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Hunter Ed Home Page Icon linkHunter Education - Mentoring

Outreach Programs for Youth


Each year, several thousand young adults participate for the first time in the hunting and shooting sports. For many, this introduction does not come with the strong family implementation that today's sportsman may have been accustomed to. Therefore, without leaders in the hunting and shooting community taking the challenge of teaching our youth, many will lack the necessary skills needed to continue our hunting and shooting heritage.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission administers several outreach programs designed to reach youth and introduce them to the safe and ethical practices of the hunting and shooting sports. These youth are our future and all sportsmen and women recognize that.

The goal of these programs is to provide youth with a safe, ethical, and educational introduction to the hunting and shooting sports. Youth also learn valuable hunting skills, as well as self-discipline. Another key component is that youth learn important principles of wildlife management, why they hunt, and their role in conservation.

Mentor Program

Volunteer instructors are the lifeblood of the Nebraska Hunter Education Program. Each year, these men and women generously give of time and talent to instill values, ethics, and knowledge upon our future hunters.

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are eager to pursue various aspects of the sport of hunting. If however they are not introduced at this critical age, their eagerness is usually funneled toward other organized sports such as football, basketball, etc. Hunting is a sport they can pursue throughout their entire life.

Instructors who mentor a youth while hunting can fill out a provided post card form and return to NGPC prior to the hunt. This allows the NGPC to provide insurance coverage for the instructor as well as document such activities.

Youth Mentored Archery Deer Hunting Program

Omaha/Lincoln application | Central West Area Application |

In 1995, the NGPC partnered with private landowners who have extremely high deer populations to conduct mentored hunting for youth. The result is a program where more than 100 youth hunt under veteran Bow Hunter Education Instructors throughout the entire archery season.

Youth are required to fill out an application each year, prior to the season. First time applicants are given priority in the program. Youth must pass a standard checklist and proficiency test prior to acceptance in the program. Hunts follow all state laws and regulations with some additional restrictions. Youth must be between the ages of 12 and 18, still in school, and have permission from a parent or guardian.

To enroll, please call Aaron Hershberger
email: aaron.hershberger@nebraska.gov
or pick up an application at
Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd St., in Lincoln.

Pheasants Forever Youth Mentored Pheasant Hunting Program

Perhaps many of us were initiated as hunters on a frozen farm field, walking over corn stubble with shotgun in hand while a bird dog anxiously worked the cover in front of us. You will never forget the sight of the point, the bursting of feathers as the birds erupt from cover, the cackle of the rooster, the sound of guns firing and the feeling you had after your first hunt. Like you, we feel that every child should have the opportunity to experience that same enjoyment.

The NGPC administers the Youth Mentored Pheasant Hunting Program with the Nebraska Pheasants Forever Chapters across the state. Each year, several hundred youth Hunter Education Graduates take part in a day of workshops and hunting sponsored by local pheasant forever chapters.

A typical youth hunt day will include many workshops. First, youth may start with a session under one of Nebraska's dedicated field biologists learning the science behind hunting, wildlife management, about the game they will pursue, and about the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Youth may then break into groups where information on dog handling, gun handling, gun cleaning, and other valuable skills will be learned. These prepare the youth for the excitement that is yet to come.

Most sessions will include live firing at the trap range to help prepare youth for the coming hunt. This allows instructors to address the shooting form and capabilities of the youth prior to the hunt.

The hunt is the highlight of the day where youth, under the watchful eye of a qualified mentor. Workshops include dog handling, bird cleaning, clay target shooting, wildlife management, firearm safety, and, of course, the actual hunt, where youth roam the fields under the supervision of a mentor.

Aaron Hershberger
Outdoor Education Specialist
(402) 471-6144

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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