By Karl Evans, President of DSC
School has been out for several weeks. Six Flags, the mall, water parks and summer camps are filled with kids and families. I can remember when summer simply meant freedom and being outside from dawn to dark. But these days, parents are busier than ever, and inside activities are more convenient.
Hunters and anglers know it doesn’t have to be that way, and DSC members should not be happy with this status quo. What we can do about the increasing gap between youth and the outdoors is to take a kid shooting, hunting or fishing. Any kid: son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, godchild. And ask them to bring a friend! If you plan it right, this can be the most fun they will have. Ask any DSC member who has taken their own child or grandchild hunting – it’s never clear which generation has more fun. At the range, there are all sorts of products available for shooting guns or archery – targets that spin, blocks on the ground that roll along with each shot, even some zombie coyote and hog paper targets that are appealing to young shooters. Of course, fishing is always a blast, especially when there might be ice cream and burgers on the way home.
My point is something that many DSC members involved with youth already know. They have a lot to learn from us, but we can learn a lot from them. DSC is dedicated to outdoor education, through the S.A.F.E.T.Y. Extravaganza (Sept. 26, Greystone Castle), through support of DEF’s Outdoor Adventures in schools, and through grants made to other organizations committed to the same mission. The life lessons in the outdoors are numerous and they reach across generations.
This is the reason that now more than ever it is important to protect our right to hunt and fish, to preserve these golden opportunities in the field. DSC has been active in lobbying to put the Right To Hunt and Fish referendum on the ballot in November – a vote that has far-reaching effects for the future of hunting. Mark your calendar now – Nov. 3, 2015.
There is nothing wrong with swim meets, gymnastics, basketball camp or the waterpark, but let’s keep the outdoors – shooting, hunting, fishing, camping, wildlife watching − an exciting and viable choice for summer vacation. It will be something they will love for decades to come, something they will pass down to their kids.