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Griffon
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:54 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 237
Location: maine

The average age at our club in the Northeast is 60 plus. Young hunters in the State of Maine are dwindling. I haven't seen a kid riding a bike with a fish pole in hand for ages. Just curious, what are you seeing in your area?

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skeettx
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:03 pm  Reply with quote
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Location: Amarillo, Texas

OLD FARTS

EXCEPT for the indoor pistol club
Younger folks and women

Mike

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Cheyenne08
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:38 pm  Reply with quote
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Location: Cheyenne, Wy

I guess hunting is dying out, too much anti-gun propaganda for the last fifty years, lack of available public land for hunting, lack of game, no one wants to put down their hand held smart phone and get off their butts anymore.

A few do, and they should be encouraged, but sadly, their parents don't seem to want to help them.

In the late 1890's and early 20th century shooting sports were wildly popular.

When was the last time your grandkids begged to go see a shooting match?

Very few young kids in hunting areas that I last frequented.

Dale

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Two Barrels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:48 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 11 Dec 2015
Posts: 31
Location: Upstate, SC

I am 46 and shoot skeet and 5 stand most Sunday afternoons at our club. 95% of the time I am the youngest person there. My two children are teenagers and they both hunt and shoot some. Many of our friends and their kids shoot occasionally too. I agree that fieldsports as a whole are in decline, especially wingshooting. I think there are just too many other things competing for a kid's time now. Sports of any flavor are year round and all consuming for a lot of families. There a far fewer places for most people to shoot and hunt and it is not inexpensive. Many recreational shooters have never shouldered a gun built of steel and walnut. Plastic and phosphate represent "gun" for most new shooters as compared to our beloved "antiques". Competitive events like 3- Gun and IDPA draw a lot of younger shooters but these can also intimidate the new shooter. Our club will be running a youth skeet clinic this summer and SC has a pretty strong youth Sporting Clays circuit. These are positive, but at the same time it is a competition and requires a serious time and financial commitment of a family. How do we make wingshooting/clay sports more accessible to younger kids/families?
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jschultz
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:09 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 1560
Location: northwewst Wyoming

Wyoming youths are still active in both hunting and fishing. Last year I helped a 12 year old neighbor learn to fly fish and tie flies. I also taught him to shoot shotguns and hunt behind my dog. He took a hunter safety class so that he could hunt upland birds and small game.
I have two grandsons in CA that are serious fisherman, albeit bait fisherman. I also have two grandkids in OH, one of which is in his third year of college and a granddaughter in her first year of HS. They are both active clay target shooters and I recently gave them 3 shotguns.
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Dave In AZ
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:08 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 13 Oct 2015
Posts: 147

Two Barrels wrote:
How do we make wingshooting/clay sports more accessible to younger kids/families?


I see 30 or so kids interested in shooting and who are becoming better wingshots than me almost every week. Here are some ideas that have worked for me to promote shooting and pass it on:

1. If you have a kid or grandkid, take them shooting.
1a. Find a kid remotely interested if no kids of own.
2. Take him to skeet range or hunting.
2a. FRIENDS of my kids are always interested when they hear my sons talking about duck hunting, and I have been able to arrange with 4 parents/kids now to take them to skeet range for first time.
3. When you realize that for most people < 40, guns = plastic and camo, DON'T get on some high horse about "the beauty of wood and blued steel"--- accept that new materials are available for construction and are being used, and generally can make a fine gun and lower the price thus making it MORE ACCESSIBLE to new shooters.
4. Type "SCTP" into your browser, then start looking for local "Scholastic Clay Target Program" groups and where they shoot.
---- Go to that range and get checked out as a Range Safety Officer
----Volunteer to be RSO for your local SCTP clubs
---> There are 5 or so SCTP groups in Phoenix and they always need someone who is willing to open a range and sit there as RSO, this is a serious limiting factor. I could do this every weekend afternoon if I was available.
5. Call around and find a Boy Scouts organization near you. Call the Scout Master and ask if you can get approved to be a counselor for Shotgun Shooting merit badge, with some safety or RSO credentials. Volunteer to run an introductory clinic for scouts at your range.
6. Call your state Game and Fish department, or go online and look for "Events". Look for clinics and Youth events. Volunteer to be a Mentor at these. I've mentored at 4 events now and they were short of knowledgeable mentors at all of them.

Responses up above from others are all true-- even with my own 2 sons it's difficult to get them excited to go to the range and shoot vs. other things they have going on. Here's some things that seem to have worked:
1. do it AFTER all the 55-90 year old guys with $4000 guns are done and gone. It's extremely intimidating for kids, and honestly just absolutely no fun for them to learn around "serious shooters". I usually take mine after range "closes".
2. Package it with something else-- sometimes we have taken a friend out to play "laser tag" or paintball and then gone to the range. Ok with a good safety briefing, associates shotgun shooting with fun instead of just stuffiness.
3. dove hunting is usually great fun, lots of shots and action, low effort, great intro for kids.
4. Realize that, even if you haven't played them and don't understand them, current VIDEO GAMES are massively immersive realistic experiences, with graphics so good it's like being INSIDE a move---a 40 hour to 60 hour movie where you're the main character. Every kid out there HAS ALREADY SHOT 100 TIMES MORE ROUNDS than you have in your life! But they've done it inside action packed, adrenaline charged video games. I've played a bunch of them, and the mechanics can be quite good. So THAT is what you're competing against-- not what WE had as a choice, which was "no shooting or guns ever, or go hunting". Their mindset is completely different-- their choice is "awesome adventuring excitement being Indiana Jones (Nathan Drake really...) with a shotgun vs. go to range with Dad and also shoot stuff, but a lot less of it and not as exciting".
------- If your reaction to the above is to discount it and say to yourself, "no video game is like real shooting!", then you're probably not going to be able to overcome this very real interest issue, and will remain firmly out of touch with today's kids and keep wondering why they aren't into "shooting", while they stay at home and shoot stuff in video games.
5. Cabelas Big Game Hunter (video game) makes a great gift to the young gamer kid who hasn't hunted!! There are several shotgun events in the game, my kids really loved them and I have to admit so did I-- rabbits, pheasant, ducks, geese all have their own mini-games. This might be a good way to crack your way into a young relative's single-minded electronics obsession.

Lastly, I wonder how many of the folks here on this forum were actually shooting actively at 10-15 years? Versus how many picked it up later on in life? I'm 53, and though I hunted when young with my Dad a few times, I didn't get really active until in my 20s-- I was too busy with school, flying, football, hockey, track, rock band, guitar, bagpipes, GIRLS, reading, TV, chores, paper route, grass cutting business, etc... If someone zapped me back in time right now to 15 years old, I can absolutely guarantee you that I'd be doing much more of that stuff up above AGAIN than going shooting! Honestly, there are some capitalized stuff up there that it's just difficult to compete with for 15 year old kids!! Wink
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goathoof
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:10 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
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Location: eastern oregon

Thankfully, in our area most of the youth are shooters. I have had the neighbor boys up to our place to shoot their rifles and pistols several times. Also, any guests that visit are taken out to shoot pistols and rifles. It is especially fun to see the pleasure in the faces of both men and women who have never shot a firearm in their life, successfully strike the targets. We always start with the .22's and if they want work their way to the bigger calibers, they move on to those guns also. We usually finish with a little trap shooting, with of course, the 16 gauge guns I provide. I think for most the experience is an eye opener and builds confidence and a change of attitudes.
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AmericanMeet
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:39 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 2817
Location: NCWa

The problem here is keeping ranges open for anyone to have the opportunity to shoot. If it isn't the EPA (hopefully the recent changes will slow this assault) banning shooting at gun clubs because of lead shot dangers, it's the urbanite (California transplants) that buy Summer homes in the area, then get the commissioners to make "no shooting zones" which include the entire valley. If not them, the various fed and state agencies (Natural resources, etc) banning "informal" shooting. Shooting appears to be the new "tobacco" for placing blame.
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kgb
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:26 pm  Reply with quote
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Location: Nebraska

A friend in Pittsburgh has two kids (one of each) that he's constantly hauling around to soccer, basketball, cheer leading practice, friends' houses, school activities, volunteer services, etc and last year started his son on a few rounds of trap at a suburban club. The kid wound up invited to a weekly .22 rifle program which just wrapped up. Wasn't expensive and the club provided rifles and ammo. This summer they will hold a short duration trap league and the kid intends to play in that. With all of the activities available it's good to see this youngster getting into the shooting sports with enthusiasm.

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16gaDavis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:31 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1135
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)

it seems like we are finally cracking the ice here in NY . The Gov finally decided it could make him some money , so he leaned toward youths !! . Last Aug , we were approached by a youth coordinator at our club about sponsoring a trap team . We hoped for many , but got the 5 shooters required and they started yesterday . Seems the others we hoped for couldn't get it thru their head to do the online safety program . Anyway , we are underway with 2 other teams in this area . 2 weeks ago , my kid called - forgot to tell me that his kids , in their county , had started into a youth skeet/trap/clays program . Had never heard of a county wide thing (or high school for that matter) here !! So , things are trying to break out and finally even the schools here are trying to get shooting back . In order to be around the kids while they shoot , it's a 50 buck online program to become a certified range person - a smallish price to pay as this tries to move forward !

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Savage16
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:46 am  Reply with quote
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16gadavis- When my daughter shot for her HS trap team about 4 yrs ago, there was something like 2500 kids that went to state over a 3 day weekend. Last year it was something like 10000 over a weeks time. We added another trap range at my small gun club to accommodate the increased interest from the local school. When your 5 shooters start talking to other kids, look out!

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Woody402
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:21 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 25 Aug 2014
Posts: 159
Location: Finger Lakes

16gaDavis wrote:
it seems like we are finally cracking the ice here in NY . The Gov finally decided it could make him some money , so he leaned toward youths !! . Last Aug , we were approached by a youth coordinator at our club about sponsoring a trap team . We hoped for many , but got the 5 shooters required and they started yesterday . Seems the others we hoped for couldn't get it thru their head to do the online safety program . Anyway , we are underway with 2 other teams in this area . 2 weeks ago , my kid called - forgot to tell me that his kids , in their county , had started into a youth skeet/trap/clays program . Had never heard of a county wide thing (or high school for that matter) here !! So , things are trying to break out and finally even the schools here are trying to get shooting back . In order to be around the kids while they shoot , it's a 50 buck online program to become a certified range person - a smallish price to pay as this tries to move forward !


Bill it went well on Thursday. The kids enjoyed themselves even though it was a down pour!!!! I'm sure there will be more kids next year. The paperwork process messed a few up.
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16gaDavis
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:26 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1135
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)

yeah woodie , it sounds like the deadline may hamper things some . still a work in progress , and hopefully , we'll know how to move things next yr ... have heard of at least 2 other schools being interested . (this is for a state wide comp )

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curteric
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:22 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 25 Oct 2012
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Location: Duluth, Minnesota

Here is link to Minnesota's Highschool program. https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/4/08/over-10-000-students-participating-in-2016-minnesota-state-high-school-clay-target-league/
One of my wife's shooting partners son was in volved in Hermantown Highschools creation of a trap team in the early days. The shooting sports have exploded here.
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fourtrax
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:24 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 579
Location: N. Shore, mn

Locally in Silver Bay, MN the high school enrollment is around 200 kids or so.
The HS trap team is in it's third year. 15 kids here (4 girls). Just started last week
practice rounds. Hopefully some of these kids return to shooting sports sooner than later as adults. It's good to see kids out there shooting & most seem to enjoy it.

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