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Youth Hunt to Start Duck Season

The popular youth waterfowl hunt has been expanded to two days before the regular duck season begins.

This year's youth waterfowl hunt will be held September 23-24. In previous years, the youth hunts were held on one day only. The regular duck and goose seasons in most of Idaho will begin October 7.

Youth hunts have been held for the last several years in Idaho to give hunters aged 12 through 15 the chance to learn the skills and traditions of waterfowl hunting with mentoring, rather than competition from, older hunters. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is licensed but not allowed to hunt.

The hunt was approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at its August meeting in Boise. The Commission also approved recommendations for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season.

This season, for the first time in several years, includes a split. The duck season will begin October 7 through October 18, halt for two days, then run from October 21 through January 21, 2001. The goose season begins October 7, runs through October 18, resumes October 28 and runs through January 21, 2001. States are allowed only a certain number of days for duck and goose hunting by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A split season can allow for early season hunting on locally-reared birds and still last through the peak of the northern flights.

Commissioners agreed it was important to arrange the split to maximize the number of weekend hunting days. The season is otherwise unchanged from last year with rules and limits remaining the same.

The estimate for total numbers of North American ducks is the third highest on record. Record numbers of waterfowl have meant little to Idaho duck hunters in the last two years, however, when fall and winter weather has not been helpful in bringing flights to Idaho.