Connecticut offers many youth hunter training days where it allows licensed youth hunters to get a jump on their season and get a little hunting in without the crowds of the regular season. All youth hunters are required to be licensed, which means passing a hunter education course and to be accompanied by a licensed adult. Only the youth hunter is allowed to hunt while the adult is there to mentor and teach. I am a huge fan of these youth training days and have been taking advantage of them with my kids and their friends for 8 season now and these days are by far the best thing for the future of hunting. There are those that complain about them as not being fair to let the kids out before the rest of us and for them I say in my best Sargent Hulka (Stripes) voice - "Lighten up Francis!"
|Tired, cold, and ready for some lunch.|
Connecticut offers 2 youth deer hunt days on the 2 Saturdays before the start of gun season. I was fortunate enough to take my daughter out on the first one. We were still battling power outages from the storm Alfred but we got our gear together anyway and made the best of it. I decided to hunt state land that day and thanks to the storm damage, I was unable to get to my first spot, so we turned the truck around and headed to a spot closer to home. IT was a cold day and I didn't think we would last long be we made it until about 11:30. We had plenty of fresh sign, especially around the tree tops that fell in the storm. It was like a lunch line of track around them. We also found a few fresh scrapes that could have been made overnight seeing we had a really bright moon that night. Even though we didn't see any deer, we had some laughs and enjoyed ourselves. My daughter was playing with an acorn and wanted to taste it and of course her trying to get it apart was worth a few laughs but when I told her she was a knuckle head and she turned to me with a wide grin with acorn between her fingers and said "No, I'm a nut!" I just lost it and knew it was time to go take a walk because if there was anything around us it was sure to run with all that laughter.
Bubba's son James aka Little Bubba, was also out hunting that morning and they too were met with a uneventful morning but that would change for Little Bubba during the second youth hunting day. Bubba's youngest just turned 12 days prior to the second youth day and was finally able to hunt. So Busch Pilot and Bubba took both James and Jared out for a morning hunt to a piece of private land we hunt. James had a nice buck come bounding off the hill but when he tried to move into position the buck spooked and ran towards hos brother Jared. The buck stayed low so Jared never got a look at it. As Busch Pilot put it, "well at least we saved Jim from a taxidermy bill.". That was the only deer around that morning. On the way home they had seen many deer out feeding in the grass fields so Bubba decided that for the afternoon hunt they would hunt over a grass field on a different piece of property.
|Little Bubba with his buck 2011 CT Youth Deer hunt|
Jared decided that hunting once a day was enough for him so he stayed home and Bubba and James headed up the road for an evening hunt. The blind of choice this evening consisted of sitting under a old flatbed truck. Now don't laugh until you try it. This flatbed has served purpose as a blind on many occasions very successfully I might add. Well with about 30 minutes of light left James said he say a deer in the brush across the field and lost it. about 15 minutes later it was out in in the open in a small field just off the big grass field. Bubba wanted to get it on film so he hurried to get the video camera on and as soon as the camera was on and the buck in few he gave James the okay to shoot and before he could finish getting the words out of his mouth the 30-30 barked and the spike buck dropped in it's tracks. The shot was on the video but it happens really fast. My favorite line from the video was "your brother is not going to be happy!", but even if Jared was a little disappointed he was still happy and willing helped with the skinning later that night. This was James' second buck and he shot his first last year during a youth hunt that you can read about HERE.
Here is a short video clip of Little Bubba's hunt. Remember it happens quick.
The smiles on the kids faces make everything right in the world and with the sport of hunting. There is something about taking a youngster out in the woods and sharing your knowledge and passion for our great sport of hunting. I'd give up shooting myself if every day was youth day.
Tis the season to get out and share the Passion!