Youth-only hunting days are designed to entice adults to mentor young hunters without succumbing to the temptations of hunting for themselves, and this year, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission expanded youth-only turkey hunting from one day to a six, from the first Saturday of April through the Friday that precedes the regular-season opener.

Walter 'Deet' James, hunting heritage biologist for the Commission, understands new-hunter recruitment is vital to the sustainability of hunting and fishing opportunities, and the obstacles that are in the way now did not exist just a couple of decades ago.

"Recruiting the next generation of hunters has become a challenge in a world of nature disconnection. The baby boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, were weaned outdoors. Having been born near the tail end of the boomer age myself, I personally remember 'bike hikes' in the woods, building huts in the yard, and shooting tin cans "out back" in the strip mines near my home.

 

"TV was technology, and we watched it only after it was too dark outside to play. However, outdoor and nature interest in our young people today is all but phased out. Most of today's youth are not experiencing nature naturally. Instead, much of what they learn about the outdoors comes from school, television or other 'electronic' sources.'"

 

Youth not only gain experience and knowledge of the game they pursue, but they also pick up valuable one on one time to bond with their parent, grandparent, or other adult authority figure.

 

In this video, Bill Howard shares his time spent with his daughter, Julianne, as they embark on her first ever turkey hunt from Saturday, April 6. In the end, it proves the time spent together is more than just a hunt, but a memory that will be cherished and shared between the two.