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Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

Special youth hunt on tap in Arkansas

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Arkansas' "big" deer season is approaching, and the kids will get first shot.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Special Youth Modern Gun Deer Hunt is set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5-6, across the state. The only areas not open to young people on those days will be wildlife management areas where permits are required for deer hunting.

The rules are simple. Anyone under 16 years old can hunt. He or she can take either a buck or a doe, and the limit for the two days is one per person. There is no restriction on antlers for bucks for this youth hunt. Zone/WMA doe quota permits are not required.

A key point in the rules for the youth hunt is that each youngster has to be accompanied by an "adult mentor," not necessarily a parent. If the young hunter has completed a hunter education course, he or she can hunt a reasonable distance away from the adult mentor who must be 18 or older. But if the young hunter does not have hunter education certification, he or she must be under direct supervision of the adult. This means within arm's reach -- in the same stand or close at hand. And in the case of the young person without hunter education, the adult mentor must be 21 or older. The adults cannot have firearms in their possession during the hunt.

For youths who have successfully completed hunter education courses, the certification cards must be carried with them during the hunt.

No dogs can be used on the special youth hunt, and deer hunting will remain open for archery and crossbow hunters across the state. Archery hunters must wear hunter orange during this two-day hunt.

Youths must tag their deer immediately when they are successful on the hunt. They should use tags from Page 33 of the 2005-06 Hunting Guidebook, which are free and available from any license dealer or AGFC office. Tags from an adult mentor's license cannot be used, and the deer cannot be moved until it is tagged.

The special youth hunt for deer is similar to the AGFC's special youth hunts for turkey and for waterfowl. It puts young people in the field in uncrowded conditions. The youth hunt days are closed to adults for hunting, with the exception of the archery and crossbow users. AGFC leaders believe the special hunts are an efficient route to introducing young people in Arkansas to hunting for the popular species like deer, turkey and ducks that they hear parents and other adults talk about.

A deer taken by a youth during the special hunt counts toward the season limit, which depends on the deer zones of the state. This year, the state limit is a maximum of three deer, of which no more than two can be bucks. Hunters cannot take more than two does with firearms, either modern guns or muzzle-loaders.

Arkansas' regular modern gun hunt opens Nov. 12.

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