From deer to dove to ducks, you’re missing out if you don’t take a kid on some of these special hunts.
By Danny Leigh
Originally published in the August 2014 issue of GON
Georgia is truly blessed with a variety of public hunting opportunities. From the mountains in the north, Piedmont hills in the central part of the state and to sandy hills and swamps in the south, we truly have a huge variety of land to hunt.
Having two boys born in the 1990s and watching them grow up made me want to get them in the woods. I first started taking the boys dove hunting when they were 5 and 7, and even though they were not big enough to shoot yet, they enjoyed being in the field and fetching the few doves I knocked down. We started hunting the adult/child hunts at J.L. Lester, and eventually moved over to the Walton Public Dove Field.
One of the most memorable dove hunts we had was when I was accompanied by my dad, my two boys and two other dads and their sons. We were hunting the Walton field, and the birds were flying fairly well most of the day, but by 4 p.m. the birds were pouring into the field. One of the adults limited out and gradually the kids started reaching their limits. At the end of the hunt, the DNR staff always has a raffle for the kids and even a chance at a shotgun.
We hunted Walton for several years, and for a little more variety, we tried Redlands WMA’s adult/child dove hunt. The hunts at Redlands and Walton are very similar, and both usually have a good number of birds.
Dove hunting for us is traditionally the start of the hunting season, but before the first dove season even ends, we are planning for deer and hog hunting. One of best public places in Georgia to take both deer and hogs is Ossabaw Island. Its adult/child hunt falls during Thanksgiving when the kids are out of school. With the great hunting success on Ossabaw comes high demand to hunt the island. Most years it takes at least one rejection to be picked for the adult/child hunt on Ossabaw, but when the kids do get picked, it’s like winning the lottery. The first year the boys hunted the island they were 9 and 11, and they had two other buddies along for the hunt.
Read more at Georgia Outdoor News