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Youth hunting day announced

A unique chance to introduce young people to waterfowl hunting awaits Sept. 28, as Utah holds its annual youth hunting day.

"Holding this day is important to the future of waterfowl hunting, and the future of wetlands conservation," explained Tom Aldrich, waterfowl coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "The number of young people participating in all types of hunting has declined in recent years and if that trend continues, the funding hunters provide for wetlands conservation will also decline."

"Letting youth hunt waterfowl, without all the adult hunters out there at the same time and when waterfowl numbers are high, is a great way to get them interested and excited about waterfowl hunting," Aldrich adds. "And, since adults can't hunt that day, it gives adults more time to teach youths good hunting skills, safety and ethics."

All of the state's waterfowl management areas, and the three federal migratory bird refuges in Utah, will be open to youth hunters on Sept. 28.

To hunt that day, youth must meet the following requirements:

•Age 12 to 15-years-old.

•Completed a hunter education safety course.

•Possess a small game or combination license.

•Be accompanied by their parent or an adult who's at least 21 years of age or older.

The adult may not hunt or possess a firearm and must supervise the youth they take. An adult may take as many youth as they'd like, provided the youth are the proper age and possess the proper licenses.

Shooting on Sept. 28 begins at 8 a.m. Youth may take ducks, geese, coots and mergansers and must stay within general season limits. The 2002 - 2003 daily duck bag limit is seven ducks, including not more than two hen mallards, one pintail, two redheads and four scaups.

Canvasbacks may not be taken this season while the daily Canada goose bag limit is three. Snipe and swans may not be taken on youth hunting day.

For more information hunters may contact their nearest DWR office.

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