Ohio Youth Deer Hunting Experiencing Growth Due to Apprentice Program

Youth deer hunting in Ohio is growing, thanks to an apprentice program that lifts age restrictions for young hunters-to-be.

From this story on the Coshocton Tribune:
_Deer hunting isn't just for the adults. More youths have been getting into the swing of things, learning their way around tree stands , the finer points of tracking and how much pull to expect on their gun or bow. For 14-year-old Lyndsie Rizzolo, hunting is becoming old hat after five years of bagging deer with her father, Scott. Hunting on her grandfather Lyndie Slaughter's farm outside of Warsaw, the younger Rizzolo passed her hunter safety course and got her first license at age 9, then got her first kill, a doe, the next year.

"Ohio is pretty much a new hunter-friendly state because we don't have a lot of barriers like age restrictions that other states do," said Susie Vance, spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Southeast District. In 2005, Ohio started the Families Afield Program, which allows youth to hunt through an apprentice license program with a licensed adult until they are ready to tackle the hunter safety course._

"It's been great," Vance said, noting the numbers of kids taking advantage of the apprentice program has grown from 8,637 in the 2006-2007 season to 14,492 this past year. "Taking the hunter education course is a big-time commitment, so this allows them to apprentice for up to three years and kind of get hooked on hunting. Once they find it exciting, taking the education course isn't a chore."

Does your state have a similar program?