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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: How to Find Youth Hunt Opportunities  (Read 264 times)

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  • Manatee
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
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November 16, 2017

Question: My 11-year-old daughter recently passed her hunter education class. We are both really excited! We live just outside Yuba City and we are looking for opportunities to go duck hunting. I am an amateur and I donít really know what Iím doing. We have the basics, even a dozen decoys, but Iím a little intimidated about taking her to the refuges even though they are nearby. Are there some options you can suggest that cater to youth hunters? (Richard, Yuba City)

Answer: We are always happy to hear about a not-so-experienced hunter who is either striving to educate himself or herself about hunting and/or encouraging their kids. There are plenty of opportunities within our public hunting areas as well as private waterfowl conservation and hunting groups.

The hunt options within our own wildlife refuge system should help reduce the intimidation and provide you and your daughter with some opportunities to get in a good hunt. You can go through the online waterfowl reservation system to apply to hunt some of the refuges in reasonable proximity of Yuba City. Do this together and read the information carefully. Let her explore the rest of the waterfowl hunting webpage to see if it sparks even more interest in waterfowl hunting. If you are drawn for a low enough reservation number at any of the refuges that have blinds, youíre in luck. Refuges with blinds frequently offer a great opportunity with some level of privacy because no other hunters will be very close to you. If not drawn low enough to get a blind, it is still worth going. Just show up and feel free to ask for assistance from refuge staff about where to go. Itís an early morning start so be sure to make your daughter aware of this ahead of time.

Private waterfowl conservation organizations regularly accommodate new or youth hunters. They are not terribly expensive to join and the money you contribute to the organization goes to a great cause. They share the same goals of conserving waterfowl habitat and providing youth hunters great opportunities to hook them and make them lifelong hunters and waterfowl conservationists. Inquire with those organizations about their many special youth hunt opportunities.

And last, plan to participate in the youth waterfowl hunting weekend, which is usually the weekend after the normal close of the season for adult hunters. It is the best opportunity for youth hunters all year for a great waterfowl hunting experience. It is all about the youth hunters on those days and there are countless stories of trips of a lifetime for new hunters on those very special weekends. The 2018 Special Youth Waterfowl Hunt is Feb. 3-4. Good luck!


  • I swear it was this big!
  • Sea Lion
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Or you hook up with one of the dozens on here I have trained up and go! Hoping to be able to put together multiple blinds again for youth weekend. At one point, I had 41 flooded rice blinds available free of charge, not a single taker because it was Super Bowl Sunday......
Live your life, the way you want to be remembered. Don't have any regrets, we only get this one dance to make it count. Start at your eulogy, and work backwards.