Nationally the news about hunting is not great. Numbers of hunters are falling and the younger generation especially is turning toward other interests and flocking to cities.

Wyoming has bucked that trend somewhat, with the number of big game tags applied for mostly higher than or in line with recent years.

At the paper we’ve already had a number of youths, along with the adults, come in proudly holding big buck antlers to participate in our yearly contest.

Still, this is no time to rest on laurels. We urge everyone to take time to introduce the next generation to the sport, whether its tracking deer or elk, hitting the sagebrush with an eye for pheasants, chukar and grouse, calling in waterfowl to pond or even prowling through the brush with an eye for rabbits.

Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik pushed just such a message at the start of the season.

“Connecting new people, particularly kids, with the outdoors is one of the most important things we can do for the future of wildlife conservation,” Nesvik wrote. “As people who recreate in Wyoming know, our state has tremendous wildlife and outdoor resources. Mentoring youth to enjoy nature promotes Wyoming’s outdoor heritage, and hunting is one way to coax a kid away from today’s technology to develop an appreciation for wildlife.”

So take out a new hunter and introduce them to one of the state’s best assets.

I’ll see you out there as I take my 8-year-old son out to help track down some rabbits and maybe call in a duck or too.

 

(4) comments

Gunrunner Auctions

The data that indicates nationwide that the younger generation is not participating in hunting is somewhat misleading and certainly does NOT apply to Wyoming by any means. In many states they have had to train additional Hunter Safety instructors to keep up with the demand (in many states you have to have a Hunter Safety card before you can buy your first hunting license).

Additionally, youth hunting days on public ground are always jammed with young hunters and their parent/mentor. I've seen this in Ohio as well as Wyoming. It's a good thing.

Also what must be kept in mind is that back East those who live on farms or large pieces of timber do not have to have a purchased hunting license, but rather can hunt their lands for free. These hunters - and there are many - do NOT show up in the national stats. Back East a farmer or tree farmer can obtain permission from G&F to take up to 20 deer if damage is being done. Again, lots of hunting by young family members, but not recorded as a regular hunting license.

Many of the western states - like Wyoming - receive a significant percentage of hunters - resident and non-resident - who draw for tags and are never rewarded in the draw. Thousands. So Wyoming is and will always be a major - if not the golden ticket - for hunting. Talk to anyone who has drawn a sheep tag....

No sign of any let-up of hunting in this state. The young generation is coming up strong. Whenever there is a Hunter Safety program going on it looks like the circus as come to town with all of the many dozens of cars parked around any given facility.

Firearm sales are up for everyone and a key to that are firearms purchased by parents or other family members for the younger generation.

Wyoming, like all other states have a vast amount of free public hunting grounds that contain a wonderful and managed variety of game. One does not need to be "rich" to participate in hunting! You don't need to town a big ranch or pay a huge amount for a hunting lease - just go hunting on the public land or the wildlife areas that stock game for the young and old. There are millions and millions of acre on which to hunt - you couldn't stomp it all in ten life times of hunting!

Of course hunting is being done by millions - the meat is the BEST. For example, even a non-resident hunter gets an enormous break in terms of meat value: A non-resident gets an elk cow/calf with a half-price license that is $288. If they get 300 lbs. of meat from a medium cow, do the math. Now compare it to what you pay in the grocery store for tenderloins, high quality steaks, hamburger and roasts. A resident gets even a better deal: For a $40 license they get 300++ lbs. from one elk. Do the math.

When I have persons from the East to my North Fork property and serve them elk calf tenderloin with our special recipe, they remark that it is the BEST meat they have ever tasted. I say: "NOW you know why we hunt and will continue to hunt into our old age."

For those of us who have hunted for over half a century, our thrill comes not from hunting for ourselves but seeing the introduction of young people and women into the hunting sport. Great exercise, great friendships and great meat.

Chickadee

This editorial should have been proofread in better detail. Don't ever rely on spellcheck alone (too instead of two and its instead of it's).

Disgusted taxpayer

I don't blame young folks for shunning the hunting scene.Who wants to get shot at by some idiot out of state hunter who thinks a horse or cow looks like a deer or elk.Furthermore greed has taken over in the form of rich people buying up ranches and land only to lock them up to traditional hunting access.

cp123

so you think Wyoming resident are the only ones that can id an elk or deer, I suspect you just don't like out of staters but the Wyoming hunter best be glad for them since they keep you price ridiculously cheap. Question do you hunt?

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