Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

KY Afield Outdoors: Youth deer season a time for patience

Kids need to be relaxed to be safe and successful. Hand warmers and hot chocolate help on hunts, young expert says

KY Fish & Wildlife story

Frankfort, Ky. - Kentucky's youth-only deer season is coming up October 10-11, 2009. Safety always comes first, but for adult mentors, patience isn't far behind. Hunting for big bucks or to fill the freezer may be an adult hunter's goal, but kids are out there mostly to have fun.

"I would recommend more than anything to make sure the young ones enjoy it," said Will Connelly, a hunter training officer with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "You shouldn't put pressure on them to shoot something."

13-year-old likes spending time with dad

Letcher County hunter Casey Begley, a 13-year-old who took her first deer last fall, says the best thing about being in the woods is spending time with her dad. Her advice for adults? Be patient with young hunters.

"Help them," she said. "If they don't have a good hold on the gun, help them hold the gun up."

Begley, who uses a wheelchair, says that while she can't go some places that other hunters can, she's still able to enjoy the fun and excitement of hunting. She encourages all kids, especially those with physical challenges, to give hunting a try.

"Just go for it," she says. "Try it out because it's fun."The youngest hunters often have the hardest time being still in a tree stand or blind. Adults can help. Connelly advises parents and other mentors to plan ahead for this restlessness.

Hand-warmers, and hot chocolate help

"If it's cold, bring the hand warmers and hot chocolate. If it's hot, keep the bugs off," he said. "A good padded seat works wonders. The main thing is to keep kids comfortable."

A relaxed youth hunter who is familiar with his or her firearm is also a safer hunter. Connelly reminds adults to take kids out ahead of time to shoot their rifles. Make sure kids know their effective shooting range and remind them to stick to it, he said.

Gun safety is important to remember

"Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, and make sure they have a good backstop before they pull the trigger," he said. "Some parents think the little .243 won't shoot very far, but that bullet will go for miles."

Finally, parents and other mentors should be absolutely sure that kids are ready to hunt before taking them. Every young hunter is different, and some feel comfortable in the field at an earlier age than others. If you're unsure whether your child is ready to hunt, it might be better to take a camera instead of a rifle this time around.

Kentucky's youth-only deer season is open to resident and nonresident kids ages 15 and under. Adults must accompany youth gun hunters and remain in a position to take immediate control of the youth's firearm at all times. Kids under age 12 don't need a hunting license or deer permit, but those ages 12-15 must have a Kentucky youth hunting license and youth deer permit. Kentucky's hunter orange clothing law applies during the youth weekend. For complete hunting regulations, check the 2009-10 Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide online at or pick up a copy wherever hunting licenses are sold.
(CM ADV): Deer Hunting Headquarters in Adair County and for the Green River Lake Area is Rerun's Restaurant.

This story was posted on 2009-10-08 00:23:57
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.

More articles from topic Ky Afield Outdoors:

KY AFIELD: Dale Hollow for largemouth bass

View even more articles in topic Ky Afield Outdoors

Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.