Today, the youth deer hunt has grown in popularity. In addition to this type of hunt teaching young people about proper methods, hunting safety and laws associated with deer hunting, this activity provides an opportunity for parents to spend time outdoors with a son or daughter doing something they love together. Today, it is estimated that over 500 hunters are involved with a youth deer hunt, having access to some of the best hunts in the country. The hunts are organized in a variety of environments to include natural preserves, military reservations, refuges, state parks and state recreation areas.
Offering a teenager the chance to enjoy safe but also structured fun is what comes out of a youth deer hunt. The outcome of these programs has been tracked over the years and studies show that this type of special hunt is a great way to mentor. Additionally, young people have the chance to learn about nature and the importance of deer hunts. Whether enjoyed with a parent, grandparent, adult sibling or guardian, the youth deer hunt is something that many younger people and adults enjoy.
As with an adult hunt, kids wanting to go on a youth deer hunt would be required to complete an application and secure a hunting license. As a part of this, the young hunter would be required by law to complete a hunter’s safety course to learn about weapons used and appropriate processes to ensure everyone on the hunt has a great time but also a safe time. Usually, applications for the youth deer hunt would be accepted in the first part of July and if the applicant were chosen, notification would go out by the first week of September.
Although there is not cost for submitting the application for a youth deer hunt, there would be the expense of the hunter’s safety course and license. While pricing varies from one state to another, on average the cost for youth firearms and archery on an individual basis would run about $15- $30. Keep in mind that for a young hunter to get involved with this type of hunt, he or she would need to be a resident of the state in which the hunt would be held and would need to be between the ages of 12 and 17.
Typically, four to five archery, as well as eight or nine firearms youth deer hunting options would be held during the month of October. In this case, a youth interested would be able to apply for one archery and one firearms. However, if between the ages of 12 and 15, the youth would be eligible for both the archery and firearms hunt and then for youths between ages 15 and 17, additional archery hunts would be an option.
To get involved with a youth deer hunt, organizations require any youth who had not been accepted during the prior two years would need to take an orientation class, one for the archery hunt and one for the firearms hunt. For this class, the youth would need to be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult with authorization provided by the parent of the youth. To be allowed into this class, the young hunter would also need to have a current and valid certificate for Firearms Safety.
Many excellent organizations now offer youth deer hunt programs as a means of educating young hunters, preparing them to become responsible adult hunters. While the requirements are strict, the rules and regulations for a youth deer hunt are intended to protect the youth. Interestingly, some states actually have special hunts through the state’s fish and wildlife department whereby hunts take place during spring break. Obviously, teaching young people the appropriate way to hunt keeps them focused on something positive, which reduces risk of getting into trouble with drugs, alcohol or other dangerous activities.
For parents who hunt and have sons or daughters interested in learning, a youth deer hunt is the perfect way of teaching them the right way to hunt deer while having the chance to build a stronger bond. Now, most adults allowed to accompany a youth on this type of hunt would need to be at least 25 years of age, possess the proper hunting license, and have a certificate showing the hunter’s safety course had been successfully completed.
Finally, a well-organized youth deer hunt gives youth the chance to become knowledgeable about hunting, deer and the environment while teaching younger people how to respect the beautiful outdoors and adopt good ethics. All of this combined builds character that the youth could take through life and apply to all areas to include relationships, work, etc. Remember, when taking a youth on a youth deer hunt, the first year focuses more on mentoring and building strong relationships than bagging a deer.
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