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Antlerless deer added to PA mentored youth hunting program

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Pennsylvania's Game popular Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP) has been expanded for 2011-12 to include antlerless deer hunting.

For antlered deer, the mentored youth must use legal sporting arms for that season, such as a bow or crossbow used during archery antlered deer season. Also, youth participating in the MYHP are required to follow the same antler restrictions as a junior license holder.

To harvest an antlerless deer, an adult mentor may transfer a valid antlerless license issued to him or her to an eligible mentored youth upon the harvest of an antlerless deer, and a mentored youth may only receive one antlerless deer license each license year. The antlerless deer license transferred to the mentored youth must be for the Wildlife Management Unit in which the adult mentor and youth are hunting.

Under the program, a mentor is defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who serves as a guide to a youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting, learning firearms or hunter safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth is identified as an unlicensed individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related activities.

The regulations require that the mentor-to-mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses only one sporting arm when hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor. When the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm to the youth and must keep the youth within arm's length at all times.

The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any deer or spring gobbler taken. As part of the MYHP permit, youth will be provided the necessary harvest tags for antlered deer and spring gobbler, but must use the adult mentors antlerless deer harvest tag.

MYHP participants who harvest an antlered deer or a spring gobbler must report their harvest within five days. However, an adult mentor must report any antlerless deer license used by a mentored youth to harvest an antlerless deer within 10 days. Harvests can be reported using the agency's online harvest reporting system, the toll-free telephone reporting system (855)724-8681 or they can submit a harvest report card, available as inserts in the 2011-12 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

All youth participating in the MYHP must obtain a permit through the Game Commission's Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS) which costs $2.70.

For more information on the program, visit the Mentored Youth Hunting Program FAQs online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=622413&mode=2.

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