Everything has changed for kids today

Last Tuesday I was on Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling show, focused on how things have changed for kids today compared to when I grew up in the 50s and 60s. A lot of the show was about hunting and fishing. You can listen to the show here:


When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in the woods. By myself, I hiked deep into the woods behind my house to catch trout in small brook. I’d even bring home enough trout sometimes to feed my family for supper. And my mom always praised me for that. Today most kids won’t even go into the woods.

I started hunting at a very young age with my dad. I thought deer hunting was very boring because I never saw a deer. But I loved hunting rabbits with our beagles. Dad and I hunted rabbits all winter long.

In elementary school a lot of us had knives, and at recess we’d play knife games. Today in many schools, kids can’t even bring a plastic knife to school.

In the fall in high school I’d bring my shotgun and leave it up back of the room because after school I’d hunt in the orchard up behind school. I have a friend who brought his shotgun to school and so did his teacher because they hunted together after school. Today bringing a gun to school is a felony.

I feel privileged to have hunted with my dad for 56 years. Today most parents are too busy to spend a lot of time hunting and fishing with their kids. And that is very sad.



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.