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Heartland Outdoors Forum | Introduce kids? How?
 
   
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Introduce kids? How?
Posted: 21 November 2015 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am sitting here thinking about the future hunters and trying to rack my brain on how in the hell to get them involved and keep them interested. I’m a father of 3 young ones and I’m the only one that works and I take care of a relative that can’t provide for herself due to an accident. So obviously there’s not much extra so in turn I hunt public ground as will my kids more than likely. So this is where the dilemma comes in. We all know that there is not enough public ground to support the hunters that need to use it, and that’s evident by the amount of vehicles pouring into these places. My hunting success suffers dramatically because of this as well as others out there as well. So this brings me to the main point…..I love to hunt when I can and keep at it because I know what the reward is at the end but when you add kids to the public ground equation, it’s easy to get them involved but keeping their attention for the hours and weeks it takes to get a mere sighting is where I feel we are going to lose their interest! I’m sure I’m not alone in this way of thinking…...! Most working and growing families can’t afford a lease, friends reluctantly invite YOU (one hunter) to go on their ground sometimes but add a kid or 2 and you don’t get an invite at all!, and I have knocked on doors till I’m blue in the face to get the same redundant answers. And like I said I know I’m not alone here! So what is a guy supposed to do to get and keep the future interested when there’s not much you can do?

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Posted: 21 November 2015 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Squirrel hunting is a great start.  My son loves it.  Also shed hunting, scouting, fishing, and taking them out in the woods.  It doesn’t always have to be to go hunt.  Getting them out of the house and away from video games and social media garbage is a great start.  We go to the archery range too.  Anything outdoors is good but in small doses at first. 
Public ground is tough for kids, atleast around here it is.  I’ve made it work but it’s hard.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yeah we do all of that also. But they have been doing all that for 3 and 5 years respectively and they are showing interest in deer now and I’m at a loss because I know they won’t see much and after the success of everything else we have done I think they might lose interest. But I guess ya have to separate the men from the boys so to speak at some point. It’s definitely a difficult crossroads!

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Posted: 21 November 2015 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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GREAT TOPIC!!!!Ive tried working with outfitters,landowners, on this. Bottom line, Deer hunting in illinois is becoming a money sport and due too outfitters our kids,wives,grandkids will never experience what it was like before outfitters came in….Freaking sad!!!

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Posted: 21 November 2015 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I know from experience that it’s not easy.  Your hunting season becomes their hunting season.  It becomes a frustrating struggle of how to get them on deer consistently.  Without a good piece of private ground it’s hard.  Those deer are super smart and pressured a lot in smaller public hunting places.  It’s gotta be more about the whole experience, the adventure, and an appreciation for nature and all around you.  Filling a tag is a bonus to the experience.  I feel your pain. It’s fun but you wanna pull all your hair out at the same time lol.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Freak you are right my friend

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Posted: 21 November 2015 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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  don’t forget we have a youth season, and sometimes various hunt club have youth hunts for kids. In central Il we have a great pheasants forever youth program, sponsored by PF and ran by the Gilies family who provide a fantastic experience for young hunters. Somebody on this site should be able to give you specifics.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Even with the irap program, Our upcoming youth hunters future doesnt look good…Damn i miss the late 70s early 80s;)

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Posted: 21 November 2015 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I agree it is all about the whole experience and I get that but there has to be some success somewhere too. If money didn’t have everything locked down tighter than a drum I believe things would be different for sure. But just like fishing you start with bluegills to get their confidence up, you don’t start with catfish because they would lose interest. Just like starting with squirrels for hunting is great but saying “maybe next time” everytime is going to cause them to drift away. The kids don’t care about the experience, they want to see results and it has been like that since the beginning….it’s how kids think. My kids would be happy with just deer sightings but this day and age on public ground, that is getting scarce also. The pheasants forever thing is definitely worth checking out also!

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Posted: 22 November 2015 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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chrisk,
One thing you should mention is where you live and how far are you willing to travel.  Someone may PM you with a spot, if they knew what areas you are looking.  As has been mentioned, the youth season would probably be less crowded on public land, or hunt club youth programs.
I agree with WTfreak, about the money game…only I long to go back to the late 1950’s to 1976.  Why?  Few deer.  Very little leasing, except for PRIME waterfowl area’s.  A decent to very good upland population, with fairly easy access. 
As youths growing up in Springfield, we could ride our bikes not too far from town and get permission just by knocking on a few doors.  Even without a dog, a couple of kids with .410s or .20s could shoot a few rabbits and even have an opportunity at a few pheasants and coveys of quail.  Yes, we 12 yr. olds were descendants of Davy Crockett, the hero of that age…despite not having “kilt a bar, when he was only 3!”

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Posted: 22 November 2015 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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To be completely honest and fair, this post isn’t about trying to find a spot just for my kids….... My point is that there is a HUGE problem on the horizon in the way of young people being brought into the sport! I’m not sure at this point what could be done to turn it around other than run the source of the problem (money) out of the equation but I’m doubtful that will ever happen. I am in Tazewell county and would travel a couple hours.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I agree but you’ll never get the big money out.  That’s what fuels the evil empire!  They ruined it and they’re here to stay.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Andy Meador - 22 November 2015 10:42 AM

I agree but you’ll never get the big money out.  That’s what fuels the evil empire!  They ruined it and they’re here to stay.

YOUR RIGHT ANDY…Its not going anywhere ...We could start letting pigs loose and give our kids something to hunt…

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Posted: 22 November 2015 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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In my youth, even avid fishermen rarely owned boats, unless they lived on a lake.  Boats were wood and didn’t trailer well.  Some serious fishermen actually owned an outboard-with a 7.5 hp. being HUGE!  The average fisherman probably owned a couple of rods and cane poles.  Live bait was way more prevalent than artificial, regardless of species sought.  Bluegill and other panfish off the bank were fine, with a possible bass or catfish thrown in.
Then came Ray Scott’s BASS and bass tournaments.  Suddenly, we had to have a bass boat, then a 20’ metal-flake monster, moving from 25’s to 250hp motors.  I won’t even mention perfecting that southern drawl when talking about big bass.  Several dozen rods, rigged with different lures and tackle boxes the size of Volkswagens, became the norm.  Walleye, crappie, muskie, catfish joined the tournament trail.  It became a sin to lay a tournament species on a filet board. 
Bank fishermen and even johboaters are looked down on.  Live bait draws looks of contempt.  Cleaning a mess of fish became a mortal sin.
In my 60 years of Illinois hunting history, prime waterfowl areas were always subject to leasing or purchasing.  Access to most other hunting acreage was often free for the asking.  I don’t know when the antler worship took over.  I know I lost my first hunting/fishing spot to deer hunting doctor in early 1980’s.  I became aware that it was getting out of hand when a quail hunting buddy in Pike county reported that he had lost EVERY spot he had to deer leasers.
By the mid `90’s, former IDNR Director, Bent Manning, had thrown the doors wide open for outfitters and rich leasers.  It might have happened anyway, but he sure greased the skids.  For what, Bent, for WHAT?
Friday, I sat in a ground blind, cursing my old friend, Jack Calhoun, for reintroducing deer to the state.  You see, I’m not really a deer hunter.  I HATE sitting like a mute statue in the deer woods.  Despite seeing some interesting thing, I eventually get bored to tears.  I’d much prefer following a dog, chasing the ever decreasing quail and pheasant populations, or sharing BS and breakfast in a duck blind with my buddies and dog.
Sadly, like many, I’ve lost WAY, WAY too many upland spots and marginal duck ponds or sloughs to deer leasing.  Luckily, I do have access to several farms where I can call turkeys and put up a deer stand.  Some don’t have that luxury. 
Chris, the money genie (leasing) is out of the bottle.  Any ideas on ways to get it back in?  Even if every deer disappeared from the Illinois landscaper tomorrow, landowners that have leased their ground that they can get some income for allowing recreational access to their acreage.  I seriously doubt they will readily revert back to free play…at least not in the years I have left.
I wish I had a solution, but I don’t.  Well, maybe…win the Lottery…and get an IOU from the state. smile 

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Posted: 23 November 2015 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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If you do not have the funds I would just give up.  Putting your kids in the situation of very low odds of a harvest will just aggravate them.  Maybe you will be in a better position down the road where you will be able to satisfy there “wants” out of life.

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Posted: 23 November 2015 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I definitely wouldn’t give up lol.  That sets a bad example for the kids involved.  You never want to send that message to your children.  Keep fighting the fight and knocking on doors.  There’s deer on the public land but sometimes you need a change in strategy.

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