Montana’s annual youth-only deer hunt—set for Oct 17-18—will come a week earlier this year.
The two-day special season is open to youngsters ages 12 to 15 who’ve passed a hunter safety course. Additionally, 11-year-olds who passed hunter safety may hunt if they’ll be 12 by Jan. 16, 2014.
“There’s been some confusion this year due to the scheduling of the statewide teachers’ convention,” said Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman in Helena.
The youth hunt is always scheduled during the public schools’ two-day vacation in October, which is scheduled for Oct. 17-18 this year.
“The teachers’ convention usually falls on the Thursday and Friday just before the general season opener, but this year it’s a full week before the big game season opens on Oct. 26,” Aasheim said.
That also puts youth rifle hunters in the field during the final days of Montana’s archery season.
“Archers and our young hunters need to be aware of the overlapping seasons and plan accordingly,” Aasheim said.
Young hunters must wear hunter orange and follow all hunting district regulations, which may limit them to certain species or require a special permit.
To participate, youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult who must also wear hunter orange. The adult is not allowed to hunt during the youth-only deer hunt and FWP advises that the adult not carry a hunting rifle.
“This is the fourth year for the youth-only deer hunt,” Aasheim said. “It has proven to be a good opportunity to introduce kids to hunting. This year, remember the hunt is set for Oct. 17-18 and remember that archers may also be in the area looking for deer, so be extra careful.”
(Report by Montana FWP; Cover photo: beaumontenterprise.com)