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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Sept. 19, 2005

Texas Youth Hunting Program Website Launches

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Youth Hunting Program, which provides children between the ages of 9 and 17 with safe, affordable and educational group hunting trips, has just launched a Web site making information about and registration for hunts more accessible.

A schedule of the hunting trips, which vary by game animal, location and other factors, is posted on the site. The list is updated frequently to reflect new and filled hunts.

Hunt types include deer, turkey, feral hogs, javelina, exotics, dove, small game, upland game birds, waterfowl, varmints and other species. Some hunts involve camping. There are currently five hunts for experienced bow users only. A “girls only” hunting trip will take place Oct. 28-30. Additional themed trips as well as hunts to accommodate the physically challenged will be scheduled throughout the year.

Once children and parents review the schedule and decide which hunts they are interested in, they can use the form on the Web site to apply for their choices. Deadline to apply for a hunt is typically about six weeks before a scheduled hunt. Last minute applications to fill spots due to cancellations or openings are also available online. Routinely checking hunt availability and applying last-minute can be an effective way to be selected for a hunt.

In order to apply for a hunt, participants must have a valid hunting license and proof of completion of hunter education. All youth must be accompanied on the hunt by a parent or guardian. A release of liability form and a $75 reservation fee are required. This fee is refundable but the program requests that the reservation fee be donated to help offset food and insurance costs.

A marksmanship certification must be completed to assure that the youth practiced within 14 days of the hunt and possesses basic proficiency.

Adults can volunteer online to plan and run hunts. Specifically, volunteers are needed to run firearm ranges, assist with hunter education, serve as hunting guides, cook on trips, and more. Landowners can also volunteer their land as a much needed hunting site. The landowners section of Web site addresses safety concerns, how youth hunters can assist in achieving wildlife management goals and other frequently asked questions.

The Texas Youth Hunting Program is a joint effort of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Wildlife Association. For more information, contact Jerry Warden or Mary McKinzie, (800) 460-5494 or mmckinzie@texas-wildlfe.org.

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