When people ask me “Robby what’s the best way to get my children involved in the outdoors”, I often respond with one simple answer “thirty-minute hunts and one-hour fishing trips.” Soon after my response I get an eye roll in disbelief.
Children love to be outdoors but their love for the outdoors does not come with sitting in a blind for hours on end, waiting for the perfect buck to walk out. Capitalize on what you know when it comes to hunting and fishing. If you notice every night for a few days, deer walk out on a meadow between four and five, then take a child to the location to join you in harvesting a doe.
Don’t try to sit there for hours before the deer walk out, getting a four-year old into position without spooking game will only make you a better hunter. Show up 20-30 minutes before the deer normally appear. I understand this may lead to spooking the deer, but if not, the memories will be priceless.
My son and I were fortunate a few weeks ago to harvest this beautiful Mallard. My son has been talking about this duck for the last three weeks and it only took 20 minutes. Over the years I’ve noticed some ducks and geese landing on a pond that would be easy to sneak up on. One day we took a little trip and the short “stalk” was a memory we’ll never forget.
Conservation isn’t always about a stamp, it’s about raising outdoorsmen and women who will support, preserve, protect and restore the wildlife they fondly remember from their childhoods. Of course, the trip wasn’t complete until the four-year old personally called the landowner and thanked him for the opportunity.
Get those kids outdoors!