Youth Hunting: Lifelong Pursuit
Vermont makes it easy for families to take time out and focus on young hunters by offering special youth seasons
Hunter Education: The First Step
No matter their age, all aspiring hunters, bowhunters and trappers must first successfully complete their respective hunter education course before purchasing their first license. The courses are free, led by certified volunteer instructors, and open to all ages and experience levels. The courses include basic firearm, bowhunter, combination hunter-bowhunter, and trapper education. Though available year-round, most courses are offered between August and October. All courses include a hands-on field day. Finding a course is easy using online registration. Just pick your desired class type, and sign up! You can even search by location or date for specific classes in your area. Check back frequently as the website is updated often when new courses are scheduled. Bookmark this link for all our course listings: www.register-ed.com/programs/vermont
To find a course or for more information visit us online: http://vtfishandwildlife.com/hunt/hunter-education
Most courses are offered in a homestudy format to meet the needs of today’s busy lifestyles. Rather than attending a series of classroom lectures, students complete a workbook or an online course before attending a field day.
Youth Season: Special Opportunities to Hunt
The department offers three special youth-only hunting seasons—spring turkey, waterfowl and deer—to ensure young hunters get the quality training they need from experienced hunters. These special, weekend-long seasons increase confidence in the hands-on use of firearms, reinforce the principles of hunting safety and promote interest in hunting and wildlife conservation. Most importantly, they take place under the supervision of an experienced, unarmed mentor. Being with family and friends is the most important reason why kids hunt and hunting regularly during one’s youth leads to lifelong hunting participation. These seasons are helping to produce confident, avid young hunters who go on to become successful, enthusiastic adult hunters.
Mentoring Young Hunters
A youngster’s first hunt can mark the beginning of a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a commitment to wildlife conservation.
To make the most of your time together:
- Hunt Safe. Youth hunters are among the safest hunters when accompanied by an alert mentor.
- Go often. Don’t just hunt the youth weekends. Lifelong hunting participation is directly related to the amount of time spent hunting in youth, especially when this experience occurs with a family member or mentor.
- Hunt Smart. Scouting and range practice are necessary and exciting ingredients in any successful hunt.
- Model Behavior. Safe and responsible hunters are mentored by safe and responsible hunters.
- Have Fun! Being with family and friends, and generally having a good time, is more important to youth hunters than harvesting game. Don’t push too hard but help young hunters learn to appreciate the special opportunity that hunting offers. Above all, young hunters need positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Four Basic Rules of Safe Hunting:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Point your gun in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and beyond.