The youth squirrel season begins today, and the annual squirrel season starts October 10. I said in a past column that I thought the opening day of squirrel season was bigger than Christmas.
In my teen years, the squirrel season came in on Saturday and still does. The Monday before the season, I had my 20-guage shotgun and .22 rifle out of the closet to make sure they were ready for some serious shooting. The rest of the week, I would try to get my hunting clothes (coat, long-john underwear, socks, etc.) ready. The excitement going through my mind was beyond comprehension.
In today's complex society, youngsters are involved in numerous activities competing for their time and interests. Expansion of school athletic programs, home-video games, and the internet occupy a large portion of our youth's time. This is why I have often said that the youth hunts are important to the future of sport hunting.
Too many of the nation's young people today have not had the chance or opportunity to experience the enjoyment of the hunting tradition. In some respects, this is tragic, because outdoors activities like hunting and fishing are an education within themselves.
All adults who enjoy any type of hunting need to remember that today's youth are the future leaders, educators, biologists, and hunters of tomorrow.
All of us need to be involved in the lives of our youth and not take our hunting heritage for granted.
Remember, the daily bag limit is six, and the possession limit is 24 squirrels. Some of the most common violations during the squirrel season are:
n Exceeding the limit.
n Hunting on enclosed or posted land without written permission of the owner.
n Hunting without a valid hunting license.
n Having a loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle.
Parents, take your kids hunting.