They’re not exactly targeting hipster youth but an increasing number of states are offering youth-only hunts as a way to increase new hunter recruitment.
From this story in USA Today:
_When Knox Semenza headed into the Highwood Mountains of north central Montana with his father last month, he had visions of shooting his first mule deer buck. Knox, 12, a first-time deer hunter from Great Falls, Mont., took advantage of the state’s first youth-only hunt, a special two-day deer season open only to hunters ages 12 to 15 who had passed a hunter safety course and were accompanied by an adult mentor who is not hunting. A few minutes into the hunt, he stumbled upon his chance to shoot a “monster buck.” “We came over the hill, and there was a huge buck down in the coulee, so we waited until I got a shot at it,” Knox said.His father, Dirk, at his side, Knox squeezed the trigger on his new 7mm-08 Remington rifle and downed the 160-pound animal with a single shot.
__Wildlife managers across the country hope to replicate experiences like that as more states add youth-only seasons to their hunting calendars. Thirty states–including Vermont this year–have passed youth-friendly hunting legislation since 2004, according to National Shooting Sports Foundation spokesman Bill Brassard. Families Afield and the sports foundation began lobbying states in 2004 to create more opportunities for young hunters. Some states, including Montana, already had some form of young-hunter program, Brassard says._
_Families Afield’s latest report showed that since 2005, more than 418,000 apprentice hunting licenses for deer, upland birds, turkey and waterfowl have been sold in the USA. The report was based on 24 states and found an increase of 100,000 apprentice hunting licenses in 2009. “Most people today in (state) departments of conservation and wildlife and parks realize that youth are the future of our sport,” says Jack Moore, president of the National Youth Hunting Association. “They are truly the future of wildlife and habitat conservation in America.”
Are there youth-only hunts in your state? Do you think they work?