posted on August 18, 2010 11:03
Inexperienced young people and women can apply for a chance to step into the field with an experienced pheasant hunter this fall during the mentored youth pheasant hunt and the first-ever women’s mentored pheasant hunt.
Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Pheasants Forever, the hunts will occur Saturday, Oct. 23, at locations across much of the southern two-thirds of Minnesota.
“This great opportunity will teach rookie youths and women about hunting techniques, skills, safety and all about wildlife habitat,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “The adventure also will provide fond memories, new friends afield and a better appreciation of the outdoors.” Last year, about 150 youth and 250 volunteers participated in the hunts. A larger turnout is expected this year.
The hunts work like this: Experienced hunters from Pheasant Forever chapters throughout Minnesota are paired with inexperienced hunters and, in a youth’s case, their guardians. After scouting places to hunt and securing landowner permission when necessary, mentors will take participants into the field.
To be eligible to participate in the lottery for hunts, a youth must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 23; have earned a valid firearms safety certificate; possess a small game license; and have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a non-firearms carrying mentor all pre-hunt orientation activities as well as the hunt.
Small game licenses are free for youth younger than 16. Reduced-fee licenses are available for youth 16 and 17.
Women 18 and older do not need a parent or guardian to accompany them but will need a valid firearms safety certificate or an apprentice hunter validation certification, pheasant stamp and small game license.
All applicants must specify in which county they want to hunt, if they are willing to travel farther if their choice of county is not available and how far they are willing to travel.
Applications, which are due Wednesday, Sept. 8, are available online or by contacting the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367. Successful applicants will be notified via mail or e-mail by Wednesday, Sept. 25.
The winner’s notice will contain specific information about hunting license requirements, equipment and contact information of the hunt coordinator. Youth and women winners must contact their hunt coordinator after receiving their notice.
Landowners with pheasant-producing property interested in allowing youth to hunt on their land can help out by contacting Pheasants Forever’s Eran Sandquist at 763-242 1273 or Scott Roemhildt at 507-327-9785.