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For Release: Monday, March 11, 2019

DEC Announces Dates for Youth Conservation Program

Hunter Safety Courses to be Offered in April for Children 12 to 16 Years Old

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher today announced that a two-day, hands-on program on youth hunting safety will be offered in April by DEC's Hunter Education unit. The program is part of the state's Youth Conservation Program designed to introduce girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 16 to the basic principles of conservation, hunter education, and general outdoorsmanship.

"Hunting and fishing are an important part of Long Island's heritage, and we are fortunate that our region offers a multitude of diverse and rewarding recreational opportunities," Director Gallagher said. "The 2019 Youth Conservation Program is the perfect way to introduce children to hunting ethics and to teach them how to be safe and responsible hunters. 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 course will take place on April 13 and 14, at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club in Manorville, and is open to young people that have not yet taken their Hunter Education course. Applications must be returned by March 29.

Each class is limited to 30 participants. Participants who successfully complete the program will receive their Hunter Education Training Certificate. This certificate is required to purchase a hunting license.

The Youth Conservation Program is part of the New York Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative and since 1994, this regional hunter safety event has been sponsored by the DEC's Hunter Education unit, the New York State Conservation Officers Association, and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club. The Open for Hunting and Fishing 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.

For more information or to register for the Youth Conservation Program, contact the DEC Hunter Education Office at (631) 444-0255.

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