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For Release: Friday, March 8, 2013

Youth Conservation Program Dates Set

Bow Hunter and Hunter Safety Courses Offered for Children 12 to 16 Years Old

Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, two separate two-day, hands-on programs on bow hunter safety and hunting safety will be offered in March and April by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Sportsman Education unit, the agency announced today.

The Bow Hunter Safety Course will be offered on March 16 and the Hunter Safety Course will be offered on April 20 and 21 at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club in Manorville.

Both events are being sponsored by the DEC's Sportsman Education unit, the New York State Conservation Officers Association and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club.

The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. It includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

"Hunting and fishing are an important part of Long Island's heritage, and we are very fortunate that our region offers a multitude of diverse and rewarding recreational opportunities," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "These youth education courses fit right in with Governor Cuomo's Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative to expand hunting and fishing opportunities in New York State. DEC applauds our local sportsmen and women, the Conservation Officers Association and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club for their tireless work towards the protection of our environment and natural resources. The 2013 Youth Conservation Program is the perfect way to introduce children to hunting ethics and to teach them how to be responsible hunters."

Each class is limited to 30 participants and selections are made by a panel that reviews a 75-word application.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive their Hunter Education Training Certificate or Bow Hunter Education Training Certificate. These certificates are required in order to purchase a hunting license.

Enrollment in the class is open to all boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 16 who have not yet taken either their Hunter Education or Bow Hunter Education course.

For more information or to register for one or both of these sessions, contact the NYS DEC Sportsman Education Office at (631) 444-0255.

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