September 19, 2003
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources
encourages all young hunters age 12-16 to participate in the special
youth firearm deer season scheduled statewide Sept. 27-28.
A youth, properly licensed to take a white-tailed deer with a
firearm, is allowed to take one deer during this two-day hunt. This is
the fourth year for the youth-only hunt in Michigan. Last year over
17,000 youngsters participated in the youth firearm deer season,
harvesting over 5,000 deer, about one percent of the total 2002
white-tailed deer harvest.
Youth-only hunts have been established across the U.S. in recent
years in response to concerns about the declining national trend in
hunter numbers. Such hunts are an opportunity to provide beginning
hunters with training and mentoring, helping them develop interest,
skills and firearm safety awareness.
"Mentoring is a vital component of the youth hunting program," said
DNR Wildlife Chief Rebecca Humphries. "This special weekend hunt
provides mentors the opportunity to teach, share experiences, and help
instill in our young people a respect for animals and their habitat."
Young hunters, age 12 and 13, are restricted to using archery
equipment to participate in the weekend hunt. Hunters age 14 to 16 may
use a firearm or archery equipment to take a deer. Both public and
private lands are open to the youth firearm season.
All young hunters participating in this special hunt must be
accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying
adult does not need a deer hunting license and is prohibited from
carrying a firearm or bow during the special youth firearm deer
season. Hunters may not use bait during this season. All youth hunters
are required to wear hunter orange.