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NO. 4. AN ACT RELATING TO EXPANSION OF YOUTH HUNTING DAY.

(H.65)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. 4742 is added to read:

4742. YOUTH DEER HUNTING WEEKEND

(a) The Saturday and Sunday prior to opening day of regular deer season shall be youth deer hunting weekend.

(b) A person who is age 15 and under, who has at least one parent or a guardian who is a legal resident of Vermont, and who has successfully completed a hunter safety course, may take one wild deer during youth deer hunting weekend in accordance with the rules of the board. In order to hunt under this section, a young person shall also hold a valid hunting license under section 4255 of this title and be accompanied by an unarmed adult who holds a valid hunting license and who is over 18 years of age. An adult accompanying a youth under this section shall accompany no more than two young people at one time.

(c) Each year the board shall determine whether antlerless deer may be taken under this section in any deer management unit or units. A determination under this subsection shall be made by rule, shall be based on the game management study conducted pursuant to section 4081 of this title and, notwithstanding subsection (g) of that section, may allow taking of antlerless deer.

(d) No person shall hunt under this section on privately-owned land without first obtaining the permission of the owner or occupant.

(e) Before the first youth deer hunting weekend and after each fall hunting season, the department shall collect information on youth deer hunting weekend during the regional public hearings held pursuant to subsection 4081(f) of this title. Information relative to the public's knowledge and concerns about the deer herd shall be gathered. The board shall administer youth deer hunting weekend, by deer management unit, based on public input and scientific information.

Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. 4908 is added to read:

4908. YOUTH TURKEY HUNTING WEEKEND

(a) The Saturday and Sunday prior to opening day of spring turkey season shall be youth turkey hunting weekend.

(b) A person who is age 15 and under, who has at least one parent or a guardian who is a legal resident of Vermont, and who has successfully completed a hunter safety course, may take one wild turkey during youth turkey hunting weekend in accordance with the rules of the board. In order to hunt under this section, a young person shall also hold valid hunting and turkey licenses under section 4255 of this title and be accompanied by an unarmed adult who holds a valid hunting license and is over 18 years of age. An adult accompanying a youth under this section shall accompany no more than two young people at one time.

(c) No person shall hunt under this section on privately-owned land without first obtaining the permission of the owner or occupant.

Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATES; TRANSITION

(a) This act shall take effect on passage. However, the first deer and turkey youth hunting weekends shall take place during the year 2002.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 4742 and 4908 of Title 10, in the year 2001, there shall be no deer or turkey youth hunting weekends. However, the Sunday prior to opening day of regular deer season shall be deer youth hunting day, and shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of section 4742 of Title 10.

Approved: April 4, 2001