**Paul Obrecht **Age: 14
“My dad and I bond on hunts, because hunting is something we both love. We joke with each other, too. If he misses a duck, then I hit it, I’ll say, ‘What kind of shot was that?’ He dishes it right back to me.”
**Jesse ****Winand **Age: 16
“For me, the prize of a hunt is much greater than the deer you get to bring home. It’s the adrenaline rush of getting so close to the animal. It’s all of the time you get to spend in nature.”
Ryley McCardell Age: 8
“My biggest fish is a 37 1⁄2 -inch striped bass. I couldn’t believe I caught it! My older brother caught a big one that day, too, but his was 37 inches. He got teased for his little brother beating him.”
**Wade Anthony **Age: 13
“I’ve been going camping for as long as I can remember. I love the survival part of it—making fires, finding shelter, and getting back to the roots of the area. I like being independent.”
**Sophie Dietz **Age: 9
“I love to fish and hike and spend time outside with my mom and dad. My dad has deer stands, and we’ll just sit there for a while, watching for animals. He’s taught me a lot about nature.”
Miley Bradford, 5, Carthage, Ill. “I love that I get to catch big fish with my daddy—and we get to eat them! He taught me that if we take care of nature, it’ll take care of us.”
Gavin Thompson, 7, Levittown, N.Y.
“I caught a 3-pound bass once, and it fought hard. My dad cheered me on, and when I pulled it in I felt like the boss of the water.”
Tyler Brumis****-Morozumi, 14, Lake Tahoe, Calif. “The best day I’ve ever had on the water was with my grandma and her friend. We caught 80 stripers in a few hours.”
Aevlyn**** Wallace, 8, Canastota, N.Y.
“My favorite part about fishing with my parents is telling jokes on the boat and learning things—like fish have eggs in their bellies.”
Austin Brandenburg, 14, Bentonville, Ark. “I love the feeling of catching a fish. It’s just something that can’t be duplicated with anything you do indoors.”
David Daley, 8, Windsor, Colo. “I like fishing with my parents because the more people fishing, the more you catch. And it’s cool how all of the fish are different.”
Cheyenne Wyatt, 10, Broken Arrow, Okla. “I love going outside with my dad. One time, he, my uncle, and I caught 47 bluegills. I took home bragging rights for most fish.”
John Nesbit III, 15, Waterloo, N.Y. “The coolest thing I’ve learned from my dad is the excitement of getting away, of being in our own world when we’re fishing or hunting.”
Jayden Alfano, 9, New Milford, Conn. “I like to fish with my dad, brothers, and uncles because we play games—biggest fish, most fish, and even whoever gets no fish!”
Trace Andrew Gordon, 10, Mound, Minn. “I look forward to our annual family fishing trip to the Boundary Waters. We cook walleyes and pike over the campfire.”
Wyatt Barrett, 11, Lawtey, Fla. “My favorite part about fishing is the fun of spending time with family, learning all of Papa’s lure tips, and catching fish, of course.”
Ian Nickerson, 11, Lakeville, Mass.
“I fish with my dad and grandfather and I learn a lot from watching them. It’s peaceful on the lake. I like it better than watching TV.”
Brady Ehresman, 12, Huxley, Iowa
“Hunting gets me away from all of the chaos in town. When I hunt with my cousins and friends it seems like I get to know them better.”
Adam Pavese, 9, Danbury, Conn. “Last fall in Texas was my best hunt because I got my first hog. My dad helped me get it. He taught me to have my eyes peeled on hunts.”
Adah Morris, 4, Clarksville, Tenn.
“My favorite part of hunting is being in the woods and shooting our guns. I like helping with the maps and playing in the creek, too.”
Owen Brown, 6, Hastings, Neb. “I like hunting because I get to eat pheasants and turkeys, and because I like to shoot with my dad, uncles, Pops, and Poppa.”
Addison Curry, 15, West Jefferson, Ohio “I love hunting with my dad because he gives me valuable life lessons, which give me an idea of the kind of person I want to be.”
Noah Coyle, 8, Fishers, Ind. “I enjoy the memories I make on hunts with my dad and Grandpa Terry. I have a funny one about being ‘gassed’ out of the blind by Grandpa.”
Madison Littlepage, 7, Madisonville, Ky. “I took a buck on my first hunt. I loved learning how to rattle him in. Spending time with family outside is awesome.”
Michael Henry, 12, Lawton, Okla. “My parents have taught me how to shoot lots of different bows and firearms, which is cool. I love sharing successful hunts with them.”
Ethan Johnson, 13, Somersworth, N.H. “One important hunting lesson my dad taught me is it’s O.K. if you miss a shot, because it means your season isn’t over.”
Carter Bradford, 11, Pitt Meadows, British Columbia “I’ll never forget the day I shot my first duck. It’s my best hunt because I got to share the moment with a friend.”
Brett Ingram, 16, Leawood, Kan. “I really enjoy hunting with my older cousin Eric. He got me into the outdoors and has taught me a lot—like how to gut and clean a deer.”
Cael Bohlen, 11, Charles City, Iowa “The day I shot my first gobbler was great. My dad taught me how to use a turkey call and that I should only call every 10 minutes.”
We asked outdoors kids about their best days in the woods and on the water and what they love most about hunting and fishing with their families.
Project photographs by Dan Saelinger