Mentored Program Expanded
Inside the Outdoors, September 16
, 2011

More and more youngsters are heading to the fields to hunt with adults in what has become the Mentored Youth Health Program (MYHP) promoted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

After completing a Hunter/Trapper Course, children can arm themselves with high powered weapons or crossbows and join adult licensed hunters search out and kill a variety of animals.

By law, all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, must successfully complete Hunter/Trapper Education before licenses can be purchased. A training certificate, which is recognized throughout North America, is awarded at the end of the course.

One must be 11 years old to enroll in a class. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children.

According to the PGC, “The training is designed to produce safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved hunters and trappers. The results of this program are remarkable. Since 1959, hunting-related shooting incidents have declined by more than 80 percent. Hunter behavior has markedly improved. Hunting is safe and getting safer, thanks to hunter education,” it said.

The course is taught two different ways. There are instructor-led classes spanning two or more days with at least 10 hours of training. Or, you can study on your own using online independent study programs. Students choosing this method must attend a 2-3 hour class to be tested and certified.

Students taking this course learn responsible hunting behavior, knowledge of firearm equipment, wildlife conservation and management, outdoor safety, basic and advanced hunting techniques, trapping basics, basic shooting and safe hunting skills and expanding one’s opportunities.

From Sept. 23-25, a PGC 2011 Hunter/Trapper Education Course will take place at the Kingston Vets Sportsman Club, 138 Kingston Club Road, Latrobe. Pre-registration is required with online registration only. The class limit is 55. For information only, contact Walt Wasnesky at 724-539-6689.

Recently, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill into law allowing adult mentors to transfer one antlerless deer license per license year to a youth participating in the MYHP.

“While mentored youth still may bot apply for an antlerless deer license,” said PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe, “the regulatory proposal up for final adoption would authorize adult mentors to transfer one antlerless deer license to an eligible mentored youth. The antlerless license must be valid and in the possession of the adult mentor at all times while hunting. The transfer of the antlerless license may not occur until after the mentored youth as harvested the antlerless deer. At that time, the license is to be transferred to the mentored youth to complete the harvest information and attach the carcass tag. Each mentored youth may receive no more than one antlerless deer license each license year.”

He went on to add, “Following the hunt, the adult mentor must report the harvest through the Game Commission’s online harvest reporting system, the toll-free telephone harvest reporting number or mail in report card. The report does not need to indicate that a mentored youth used the antlerless deer license.”

More young hunters are waiting to the last minute to sign up for fall hunting, he said. “With the fall seasons just around the corner, time is running out for those who have not yet passed a basic Hunter-Trapper Education course, which is mandatory for all first-time license buyers, regardless of age,” Roe said.

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Trout anglers, keep in mind, we have now begun extended trout season. Instead of five, only three combined species may be kept.

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Finally, I received a report from an angler at Keystone State Park that despite the few number of sportsmen braving the elements, some bass and nice crappie were caught during the rain last week. However, as the lake began to swell, it became harder and harder to get any hits.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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