PHOTO: A doe roams Riverside Park. The Texas Parks & Wildlife department recommends that participants in an upcoming youth hunting program each be allowed to harvest three does and one buck based on current population management needs.
The application period is open for the Texas Youth Hunting Program deer and hog hunt that will be hosted from 5 p.m. Dec. 10 to noon Dec. 12 in Riverside Park by Parks & Recreation, the Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
Youth ages 12-16 may apply for the program through 5 p.m. Nov. 12 by creating an account at www.tyhp.org. The hunt will be capped at six participants. Priority will be given to first-time hunters. Parks & Recreation will help participants obtain their hunting licenses if needed.
The program will provide an outdoor experience in an urban setting for youth who might not otherwise have access to hunting opportunities. Participants will learn about wildlife conservation, basic survival skills and how to process game.
The hunt includes overnight camping in Riverside Park. Meals, firearms and ammunition will be provided at no cost to participants. Funding for the program is provided through Texas Parks & Wildlife scholarships. Each participant must be accompanied by a guardian throughout the hunt.
Riverside Park will be closed to the public during the hunt.
Parks & Recreation worked closely with Texas Parks & Wildlife to determine how many animals each participant should be allowed to harvest. The deer population in Riverside Park has been steadily increasing for years, which can lead to problems like traffic collisions, habitat degradation and disease concerns. Texas Parks & Wildlife recommends letting each participant harvest three does; one buck; and an unlimited number of hogs, which are an invasive species.
The Texas Youth Hunting Program was established by the Texas Wildlife Association and Texas Parks & Wildlife to preserve the tradition of hunting and to educate youth about ethical hunting practices and conservation.
For more information about the hunt, contact Parks & Recreation at 361-485-3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.