Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Case for Youth Waterfowl Day in Minnesota

For over a decade now, watfowl hunters in Minnesota have been debating the value of a Youth Waterfowl Day.  The day allows for kids and only kids to hunt waterfowl, and is traditionally conducted prior to the start of the regular hunting season.  The debate swirls around the day's ability to recruit new duck hunters into an ever decreasing population, and/or the day's impact on "moving birds out of the state." 

Here are the reasons why Minnesota needs a YWD:

  • Kids today have massive distractions.  Compared to when I was a kid, we didn’t have nearly the incidence of broken homes, organized free time, latchkey existences, and youthful distractions.
  • Anyone over 30 never had an anti-gun media and educational machine polluting our minds. We didn’t have PETA influencing teachers and providing curriculum (check out http://www.teachkind.org/). We are at WAR for our next generations’ attentions.
  • According the the National Survey of Hunting conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service, nationally 17% of folks who hunted migratory birds in 1996 were aged 24 or less. By 2006, that number has shrunk to 11%. Waterfowlers are aging, and not backfilling. Those who wish for uncrowded sloughs may get their wish, at least until the PETA brainwashed generations vote hunting out of existence. Don’t believe it? Can’t happen here? Do some research on Canadian waterfowling and private gun ownership.
  • Hunting is about experience – shared experience. I would empty every 401k and account I have to have the opportunity to have to go back in time and have a YWD with my Dad, circa age 14. Who wouldn’t? Give me a break!

I don’t have kids, but I do have nieces, nephews, Godson, neighbors, and buddies’ kids. I've taken some with me for their YWD experiences, and tried my best to spoil them rotten. I try and provide the most positive experience and memory fodder that I possibly can.  And I do so with nothing but smile.

I smile because I have passed off one of the greatest gifts that had been given to me. I’ll smile because I know that my hunting rights and the ducks’ conservation needs will be in the hands of a voting and donating generation that will steward them. And I’ll smile because at age 65, I’ll have a whole host of willing young backs to do the heavy lifting, thus keeping me in the slough doing what I love. And at that time, God willing, we’ll still be introducing family and friends to waterfowling via Youth Waterfowl Day.

1 comment:

  1. We don't have to "EVER" worry about that happening in the south. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! They will never outlaw guns nor Hunting (how else would we eat?)

    We will rise again. We're just waiting for the Yanks to outlaw guns.


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