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  1. #31
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    I really like Colorado's approach. My son is new to hunting and determined to be an archer. That's a tougher place to start particularly when your old man (me) is not a bowhunter. Between school, me working, and general inexperience, naturally his first season or two came up totally dry. Colorado has a bunch of "youth" oriented programs, but the two that helped us most were:

    1. A youth hunter who doesn't fill a tag can continue hunting in later seasons. So I was able to take a Sunday or two during the normal archery season to go out with him, and when that came up empty, he was able to join me on MY rifle hunts (still using his bow of course, but that was his decision).

    2. Youths who don't fill a tag can expand their GMUs to the ones immediately surrounding the one they chose originally. This was a really big deal because we had only done limited scouting for archery season and ended up in a really tricky zone with poor access for us "Sunday driver" type hunters. Having a little flexibility to look for better areas helped me introduce him to that line of thinking/planning despite our limited time in the field during his main season.

    Colorado does have a youth-only season but we ended up not taking advantage of it. The programs above were much more helpful.

  2. #32
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    Well having 5 kids and being a teacher I don't really see any connection with how the point system is turning youth away from hunting. I believe that if you did away with all point systems the amount of youth hunting would still be on a downward trend. Generally kids these days don't like anything to hard, its all about having fun, cell phones and video games. Hunting doesn't fit well with that. Now with my on kids and even myself. We hunt no matter what. Kids started chasing rabbits around the age of 7 and the last two years I have taken my oldest to Idaho because they start big game at 10. He has killed two bucks already but with he would have had to wait until 12,14,16 he still would love to hunt. Dads, moms and family are either willing to take their kids or not. My youngest son is not the biggest fan right now. He doesn't get to hunt yet but I take him with me. He has been on the top of many mountains starting at the age of 5. Probably would like to just stay home but he is a kid and I don't give him the choice. By the time we are done he has a good time.

    States that do special youth tags, seasons and reduce fees are great. We would still hunt if they did not but man they really help make it a little easier. My sons deer hunts have cost probably $50 instead of the $500. That really helps. He will be put in this year for big game at home for youth tags. But with so few youth tags his chances really aren't any better than me drawling a good tag. But he will build points and use them at some point. Yes maybe a big horn, moose, billy wont be in the cards for him. But if its are priority he will find away to hunt them.

    Now I will admit that when I see some kid smoking a big buck with a youth tag I do get a little sad that its wasn't me and that I should have that chance before them. But then I remind myself that 1. Good for that kid (yes he probably doesn't realize how lucky they were) 2. Its not always about horn size. Just appreciate the time in the mountains and health to do what I love.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
    I really like Colorado's approach. My son is new to hunting and determined to be an archer. That's a tougher place to start particularly when your old man (me) is not a bowhunter. Between school, me working, and general inexperience, naturally his first season or two came up totally dry. Colorado has a bunch of "youth" oriented programs, but the two that helped us most were:

    1. A youth hunter who doesn't fill a tag can continue hunting in later seasons. So I was able to take a Sunday or two during the normal archery season to go out with him, and when that came up empty, he was able to join me on MY rifle hunts (still using his bow of course, but that was his decision).

    2. Youths who don't fill a tag can expand their GMUs to the ones immediately surrounding the one they chose originally. This was a really big deal because we had only done limited scouting for archery season and ended up in a really tricky zone with poor access for us "Sunday driver" type hunters. Having a little flexibility to look for better areas helped me introduce him to that line of thinking/planning despite our limited time in the field during his main season.

    Colorado does have a youth-only season but we ended up not taking advantage of it. The programs above were much more helpful.
    I would suggest he be open to taking an avg or decent buck/deer etc... to gain some experience,
    I once was a young archer and passed so many good bucks in hopes of a monster! and I lost experience in some regards.
    Just because you get close enough to kill with your bow and pass, doesn't mean you would have! missing etc... gains you much more experience IMO. or perhaps be open to a management buck... something to be proud of and gain some experience.

    Hindsight is 20/20, just my experience. good luck to both of you!

  5. #34
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    I obviously support them. Some of you may have seen hunting pics of Kate growing up in the outdoors. She was 3 yrs old when she was with me on her first harvest hunt and has loved it since. I think she was in Eastman?s at 4 in those Zebra print pants with a buck of mine.
    I?ll be the first one to say it is 50 times easier in these junior hunts, but I will also say, as a parent, man am I thankful. In spot and stalk hunting, I need every bit of help as possible. It is flat tough to get a kid on a buck and then pull off a quality shot. Personally we need every break we can get.
    We live in a state where game is abundant, we could step off our porch and shoot a deer within 1 hr any day of the week. So I have always taught my kids to be patient and enjoy the experience. We have been able to be a part of the youth hunt for 2 years and both years Kate has passed on opportunities at smaller bucks, she summed it up for me last year when I told her to shoot a small 4x4 while on the stalk for the bigger of the 2 bucks below. ?Dad... I don?t need to shoot a deer to have a good time, let?s just be patient and try to get in on the big buck?.
    For her... it?s Ballet and hunting. Those are her to loves in life.
    For me... I am thankful for her to have an easier hunt, maybe it makes it more enjoyable for her because I?m not sure I could go camping for 5 days and coach and develop her ballet skills. haha




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  7. #35
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    Here in Indiana, youth have a special 2 day season for turkey, deer, and ducks. The season is usually the weekend before the normal opener. It gives them a chance to hunt them before everyone else, so that usually ups their odds.

    It lets them be out in the woods when there is less pressure. I'm for them

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  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootbrownelk View Post
    I see the "youth only" tag systems as being ripe for misuse. Like the guy who applies for his wife and kids for Moose/Sheep and then he does the killing. I'm sure that some dads ply the system for opportunities they wouldn't otherwise get. Take the kids out during the regular season if you like.
    People who are willing to poach aren't going to be deterred by rules unfortunately. I personally feel the good that can come from getting more youth involved far outweighs the potential for the few who would abuse such a program.

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