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By Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record 

Weekend youth hunts offer up prelude to season openers


Last updated 10/24/2023 at 4:17pm

Perhaps the only thing better than shooting a big deer or filling a strap with a limit of ducks is watching a kid accomplish the same feat. Young hunters in this day and age face a wide variety of obstacles in everyday life and those obstacles also spill over into the sport of hunting. Anti hunting groups spread half truths designed to keep kids away from the sport, land is tougher to access, and people just don’t have as much time anymore it seems. Well the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is doing its fair share to change that.

According to the TPWD website the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has established statewide Youth only open seasons for deer and with cooperation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, waterfowl. The purpose of these Youth Only open seasons is to provide youth with opportunities to learn about wildlife conservation through an enjoyable and memorable outdoor experience and allow parents and mentors to introduce them to safe and responsible hunting. The Youth Only open seasons hunts are scheduled to occur at times when youth are out of school. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department encourages experienced hunters to seek out youth and provide the guidance to make the event both enjoyable and educational for the beginning hunter.

This weekend is the opener for the special youth only hunting season for and this annual event has become a much anticipated activity in the hunting community. Each year there are young hunters all over the state who get to make their first deer hunt on this particular weekend thanks to this special season. The primary focus of all who take to the woods for this event is to share the sport of hunting with the next generation. Proper gun safety and ethics are two major lessons that are stressed during this special time, by making this a youth only weekend the adults can concentrate solely on the kids and their hunting experience which is nothing short of great.

One thing that almost always seems to happen during the youth only weekend is that some lucky youngster winds up taking a really exceptional deer. A few years ago in Orange County a local youngster took a 150 class Boone and Crockett buck during the youth only weekend, talk about taking advantage of an opportunity. Most kids will take does or spikes but that doesn’t matter as long as they get to hunt and have a good time doing it. This special season helps to further the sport of hunting as well as allow kids a chance to be the main focus. There is plenty of quality time to be had in the outdoors by kids and parents alike, make the most of it.

This weekend should be an exciting one for local hunters all the way around. Even though Saturday and Sunday will be just a taste of things to come in the next week or so it will still be just as exciting. A brief word of caution for all who plan on participating in any form of this weekends hunts, please remember to be safe. Duck hunters who are getting in boats be sure to put on those life jackets, running lights, and kill switches. Deer hunters be aware of your targets and what’s behind them, also be sure and take that extra minute or two to unload that gun while driving or crossing fences. This special weekend should be one to be remembered for all the right reasons and right reasons only.


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