October 16, 2009
How Does Your State Handle Youth Hunting?
By Scott Bestul
I was lucky enough to shoot my first buck in my first hunting season. I was 12 years old, and I remember that opening morning as clearly as—please don’t tell my wife—my wedding day. I wanted to be a deer hunter long before the state (Wisconsin) said it was legal, so a lot of anticipation preceded that hunt.
These days, we hear a lot about “breaking down barriers” that hamper “recruitment” of young hunters. The most common remedy is the creation of special youth seasons, where adults are only present for a mentoring role. Lowering the minimum hunting age is another action finding favor among lawmakers in some states.
What are the rules for young hunters in your state? Do you have a special youth season, and if so, how liberal are the regs? Do you think these measures result in more young hunters afield?
The buck pictured above, by the way, was shot during Wisconsin’s recently-completed youth hunt. The monster was killed by Seth Williams, who reportedly made a 200-yard shot to down the buck in southwestern Wisconsin. Many congrats to Seth on an outstanding buck!