Recruiting the next generation is critical to the future of the resource and our hunting heritage. Today may be the first step in your waterfowling future. Perhaps the single most important contribution any of us can make to ensure the future of waterfowl and waterfowling is to bring a YOUNG person into the duck blind and teach them the skills, ethics and respect for wildlife that our parents or others instilled in us.
Start early. Try to explain almost everything you and your partner does. Why you use a call – camouflage, but most all, be patient. So keep the hunts short.
Stress safety and conservation. Teach by example – Explain that even though hunters harvest some birds each fall, their license dollars and their support of DU conservation efforts allow for wise management of waterfowl populations.
Help your child with hunter education
Pick a good day for the first hunt. One that will keep the child’s interest.
Help your child after the hunt. Help clean the bird and explain the different parts.
KEEP THEIR INTEREST:
Take the child to a refuge where they can see large numbers of waterfowl
Buy an easy to use duck call
Encourage reading and identification of waterfowl
Pass on stories and encourage theirs
As teacher of young waterfowlers, the payoffs of igniting a young person’s interest in the outdoors can be the greatest source of pride. You will feel the pride in seeing your outdoor skills and ethics pass down to another generation as was passed to you and that will be passed on to the ones in the FUTURE.
What will happen if we stop the circle of teaching young people the right way to treat and save wildlife? These GREENWINGS here today are the FUTURE of waterfowling and conservation. It’s up to us to keep the flame growing in their hearts and minds.