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Youths Hunt Exclusive Waterfowl Habitat

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By Aimee Burnett

Hagerman, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Local kids are learning the ins and outs of waterfowl hunting thanks to an Idaho Fish and Game program.

As the sun came up over southern Idaho, shots rang out from the duck blind.

"We're doing a youth waterfowl hunt on the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area, property owned by the department. This is intended for first time hunters to go out with a mentor," said Josh Royse, IDFG mentor.

Sisters Brynlee and Natausha Banks are two of several young hunters taking advantage of a series of youth hunts.

"We went on a youth pheasant hunt the other week and then we just really want on this waterfowl hunt," said Natausha Banks, 15-year old youth hunter.

"When we came over here and we saw all the ducks it was really cool," said Brynlee Banks, 12-year old youth hunter.

The girls and their mentor made their way to one of a few blinds constructed by IDFG.

"It's an excellent opportunity to get youth involved and active. Get youth involved and active. Get them introduced to waterfowl hunting, which is typically kind of a complex type of hunting," said Royse.

Fish and Game is actively trying to get youth involved in outdoor sports.

That's because in recent years they’ve seen a decline in numbers.

"We know if we get them involved early and we get them a positive experience that we usually have them hooked for life," said Royse.
An important factor for an organization that is funded solely through license fees.

"We haven't necessarily experienced declines in license buyers, but compared to the population we've remained static," said Royse.

"You can see the enthusiasm in them. They're ready to come back again. I think they're hooked on hunting for life right now," said Bruce Banks, Natausha & Brynlee’s Dad.

For information about youth hunts in our area, contact the IDFG.



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