Phil Bourjaily: Youth Sports

Last time, I talked about lack of access as the number one problem facing hunting today. True enough, but I would like to nominate another candidate, and, no, it's not video games. Youth sports are killing hunting.

I don't mean normal youth sports, like Little League (which I didn't do. I had a very specific, irrational fear of being killed by a line drive to the temple) or playing on school teams (which I did enthusiastically). I blame the year-round, traveling team club sports for sucking up family's leisure time and squeezing out hunting.

Parents take kids to another city, even another state, every weekend, then sit on folding chairs and watching games. And younger brothers and sisters get dragged along, too. It doesn't leave much for taking kids hunting, or even for hunting at all. I don't know how many times dads my age have told me, "We didn't get out for ducks/deer/turkeys this weekend. We were in Peoria/Milwaukee/Des Moines for a soccer/basketball/baseball tournament."

Since when did watching a kid play a game become more important than actually doing something with him or her?