Mentored Hunt Program

If you ask life-long hunters to describe their favorite outdoor adventure, you will find that they typically recall a family member or friend taking them hunting for the first time.

This type of mentor-ship is very common among avid hunters, but unfortunately, the absence of this opportunity becomes a barrier for some. NY, like many other states in the US, faces a serious challenge: our number of licensed hunters continues to spiral downward. While many factors contribute to this concerning trend, limited access and opportunity continually appear as the top barrier. In order to address this NY has a Youth Mentor Hunt Program.

The NY Youth Mentor Hunt Program is a resource tool for anyone looking to participate in a mentored hunt.  Children over 12 years old (depending on type of hunt), possessing a hunter’s education certificate are eligible for this program. Young hunters from single-parent families, non-hunting families, or urban settings often experience the deterrents of little opportunity or access and are the basis of recruitment for these events.

Whether you are part of a conservation organization, looking to get involved as a mentor, or a youth or family member wanting to participate, this program is a great resource. It contains ideas for planning a mentored hunt, contact information for NY DEC, contact information for participating conservation organizations, and describes what to expect at a mentored hunt (see below).

  • Exposes students to the program, provides background information on hunting, and allows the mentor and student to bond.
  • Develops basic woods man ship skills, those commonly lacking among today’s beginning hunters, while building a framework to become a successful and knowledgeable hunter.
  • Exposes Youth to formal sporting arm (firearm and archery) and tree stand safety training and hunter ethics and education.
  • Reinforces firearm and/or archery safety skills and develops shooting competence.
  • Involves small game hunting because it enhances woods man ship skills, reinforces sporting arm use and safety, lacks the pressure of a big game hunt, and is generally more exciting for beginning hunters.
  • Teaches deer biology, behavior, ecology, deer anatomy, shot placement and Quality Deer Management concepts.
  • Involves deer hunting while the mentor reinforces safety, shot selection, management concepts and hunter ethics.