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Youth embrace hunting.

As more and more recent state and federal hunting-related data is released, an encouraging similarity continues to be seen: a growing youth movement is heading afield thanks to new opportunities. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports more than 2,700 Minnesotans took advantage of a new apprentice hunter validation permit since it became available earlier this year.

Since NSSF, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the US Sportsmen's Alliance launched the Families Afield initiative in 2004, 18 states--including Minnesota--have changed laws and regulations to create additional hunting opportunities for youths.

Minnesota officials said the greatest utilization of the new program came from 12-year olds. About 98 percent of the new hunters were between the ages of 11 and 27. Similar efforts in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Families Afield-related laws have been passed, are also seeing success. New data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service show young people represent ever-larger portions of America's ebbing hunting population. The ratio of hunters age 6-15 has grown nearly 4 percent since 2001. Of the three outdoor activities tracked by the federal conservation agency, only hunting showed an increase in the percentage of youth participation since 2001.--Courtesy NSSF
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Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Apr 1, 2008
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