this time of year is a great teacher. Teaches patients and just cause a bird is in range doesnt mean you can shoot it without knowing what your shooting. Educating youth about that stuff is not only good for them, but very fulfilling for me. I know i am constantly telling him something about a bird or hunt or situation and ill ask him about it later on. Its amazing what they absorb. Just keep it fun and theyll take to it. I think its great, i hope youth seasons dont go away anytime in my life...I just wish that more could get involved and on a more consistant basis....Not to mention the hunting lifestyle is a good lifestyle. Teaches lots of lessons and It keeps you out trouble. :thumbsup:
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:57 pm

I do not believe that the point of the youth hunt is to bring youths into the hunting scene. To me it is more about them being able to enjoy a hunt without all of the pressure of the regular season. It is also a break in peroiod for them. although my children handle guns all year long, some do not. This early hunt puts the children with an adult that is NOT hunting and (in theory) paying very close attention to the young hunters, Educating them (or refreshing them) on the safety aspects of close quarters hunting, gun handeling and such. I use this time to watch them closely and monitor their activity and I do not have to concern myself with anything else but them. Then when the Regular season opens I know that there will be no issues or concerns where safety is involved. I do not see how the youth hunt in any way brings in more hunters, But My sons liked to brag that they were several ducks and geese up on me before I could hunt. :beer:


Even in regular season they always get to shoot first. I back them up or take the longer shots but I get most of my enjoyment out of watching them.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby blackduckkilla13 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:54 pm

I see what you mean, about teaching ethics/ rules. I have hunted waterfowl for over 15 years now and when the youth hunt for waterfowl, or any youth hunt is discussed I always here the justification as : "to increase new hunters who would otherwise not go". I wish I kept my copy of a DU article which stated this as a big goal of the youth hunts. Also, can't the issues listed in this forum be addressed during the regular season too? For example, don't take a kid on opening weekend, but take a kid on a slower weekend, put your gun away and then teach ethics, rules for your blind, and id of waterfowl? Can't a kid get a great day on the water that is not part of a separate season? Intersting ideas to say the least.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby A-Bomb » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:14 pm

Thats the problem..People just dont take the time outside of a special season. I dont blame the kids, i blame the adults. The future of waterfowling is in our hands, so get with it people. Youth hunts are fine, but take them all season too!
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:49 pm

blackduckkilla13 wrote:For example, don't take a kid on opening weekend, but take a kid on a slower weekend, put your gun away and then teach ethics, rules for your blind, and id of waterfowl?



That is exactly what is happening with the early hunt, you are taking them on a slow weekend and then when opening weekend arrives they are ready to go and have a GREAT time hunting all season long. And why put your gun away on a slower weekend if the early weekend is available and can be used for this purpose :huh: I have never heard it stated that the youth hunt was to bring in more hunters, That is our Job to bring our kids hunting. And if they have friends that want to learn I take them too. Some like it some do not. For instance, My youngest son absolutely loves duck hunting but is a complete opposite when it comes to deer hunting. i do not force him to hunt deer and we enjoy duck season to its fullest. :thumbsup:
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby Brent » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:39 pm

This is a great thread.

I'm torn too.

On the one hand, like all of us, I'm eager to see our sport survive. My own kids are too young to hunt but they're getting very close and the youth season is therefore appealing.

On the other hand, I'm a teacher that talks to my students constantly about hunting. Wingshooting, opening dates, swapping stories, favorite shotguns, loads, etc. They know Mr. Chambers loves to talk about this stuff. Which, invariably, means they tell me more than they should. The vast majority of the kids that talk to me about the youth season waterfowl hunt (and deer) are from hard core hunting families and to these kids (I teach at the high school level) the early season is about slaughtering lots of ducks when it is really easy. Some shoot over limits because they're on private property and know they can get away with it, hammer the snot out of woodies, and on more than one occasion have told me that adults have been with them gunning too.

I hope it goes without saying that these are opportunities for me to talk about hunting ethics but when they're telling me their dad or uncle was with them there is only so much I can do. I think there is a lot of winking and nodding with the early season.

So, again, I'm pretty torn.

I didn't have a youth season when I was mentored into our sport by my grandpa, dad and their friends. I turned out just fine starting with the grownups and being content with one or two birds.

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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby Bgold » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:42 pm

The youth season in washington state is 2 days long..
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby A-Bomb » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:56 am

Same here, its a Federal hunt in September thats two days long. Thats why im always confused as to why so many get up in arms over it. Granted, what Brent outlined is awful, but i honestly think its in the minority. Again, i speak for the encounters ive have. And theyre all positive. I can honestly say ive yet to encounter a negative occurrence that i can outline related to the youth season....One constant has been good opportunity and smiles all around. The kids have done well and piled them up or blown their opportunities and left the marsh with a few birds. In the end, it was another opportunity on top of the regular season outings for them to be out hunting and gain experience about waterfowling.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:27 pm

A-Bomb wrote:Same here, its a Federal hunt in September thats two days long. Thats why im always confused as to why so many get up in arms over it. Granted, what Brent outlined is awful, but i honestly think its in the minority. Again, i speak for the encounters ive have. And theyre all positive. I can honestly say ive yet to encounter a negative occurrence that i can outline related to the youth season....One constant has been good opportunity and smiles all around. The kids have done well and piled them up or blown their opportunities and left the marsh with a few birds. In the end, it was another opportunity on top of the regular season outings for them to be out hunting and gain experience about waterfowling.

:beer: :thumbsup:
That is what it is all about, Giving the gids the chance to be first, Learn, or refresh, their skills and practice safety. Overall in my experience it is a great time.
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby shoot-n-goose » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:15 pm

Did anyone see the Michigan Out Of Doors episode from this week? They had a youth hunt on the show on Saginaw Bay, and I happened to notice they we shooting group limits. They had 17 birds in the bag and both boys were shooting for the last bird :fingerhead:
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Re: does the youthhunt serve its purpose?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:50 pm

I do not like hunters taking group limits and by the rules it is not legal. I do not do it but I would not report hunters that say they shoot a group limit. Either way they can not take more that the limit of the licensed hunters in their group and in some cases everyone wants to lay claim to the one bird that drops anyway. We go by the left right center rule when groups come in and then take turns on singles. it avoids any confusion and limits the amount of shot in the bird :lol3:
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