Want to hunt? CPW shows you how | SummitDaily.com

Want to hunt? CPW shows you how

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

The thick of hunting season may still be a few months away, but there's no better season than summer to learn the basics.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds women and youth interested in learning how to hunt big or small game — everything from deer, elk and pronghorn to upland birds and waterfowl — that the deadline to apply for mentored hunts is July 15.

The hunts are offered through CPW's Hunter Outreach Program, designed to provide guidance and mentorship to novice women and youth hunters through clinics, workshops, seminars and guided hunts on private land.

"This is a great way to get the guidance and instruction that a novice needs," said Kathleen Tadvick, the northwest region education coordinator with CPW. "For many women and youth that want to learn and participate, these programs are invaluable."

Hunt applications submitted to the Hunter Outreach Program are selected by random drawing. Successful applicants are then offered a hunt by the outreach coordinator. If the successful applicant accepts the hunt, they are "booked" on that hunt and will be contacted by the hunt master in charge. If the hunt is declined, the hunt is offered to another hunter.

Before the hunt

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The Women Afield Program is designed to give novice hunters and anglers the chance to learn alongside other women in a comfortable environment, much like the VIDA MTB Series clinics for novice mountain bikers.

The program's summertime seminars and clinics cover basic shooting, fishing and archery skills in the classroom or at range, giving participants plenty of hands-on experience. Although not required to participate, the clinics and seminars prepare women for the opportunity to apply for mentored big-game, pheasant and waterfowl hunts during the hunting season in fall.

The Youth Hunting Program also provides inexperienced hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 with a slew of clinics and seminars. The mentoring and guidance provided during the clinics and hunts ensure that youth participants come away with a meaningful outdoor experience that can lead to lifelong respect and enjoyment of the outdoors.

"Kids respond very positively to these hunts," said Dick Severin, CPW's assistant hunter outreach coordinator in the northwest region. "Hunting teaches responsibility, ethics, outdoor skills, knowledge of wildlife, firearms skills and physical fitness, among many other attributes."

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 can participate in mentored big-game hunts. Youth between 10 and 17 are eligible for mentored upland-game and waterfowl hunts.

The mentored big-game hunts are only for antlerless animals of the species. CPW reminds participants that the experience is geared towards education — with a harvest seen as a bonus, not a given.

As with all hunting, it's not guaranteed that participants will harvest an animal.

CPW Hunter Outreach Program

What: An introduction to big- and small-game hunting made just for beginner youth and women, hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife

When: Applications due July 15 by 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to apply

For more information on the youth and women programs, including pricing for clinics and the mentored hunts, see http://www.cpw.state.co.us and search “hunter outreach.”