Really, I’m not just some cranky old guy when I say today’s youth is screwed up. Really, I’m not.

I was manning the grill during my son’s seventh-birthday party when while talking to one of his friends, I came to the realization that the kid didn’t understand that chicken (the meat) came from chicken (the animal). True story.

I think one of the beneficial lessons of taking my kids out fishing with me is that they get to experience the whole process of catching a fish and seeing that fish become a meal on their plate.

My kids are still too young to take on some of the fishing trips I go on, but in my opinion it’s never too early to get them started experiencing the outdoors.

The ladies at Women’s Outdoor News feel the same way. In this article, several hunting and fishing ladies give you their tips on introducing kids to the outdoors.

Hini+ytkid_070714What is the right age to introduce children to the outdoors or take them on a fishing or hunting trip? Alaska-born Becky Schwanke, who launched Tuff Kids Outdoors last March, started her journey of being an outdoors lover early, being taken along on hunts with her parents. She took her son on his first moose hunt when he was just 8-months old. “If we can introduce the natural world to our children when they are small, they will perpetually be fascinated by all the amazing interactions and experiences that being outdoors has to offer,” said Becky, “Sunshine, rain, wind, snow, it’s all part of recreating outside and there should be no fear in taking your kids on outings from day one.”

I first met Becky while working on a book project featuring women hunters in Alaska. Not having children of my own, or an expectation of what true accounts would emerge from the interviews, I became most surprised by the stories of women who took their young children on big-game hunts. It wasn’t just a great way to pass on the lessons these women had learned from their own childhoods spent in the outdoors, the stories revealed a powerful intersection between motherhood and hunting. Becky’s views, in particular, made me realize that, for the female hunter, there is no greater joy than being able to share life at its fullest with a child who is watching, participating and questioning.

Photos: Women’s Outdoor News (top); SoCal Salty (above)