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I for one think we need to quit bickering among ourselves. And pull together and promote the outdoors. We are cutting our own throats so to speak. I am very much for our mentored youth program. But i feel sometimes even the mentors could use a helping hand.
We have numerous organizations from bowhunters to turkey hunters to trappers..to waterfowl..deer hunting ect...Within these groups are many, many qualified sportsmen that are very good at their outdoor sport.
Everyday life ,jobs ect...can make it really hard for some adults to spend a lot of time outdoors..Who suffers?..our youth do!
Instead of pointing fingers at each other why not offer a helping hand?...

for those of us that have ample time to scout and boast of repeated success..Why not offer a helping hand to some other dad that doesn't have as much time because of job committment ect.. Why not offer to help put his son or daughter in a good spot?

I build bows as a hobby, recurves, longbows ect..i hunt almost exclusively with one...I'd love to show young people how to make their own bow and hunt with it.

A number of years back i was mink trapping on a local gamelands. I walked out to the parking lot carrying 3 mink. A father and young son were there ready to head out hunting. The father called the boy over and showed him my mink. The young boy was fascinated by them..asked me how do you trap for them? was even more amazed when he found out that 75% of my mink sets i use no bait. I began telling him of a minks busy, curious nature..how they will investigate every nook and cranny along a stream..and a strategically placed trap can catch them without bait....I could tell that boy was interested...but although i'm sure dad would have loved to take him trapping...He didn't have a clue either.
Point is this....let's quit bickering and fighting, let's start working together.
I have noticed repeated threads on low hunter numbers...lack of success ect.
So let's do something about it....We need more mentored programs for both old and young alike...sportsman helping sportsmen
 

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I think the mentored youth program is awesome and there are quite a few youngsters out there and successful ones too. This will help us in the future.

Trapping is becoming a lost art. A buddy and I just started and my 10 year old goes with us to make the sets and check them each morning. Haven't caught a coyote yet, but we're learning from all our mistakes and the kid is learning with us.
 

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You really don't need another program to mentor a child or and adult. There is nothing to stop any adult hunter from taking someone out and teach them to hunt.
 

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The mentored program should be expanded wherever possible. The naysayers were proven wrong as the program has been a huge success.
 

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The point I was making is there is no need for a government program, we can all mentor someone and expand mentored hunting.
 

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I've started carrying my boy in the pack basket when he was not quite 2 years old, he beats me to the sets now at only 4 years old.
 

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Well said John S.,

Almost every county has a youth field day that needs help.

There are numerous youth season's that need mentor's to reach out and help get these kid's started.

We need more Hunter-Trapper Ed instructor's.

I could go on and on.

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

A good friend has a great saying "our youth are the future of our sport and the future is now"
 

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I took my 4yo daughter out to hunt during rifle. I didn't need gov't to tell me how or when I should teach her. Sure she can't carry a gun yet, but so be it. I couldn't either in PA until I was 12 and my father still took me for years.
 

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yellodog said:
some of my best memories are hunting with my dad & grandpa, before i could carry a gun.
Same here. I didn't mind being a dog or being called one. I was out hunting with my old man and that was all that mattered. Whenever the beagles brought the rabbit around my heart thumped. When the pheasant flushed I jumped. When he told me there was a buck coming I would hold my ears.

That's what got me addicted to hunting and I haven't looked back.
 

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I knew I like the outdoors when my DAD took me fishing on PGL and I use to see the buck drinking water from the edge. My dad never hunted at age 13 I started hunting with a family friend. I owe that person to this day a lot! I took my son and daughter in the wild fishing and hunting with me! My son got to hunt when he reached 12 and he still hunts to this day! My daughter still goes fishing with me! I'm hoping the mentor program is a success down the road. Only way we will know if the kids that are not 12 yet hunt when they reach adulthood! Fathers and outdoor moms! Exposé your children to the outdoors! Take them with you! Participate with your kids in mentor programs! I just want to make sure that it's not kids under 12 killing things that will light that fire! We need grandfathers, patents, and relatives and kind people to expose them to the outdoors! Sad when we think allowing a kid harvest this and that will light the fire! That's a good thing to allow younger kids to harvest or waive this or that! However I hope in the end we motivate by the love of the outdoors and not that we have to allow them to harvest to get hooked! This year I have been hunting 51 years and it all started on a fishing trip to PGL with my dad for bluegills when I was 5 years old in 1953!
 

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Pheasant Forever and Quail Forever have a great youth program going. It's all about getting kids out of the house and away from teh TV. Life is much different now than when I was a kid, and I'm not that old.

The Youth seasons are a great addition and groups like Pheasants forever/Quail forever can help change the lives of some youths. Getting involved in what we have now will have a bigger impact than wanting more.
 

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don't think the OP asked that the Government add more programs, I understood it to mean we as hunters and clubs set up programs within.
 

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as a landowner, i make sure fathers with their children get priority here. a good place to hunt helps with a positive experience, and i enjoy sharing the blessings iv'e received with other fathers.
 

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I think you misunderstood, we need<span style="font-weight: bold"> more </span>mentored <span style="font-weight: bold">programs</span> is pretty clear.
 

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John i have said the same thing all along. Last week i took my 7 year old grandson out on a buddys farm where i ca do some Lr hunting. My grandson is handicapped but he has the heart and desire to be with me. I had the heart and desire to take him and thats all the program i think is needed. Even though the day he came in the world i had him a deer rifle tucked away. Me and his dad knows when he will be ready and trust me we will make it happen. He got to watch me make a 430 yard shot and you would of thought he did it. Why, because i made him part of it. I took him out in the regular season where hunting is reality not 2 months prior. Now my question is what program could of made our evening any better?
 

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My hats off to you Sir, if more would take the time to take a youth outdoors AND make them a part of the hunt our sport would be better off.
 

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maybe you misunderstood the OP when you posted this responce, <span style="font-weight: bold">"The point I was making is there is no need for a <span style="text-decoration: underline">government program</span>, we can all mentor someone and expand mentored hunting."</span>
 

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It's funny how it ripples, too, even if there isn't an immediate effect. My dad's dad never took him out anywhere but I recently found out that he went pheasant hunting when he was a kid with a friend's father and really like it. He never became a hunter, abhorred guns but took every chance he got to take us out exploring in the parks in the city and fishing when we were little, any little patch of nature in the big city. The interest passed to me and I started taking my kids camping a lot from the time they were little until the oldest one surprised me by begging to learn to hunt which was always a little in the back on my mind but I couldn't imagine what it would take to actuall learn the skills. So, we're learning as much as we can so we can mentor her. I'm so grateful for the generosity of all the people I've encountered - the hunter ed guys, shooting instructors, everyone here who's answered my questions. I look forward to taking the kids to the Youth Field Days next year. It pays forward in a big way.
 
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