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Youth Deer Hunt Jumpstarts Winter Deer Season Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Youth Deer Hunt Jumpstarts Winter Deer Season Saturday

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency kicks off its Young Sportsman’s Deer Hunt Saturday, giving kids an opportunity to get a head start on deer season.

The statewide event allows kids aged 6-16 to harvest one antlered deer or two does per day with rifles, muzzleloaders, or archery equipment. All youth hunters are required to be accompanied by a mentor over the age of 21 and complete a hunter education class prior to participating. Wildlife Education Program Coordinator Don Hosse said the event gives kids the chance to bond with nature.

“Get them outside and let them enjoy the outdoors and spend time with their grandfather or even their grandmother or their parents or whoever’s going to take the time to take them,” Hosse said. “I think that’s huge, and you know, you only have one first, and your first deer’s a pretty special thing. You’ve got to be able to share that with somebody. It’s pretty awesome.”

Hosse said that Tennessee has an abundant deer herd, giving kids a good chance to harvest their first deer. Hosse said this allows children to learn the proper technique of cleaning a deer and learn first-hand where food comes from.

“It’s just a good way to manage our deer herd, but also get them used to the outdoors which is huge, in my opinion,” Hosse said. “And also get something that you know is not genetically altered or steroided and get them some good table fare for the holidays.”

Hosse said that hunting for venison also has financial perks. Hosse said that checking the price of beef at the grocery store is enough to show that the opportunity to harvest meat for only the price of the process is ideal.

“They’re going to have to have a working knowledge of a firearm and get their credentials to know to be a good, safe hunter before they go to the field, and also, just shot placement,” Hosse said. “There are so many other things other than just the harvest.”

Kids are required to have proper hunting licenses depending on their age group. Hosse said that getting the first crack at deer season makes it a great time for participants to hunt, and gives them a good chance at harvesting a milestone first-ever buck.


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