Youth Deer Hunting Weekend is Nov. 6-7

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Research has proven what many of us have known all along about how young people become hunters. The hunting tradition is typically passed from one generation to the next to be treasured, treated with respect and passed on again. And that's exactly what Vermont's Youth Deer Hunting Weekend is all about on November 6 and 7.

According to "Factors Related to Hunting and Fishing Participation Among the Nation's Youth," a report issued in 2003 by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, VA, 92 percent of all youth who hunted came from a hunting family.

An adult hunter who is willing to teach a young person good hunting skills, safety and ethics is contributing greatly to passing on our hunting tradition. That includes taking the young person hunting.

"Vermont's Youth Deer Hunting Weekend is held the weekend before the opening of the November deer hunting season to give young people a prime opportunity to participate and learn about Vermont's hunting tradition," said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "This special weekend was set aside for our next generation of hunters to learn from adults how to hunt safely and ethically and enjoy Vermont's great hunting opportunities."

Young resident hunters who qualify can obtain youth deer hunting tag applications from license agents.

Anyone under 16 years of age who has successfully completed a hunter education course and who has at least one parent or guardian who is a legal resident of Vermont may get a youth deer hunting tag. The hunter safety course certificate must be shown when the application is presented to the license agent. The parent or guardian must sign the application.

The young hunter must also have a valid Vermont hunting license and be accompanied while hunting by an adult over 18 years of age who holds a valid Vermont hunting license. The adult may not carry a gun or bow. A youth hunting license costs $8.00. The adult may take up to two young hunters out at a time.

Landowner permission is mandatory on private land before hunting with a Youth Deer Hunting Tag. The tag is good for one deer of either sex and may be used only on November 6 or 7.

State game wardens remind the hunter who is going to be taking a young person out on youth deer hunting weekend that they are a role model who will always be remembered. Teach respect for the landowner, safety at all times, the best of ethics, and obey the law.

Think back to when you started hunting. Perhaps that first morning out was with the guidance of an experienced hand. If so, it is likely indelibly etched in your mind as a special experience with many valuable lessons learned. Take the time this November 6 and 7 to take a young Vermonter out hunting -- and pass on Vermont's great hunting tradition.