Special Youth Deer Season

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages all young hunters age 12-16 to participate in the special youth firearm deer season scheduled statewide Sept. 22-23. A properly licensed youth is allowed to take one deer.

Last year's first-ever youth-only hunt in Michigan drew 13,679 youngsters who harvested nearly 5,000 deer, less than one percent of the total deer harvest in 2000.

Youth-only hunts have been established across the U.S. in recent years in response to concerns about the declining national trend in hunter numbers. Such hunts are an opportunity to provide beginning hunters with training and mentoring, helping them develop interest, skills and firearm safety awareness.

"Mentoring is a vital component of the youth hunting program," said DNR Wildlife Chief Rebecca Humphries. "This special weekend hunt provides mentors the opportunity to teach, share experiences, and help instill in our young people a respect for animals and their habitat."

Changes for the 2001 season will provide additional opportunity for youths to hunt white-tailed deer throughout the state. This year, young hunters age 12 and 13 may use archery equipment to participate in the weekend hunt. Also, both public and private lands are open to the youth firearm season.

All young hunters participating in this special hunt must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult does not need a deer hunting license and is prohibited from carrying a firearm or bow during the special youth firearm deer season. Hunters may not use bait during this season. All youth hunters are required to wear hunter orange.