Whitesburg KY
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Struttin’ Time

Sport of hunting really is in danger

I have been talking and writing a lot lately about the importance of getting our youth out of the house and into the woods.

Everybody I talk to says the same thing: We must get them into the sport of hunting or our sport will die. We know the problem, but getting an answer is another matter.

Nobody believes we got ourselves into this mess overnight, and we are not going to solve it in a week. As I see it, we have met the enemy and it is us — the parents and other adults children look up to for leadership. We all need to step up to the ol’ hickory tree.

Many children who are of hunting age (six and above) are being hauled off to the flea market on Saturday mornings while they could be in the woods. Hunting season only takes 52 days a year, leaving the other 313 days to visit flea markets.

I realize that one thing that has changed is Dad’s work habits. We worked five days a week, 40 hours. People now work six and seven days and go broke fast if their overtime gets cut. Most people today don’t know what quality family time is. Mom and Dad are at work trying to keep their heads above water while their son is on the computer and their daughter is on a cell phone. If we cannot get back to basics our sport cannot go on. When I was growing up nearly everyone hunted — dads, school teachers, ministers, and Boy Scout leaders.

Each year the local Little Shepherd Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation holds a rabbit hunt for the youth. There usually are between 50 and 60 kids there, some of whom are brought by their Mother or a mentor. A lot of hunting dads have disappeared since I was young. The annual hunt, guided by Raymond Brown, and a lot of other good people should have 10 times the kids.

My friend Raymond Brown is old. I’m even older, and we may not be around to see hunting disappear, but if something doesn’t change, our youth will see that day.

The Kids Day Back to School Bash will be July 31 at River Park in Whitesburg from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Everything is free, and I hope to talk to you there.

Hunting season starts August 15. Take a kid hunting. If anyone wants me to take their child hunting during the opening weekend, let me know at the Back to School Bash. I will be glad to do it.

A trip of a thousand miles begins with one step. Let’s take the step to turn things around.

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