As we inch our way ever closer to fall and all of the hunting seasons that are associated with it, you have to wonder what the future has in store for our natural resources. It seems as if the youth of today are not as inclined to do the outdoors things that past generations have enjoyed.
There is so much technology available to today’s youth that entertaining themselves is never a problem. Many would rather sit in the comfort of their couch with a game in front of them and controller in hand rather than getting up before sunrise and heading out into the cold. When I was a kid there were thankfully not a lot of options, so I had to get outside and create my own fun. Spending time outside naturally made a person closer to nature and of course the sports that are associated with nature like hunting and fishing. I don’t believe there could be a more peaceful time than when sitting in a duck blind or a deer stand at the crack of dawn waiting for the morning sun to peek over the horizon.
It is a fact that there are less and less of our youth getting involved in hunting and fishing these days. What it boils down to is the fact that it takes a certain type of person to arise at 3 a.m. on a cool rainy morning and head out to a lake or pond to spend hours in a blind hoping for a flock of geese or ducks to come in to their decoys.
I was never big into waterfowl hunting, but I have friends and relatives who live for that season. I can see where they would enjoy it and I don’t see any sport where you would be closer to nature than that one. As those hunters get older and getting up in the morning gets harder, reality sets in and some have to give up the sport they have loved for many years. This is not any new information; just the fact that as we get older we have to at least cut back somewhat on what we love doing pertaining to the outdoors.
I have grandsons that all like to hunt and fish. and as an outdoorsman and a grandpa it makes me proud to see they will be there to carry on the sports that I love. Two of the boys, Trevor and Dylan, are heavy into fishing and pretty much like to wet a line whenever the opportunity arises. Taylor and Grant like to fish and hunt waterfowl but are not as intense as their brother Trevor. He is pretty much all about hunting and fishing. Dylan, their cousin, hunts waterfowl and is the only one that hunts deer.
With the seasons approaching faster than I’d like to think, the DNR has given us the opportunity to introduce our youth to some of these sports. Without getting our youth involved in the outdoors and introducing them to the sports of hunting and fishing, we could eventually jeopardize the future of these sports.
The Minnesota DNR has several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall.
Youth can hunt with adult mentors during several organized youth hunting opportunities this fall. Application forms and more information can be found at www.mndnr.gov/discover or by calling the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Information Center, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, or Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator, 651-259-5193.
Youth and family upland bird hunt
For ages 12 to 17, and family members who want to hunt together. Hunts and orientations are Saturday, Oct. 17 or 24.
Locations throughout Minnesota. Apply by Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Youth deer season
For ages 10 to 15, season is Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18. Permit areas in southeastern and northwestern Minnesota and portions of the Twin Cities metro area. 27 deer permit areas are open to hunt, see hunting regulations book or www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer for permit areas.
Take a Kid Hunting Weekend
From Saturday, Sept. 26, to Sunday, Sept. 27, adult residents, accompanied by a youth under age 16, can hunt small game without a license, but must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations.
Until next time, if you take a little time to introduce a youth to fishing or hunting I can almost guarantee that they will want more. Just remember that our youth are the future of our outdoors heritage and that passing something on is a very rewarding experience.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.