From Pennsylvania Game Commission
-- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that coyotes will become legal game under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP) effective Saturday, Dec. 20.
The addition, which was given final approval by the Board of Game Commissioners at its Oct. 24 meeting, is slated to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Commonwealth's official compendium of regulatory actions, which is the final step required for the change to take effect.
Roe noted that the logic behind the MYHP is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield.
"This program paves the way for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in actual hunting while afield with mentoring adults," Roe said.
"The program accommodates hands-on use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation that will help assure hunting's future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated mentors."
When first introduced in the 2006-07 license year, the species identified as legal game were woodchucks (groundhogs), squirrels and spring gobbler. In the 2007-08 license year, the Board approved the addition of antlered deer.
According to the agency's annual Game-Take Surveys, participation in the MYHP has increased in terms of adult mentors and youths. In 2006, the first year of the program, 43,780 youths were mentored by 32,913 adults.
That year, the mentored youths harvested 52,788 squirrels and 36,351 woodchucks. In 2007, the number of mentored youth grew to 58,883, and there were 51,141 adult mentors. That year, mentored youths harvested 61,160 squirrels, 52,114 groundhogs, 5,199 antlered deer and 3,496 spring gobblers.