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For Release: Thursday, January 26, 2023

DEC Sets Youth Conservation Program Dates

Hunter Safety Courses Offered April 15 and 16 for 12- to 16-Year-Olds

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Cathy Haas today announced that a two-day, hands-on program on youth hunting safety will be offered in April by DEC's Hunter Education unit. It is part of the state's Youth Conservation Program designed to introduce youth 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 wealth of rewarding recreational opportunities," Director Haas said. "The 2023 Youth Conservation Program is the perfect way to introduce young people to hunting ethics and to teach them how to be responsible hunters."

The course will take place on April 15 and 16, 2023, at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club in Manorville and is open to youth who have not yet taken their Hunter Education course. Applications must be returned by April 5 and can be found on DEC's website.

This class is limited to 35 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 Program, 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 NYS DEC Hunter Education Office by phone at (631) 444-0255 or email

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