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NH youth deer hunt Oct. 23-24

From the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

-- New Hampshire's youth deer weekend, Oct. 23 and 24 gives young hunters a chance to go deer hunting with an adult mentor without the pressure of competing with adult hunters.

Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so that they can devote all of their time and attention to teaching and coaching their young companions. Non-resident youth may participate in New Hampshire's youth deer weekend only if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt.

Prospects for this year's youth season are good, according to Kent Gustafson, deer project leader. The state's deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities. In 2009, young hunters took 363 deer during the youth weekend which saw heavy rain on Saturday.

"The weekend is a chance to introduce young people, under the careful guidance of an experienced adult, to deer hunting and to the natural wonders of New Hampshire's woodlands," Gustafson said.

"You can build bonds for a lifetime while tracking a whitetail through the autumn woods or deciphering the sounds of the forest from a treestand. We hope hunters will spend the weekend with their sons and daughters, grandchildren or young friends, helping them to enjoy and appreciate our rural heritage, and teaching them the value of self-reliance and responsibility."

Gustafson said hunting can help youngsters learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and it can build a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildlife and wild places that many of our citizens and visitors cherish.  

New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. The state also offers youth weekends for waterfowl hunting in the early fall and for turkey in the spring. For more about New Hampshire's youth deer hunting weekend, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Youth_deer_wknd.htm.

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