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Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by On The Prowl 4 Waterfowl, Sep 23, 2017.
You just told Calikev he was wrong......oh here we go....
My wife tells me that all the time. Imagine what she has to deal with once those words leave her lips...........
I too came up without junior hunts but that was in a different era. That ship sailed a long time ago unfortunately. Kids who aren't taking up hunting long term after partaking in junior hunts is not a direct relation to the junior hunts. Sorry but that is failed logic. There is no way a any study can prove it was the junior hunt that was the exact culprit why a kid decided not to stay into the sport. Heck.......we don't even have that for adults and if we did we could really focus on solving some of the problems. All we have are a list of suspicions like cost of a lease, refuge hunting access, poor habitat, drought, etc. which all are probably more directly linked to hunters dropping out.
Kids aren't taking it up for a number of many reasons, but one of the primary ones I've come across is they can't get access to good areas. Why is that? Because adults are always sitting in those areas and essentially lock them down. It is either you can't draw a ressie, poor lottery draw, fewer productive areas habitat wise in which birds want to use, or guys with aggressive tactics are keeping you out. In the Grasslands it might be he who is the fastest bike rider gets the spot. In the Sac Valley it is the track star who is the runner who locks down the spot. Sometimes this might be a kid, but most often it is the adults who are doing all of this. They are their own worst enemies at times and it doesn't take much of a history lesson here on the forum to read all the posts about these tactics to understand why many folks, including kids are dropping out of the sport.
If a man speaks in the forest... and his wife is not there to correct him..... is he still wrong?
I think we ALL know the answer to that one......
A data point or two to assist in the discussion.
5 years ago the northern CA Youth Shooting Sports Assn brought a few teams and a total of 30 kids to our CYSSA sporting clay event for their "league".
Currently there are a bunch of High School Teams from all around and we have 185+ kids attending our sporting clay event this Sunday. The trap shooting program is so big (several 100) that they stopped taking teams because the facilities cant take all the kids.
We will talk shooting and hunting with any of them willing to open up. Very few of these kids come from shooting/hunting backgrounds but they are absolutely hooked on shotgunning. They drag their parents and grandparents all over to shoot with their high school teams.
The efforts to introduce kids to hunting and shooting is not lost... and sometimes needs to soak in a bit.
Back to original post... northeast hunt with the kids was great. My 13 yr old son is pretty darn solid as he has lots of time in the field. While my 16 yr old daughter is still figuring it out and this past weekend was huge for her as she really started reading the birds better etc.
Kind of sad to read some of the posts. It seems like We (sportsmen) have lost a generation of "City" People already in CA... lets see if we can try to educate the next generations.
Kevin, sorry for the late reply, I actually spent the weekend after you posted off the web, trying to get a buddies kids on some bucks for the Oregon opener and haven't been on the site again till this weekend. And sorry to dredge up this post for those that don't want to have a legitimate discussion on the costs and benefits of junior only hunts, it should probably be it's own thread.
It was actually nice to be up in Oregon and see so many kids out with their parents. From a toddler in a car seat to 10 and 12 year olds out trying to fill their first tags (actually they have to use a parents tag in OR). I had a discussion on junior hunts with 5 parents up there. Surprisingly to me, when asked, not a single one thought junior only hunts were needed or valuable. All of these parents were hunting on the general opener with their kids in tow. When asked why, they didn't see the need and they said that they didn't want their kids to feel like they were getting some kind of special treatment, the participation trophy sort of thing. They thought it better to treat their kids as an equal and teach them that hunting was for everyone and that no one should get special treatment. With those responses I gave this some serious thought. Why were attitudes different up there? Simply an artifact of small sample size? Probably. Is there a difference between deer and duck hunters in this regard? Maybe. Is it a CA vs OR thing? I think so. California likes feel good regulations and legislation that will have no real impact on the issue at hand. Californians are a big fan of social justice, so to speak. I think I've seen just about everyone on this thread complain about proposed legislation that will have no impact on anything. Gun legislation that is supposed to reduce crime is a perfect example. Is this the same thing? Do we want to feel good that we are bringing juniors into the sport with no evidence it is actually working? Who cares, you are probably asking, it's not effecting the success of the NE opener so I should go crawl back under my rock and stop asking questions. I'll agree, now that the junior hunt is two weeks before the regular opener it probably isn't significantly impacting the success of the adults. So, then what are the costs? I'll suggest that it's costing opportunity. I believe there is a 105 day season in the NE (107 if you count the junior days). So, those two days equate to a 2% loss of opportunity for the average adult. No big deal I suppose. But if we look at the average hunter that only has weekends to hunt, and usually can't hunt every weekend, that loss of opportunity is more like a 6 or 7% loss (or cost). Would you be willing to pay a 2% tax, lets say on arms and ammo, on a social program you don't agree with, that is supposed to keep criminals out of jail but that has no evidence it actually does that? What about paying 6% for social program you don't agree with? What if that tax creeps upwards of 10% (in the case of someone losing 1 of the 10 weekends they actually had available to hunt)? Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe almost every study and survey out there suggests duck hunters value days in the field above almost any other consideration. Those lost days mean a lot to a lot of people. Personally, I don't think that is anymore or less selfish than a parent wanting those days for themselves and their kids.
To be clear, I'm not clinging to anything but rather trying to have a discussion on a topic that I'm not convinced is ultimately good for the sport. Additionally, not once have I blamed kids for any of the stupid stuff that is happening to drive people out of the sport. Not once have I said youth hunts are the reason youth participation is falling (I have, however, asked if that might be contributing to it as I don't believe that is at all a stupid question when you actually stop and talk to some of the kids who no longer hunt who have taken part in youth only hunts). The fact is, despite the onset of youth only hunts youth hunting is still declining....(hint, this is where you should suggest, that maybe it's declining at a slower rate than if we didn't have them--that would be a very legitimate question). All I'm doing is asking are junior hunts having the desired effect and at what cost. Again, I'm happy you and your daughter had a great hunt. You're saying it's inconsequential because opening weekend average are 4-5 birds, plenty to go around. I think you're missing a big part of the discussion. You need to ask yourself is it fair to ask someone else to give up their time in the field (perhaps a family with no juniors) so you can have a bonding weekend with your kid(s). There is a perfectly legitimate argument to be had that you can do that on any weekend (as evidenced by the situation I saw in Oregon or you could come back up here almost any time mid week and experience less crowded hunting). Where does all this end? Are you and your daughter all of the sudden going to be able to compete down there next year with "a-holes" you're complaining about? I'm guessing very little will change, so what next? A special father daughter only weekend so you don't have to compete with groups faster than you? I've heard several requests for senior only hunts up here in the Basin for that exact same reason. Do we carve out a special weekend for every special interest group and further divide ourselves or do we just say we're all just hunters with varying degrees of ability and desire and we all should have access to the same OPPORTUNITY? Success is not guaranteed, it is earned in my opinion. If success is number of birds taken, we strive for that. If success is a quiet weekend away from other hunters we can almost always find that as well. Sometimes those two measures of success are mutually exclusive, other times they certainly are not.
If the feds think that junior only hunts are fulfilling some requirement, they should add those days to the allotment, not make states take them out of the general pool of available days.
You're second paragraph brings up some good points. But isn't that where we should be focusing our efforts and not setting aside a couple days where that may or may not be happening? I've seen plenty of racing and jockeying for spots on afternoon junior hunts up here. What good is it to offer one weekend without those things when every other day of the season has them? And in a refuge environment, how would we go about doing it? Outlaw running or fast walking? Turn everything into AP's only available in the draw?
There will always be winners and losers in life. Why should someones good physical ability and strong desire negatively affect them? Should we allow lazy people the ability to drive into wilderness areas because they don't want to make the hike? Do we allow someone who wants to sleep in to get there late and get the best spot? Or do we reward those that try the hardest knowing that, like any sport, their days are numbered and they will one day be the ones getting passed by the younger or stronger (who may very well be a woman)? I kind of have to laugh at that because up here, it's the kids (16-20) that seem to be in line the earliest and getting to the best spots.
Time to move on. I'm not going to try to convince some folks here about how dumb this discussion really is. This flyway has millions of birds and a small number of kids hunting two weekends on their own during the season is not even remotely a problem on any level. The vast majority of folks have no issue with it so I'm glad these kids get the chance to make memories they will cherish for a lifetime.