State's youth hunt a great introduction

Deer hunting can be an intimidating venture, especially for youngsters.
Oct 11, 2013

That’s why Michigan’s youth deer hunt is such a wonderful program.

Deer hunting — and hunting in general — is an important part of our heritage as Michigan residents. It’s also a huge part of our state’s economy, as hunters annually spend more than $2 billion on hunting, including trip-related expenses.

Years ago, young hunters were thrown into the fire, so to speak. Dads sent their boys out to the blind alone, in the dark, carrying a bow or a firearm, with the goal of killing a deer for the first time.

Today’s young hunters receive a much smoother introduction to the sport of deer hunting.

Now, with the youth deer hunt and the mentored youth hunt, youngsters are able to make their first trip hunting much less stressful. They walk out to the blind hand-in-hand with their dad, mom or other mentor. They sit next to that mentor, who can keep them company, offer advice and help with every step of the hunting process.

It’s no secret that there are dozens of other activities tugging at a kid's attention span. Sports. Jobs. Friends. They occupy time for much of the year.

But during those few wonderful weeks during the fall, when the leaves are turning and the days are getting shorter, there’s a chance to take your youngsters hunting.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has taken great strides to make it easier to introduce your youngster to the great outdoors.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

LessThanAmused

I wish they'd had programs like this when I was a kid. My dad did lots of things for me, but he was a city boy and didn't hunt.
It would've been nice to have a mentor as a kid to learn all that's needed to be a sucessful hunter.

dogbert1918

I think this is a wonderful program. I wish there was more places available to hunt. I think that is the toughest part of hunting. I am lucky and am an invited guest on some property up north. If I had more places to hunt, I know of several people I could introduce/mentor in hunting. I have two young boys and it is amazing of all the memories we have from hunting. Alot, most, don't even involve killing something. Theres the times we've heard coyotes, saw a couple of foxes, missed shots, turkeys that wouldn't come in, switching deer hunting spots and watching the deer look in the window of the blind we moved from, and on and on. I feel like one of the luckiest people alive to be able to experience all this stuff with my children.

Wingmaster

Take your kids hunting so you don't have to hunt for your kids is so true.

True appreciation for all things wild comes thru the hunters connection to the wild.

Spending time right now with young adults, family, friend's male and female all under the age of 30. These "kids" are just wonderful people that have been mentored by me or their parents since they could walk.

As stated above by dogbert, hunting is about all things surrounding the hunt that build repect, patients, understanding and reverance for the circle of life.

Lanivan

Have a safe, exciting, and happy hunt, Wing!

Wingmaster

Thanks and I am

Mark Thomason

This is great. Safe and enjoyable hunting requires practical experience with an experienced hunter. Firearms safety classes and hunter education classes are also very important, like time at the range, but they do not replace going out in the field with someone who knows what he is doing for one-on-one practical experience.

Hunting at its best is not a solitary sport. Taking your own child hunting, or your sister's child or a friend, being there for your child's first success, is as much fun or more as your own first. An old guy like me no longer needs his own kill to have a great time. It's still nice of course, but the bigger reward is passing it on and seeing it passed on. A hunting guide gets the best part of this, even without shooting.

Also, retaking a hunter education course or firearms safety course never hurt anyone. Go with your kid, take the course with your kid, talk about it before and after, show by your example that it is important. You'll have fun doing it. I did.

newsblogger

In all fairness.. my parent took us hunting the first few seasons. They also made sure we took the "hunters safety course" offered at the Grand Haven Junior High School in the 1970s. We also target practiced almost weekly to hone our skills before going into the woods with a loaded weapon.Do they still offer that class or is it just assumed everyone knows how to handle a gun/bow these days?

Mark Thomason

In 1969-72, my High School had "Gun Club" in which one of the regular teachers did hunter ed, gun safety, and supervised range time all year. We brought our guns to school, and took a school bus to the range.

Now I have put three kids through the same high school. No gun club. Certainly no guns to school or on school buses! I asked, they gave the usual reasons.

It is a loss. My kids lost out. The community lost out on a chance to teach something important. I had to do it, but what I did was not a year long club with a known teacher and a bunch of other interested kids showing peer interest. I would have done what I did anyway, in addition. It was all loss.

It was better before, the way they did it for me.

Lanivan

I recall my high school having a Gun Club during the same approximate time period as you. I guess that was in the days when the NRA had a more narrow focus on gun and rifle education and safety. To what do you attribute the loss of this club opportunity? Lack of interest? Could your children partake in this state youth hunt opportunity? Admitting the state youth program is probably not as comprehensive as the all- school-year Gun Club activities, do you feel it is a valuable state government program?

Mark Thomason

The article says, "Years ago, young hunters were thrown into the fire, so to speak. Dads sent their boys out to the blind alone, in the dark, carrying a bow or a firearm, with the goal of killing a deer for the first time."

That is not how I was taught. That is not how I'd ever teach my kids. I don't know anyone just sent out alone.

Was I over-protected? Am I over-protective? I don't think so. Read Robert Ruark's book "Old Man and the Boy," a real classic, about how his grandfather taught him to hunt, and at the same time lessons in life and responsibility. I believe that was more normal than "throwing them into the fire," certainly that was my experience.

Wingmaster

Agree that was just a dumb statement. A non hunter statement. My Dad, Uncles, and Grandpa all spent time with me in the woods. Each always emphasizing check your safety, load away from others, point the gun down, know your down range. I can't count the number of times I heard those words.

Hunt clubs in schools went away part due to political correctness, part due to over stimulation and distractions such as video games.

Deer hunting requires long sits on stand and nothing fast pace about it. Wonderful time to get the knots outta your rope tho.

Bird hunting is more fast pace and is wonderful exercise. Hand to eye coordination is on par with throwing a baseball/football.

After many seasons and kills it is even more of a charge now to watch someone's world light up by these outdoor experience.

Even if you do not want to hunt, get in the woods with a seasoned outdoors person.

"I will cleanse the soul"

jawbreaker10

I think teaching a child to kill comes under child cruelty, teach them instead to love and respect nature. Everyone wonders why there are so many murders everywhere, well maybe the reasons could start right at home.

Barry Soetoro

I taught my kids to hunt. When should I expect them to go on a multi-state killing spree?

Barry Soetoro

I taught my kids to hunt. When should I expect them to go on a multi-state killing spree?

jawbreaker10

I think teaching a child to kill comes under child cruelty, teach them instead to love and respect nature. Everyone wonders why there are so many murders everywhere, well maybe the reasons could start right at home.

LessThanAmused

Oh good lord.....deal with reality much?

Is it safe to assume you're a vegetarian, or a hypocrite?

rukidding

I'm going with uniformed putz! It's hard to fathom the intentions of some people's posts; jawbreaker should read the article and the other posts and attempt to get a feel for the conversation. This article is not about hunting; it's about mentoring children and spending time with them in nature. Hunting happens to be the vehicle in this instance to facilitate the process, a wonderful opportunity to teach gun safety and responsibility at the same time.

Urban Dictionary: putz
www.urbandictionary.com/define.p...

(n) a stupid, ignorant person; someone who doesn't pay attention to anything going on; one who makes stupid remarks.

Wingmaster

Rabble-rouser: a person who speaks with the intention of inflaming the emotions of a crowd of people, typically for political reasons.

LessThanAmused

That's YOU!

Nothing political about going hunting you goofball...lol!

After thinking about it, I'll bet you Jawbreaker wasn't even serious and we all fell for it.

Wingmaster

That's exactly why he posted (rabbel-rouser) to stir the emotion and poltics about guns......goofball

LessThanAmused

Ok, I'll give you that one. I just don't think of going hunting as a political issue, but I guess it is to some folks. Sad.

I would suggest using Troll next time, after all this is an internet forum.

A link! http://www.urbandictionary.com/d...

Wingmaster

Yup Troll is good too. BTW, did ya see what context he used to described a troll? LOL. I'll remember that next time.

LessThanAmused

Consider it a gift!

Actually #2 was the definition I was going for, but I guess any of them will work. If you want to see a troll around here though you need to go to the dining diva's thread and read Travelers posts. I'm sure the dude lives under a bridge somewhere.....

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