Why It Matters: States have recognized the importance of providing positive outdoor recreation experiences for youth. It is no secret that hunter numbers are declining across the board so taking kids hunting and doing whatever possible to provide them with positive experiences only serves to benefit recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts as well as provide hope for the future of the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF).
- For many states across the Southeast, fall and winter provide a number of opportunities to get youth in the outdoors.
- Youth hunting seasons are set, in part, to give kids a chance to experience specific types of hunting without facing the added challenge of crowded woods or waters.
- With adult supervision from licensed sportsmen and women, kids are afforded safe opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and build a passion for hunting.
Growing up in Mississippi, I was afforded a number of youth hunting season opportunities. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of spending time with my grandfather, dad, and uncle in the deer stand during the youth season. These experiences helped build my appreciation for wildlife conservation and shaped my future as an avid sportsman who now purchases several different hunting licenses in multiple states.
With Mississippi’s youth deer hunting season opening this weekend, I am excited to get my nephews back in the woods. A couple of years ago, I was able to take one of my nephews out during the youth deer season where he was able to take his first deer. While the hunt was successful because he capitalized on his shot opportunity, it was also successful because I could tell that his passion for the outdoors grew. Before long, he will grow up to be a licensed hunter contributing to the ASCF.
As sportsmen and women, we must practice what we preach. If you can, take a kid hunting. It is worth it. Several upcoming youth hunting seasons from across CSF’s Southeastern Region can be found below:
- Florida Youth Deer Hunt Weekend – Zone B: Nov. 26-27, Zone D: Dec. 3-4, 2022
- Kentucky Deer – December 31, 2022 – January 1, 2023
- Mississippi Deer – November 5-16, 2022
- North Carolina Youth Waterfowl Days – February 4 and February 11, 2023
- South Carolina Deer – January 7, 2023
- South Carolina Quail – November 19, 2022
- Tennessee Waterfowl Hunts – February 4 and 11, 2023
- West Virginia Antlerless Deer – December 26-27 (and October 15-16)