Youth Hunts Offer First Chances

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Idaho's youngest hunters have the opportunity for a good beginning with special hunts or licenses this fall for ducks and geese, pheasant, deer and antelope.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission and the department began several years ago to offer special hunting opportunities for young hunters. The idea is that older family members or other experienced hunters act as mentors to youths, to teach the skills, traditions and ethics required for satisfying, responsible hunting.

The waterfowl, pheasant and turkey hunt rules allow only youths to shoot as they are accompanied by a licensed hunter at least 18 years old. Young big game hunters can have a reduced-fee junior mentored license for hunting alongside experienced big game hunters.

Youth hunts for turkey are offered only in the spring. For the spring of 2004, youth turkey hunts were expanded from a few units so that most of the state now offers the opportunity. The new youth hunts proved extremely popular.

Details of youth hunts vary; a thorough reading of rules brochures for each kind of hunting is necessary.

The first youth hunt this fall will be for ducks and geese September 25-26 for youths 15 and younger. A hunting license and $1.50 harvest information validation is required but no federal waterfowl stamp is needed. Rules and limits are the same as in the regular season. The young hunter must be accompanied at all times by a licensed adult 18 or older. Adults are not authorized to hunt.

Pheasant hunts for youths 15 and younger are set for the first weekend of October. One licensed adult may accompany more than one youth hunter. An either-sex antelope hunt is set for September 25-October 24 in hunt area 32 and hunt area 52.

Youth hunts for deer are set in controlled hunt areas 44-2 and 46.

Area descriptions and details are contained in the current big game rules brochure available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors or on the Internet at