By Mike Porras
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding women and youth interested in learning how to hunt big or small game — including deer, elk, pronghorn, upland birds or waterfowl — that the deadline to participate in the agency’s Hunter Outreach Program is Friday, Aug. 1, before 5 p.m.
Applications for the Women Afield and Youth Hunting hunts can be found at www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/OutreachWomen.aspx.
The Hunter Outreach Program provides guidance and mentorships to novice women and youth hunters through various clinics, workshops, seminars and private-land hunts that instill the knowledge, skills, ethics and traditions of hunting.
“Hunting is a big part of Colorado’s heritage and a very important part of wildlife management,” said Dick Severin, assistant hunter outreach coordinator for CPW. “For many women and youth that want to learn and participate, these programs are invaluable.”
The Women Afield Program is designed to allow novice hunters and anglers to learn alongside other women in a comfortable environment. The program’s summertime seminars and clinics cover basic shooting, fishing and archery skills in the classroom or range with plenty of hands-on experience. Although not required to participate, the clinics and seminars prepare them for the opportunity to apply for mentored big game, pheasant and waterfowl hunts during the fall.
The Youth Hunting Program also provides inexperienced hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 with a variety of clinics and seminars. The mentoring and guidance provided during the clinics and hunts ensures that they have a positive, outdoor experience that can lead to a lifelong respect and enjoyment of the outdoors.
“Hunting is a great activity for our youth,” said Kathleen Tadvick, northwest region hunter outreach coordinator. “Hunting teaches responsibility, ethics, outdoor skills, knowledge of wildlife, firearms skills and physical fitness, among many other positive attributes.”
Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 can participate in mentored big game hunts. Youth between 10 and 17 are also eligible for mentored upland game and waterfowl hunts.
Big game hunts are only for antlerless animals of the species. CPW reminds participants that the experience is geared towards education, with a harvest being viewed as a bonus. As with all hunting, not all participants will harvest an animal.
Hunt applications submitted to the Hunter Outreach Program are selected by random drawing. Successful applicants are offered a hunt by the outreach coordinator. If the successful applicant accepts the hunt, they are booked on that hunt and will be contacted by the huntmaster in charge. If the hunt is declined, the hunt is offered to another hunter.
For more information about the Youth Hunting Program, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/OutreachYouth.aspx.
For more information about the Women Afield Program, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/OutreachWomen.aspx.