The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has a mentored waterfowl hunting opportunities for youth aged 10-15. The hunt is planned for September 30, the opening day of the annual youth-only waterfowl season.
The youth season is a special opportunity open only to hunters younger than 16. This special two-day season was started several years ago to give young hunters an opportunity to hunt waterfowl before the general season opens. Once the general season is open for a few days, the birds tend to scatter and become wary of hunting activity.
The IDFG mentored hunting clinic will be held at the Clark Fork Delta. There will be a hunt sponsored by the Silver Valley chapter of Ducks Unlimited occurring in the Cataldo area as well.
Hunting ducks takes a level of knowledge that can best be obtained through experience. The idea behind these mentored hunts is to provide the young participants and their parent (or legal guardian) the opportunity to be paired with an experienced waterfowl hunter who can show them how to hunt ducks and geese. This quality hunting experience is intended to provide the youth and their guardian with enough training to repeat the experience on their own.
IDFG has held numerous waterfowl hunting clinics in classroom settings that help new waterfowl hunters learn the ropes. But nothing gets a youngster more hooked on waterfowl hunting than getting into the field near a body of water before daylight to wait for ducks to take flight.
Participation in the mentored hunts requires advance reservations and space is limited. Anyone interested should call to reserve a spot and to obtain additional details. Please contact the IDFG Panhandle Regional office to register if you’re an interested young waterfowler at (208) 769-1414. For additional information please contact JJ Teare at 208-769-1414. For those from the Cataldo area, contact Mike Markus at 208-682-3191.
Young hunters will need to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Shotguns can be provided if the kids do not have one, however participants will need to provide own ammunition. Young hunters will have to been through hunter’s education and also need to secure a youth or small game license ($7.25) with a migratory bird validation ($1.75) prior to registration and must have the license on them while on the hunt. Federal duck stamps are not required for hunters until the age of 16.
Following a morning hunt, participants in the hunts will be treated to a free barbecue and the opportunity to discuss waterfowl hunting with experienced waterfowlers.