Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be offering youth and novice hunters an opportunity to participate in an organized, upland bird hunt at the Basalt State Wildlife Area on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Participants must possess a hunter education card, and must purchase a 2012 small game license prior to the event. Anyone 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent during the hunt.

Small game licenses can be purchased at any Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, online at wildlife.state.co.us, or by phone at 1-800-244-5613.

“This clinic is specifically designed for any novice hunter,” said Matt Yamashita, District Wildlife Manager of Basalt. “Whether you are a grown person just learning the sport or a youth needing mentorship, we encourage you to participate and learn how to be an ethical, responsible hunter.”

Activities will include a firearm safety refresher, practice shooting at clay targets and an introductory pheasant/chukar hunt.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, working with co-sponsor National Rifle Association, will supply shotguns and ammunition. Participants may bring their own shotguns, however only 12 and 20 gauge ammunition will be supplied. Personal guns must be inspected by a wildlife officer before the hunt.

Wildlife managers say that in the past decade, the number of hunters in Colorado has not kept up with the increase in the state’s population, and license sales indicate a slight but steady decrease in number of hunters in the state. A primary reason is a lack of mentorship for novice hunters, wildlife managers said.

To reverse the trend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has implemented programs that encourage youth, novices and women to participate in organized hunts taught by agency personnel.

“Colorado has strong hunting tradition,” continued Yamashita. “Providing novice hunters with guidance and one-on-one instruction is an effective way to keep that tradition alive.”

Participants are encouraged to: wear appropriate footwear, expect sudden weather changes, bring a sack lunch, insect repellent and any necessary supplies.

Space is limited. To reserve your spot and get further details, including times and directions to the location, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s office in Glenwood Springs at 970-947-2920 before Sept. 9.

WHAT: Colorado Parks and Wildlife – Novice upland bird hunt

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 9

WHERE: Basalt State Wildlife Area

For more information about hunting, please visit: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/Pages/Hunting.aspx

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.

Image courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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