Apply Now for Mentor Youth Archery Deer Hunting Program

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Young bow hunters may apply now to participate in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s 2004 Mentored Youth Archery Deer Hunting Program, according to Jeff Rawlinson, outdoor education specialist.

Rawlinson called the program one of the most exciting and educational programs in the nation.

Young bow hunters ages 12-17 years who have successfully completed a state- certified bow hunter education program and live in certain areas of the state are eligible to apply to participate.

Those who reside in Lancaster, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders or Cass counties may apply for the program in that area, while those who live in Adams, Hall, Buffalo, Phelps and Kearney counties may apply to participate in the Kearney area.

Applications are available in Omaha at archery pro shops such as Full Draw Archery, and Woods and Waters. In Lincoln, they are available at the Tackle Box and Scheels, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission headquarters. In Kearney they are available at the Game and Parks Commission office.

Applications received on or before August 20 will be guaranteed a spot in the program. Successful applicants will be paired with volunteer bow hunter education instructors and allowed to hunt throughout the entire archery season, September 15 - November 13 and November 21 - December 31.

These mentored youth hunts are held on land where urban deer populations are too large and need control. Land partners include the cities of Omaha and Lincoln, The University of Nebraska, Nebraska Forest Service, Papio-Missouri NRD, Whooping Crane Trust and the Nature Conservancy, as well as several private landowners.

Rawlinson said the program is in its ninth year. “The program is designed to offer youth a quality, safe and educational mentored hunting opportunity. Many youths find it difficult to take on the challenge of archery big game hunting. This program gives the youths a chance to hunt big game, develop a lifelong interest in hunting, and assist in urban game management in the process. Few sports offer such rewards while at the same time enhancing wildlife management goals for Nebraska.”

The program is made possible through the volunteer efforts of Nebraska bow hunter education instructors, the Lincoln chapter of Whitetails Unlimited, Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America, and the Nebraska Bowhunters Association, as well as by donations from dedicated sportsmen and women from across the state. C

ontact Rawlinson at 402-471-6133 for additional information or to receive an application.