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A Proud Father

November 17, 2015 - Larry Claypool
Chris Snoderly is a dedicated bowhunter. He's also a proud father. Recently his youngest daughter, Emily, made him very proud. It was the 10-year-old's first 'official' hunting trip and she was able to come home with two nice trophies — a pair of squirrels. As a proud father Chris Snoderly shared a nice photograph of Emily's squirrels. The photo appears on Page 7 in the publication, and is attached to this online column. It will also make a future issue of Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine, in our Trophy Showcase pages.

Those squirrels, and the hunt, apparently was enough to 'hook' Emily into the sport of hunting. Chris said his daughter has already asked him “when they can go hunting again".

Chris said squirrel hunting is a great way to introduce kids to the outdoors. His oldest daughter, Anna, also was introduced to hunting by plucking squirrels from trees near their home in Brooke County, West Virginia. Anna is 13-years-old and recently harvested a nice 22-lb turkey (photos to come of that one).

Chris said Emily claimed the two squirrels with a .410 shotgun. "She only weighs 60 pounds," he said.

Chris also spends time in the summer fishing with his daughters.

Sportsmen's Alliance, based in Columbus, OH, recently ran a feature article in its monthly newsletter on the topic of taking kids hunting. The article is called, '10 Commandments on Taking Kids Hunting'. The entire article, written by Sean Curran, can be found on their website:

The article begins with a very good message. One we should all try to live by, and follow through with. It states, "Getting the next generation of hunters into the field should be a priority this season for each and every sportsman… It's an investment in the future of our outdoor pursuits, and you'll find out it's even more rewarding that you can imagine."

Curran offers a pretty good list of things you should consider when taking kids afield. We may all not agree on the order in which he lists the “commandments”, but most should agree, it's a very good list.

First off on the list; Curran mentions “safety”. That's a good place to start. Being safe in the woods must be stressed to everyone, especially kids. Kids are influenced at an early age, so safety is a key element.

Number two on the list is: “Make it Fun”. Two key points here are — 1. Don't pressure kids into situations because of your own drive. 2. Let them progress at their own pace and they'll take ownership of the situation.

Number three mentions “Weather”. "Take kids out in pleasant conditions," says Curran. Good point. You want kids to be comfortable. It will be easier to stay focused. “Patience” is number four on the list. "Don't lose it," says Curran. "Find ways to guide their energy while creating teaching moments." And maybe bring along a bird identification book to ID birds you see while afield.

Number five is "Snacks". That's always a good one, in most situations. And don't forget drinks.

Number six is "More Than Once". That's obviously a good way to keep kids interested in the outdoors, keep taking them out there. "Take them into the woods to hang treestands, move trail cameras or look through the trail camera pictures," advises Curran.

Number seven is: "It's Not for Everyone". That makes sense. "Don't put pressure on a kid," says Curran. "Let them come along at their own pace." You want to leave a favorable impression of hunting, he adds. The final three items on Curran's list are: "Discuss", "Participate" and "Timing". All three are very good points to make when trying to get and keep kids outdoors. Talk through the highlights of your hunts with kids; let them play a key role in the experience, keep the hunts short in duration and try to finish on a "high note".

Chris Snoderly has definitely done that with both of his daughters. Congratulations to the Snoderly family! Read this column and more interesting articles in the November issue of the Ohio Valley Outdoor Times.


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Emily Snoderly, age 10, of Brooke County, WV harvested two nice squirrels recently.