The Next Generation of Hunters

Wade’s annual Yamaha Whitetail Diaries youth hunt has arrived, Steve of Yamaha along with his two boys, Landon and Callen, are here for the next few days to simply enjoy the outdoors and to hunt whitetail deer. Last year Steve brought his oldest son Landon on his first deer hunt where he harvested a mature doe and was able to contribute to filling the family freezer. This year, Landon and Steve have their sights set on a buck while Callen gets to share in the adventure and is introduced to the world of hunting.

“You know one of the funniest things about youth camp is, you get a lot of first-time shooters. They’ve never handled a firearm, they don’t know what a safety is, they don’t know what muzzle control is, and start them out with a 22. It’s great practice… You still want to go through all the same safety stuff, with hearing protection, eye protection for them and kinda get that acclamation of handling a firearm.” – Wade Middleton

Wade instructing the boys on how to safely use a firearm
Wade instructs the boys on the Thompson/Center Venture


Once the boys got quality time on the range shooting not only the T/CR22 but the Thompson/Center Venture chambered in .243, it was time for them to load up the Yamaha Viking VI and go out on their first sit.


Yamaha VIking VI The whole crew fit comfortably in the Yamaha Viking VI has they headed out for their first hunt.

Hunting with kids has its own set of unique challenges, you have low expectations as far as being good hunters. You know you’re not going to be quiet, you know there’s gonna be movement, and you count on these deer not caring too much about that. You know the big mature ones are probably going to be a bit more skittish or even a mature doe than the other deer that are in and out of there. But it was great to get everybody together and experience it all.

Landon (left) gets insturciton for his father Steve while Callen keeps an eye out for deer.
Landon (left) gets instruction from his father Steve while Callen (right) keeps an eye out for deer.

Realistically we do a lot of the things that regular hunters won’t. We go in later and we stay shorter because of these guys. It’s not to give them less of a chance, it’s to make it more fun and have them keep doing it and want to do it more. The last thing you ever want to do is get in with a kid on an all-day sit and he’s just hating the entire thing going out of his first hunting trip. So we cater to them, we tailor it to them both in camp and in the blind. Ideally, they have a good time even when they’re sitting. Although you can start to tell pretty quickly when they’re getting bored and their attention span’s waning and it’s time to call the ride back out so we can get back into camp.

Watch the video above for the rest of the video has Landon hunts for his first-ever buck!

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