FORT WORTH -- Hunter Reeves, 7, squeezed one eye shut and aimed his rifle as the grizzly bear approached.
Behind him, his twin brother, Tyler, jumped up and down.
Just before Hunter could shoot, it was time to reload. Luckily for him, another bear would soon appear on the screen.
"So many kids never get the opportunity to hunt or fish or see a snakeskin," said Kelly Reeves of Fort Worth, the twins' mother. "It's so important they learn about the outdoors."
Concerned that kids spend too much time indoors, the Fort Worth Stock Show organized Kids Gone Wild, a first-time event on Sunday that offered hands-on lessons on hunting, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities.
Hundreds of kids slung arrows, pet snakes, learned how honey is made, fished for catfish from a tank, fired guns, and identified animal furs and bones.
For the Reeves twins, Sunday marked their first hunting experience, although they do spend plenty of time firing toy guns at home. Even a virtual hunt thrilled the boys.
"You got him," Tyler shouted when his brother hit a deer.
Gene Roush, area coordinator for the Texas Youth Hunting Program, said hunting provides a bonding experience for kids and parents, as well as an opportunity to be part of the rich Texas heritage and culture.
"We're not trying to create little Rambos," Roush said. "We're trying to create safe, ethical hunters."
Brothers Logan and Zachary Anderson of Springtown, ages 11 and 12, have spent years hunting, fishing and hiking. On Sunday, they practiced archery and showed their 4-year-old brother, Christian, the ropes.
"He's still too young," Logan said, "but someday he'll get to do this stuff."
Their mother, Amy Anderson, said she wants to instill a love of the outdoors in her children, so she restricts the time they spend in front of screens. It has worked. Her kids say they would rather hunt and fish than watch TV.
"All of my children will hunt," she said. "We are an outdoors family, and we think that's important."
Helen Holdsworth, director of conservation legacy for the Texas Wildlife Association, agrees. That is why she worked with the Stock Show to sponsor Kids Gone Wild.
In recent years, Holdsworth said, she has noticed a worrisome disconnect between children and the outdoors.
"We want kids to go outside and learn about what's in their back yard," Holdsworth said. "The outdoors offers so much, and these children will one day be in charge of conservation and preservation of our wildlife."
In some cases, the kids showed more comfort with wildlife than the adults did.
Dorian Johnson, 5, of Fort Worth, could not contain his excitement when he saw a ball python and other reptiles. He strutted up to Jennifer Pyle, a member of DFW Herpetological Society, to pet the snakes.
"I love snakes," he said. "They're my favorite thing ever."
Dorian does not have any snakes of his own, however, for one big reason.
"I can't stand them," said his grandmother, Stellena Giddings, from several feet away. "They make me queasy."
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056