Mentored Youth Program Might be Working. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

HARRISBURG — It's the logical question.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers a mentored youth hunting program, which lets kids younger than 12 try hunting without first having to get a license. Created in 2005, it's intended to get kids interested in the outdoors before the demands of youth sports and other activities take them away.
Is it working to create hunters?
The answer is: perhaps. Coren Jagnow, of the commission's research and education division, looked at the buying histories of the nearly 99,000 junior hunters — kids ages 12-16 — who had a junior license or junior combo license going into deer season last fall.
One of the things she looked at was whether children who had a mentored permit at least once bought more licenses between the ages of 12 and 16 than those who didn't.
“The answer is absolutely yes, they do,” Jagnow told commissioners at their Monday work group meeting.
The older a junior hunter was, and the more consistent he or she was in buying a license each year, the more likely they were to have come from a mentored background, she added.
She offered one caution with that, though. That results suggest “correlation, but not necessarily causation,” she said.
In other words, it's unclear whether mentored youth hunting alone turned young hunters into sportsmen or if they more likely joined the ranks because they came from a background where their adult mentors made a point of introducing them to hunting, she said.
Commissioner Tim Layton of Windber said the result is the same.
“We're developing hunters to the long-term,” he said.
They are more avid than the average youngster, at least.
Jagnow looked at what kind of licenses the 99,000 junior hunters bought: regular junior licenses, which gave them the right to hunt, or junior combo licenses, which carried extra privileges, allowing to take part in archery, muzzleloader and furtaking seasons.
She discovered that while youngsters with a mentored background accounted for only 45 percent of the overall junior hunter pool, they represented more than half of combo licenses sales.
That benefits juniors by providing extra opportunities, and the commission financially, she said. A regular junior hunting license sells for $6.70, a combo license for $9.70.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.


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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:30 AM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Only common sense tells someone that introducing early will help.

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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 07:44 AM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

<span style="font-style: italic">In other words, it's unclear whether mentored youth hunting alone turned young hunters into sportsmen or if they more likely joined the ranks because they came from a background where their adult mentors made a point of introducing them to hunting, she said.</span>

I don't think it is unclear at all.

Would be interesting to poll the mentors to determine what % of them are parents of the child, kind of environment the child was growing up in, (guns in the house, siblings that hunt, etc). Without any data to go by, my gut tells me that most of the kids in the MY program would end up with a license at some point anyway.

“I prefer my kid hunt and fish rather than steal and deal,”
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 10:33 AM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Quick case. A guy I work with has never hunted, but his 10yr old asked him about it. He said something to us at work about it, so we took him turkey hunting. He is now 14 and has hunted every year since then. He may have found someone after he turned 12, but with the program we were able to get him started from a nonhunting household. His dad now hunts too, so the program also got an adult hunting for the first time.

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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 10:33 AM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunterknapp16
Only common sense tells someone that introducing early will help.
Very true, I introduced my son in to hunting when he was around 5. He is 26 and pretty much obsessed. then again I wasn't introduced until my early 20's and I am the same way. So who knows.
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 10:33 AM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Worked with, not work with. I haven't worked with him since, but keep in contact.

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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 12:23 PM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Not trying to be a killjoy but I just don't see how it matters. At some point in life the person is going to decide if they really enjoy hunting or if they were only doing it because it made Mom,Dad or someone else happy. Peer pressure can sometimes be overcome but not often without isolation or inclusion. At some point the special privileges like riding the ATV, driving the truck, skipping school, things done at camp that "stay" at camp, ect all just fade into life. When that happens the person must decide if they are there for the hunting or just the other aspects.

My parents did not hunt, my uncles and brothers did. Long before mentored youth program started I was introduced at an early age via hanging and wanting to hang and do what my brothers were doing.
First time I hunted was when I was 12 but did a lot of scouting trips and walking trap lines well before that age.
My son started hunting at age 13 due to birth date and illness the first day of Doe when he turned 12. He is in his 30's now and still hunts but in my opinion does not hunt enough with me. . I could not see how introducing him sooner would have changed the outcome.
My grandson is pushing 5 and we may go hunting this year. Maybe start with crickets and grasshoppers and move on to night crawlers and fire flies. Be a while before any real hunting with me. Waugh!

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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:37 PM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Jim,It's a different world today.Just ride around some residential areas during the summer and take note of how many kids you see out playing.It's not as many as you'd see 30 years ago.Computers,video games and smart phones have taken over the lives of young people.You need to brain wash them at an early age so they develop an appreciation for the outdoors.That begins long before you put a weapon in their hands.However,when they become an active participant and the focus of the hunt is on them,it drives the desire to hunt much deeper.Starting them out the right way at an earlier age makes a huge difference and my 10 year old is testiment to that.

My son loves to be in the woods and we're out there almost every chance we get,12 months of the year.I can tell you for a fact that although he just needs to be out there,he's more enthusiastic when he's in pursuit of something.He hunted as a 9 year old this past year which was his third year hunting.He killed a pile of squirrels,+/- 15 woodchucks,a buck+2 doe and he just killed a big gobbler last week.At this point he's not much different than taking an adult with me.I didn't have to coach him through one shot this past year and he never asked to leave early one time.Young kids,given the chance are way more capable than most adults realize.The MY program rules.
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:58 PM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridger
Not trying to be a killjoy but I just don't see how it matters. At some point in life the person is going to decide if they really enjoy hunting or if they were only doing it because it made Mom,Dad or someone else happy.
Couldn't agree more. If a child is born amongst a hunting family they really have no choice in the matter, they're going hunting.
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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 02:06 PM
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Re: Mentored Youth Program Might be Working.

Not true.Hunting is a major part of my life and I included my daughter at a very early age,before the MY program existed.I thought for sure she'd hunt but by the time she turned 12 she had no interest because she got involved with other things.When she turned 16,she wanted to start hunting because she saw the enthusiasm her little brother had.I bought her guns,cloths,lisence and had her shooting all of last year as well as scouting with us.She never went one time.Why?Well,in my opinion it may seem like fun but she doesn't have any real desire to go through all the preperation because she's never got to experience that adrenaline.
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