Bream fishing and dove shooting. Are there any better ways to introduce youngsters to outdoor sports? When the time is right, almost every fisherman father or mother trudges to a pond or stream, armed with a pole, some crickets or worms, youngster in tow. Because the kids may be very young, with a short attention span, action is the key, and action is what you get with bream.

When kids are old enough for hunting, SCDNR provides a perfect venue: quality fields where the conditions and bird counts will be either good or excellent, depending on the weather; for the exclusive first-day use of parents with children.

Most parents bring only one child, but two are permitted. Some children ages 5 to 9 absorb the experience of the hunt by watching their father or mother shoot, eating snacks, drinking soda and playing dog — making retrieves. Others are either in that transition period where they shoot at a few birds and retrieve some birds shot by adults, while older kids do most of the shooting themselves. Adults may actively participate in the hunt, but they may not shoot while their accompanied youth is shooting.

The participation rules for youth hunts changed this year. Hunters will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no early registration. See the SCDNR website (www.dnr.sc.gov) for exact field information.

The SCDNR is investing in the future of hunting by putting its money where its mouth is, and there aren’t many individuals, even the rich and famous, who could provide better conditions for a youngster’s initiation to a true southern tradition. Recognizing the importance of passing on the tradition and recruiting new hunters into the ranks, the all-consuming goal is to give the children a great experience that they will remember forever.