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New regulations create special youth hunting seasons
Spaulding Outdoors
By Jack Spaulding

In a continuing move to create an atmosphere to help involve Indiana’s youth, the IDNR is creating special season dates for young hunters. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has developed three new hunting seasons for hunters 15 years old or younger. A youth spring turkey season, deer season, and small game free hunting weekend are included in the 2006-2007 hunting regulations.

First up on the books for young hunters is The Youth Small Game Free Hunting Weekend. The new youth small game free hunting weekend will take place on Sept. 2 and 3. Any resident age 15 years or younger on the date of the hunt, and accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age, can take squirrel, mourning dove, Canada goose and other early migratory birds in season during the special youth small game free hunting weekend.

The youth hunter does not have to possess a hunting license, HIP number or stamp but must comply with all other hunting regulations. The accompanying adult must be in close enough proximity in order to monitor and communicate with the youth hunter at all times and may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm or bow and arrow. The accompanying adult must possess a valid hunting license, unless exempted from needing a license.

Courtesy of the new special regulations, there will be a Youth Deer Hunting Season this fall.

A new special youth deer hunting season will take place on Sept. 23 and 24. Any youth age 15 years or younger on the date of the hunt, and accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age, can take one antlerless deer during the special youth deer season. The deer is in addition to any deer taken during any other season. While the accompanying adult cannot take a deer when in the field with the youth hunter, both the youth and the adult must wear hunter orange.

The youth hunter must possess a valid youth hunting license, which includes the completion of a hunter education class, but the accompanying adult does not need to possess a hunting license while in the field with the youth hunter. The youth hunter must comply with all deer hunting regulations including wearing hunter orange, tagging the deer and checking it in to a deer check station within 48 hours of the take. The youth hunter may use a legal shotgun, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow, to take the deer, but may possess only one type of equipment to take a deer while in the field. The accompanying adult cannot possess a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow or crossbow while in the field with the youth hunter. Come spring, the DNR will be giving young turkey hunters a couple days of their own with the Youth Wild Turkey Season.

A youth wild turkey season will take place on April 21 and 22, 2007. The season will allow a youth turkey hunter who is fifteen years old or younger to take a bearded or male wild turkey. The youth must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age.

The youth hunter may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow. The adult accompanying the youth hunter must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field, and does not need to possess a turkey hunting license. The youth hunter may take only one bearded or male wild turkey during the spring season, inclusive of the youth and regular spring turkey seasons. The youth must be properly licensed to take a wild turkey and comply with all tagging and check-in requirements.

September venison workshops
Deer hunters will have the opportunity to learn how to process and prepare venison at one of three upcoming September workshops sponsored by Purdue Cooperative Extension Service. The programs feature a deer processing demonstration. Purdue Extension Service instructors will teach participants butchering, preparation and cooking techniques. Each workshop will also address food safety and handling procedures. All programs start at 6:00pm local time and the workshop fee is $10.

For more information or to register, contact the Fayette County Extension Office at 765-825-8502.

Program locations and dates are:

•Vigo County - Sept. 12 at the Vigo County Fairgrounds in Terre Haute

•Hamilton County - Sept. 13 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville

•Wayne County - Sept. 14 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond

This farm news was published in the August 23, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.