"Take your boy hunting and you won’t have to hunt for your boy” (or “It is better to take your boy hunting than to go hunting for your boy") is a saying that encourages parents to take their children on hunting trips. This promotes family bonding—and the children don’t get lost. The slogan was used by many sporting goods stores in the 1950s and 1960s.
W. N. (Bill) Brown was the chief clerk of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office for 22 years, before retiring in 1939. Bill Brown wrote in 1929, “Better take your boy hunting than go hunting for your boy,” in Fins, Feathers and Fur, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Conservation, Division of Game and Fish. In 1930, Brown put the slogan on envelopes that contained Minnesota hunting licenses.
Fins, Feathers and Fur
Minnesota Department of Conservation, Division of Game and Fish
BILL BROWN Sez:
The 1930 synopsis of the Minnesota Game and Fish Laws will carry a slogan originated in this department: “Better take your boy hunting than go hunting for your boy.” The country autiors of the Minnesota counties have been asked to put this slogan on the county envelopes, in which are placed the licenses and the synopsis.
16 December 1929, The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, MN), pg. 3, col. 3:
Good Slogan—“Better take your boy hunting, than go hunting for your boy” is the slogan which appears on the new 1930 hunting licenses. It is one which was originated by one of the contributors to Fur, Fins and Feathers, and has been used in that publication for some time.
2 May 1944, Bismarck (ND) Tribune, pg. 2, col 3:
IDOL OF SCOUTS DIES
MINNEAPOLIS—(AP)—W. N. (Bill) Brown, of Minneapolis, chief clerk in Secretary of State Mike Holm’s office for 22 years until he retired in 1939 and idol of many Boy Scouts throughout the nation, died in General Hospital early Monday. he was 81 years old. One of the slogans originated by Brown, used on hunting licenses, was: “Better take your boy hunting than go hunting for your boy.”
4 Spetember 1956, Seattle (WA) Times, “Times Readers Have Their Say,” pg. 8, col. 5:
In closing, may I quote: “It is better to take your boy hunting than to go hunting for your boy.”
-- J. FRANKLIN KOESTER.
1028 15th Av. N.
14 September 1959, State-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), “Weekend Campaigning Finds Several Active,” pg. 13-A, col. 6:
“I believe in the saying that if you take your boy hunting when he’s young, you won’t be hunting him when he’s older.”
(Former Governor Jimmie Davis—ed.)
25 September 1960, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, Hunting Guide, pg. 20, col. 6 ad:
It’s better to take your boy hunting than go hunting for your boy.
(Webb’s Sporting Goods Department—ed.)
7 April 1965, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Dear Abby: Hunters Are Targets Now” by Abigail Van Buren, pg. 32, col. 8:
Apropos your hunting controversy:
I once saw a sign in a Minneapolis sports equipment store which read: “Better to take your boy hunting than to go hunting for your boy.” Isn’t that great?
December 1973, Boys’ Life, pg. 48, col. 2:
“Take your boy hunting and you won’t have to hunt for your boy.”
The Journal News (Rockland-Westchester counties, NY)
Do It: Father-son outing takes pair to bird-rich fields of Argentina
Jun. 16, 2013
Written by Leo Roth, Sports columnist
Jerry Harden is fond of the old saying, “If you take your boy hunting, you’ll never have to hunt for your boy.”