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Thread: Youth Duck Hunt

  1. #1
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Default Youth Duck Hunt

    After four hours of solid preparation, I am still barely ready to sleep. At age 44, I have flashbacks to when I was 12. I had saved up enough money to buy my own Winchester model 37A Singleshot in a 20 gauge, full choke affair. We got skunked, but I will never forget how excited I was to put on those hemmed-in, adult-sized upland game pants and stomp the cover for small game, with my dad, years ago. It was nearly impossible to go to sleep, just like when I was five, awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus and wondering if he'd really bring the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

    Tomorrow is the same, only different. I'm taking a fairly new-to-town buddy of mine. A professional comtemporary who hails from Chicago, about 200 miles North. One of the reasons he came to the country-side of the cornbelt heartland: To expose his kids to the outdoors and learn to hunt and fish.

    Enter Chris...(me)... Tomorrow is our Central IL Youth Weekend Duck opener. The kids get a crack at the birds a full week before the regular season opens.

    Across the impoundment from me will be my good friend Pete Poling (Prairie Winds Kennels) with his grandson and one of his hotshot gundogs. I'll be with my buddy Craig and his son Davis.

    I can hardly stand it! Decoys are ready, the youth 20 guage pump is still warm from Davis' rapid evolution as a wingshooter. 48 hours ago Davis had never seen a shotgun, but for IL Hunter's Safety Education. Today, he's an experienced skeet shooter, having perfected the 4 b's. Bird, Butt, Beak, BOOM..... This kid was smoking clays on the skeet range last night.

    Tomorrow it all comes together. I get to run my boat, set my decoys, blow my calls, handle my dog, and watch young Davis burn 20 gauge shells at early season ducks.

    In today's times, the economy stinks, the political banter is at an alltime high, and folks' tempers sometimes seem to be on the verge of spontaneous combustion. Yet, today is an exciting day...tomorrow promises to be the kind from which memories and magic are created!

    Safe hunts, straight lines, and crisp casts to all of you from the RTF Janitor.


    - Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    you are going to have soooooooooo much fun.
    I do the yout hunts. for a few seasons now.
    It will blow your mind not having a gun in hand, but hey! now your a guide
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Peake's Avatar
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    Chris,

    "Memories and magic" those simple words describe the thoughts of youth and hunting here in SW PA! Joey is 10 yr now and I just brought him home his first 20ga. pump! In this crazy messed up adult world good on you and all fathers/friends who intro kids to the same magic we experienced many years ago!

    Good Safe Hunting,
    Peake
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    Last edited by Peake; 03-25-2011 at 05:45 PM.

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    I remember those first hunts vividly. Thanks for the reminder of those great days and sleepless nights. Have a great time, and I'll see you in December.

    Hey, I got a new hat!

    Snick

  5. #5
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    you are going to have soooooooooo much fun.
    I do the yout hunts. for a few seasons now.
    It will blow your mind not having a gun in hand, but hey! now your a guide
    Brother Ken,

    Somewhere in the vaults of the Waterfowl USA magazine archives lies one of my first published articles. (scary, I know that something I'd written could actually hit a glossy page of fine paper)

    It was about an Upstate NY Youth Hunt with Richard LaMonte....now a grown-up with kids older than mine! I have been a longtime recruiter of youth for the early season kids' outing.

    Can't wait!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  6. #6
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peake View Post
    Chris,

    "Memories and magic" those simple words describe the thoughts of youth and hunting here in SW PA! Joey is 10 yr now and I just brought him home his first 20ga. pump! In this crazy messed up adult world good on you and all fathers/friends who intro kids to the same magic we experienced many years ago!

    Good Safe Hunting,
    Peake
    Brother Peake,

    Thank You for reading and replying.

    It really is "magic" isn't it? My older boy, Max is at a buddy's birthday sleepover. The kid got a Nintendo Wii for his b'day. I have decided that if Max would rather sleep there and play with the Wii, that's where he belongs tonight.

    At age six, he has more days for duck hunts. But this breaks our three year streak of his coming along on the youth duck hunt and temporarily bums me out. I'm sure that this bum out will pale in comparison to some of the differences of preference that he and I will experience going forward.

    I sure hope young Davis, my buddy's son, remembers to keep that barrel moving and get out in front!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  7. #7
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    I remember those first hunts vividly. Thanks for the reminder of those great days and sleepless nights. Have a great time, and I'll see you in December.

    Hey, I got a new hat!

    Snick
    Let me guess brother Chuck... It's red?

    We are.....Penn State~~@!!!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Cody is a young man that has been throwing birds for me all year in exchange for me helping him train his dog. I took him and his friend Leon on the youth hunt this year. We shot two limits of birds in an hour. It may have been the best thing I did all year. Today I once again took him and one of his friends hunting on the river. We didn't do so well in the catch catagory but everytime I get to spend time teaching him and one of his friends the outdoors is time well spent. Have fun tomorrow Chris...

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
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    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

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    Senior Member K.Bullock's Avatar
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    This is my son Nathan and our dog Jake. He went along and handled the dog this morning on our opening day. We all had a stinking blast. Jake handled wonderfully for Nate and one those birds had a band . Now we get to enjoy waiting for the certificate. Awesome morning.

    Thanks for giving me a place to brag on my boys.
    Last edited by K.Bullock; 10-19-2008 at 07:21 AM.
    Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

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    Senior Member Rick Hall's Avatar
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    Our youth days aren't until the 1st and 2nd, so I'm green with envy and hope all went well!

    Still appreciate the days with seasoned hunters who still have their eyesight and reflexes, but have gotten so hunters on both ends of the journey tickle me most.

    Our last season's youth days produced a first goose for this young gun:



    and a first greenhead for this one:



    'Course, I just gotta toss one in of my own grandsons on trip we snuck in:



    And, for good measure, here's a grandfather who went the extra mile of paying for a high-dollar regular season hunt where we were ate up by mallards and spending most of it wrangling a BB gun and .410:



    There, we've shown you ours, show us yours...
    Last edited by Rick Hall; 10-19-2008 at 07:03 AM.
    If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.

    (And to see just how confused I really am, join us in my online blind at: Rick's 2014-2015 season log)

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