REGIONAL— Young hunters responded enthusiastically to the special four-day youth deer hunt held Oct. 17-20. The hunt coincides with the annual MEA weekend, when the state’s school kids …
REGIONAL— Young hunters responded enthusiastically to the special four-day youth deer hunt held Oct. 17-20. The hunt coincides with the annual MEA weekend, when the state’s school kids enjoy a Thursday and Friday off of school.
A total of 27,960 youth, ages 10-17, purchased a deer license for the event, with 7,896 buying a deer license for the first time. Nearly 5,700 young hunters managed to bag a deer during the four-day hunt, representing a 77-percent increase from the 2018 youth hunt, which was limited to only portions of the state. This is the first year that the event was made available statewide. Unsuccessful youth hunters can still use their licenses during the regular firearms deer season, which gets underway on Saturday, Nov. 8 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 24.
“We know that a number of youth license-buyers won’t be hunting until the regular firearms deer season, but the large increase in harvest reflects the great response to this new opportunity,” said Barbara Keller, DNR big game program leader.
The DNR and other outdoors organizations have been promoting events like the special youth hunt in hopes of encouraging young people to get more involved in outdoor pursuits, like hunting and fishing. “Positive early hunting experiences go a long way toward starting or continuing a rewarding fall tradition,” said Keller.