It’s Spring, Time to Get Out!
With the constant fear looming over law-abiding citizens’ heads that our guns may someday be confiscated, especially with President Obama’s agenda, it’s always nice to see that our numbers of sportsmen and women continue to increase. One of the main reasons I write on this web site is to encourage new hunters, fishermen, and outdoors people to get into the sporting world, and to bring as many people along with them as they can. I especially target women and children as there are not enough women, and the children are our future. And it’s not just about our future regarding guns; it’s also about our future of wild spaces and wild animals.
While doing some research on turkey hunting for the upcoming spring season, (which I won’t be able to take part in due to my recent back surgeries) I came across some interesting facts from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding women and turkey hunting that was very encouraging to me. According to the USFWS data, there were 116,000 female turkey hunters in 1996 of age 16 or older, but the 2011 data reveals an astounding number of 332,000 female turkey hunters, which is amazing! The number of female turkey hunters doubled in 15 years, and during a time of economic challenges and strong anti-gun initiatives. This discovery has prompted me to do a much more thorough investigation into the numbers of females involved in other sporting activities, but that is going to take some time, and it’s on my list of articles to write.
I think spring turkey hunting is an excellent way to get women and children involved in hunting. If you want to get someone, anyone, into hunting, it’s usually not a good idea to start with a cold weather trek into the deep wilderness for an elk hunt, which can seem pretty daunting. While it is quite adventurous, it may be too much for some and turn them away from hunting. During the spring you are generally going to encounter warmer weather, and with the turkeys in their breeding season, you are likely going to see or hear some action. It’s the positive factors about a hunt that will make the person want to come back for more and likely lead to other outdoor pursuits.
In addition, I think spring is the best time to get new people outdoors regardless of the activity. We have all been cooped up during the cold winter months, and the beauty of spring has so much to offer for outdoor activities; whether that is going after fish that have had little to eat during the winter, or taking a nature hike and looking for wildlife and their newborns, or taking a long bike ride on a warm spring day. It just feels like the world is new again, and there is so much to see and do.
I will have to go back and look, but I think I say the same general thing every year at the end of March, and I say that spring is definitely my favorite time of year. I will also have to go back and look at my September articles, because I’m pretty sure at that time of the year I say that fall is my favorite season. Those are the whims of the outdoor cycle and me, and I know for sure that while I will enjoy getting out and walking this spring, fall is definitely going to be my favorite time of year this year because I hope to actually be hunting by then.
But for all of you, who are able, try to get someone new outdoors and into something interesting this spring. Think of it as an investment into the future of wild places, wildlife, conservation, and even our Second Amendment Rights. If you have a friend who hasn’t experienced the outdoors, get them out doing something. Do the same for the females and children in your lives, especially the children. The future of wildlife depends on those people who care about them, which are you and me.