2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby crbutler on Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:19 pm

Truthfully, your point is every bit as anecdotal as mine.

I don’t deny that we need kids hunting, and no problem with high school shooting teams.

But giving the kids a first crack at the game means the rest get a lesser experience and if you want to increase hunting, I think we would be better off making sure everyone’s experience is good.

“Open your eyes”... the numbers are there.

The 18-40 age group is the group that has lost ground and numbers, not the youth and not the old.

From what I see and hear, it’s the lack of a quality experience for people. The young guys state they are not getting the game they saw in the youth seasons. If folks have fun, they go.

I’m old enough that just getting out is fun to me; but I know people.

I have a lot more days where I don’t shoot a shot than days I limit out.

That’s not a winning combination for retention.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:23 pm

crbutler wrote:Truthfully, your point is every bit as anecdotal as mine.

I don’t deny that we need kids hunting, and no problem with high school shooting teams.

But giving the kids a first crack at the game means the rest get a lesser experience and if you want to increase hunting, I think we would be better off making sure everyone’s experience is good.

“Open your eyes”... the numbers are there.

The 18-40 age group is the group that has lost ground and numbers, not the youth and not the old.

From what I see and hear, it’s the lack of a quality experience for people. The young guys state they are not getting the game they saw in the youth seasons. If folks have fun, they go.

I’m old enough that just getting out is fun to me; but I know people.

I have a lot more days where I don’t shoot a shot than days I limit out.

That’s not a winning combination for retention.


So how do you get an 18 year old to hunt if they did not start as a youth? The percentage entering the ranks as an adult are very low. That is a fact not an anecdote

There was a time in MN not that long ago when seeing a whitetail was a rare event. We had plenty of hunters then.

Teach them it is not all about killing things and you will have a winning program.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby crbutler on Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:12 pm

Then WHAT is the point of the youth season, as opposed to some other way (like reduced rate licenses for folks accompanied by a kid).

All the youth season does is get folks who would probably be out there anyhow during the regular season out early.

With waterfowl, anyhow.

The amount of $$$ in equipment costs for duck hunting pretty much preclude nonhunters going out.

And about a quarter of the folks I know who hunt picked it up after age 17.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby smurfman on Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:55 pm

Regarding the youth deer season, I received pictures from the kids of three friends showing me their deer. It was not the first time hunting nor the first deer for any of them. While out hunting today, I ran into one kid and his father bringing in a deer the kid shot.When I asked, he stated it was his first deer but his third year hunting. Saw another at a gas station, the father stated the deer was his son's second deer this year- he took a mule deer and an antelope in Wyoming earlier. I asked the local butcher if he had many deer from the youth program, he had 5 in so far. All were from the kids of regular customers.

I would agree with crbutler that these programs are having limited effect. every kid/parent I talked to or personally knew had already begun hunting. Of those that I was aware of from the butcher most, if not all, would have been out during the regular season.

If the purpose of the youth seasons is to introduce kids who have no hunting history to hunting then it maybe should be limited to that demographic. A means of recruiting and mentoring these kids would need to be found but this is the demographic that needs to be reached, not the kids of a hunting family. As it stands, the current youth days seem to often be utilized as a head start or additional days on filling the freezer.

I'm not against youth days, I am just not enamoured with how they are being used by what appears to be a significant portion of the participants.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:01 pm

crbutler wrote:Then WHAT is the point of the youth season, as opposed to some other way (like reduced rate licenses for folks accompanied by a kid).

All the youth season does is get folks who would probably be out there anyhow during the regular season out early.

With waterfowl, anyhow.

The amount of $$$ in equipment costs for duck hunting pretty much preclude nonhunters going out.

And about a quarter of the folks I know who hunt picked it up after age 17.


I started duck hunting with a dozen decoys and a break action single shot shotgun. If you feel you need to spend that kinda money great. More power to you but please don't tell me it has to be that way.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:02 pm

smurfman wrote:Regarding the youth deer season, I received pictures from the kids of three friends showing me their deer. It was not the first time hunting nor the first deer for any of them. While out hunting today, I ran into one kid and his father bringing in a deer the kid shot.When I asked, he stated it was his first deer but his third year hunting. Saw another at a gas station, the father stated the deer was his son's second deer this year- he took a mule deer and an antelope in Wyoming earlier. I asked the local butcher if he had many deer from the youth program, he had 5 in so far. All were from the kids of regular customers.

I would agree with crbutler that these programs are having limited effect. every kid/parent I talked to or personally knew had already begun hunting. Of those that I was aware of from the butcher most, if not all, would have been out during the regular season.

If the purpose of the youth seasons is to introduce kids who have no hunting history to hunting then it maybe should be limited to that demographic. A means of recruiting and mentoring these kids would need to be found but this is the demographic that needs to be reached, not the kids of a hunting family. As it stands, the current youth days seem to often be utilized as a head start or additional days on filling the freezer.

I'm not against youth days, I am just not enamoured with how they are being used by what appears to be a significant portion of the participants.


So, what were you out hunting?
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby smurfman on Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:53 am

Pheasants, sharptails and ruffed grouse, and woodcock on public land.

The cost of getting into waterfowling as a newbie with no family history/backing is relatively expensive. I work a retail store with a hunting section and deal with a lot of newcomers. If truly starting from scratch, the price of a gun, a dozen decoys, a bag to carry them in, cord and anchors, waders, shells, maybe a call or two can easily run over $500 for even the most frugal shopper. Then there is the cost of transportation in time and vehicle which is necessary for the vast majority these days. Few can walk a mile or so and begin hunting. For something tried on a lark with relatively few days afield and a lot fewer opportunities to shoot a duck than when I started, all the above is a large investment.

True Newcomers are not likely to scrounge up gear as they have no network from which to beg, borrow, or steal from plus they have little faith in their ability to determine what is junk and what is treasure due to having no one to turn to for advice. They are at the mercy of the salesman whom are often nearly as clueless or are bent on selling the clerk's idea of a dream set up. As a shopper I have seen this many times at the major sporting goods stores and have fought it myself at my store since I've been hired. Waterfowling is not cheap to enter for the true first timers in any measure.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:34 pm

smurfman wrote:Pheasants, sharptails and ruffed grouse, and woodcock on public land.

The cost of getting into waterfowling as a newbie with no family history/backing is relatively expensive. I work a retail store with a hunting section and deal with a lot of newcomers. If truly starting from scratch, the price of a gun, a dozen decoys, a bag to carry them in, cord and anchors, waders, shells, maybe a call or two can easily run over $500 for even the most frugal shopper. Then there is the cost of transportation in time and vehicle which is necessary for the vast majority these days. Few can walk a mile or so and begin hunting. For something tried on a lark with relatively few days afield and a lot fewer opportunities to shoot a duck than when I started, all the above is a large investment.

True Newcomers are not likely to scrounge up gear as they have no network from which to beg, borrow, or steal from plus they have little faith in their ability to determine what is junk and what is treasure due to having no one to turn to for advice. They are at the mercy of the salesman whom are often nearly as clueless or are bent on selling the clerk's idea of a dream set up. As a shopper I have seen this many times at the major sporting goods stores and have fought it myself at my store since I've been hired. Waterfowling is not cheap to enter for the true first timers in any measure.



So $500 is expensive? Compared to what? A deer rifle, even a good starter one and a scope is going to set you back that much. Then add shells, blaze Orange,.....

Maybe take up hockey, oh wait, skates, sticks, pads... Damon there is another 500.

Pheasant you still need a shotgun, a vest, and shells a minimum so maybe $ 350 if you are frugal so that is doable but 500 is not?
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby smurfman on Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:17 am

Holland&Holland wrote:
smurfman wrote:Pheasants, sharptails and ruffed grouse, and woodcock on public land.

The cost of getting into waterfowling as a newbie with no family history/backing is relatively expensive. I work a retail store with a hunting section and deal with a lot of newcomers. If truly starting from scratch, the price of a gun, a dozen decoys, a bag to carry them in, cord and anchors, waders, shells, maybe a call or two can easily run over $500 for even the most frugal shopper. Then there is the cost of transportation in time and vehicle which is necessary for the vast majority these days. Few can walk a mile or so and begin hunting. For something tried on a lark with relatively few days afield and a lot fewer opportunities to shoot a duck than when I started, all the above is a large investment.

True Newcomers are not likely to scrounge up gear as they have no network from which to beg, borrow, or steal from plus they have little faith in their ability to determine what is junk and what is treasure due to having no one to turn to for advice. They are at the mercy of the salesman whom are often nearly as clueless or are bent on selling the clerk's idea of a dream set up. As a shopper I have seen this many times at the major sporting goods stores and have fought it myself at my store since I've been hired. Waterfowling is not cheap to enter for the true first timers in any measure.



So $500 is expensive? Compared to what? A deer rifle, even a good starter one and a scope is going to set you back that much. Then add shells, blaze Orange,.....

Maybe take up hockey, oh wait, skates, sticks, pads... Damon there is another 500.

Pheasant you still need a shotgun, a vest, and shells a minimum so maybe $ 350 if you are frugal so that is doable but 500 is not?


Maybe it's chump change for you but it is quite a bit for many, especially if they are unsure if they will like it. And that is the very bare bones and if timing is right on the lowest prices I can find. If one does not give time to shop, then costs can go up significantly.

So, how can I contact you for the funds when some newcomer balks at the purchase price? Put up or shut up if you wish to be helpful. BTW, I can get them into upland game for less than half waterfowl and deer for under $300. How many of those are you willing to stake? Or, are you all mouth and argument?
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:58 am

Wait, so if I don't personally pay for your bill I somehow lose the argument?

WTF are you smoking?

BTW, did you now read my post previously? I spend a significant amount of time dedicated to helping young people learn to use firearms safely, responsibly, and have fun doing it. Last week alone I took a newbie hunting and a another newbie to the handgun range. I do put up. Am I going to go on a public forum and state I will pay for anyone's gear? I don't have your salary.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby smurfman on Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:37 am

Walking it back, I see.

You implied $500 was not much money and I was asking if you were willing to put up the funds for a newbie to start. As the initial discussion of costs was regarding waterfowling I did not branch out into other forms of hunting or sports. It should be noted that these other endeavors plus others including food, clothes, and a place to live also have a bearing on the discretionary funds a person/family have to spend.

As for your helping coach high school trap, just how much of that help was after the needed equipment was acquired? The time spent coaching is a definite cost as I have been doing the same for 4-H, BOW, NSSF, MN FAS, and a few other organizations for 30+ years in some cases. Other than 4-H I don't consider myself as helping get others started as the equipment was either already bought or was provided to the students by the sponsoring organization. I did help them learn to properly use and maintain the equipment but I didn't help in any way with the initial investment.

I feel I did help from the very beginning in 4-H though. Of the 4 counties in two state I have been active in, I have donated 9 shotguns and around 20 air guns for student use. This is in addition to personal firearms I have lent. These have permitted some to participate and decide if this activity was to their liking without having to make an expenditure in equipment. About half have continued in one form or another, of the others I have no idea what happened to them.

So, donating time by coaching and taking others out is great but it does not help on the front end where the purchaser has to justify the expenditure. This is the tough part and a large percentage I've met are put off by the initial outlay. I do my best to minimize this cost whether for work or a personal level but even so it can be a daunting amount.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby Holland&Holland on Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:48 am

smurfman wrote:Walking it back, I see.

You implied $500 was not much money and I was asking if you were willing to put up the funds for a newbie to start. As the initial discussion of costs was regarding waterfowling I did not branch out into other forms of hunting or sports. It should be noted that these other endeavors plus others including food, clothes, and a place to live also have a bearing on the discretionary funds a person/family have to spend.

As for your helping coach high school trap, just how much of that help was after the needed equipment was acquired? The time spent coaching is a definite cost as I have been doing the same for 4-H, BOW, NSSF, MN FAS, and a few other organizations for 30+ years in some cases. Other than 4-H I don't consider myself as helping get others started as the equipment was either already bought or was provided to the students by the sponsoring organization. I did help them learn to properly use and maintain the equipment but I didn't help in any way with the initial investment.

I feel I did help from the very beginning in 4-H though. Of the 4 counties in two state I have been active in, I have donated 9 shotguns and around 20 air guns for student use. This is in addition to personal firearms I have lent. These have permitted some to participate and decide if this activity was to their liking without having to make an expenditure in equipment. About half have continued in one form or another, of the others I have no idea what happened to them.

So, donating time by coaching and taking others out is great but it does not help on the front end where the purchaser has to justify the expenditure. This is the tough part and a large percentage I've met are put off by the initial outlay. I do my best to minimize this cost whether for work or a personal level but even so it can be a daunting amount.


I am not walking anything back. I still contend $500 entrance cost into a lifelong sport is NOT a large fee. That does not mean I give out money to beggars on the street.

As to questioning my personal investment into the kids I coach. I do not need to detail the amount here that I have spent in providing kids equipment and ammo. If you want to see my work in action, please consider coming out to Buffalo gun club. I am hosting a trap tournament this Saturday from 11-5 to benefit one of our trap team kids who has come down with cancer. Cost is $20 to shoot the event so fairly reasonable. All the door prizes where donated by businesses who us coaches approached.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby smurfman on Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:25 pm

Holland&Holland wrote: I still contend $500 entrance cost into a lifelong sport is NOT a large fee. That does not mean I give out money to beggars on the street.


And there in lies the disconnect. These newcomers do not see it as investing in a lifelong sport; they see it much like a roll of the dice- will they like it or will they not? Not many will readily gamble that kind of money on a single throw and it is an even greater challenge when one factors in the number of outings one can fit into a season. They have no direct history in the shooting sports so have little concept of what is needed from them in any manner.

These people are not beggars, they are trying to determine if the cost is worth the benefit on an unknown activity. Helping them out after they have taken the plunge into unknown waters is helpful but I'm trying to get newbies to take that initial step. That is where I find the greatest benefit but the least help. And this crosses age brackets, most I see are far beyond the age they can join the local high school trap team or 4-H group and be given/lent equipment.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby crbutler on Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:25 pm

Not trying to get personal here.

Whenever someone starts going on about how much they do, there is always someone else who has done more who doesn’t talk about it.

So...

Without trying to play oneupmanship, my contention is:

We do need to keep adding folks to the sport. How they are recruited is the question.

I don’t think having a special youth season really does much except degrades the experience for the rest who don’t have access to the special hunt.

Most all of the folks I see out are hunters who are bringing their relatives out on the youth days.

The kids do have high enthusiasm while they do the youth hunts. The actual recruitment (by numbers) seems small, at least from the vantage point of looking at statewide license purchase- ie, one would expect to see a spike in the 18-30 year group in waterfowl hunting by now if this method actually worked. That is actual qualitative data as opposed to anecdotal. There does not appear to be said spike. Why, if this is a productive measure?

Given that it does not seem to work, what other options do we have?

One that I think will pay dividends over time is the high school shooting sports. Trap is good. If we could add rimfire and or air rifle position shooting, that would give an additional sport that can be done when the weather is inclement.

As far as hunting goes, numbers seem to go up as access goes up. It’s not quite apples to apples, (but it is where I have seen serial numbers) is international big game hunting. When the economy goes south, the numbers drop. When regulations get added, and uncertainty increases (like the elephant and lion import difficulties) numbers drop significantly. So, when access and quality of experience drop, participation drops. When access (in particular financial availability) improves, numbers increase.

We seem to actually be in agreement that improved numbers of people who hunt are important.

I’m not at all convinced “youth days” are the best method.

Possibly allowing a new hunter or “apprentice” system that allows someone who takes hunter safety to hunt for free for 1-2 years regardless of age with a mentor, and reduced license fees for the “mentor”. Given how computerized the system is, it would not be that difficult to make this work, and it would target new hunters, not just the young ones.
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Re: 2019 Youth Firearms Deer Season - Oct. 17-20

Postby BigBlue on Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:53 pm

The whole premise that a youth needs to be fully outfitted from scratch to go hunting seems flawed to me. If someone is taking a youth hunting, I'd say in most cases they (the adult) has much of the equipment, especially firearms, to take them on an intro hunting session. After all, the accompanying parent/guardian/mentor CAN'T HUNT during the youth deer season so their gun is available. (see https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/youth.html) The concept that someone is going out and buying a gun for their first hunt "just to try out the sport" does not resonate with me, certainly not as a "can't do it without buying one" case.
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