Late October brings the beginning of several special opportunities for experienced hunters to mentor the younger generation. Missouri’s upcoming Youth Hunting Days are as follows:
Oct. 24–25 Youth duck hunting (north zone)
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Youth duck hunting (middle zone)
Nov. 21–22 Youth duck hunting (south zone)
Oct. 24–25 Youth pheasant hunting (north zone) and youth quail hunting
Oct. 31–Nov. 1 Youth firearms deer hunting (early portion)
Jan. 2–Jan. 3, 2010 Youth firearms deer hunting (late portion)
The youth days are always on a weekend and precede the opening day of the regular seasons. For young deer hunters, there is the additional weekend at the end of the firearms deer season.
Of course, youth hunters can hunt during the regular hunting seasons too. The Youth Hunting Days give young hunters an opportunity to hunt earlier with less competition. Mentors should have more time to devote to young hunters because the regular seasons are not yet open. To participate, youth hunters must be at least six years old and not yet 16 years old on the youth opening day. Youth who are not yet hunter-education certified must hunt with a properly licensed adult who is hunter-education certified or exempt by age. Youth who are hunter-education certified may hunt without an adult mentor.
If you are an experienced hunter, I hope that you’ll take one of these opportunities to introduce a young person to the tradition that has been so important in your life. What may be a small thing to you can stimulate a lifetime of outdoor experiences for a young person.