A Quick Spring, Family Fishing, Hiking, and Bullwinkle (the moose) Permits

A Quick Spring, Family Fishing, Hiking, and Bullwinkle (the moose) Permits

(as published in the Mountain Gazette, June 6, 2013)
I saw spring come to Jericho all in a couple
of minutes. While my statement is true, it was with the help of my Bushnell
Game Camera. This past Monday I retrieved the memory card from my game camera. There
were only about 500 photos on the card, but I was able to see the trees leaf
out and the ferns come up right before my eyes. It was pretty neat to see how
quickly everything happened over the span of a few days.

The first week in June I’ll be joining my
dad and brothers for a fishing trip on the West Branch of the Ausable River in
New York.  While we try to get together
every year, it seldom works out that way. This is our second year on Ausable, and
we hope to have the full complement this year.

We tried, several years ago, to fish a
couple of different rivers in Vermont, but the trout seemed to be too
intelligent to be caught in any number. Being the opportunists that we are, we
figured we’d have better luck out of state where the fish weren’t so educated. This
year my younger brother was thinking of bringing his son Jack.  Jack is almost 11. It would be wonderful to
have Jack participate in our fish-trip tradition. That and we can tell him
stories, some real about his dad. Unfortunately, Jack has never fly fished and
where we are going you can only fish with a single hook, artificial fly – no
bait. So…now Jack isn’t going because my brother thinks he’ll be too bored –
which is probably right (and Jack’s friend is having a birthday party, which is
more attractive than fishing with old guys). How do you get kids interested in
family outdoor traditions and keep them from going crazy with boredom?

It seems to me that you first need to get
your junior outdoor partner interested in the activity or event. This begins by
building up anticipation for what will happen. Talk up past trips and stories.
This gets them excited about participating. Involve them in the planning. Ask
them what they want to do, within parameters of the trip. If the trip involves
certain skills, make sure the child has mastered the basics before you leave.
Once they have reached some level of proficiency, consider treating them to a
new or upgraded piece of equipment – some new tackle, reel, fishing vest, or
fishing boat. OK, start small. No boat.

Encouraging kids to get involved in outdoor
activities can take some time and patience, but it can be rewarding for years
to come. It is also important to recognize that hunting and fishing isn’t for
everyone. You don’t have to hunt or fish to enjoy the outdoors or to participate
in some way in family traditions. Be content if you can get your child to
accompany you fishing, even if she wants to sit on a rock and watch the birds
eat the hatch, rather than match the hatch.

So let’s get your kids outside.  Why not start with participating in National
Trails Day®? American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is the country’s largest celebration
of trails. Mark your 2013 calendar for June 1st to make sure you
don’t miss out on the thousands of National Trails Day® activities
happening all over the country. Events include hikes, biking and horseback
rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations,
stewardship projects and more.  There are
11 events planned in Vermont this year, with four just a short drive away.  For more information, please see  http://www.americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/

Time to sign up for
your moose permit. Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has proposed 355
moose hunting permits for the regular October 19-24 moose season and 50 permits
for an archery moose season October 1-7. More information and an application
can be found at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/hunttrap_mooselottery.cfm.

Happy days afield. Please visit www.sportingafield.blogspot.com for
more news, musings, and interviews or to leave questions or comments.
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