Easton Holder: A youth hunting ambassador (video)

Easton Holder (right), 16, with his older brother Warren, 21, and their dog Dan on Saturday at the 2017 Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic.

David Holder might be the face of the Holder hunting family and their “Raised Hunting” show on the Outdoors Channel. And he’s been the family’s talking head in seminars at the 2017 Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic, where the Holders are the headliners.

But, hunting-wise, as important as David is to the family, the show and the family’s presence at the Classic, there should be no underestimating the role the youngest Holder plays in the grand scheme of all things hunting.

Easton Holder is 16 years old. With his hunting parents David and Karin and older hunting brother Warren, there has been little problem getting Easton into the field — he was, after all, “Raised Hunting.” But that can’t be said about all kids Easton’s age. In fact, agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have for years been trying to find ways to get kids back into the outdoors — mainly hunting and fishing — after a steady drop-off in youth participation in the last decade or two.

So, although he quietly goes about his business as the youngest in the Holder hunting family, with his place in the family and the successful Outdoor Channel show, he also realizes his role as an ambassador for youth hunting. And he embraces it wholeheartedly.

“Hunting has been a part of my life since I can remember, since I was born,” he said Saturday during Day 2 of the Classic. “I’ve gone through a couple stages in my life where I kind of thought that maybe hunting isn’t for me. But I quickly realized since I’ve matured a little bit that it’s so important for me.”

He’s also a high school kid — a junior — in his home state of Iowa, so also is involved in a number of extracurricular activities, including trap shooting. He also plays baseball and, up until this year, played football. He plans to play again next year, his senior year, which will no doubt cut into hunting — football season overlaps with deer-hunting season. But for Easton, hunting isn’t going anywhere.

“I have,” he said, “my whole life to hunt.”

The Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic concludes Sunday: Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the Classic, go to www.mndeershow.com.

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