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Take Advantage of Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days
The 2016 North Carolina Youth Waterfowl days are February 6 and February 13. The youth must be 15 years of age or younger and accompanied by a properly licensed adult. The youth waterfowl days can be used to hunt ducks, geese, brant, mergansers, coots and tundra swans however, the youth must have a valid permit in order to hunt the swans and geese.
Even though it certainly isn’t necessary to wait for youth day to take a kid hunting, youth hunting days can have benefits that regular season hunts don’t have. Because let’s face it, it can be hard to focus on him during an intense hunt during regular season. Just knowing that the day is all about him, can help him to hold his head a little higher. It can make any kid feel like he’s on his own special hunt. Anytime we can make our children feel important we shouldn’t miss the opportunity.
Time and Safety
Youth waterfowl days are one of the best times to introduce a child to hunting. Besides the fact that is it typically safer because there are less hunters out, the focus changes on a youth hunt and things seem more relaxed. Even though it is a great idea to have him or her take a hunter safety course ahead of time, it isn’t necessary. It is often not just a time of hunting and bonding but, a time to increase the likelihood that he or she will carry on the family tradition or maybe I should say, addiction. The challenge of teaching your child to hunt can be so much more enjoyable in an environment where the focus is on him bagging the game. It’s easier to take the time to explain things and to show him specific ways to hunt in different areas that might normally not be accessible to him. Hunting has proven to build confidence in children that struggle with low self-esteem and anything, that can build confidence in this day and age is worth the trouble.
Talking about gun safety and his on effect on the environment is also an appropriate topic to bring up during the hunt. He may go hunting with you and your buddies throughout the year but, may not understand everything that is going on, it is a time that can truly show him why you do certain things and how to properly do them without the distractions that he might face on regular season hunts. Youth hunts can help to instill in him ethical hunting exercises that will stick with him his whole life. It is also a good time to let him be the dog handler and to bond with your hunting dog and to see his dog in his hunting world doing what he does best.
Youth hunts can also be a hands on Science lesson. It is especially fun for young children to bring along a camera and to take photographs of his day to share with others later. I’ve heard of kids making posters for school of youth hunting days.
Even if your youth isn’t particularly interested in the actual hunt, it is a fine time to get out and enjoy nature together, especially since most of us are enjoying a little too much couch time with all this winter weather. It doesn’t really matter what happens on the hunt, just being together and enjoying God’s creation can create memories that will last a lifetime, for you and for him. And certainly don’t forget if he’s lucky enough to bag a duck, make sure to take the time to brag on him or her for putting some meat on the table, after all that’s supposed to be the reason we go hunting in the first place, the eating not the bragging.