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  1. #1
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    Youth only big game seasons

    My home state of Nebraska doesn't currently have any youth only big game seasons or hunts. In researching other states, I was able to find that Nebraska and Nevada are the only two states that do not offer some form of a youth only big game hunt. Some states offer state wide options for a period of days while others offer only specific species/areas for a few days. I am in communication with the Nebraska Game and Parks big game director trying to convince him to consider starting a hunt here in Nebraska.

    I'm hoping to get some feedback from some of you guys in other states. In your opinion, are these hunts a good idea? Any positive/negative things to consider? I can't personally see a down side but I have had some objection from a few local hunters who don't want to give up a couple of days during our 100 day bow season.

    Thanks for any feedback guys.

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    The youth hunts are a double edge sword. On one side it offers youth a great opportunity to draw a tag and get out and hunt with their parents. But it also places pressure on their parents to take time off from work to get their kids out when they don't have a tag themselves.

    One of the problems is that once the youth is considered a adult they are thrown into that pool of hunters that have a hard time drawing a tag, weather the state has preference points, bonus points, or no points at all. I have seen where kids get out and hunt until this time and then hang it up because they can not draw a tag every year. They find out what life is all about real quick once they turn the adult age.

    One state that I have watched is Utah on the youth tags. Over the last few years there have been around 3500 tags left over that are designated for deer archery that go unused for the youth. The reason could be a couple of different things. One kids don't want to archery hunt and another their parents don't archery hunt or don't want to support their kids in archery.

    So to make a long post short I am really against youth hunts. You feed the kids full of sugar for a number of years and then cut them off cold turkey when they become adults.
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost....

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  4. #3
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    I think they’re ridiculous, whether it’s big game or waterfowl. I’m all for reduced license fees for kids, but if parents really want to take their kids hunting, do it during the normal season. I have 2 boys that love to hunt, and take them out every minute we can for every species we can. It cuts heavily into my own hunting time, but it’s time well spent, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    Live to hunt, hunt to live.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimP View Post
    The youth hunts are a double edge sword. On one side it offers youth a great opportunity to draw a tag and get out and hunt with their parents. But it also places pressure on their parents to take time off from work to get their kids out when they don't have a tag themselves.

    One of the problems is that once the youth is considered a adult they are thrown into that pool of hunters that have a hard time drawing a tag, weather the state has preference points, bonus points, or no points at all. I have seen where kids get out and hunt until this time and then hang it up because they can not draw a tag every year. They find out what life is all about real quick once they turn the adult age.

    One state that I have watched is Utah on the youth tags. Over the last few years there have been around 3500 tags left over that are designated for deer archery that go unused for the youth. The reason could be a couple of different things. One kids don't want to archery hunt and another their parents don't archery hunt or don't want to support their kids in archery.

    So to make a long post short I am really against youth hunts. You feed the kids full of sugar for a number of years and then cut them off cold turkey when they become adults.
    Jim,

    I could see your point for Western States where tags are limited. States from Nebraska east typically have many over the counter or unlimited options. No issue getting tags here in Nebraska. Even the "tough" to get mule deer tags are basically every other year draws for residents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonArrow View Post
    I think they’re ridiculous, whether it’s big game or waterfowl. I’m all for reduced license fees for kids, but if parents really want to take their kids hunting, do it during the normal season. I have 2 boys that love to hunt, and take them out every minute we can for every species we can. It cuts heavily into my own hunting time, but it’s time well spent, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    I think most members on here make a similar commitment for their own kids. I am trying to make an overall impact to get kids involved who likely wouldn't otherwise get a chance to go. Hunter recruitment is low. In our rural consolidated school, less than 10% of the kids hunt. Numbers in larger communities are even worse. I don't see a youth season as a fix all but I do believe it would get more kids in the field who wouldn't normally go.

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  9. #6
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    Dont take this the wrong way but this is my opinion.

    I 100% feel that there should be a youth only season in every state to give kids the opportunity to get involved and hunt.

    I also 100% feel this should be a doe only season.

    I wont go on to post my tirades against youth buck seasons because most people will take it the wrong way.

    And for the record I have a 7 year old and I am still only for the Youth DOE ONLY season.

    Any way you skin it, I commend you for pursuing the topic with the state. I feel it is time well spent and I hope they hear your voice and take your opinion into consideration.
    Last edited by mallardsx2; 01-10-2019 at 01:49 PM.

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mallardsx2 View Post
    Dont take this the wrong way but this is my opinion.

    I 100% feel that there should be a youth only season in every state to give kids the opportunity to get involved and hunt.

    I also 100% feel this should be a doe only season.

    I wont go on to post my tirades against youth buck seasons because most people will take it the wrong way.

    And for the record I have a 7 year old and I am still only for the Youth DOE ONLY season.
    I think many states are that way and they get a lot of kids participating. Any youth season is ok by me.

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    100% for them. You can easily accommodate youth hunts if you like. Units with depredation hunts, antlerless hunts, etc. are good places to start. Oregon does a good job with lower fees, a mentored program, actual youth hunts and a first time hunter tag guarantee. My oldest had some excellent youth hunts in OR, WA, NM and AZ. Recruiting new hunters and especially kids is important. Youth hunts tend to give an uncrowded experience on public land, a priceless experience imo. I’ll happily take a few less tags here and there for the kids.

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  14. #9
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    Here in Wisconsin I am aware of at least 2 youth seasons that are offered (there may be more that I haven't found out about) but these are turkey and deer, the turkey is a spring hunt prior to any of the normal seasons in April, it is strictly a 2 day hunt, weather can be pretty iffy that time of year so it is a toss up (18" of snow last year), for deer season they get 2 days in October pre rut, to shoot either a doe or buck. I am all for youth seasons, I never had them as a child and at least it gives them a short taste of it, during THEIR OWN season. Just my 2 cents. Luke

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  16. #10
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    I go back and forth on this. On one hand, I really don't think that a youth season has much, if any impact on actually getting more kids out hunting. I'd like to see a study that shows x number more kids got out because of it.. We didn't have a youth season when I was little, we just went with our dads during the regular season..
    Part of me says that you're really not doing anyone any favors by setting aside special seasons and special tags for kids, and then at the age of 16, saying "just kidding, that's not how it works anymore." Another part of me says 'if it just gets a few more kids out there...."

    I personally have taken quite a few kids out during the youth waterfowl seasons - far more than I've taken during the regular waterfowl season. Part of that is because we've worked with the local conservation department to open up areas that are not normally open to hunting, just for that youth weekend.

    Another part of me knows how important just one good hunt can be.. When I was 12, my dad took me duck hunting (regular duck season, of course), We ended up being in the right spot at the right time, and shot a limit of mallards, one at a time, over the course of the morning. that hunt is forever etched into my brain, and probably the single most important reason I'm a duck hunter today. My brother never had that hunt, and my dad tried several times, before my brother gave up on the sport.

    Another part of me says - I've seen a bunch of GIANT bucks get killed during the youth season, and I've got a sneaky suspicion it wasn't Jr. that did the killin.

    All my ramblings aside, I don't really know. I guess I support them for the sole reason that the positives outweigh the negatives.
    My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

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