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Youth Day
Here in New York State we have a weekend before each regular duck season called Youth Day. Where young hunters can hunt with a adult. I fought with this idea for years. I think its great for kids to hunt. But why can't they learn like we did. Hunt on opening day with their dad or older brother or a older friend. I never like that your teaching them that its going to be easy to hunt. The sights and sounds of a real opening day is what I remember as a child. Don't get me wrong! I know their trying to get more hunters on the books. And I did take both of my boys hunting on youth day when they were that age. But I still feel it hurts the sport. The ducks and geese get shot at early. They move out and find a safe place. Then the regular season come on and there are less birds in the swamps and creeks. I am older know so it doesn't matter to me. But those hunters that take off from work or take their vacation to hunt. They might just give up the sport for birds not being there on opening day. I don't know this about any of you. But it was opening day of duck season that got me hooked for life. Take a kid hunting and show them a great regular opening day.
anthony sr
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Good morning, Anthony~


It has been my pleasure to be a part of 8 or 9 Youth Days - mostly for ducks and geese but also for turkeys. I have thoroughly enjoyed each one - and believe they are a useful part of introducing the next generations to our passion.


In each case, our young "sport" enjoyed success - birds were brought home. But, there was never so much shooting that our bird populations became over-educated; there were always enough birds for us old guys when our regular season opened a week or two later.



I think the real benefit of having a day or two dedicated to just the young hunters allows us "guides" to give our full attention to putting birds in front of the newbie. We are not distracted by carrying our own guns and can fully play the role of teacher and spectator. We can carry cameras and watch the show.


In every case, the youth was outnumbered by veterans. In every case, I believe we old guys had even more fun than our "client".


All the best,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Steve

I agree with you for the most part. Its a great time to teach and to watch the kids grow as hunters. Now that I think about it. Back in the day !you could of learned some bad habits on opening day. Keep up the good work teaching the kids the right way. I always try to teach them not only hunting but to give back . Thanks for your reply, People like you do make a differences
anthony sr
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
I have participated in many youth days over the years. Deer , waterfowl & turkey. Started with my own youngest son when seasons first began in md. and progressed to my grandsons and granddaughters from my middle son. I,ve always I got a bigger kick out of scouting and guideing for them than if I was doing the shooting myself. I,ve always simply not hunted a prime spot during early youth waterfowl to keep that particular group of birds uneducated. Just go find some more birds for the kids and get twice the fun out of scouting for their hunt ! In Md. we have a youth waterfowl hunt after regular season has ended which is great as it gives us ol diehards one more hunt to participate in.
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Youth day is two saturdays here in NC after the regular season in February. Good for the kids because they can shoot a nice specimen for mounting and plus’s there are more birds here at that time. I do disagree that they change the youth age from 15 and younger to 17 and younger. But it is a good time to go out and watch and teach and share that experience with someone, makes me not selfish on trying to shoot the birds either.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Roy couldn't agree with you more, I use to take my sons out way before they were old enough to hunt. They use to come with their toy guns all in camo duck calls in hand. It just was during regular duck season. I have taken many kids out hunting for youth day. Yes it has its good points. But when I take then during normal duck season I still let them do all the shooting.
anthony sr
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Ben

Youth day is a good thing, I wasn't saying that its bad. I just like the way it use to be, Don't handle change that great. Steel mad about steel shot lol.
anthony sr
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
As Ben said here in NC we now have the two Saturdays after the regular season as youth days. (NC doesn't allow Sunday hunts for migratory birds)

My boys have aged out but the youth days are some of my greatest memories. Also some of the best hunting days I can remember in 50 years of gunning. A week without shooting seems to calm our birds down. Late season is always best here as well.

Since my boys are too old, I always try to fill our blinds up with kids.

My irritation is the number of folks that find excuses not to take their kids. If I invited dad and son during the regular season, I guarantee they would be there, but when dad can't hunt, lots of times something comes up. Burns me up.

John Bo Farley
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
New Jersey has a Youth Day a week before and a week after each of the three zones. I agree that it is better to let the youth have these days when only can shoot for their enjoyment and safety. Its also just as important to keep providing opportunities during the regular season. This photo of my nephew with his first duck may be the first picture I took while actually on a hunt. I took him out a few more times that season and a few times each season since. After those first couple hunts he was addicted and had his first boat before his first car.
________________________________________

My life has two seasons, duck season and carving season
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Re: Youth Day In reply to
Bob

Great job, Chalk up one for our side, Both of my boys were hooked when they were young. Only one hunts now. Because he hates getting up in the morning. He still loves the stories. And he always goes with me to plant rice and other plants in the wetlands of upstate New York. Thanks for sharing such a nice moment.

anthony sr

Last edited by:

anthony m coons sr: Jun 11, 2018, 12:54 PM