Big-game youth hunts and more

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Dennis Clay

We recently discussed youth hunts.

Big-game hunts for youth use permits and special seasons to offer quality excursions. Having a one- or two-day hunt for deer, elk, sheep, goat or moose wouldn’t be appropriate, because hunting these animals is different than hunting a species of bird.

Youth special deer hunts include outings on Oct. 12 through 25 and Nov. 9 through 19 for white-tailed deer in Game Management Unit 124. This hunt is for any deer. Also, an Oct. 12 through 22 youth hunt includes several GMUs for 3-point minimum or antler-less white-tailed deer. Hunters over 65 years old and disabled hunters may also participate in these hunts.

In addition, there are 77 youth special deer hunts across the state. Permits offered in these hunts number from 100 to two. This is why studying the big-game pamphlet and applying for the permits is so important.

There are also special permit hunts offered for hunters 65 years old and up, plus hunters with disabilities. The same goes for special permits for elk, including youth, 65 and older, plus disabled.

The moose permits offer a once-in-a-lifetime hunt for a specialized category, including a bull moose. Categories for youth, 65 and over, plus disabled hunters are offered for antler-less only animals.

Bighorn sheep hunt permits are similar, except there are no over 65 hunts.

The amount of hunting available for our youth is tremendous. Fish and Wildlife deserves a pat on the back for developing these hunts.

Suggestions for hunting with a youth or inexperienced adult

Take plenty of clothing, food, snacks and liquids for the day. Sandwiches made at home will be more convenient in the field.

A snack may be an apple, chips, nuts or even a chocolate bar.

Bottled water has become easy to transport into the field, with several more bottles in a cooler at the vehicle. A thermos of coffee and another of hot chocolate will be welcomed on a cool day.

A safe and smart effort

I know of one hunter who uses what some will consider extreme or excessive measures when taking a first-time hunter into the field, yet others will think it is safe and smart.

He walks behind the hunter and within arm’s reach. This way the first-time hunter is easily controlled. Mistakes will be few. Complete control would be lost if the guide was five yards to the left or right.

Remember, this first-time hunter might be 12-years-old or 39. Better to have more control than necessary, than to have a mistake or accident occur.

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