A good dove shoot is a great way to introduce youngsters to hunting. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources provides a perfect venue where conditions and bird counts are generally good to excellent depending on the weather, for the exclusive first-day use of parents with children. Youngsters can absorb the experience by watching their father or mother shoot, eating snacks, drinking soda and running out making retrieves. Older kids can shoot at a few birds themselves. Accompanying adults may shoot during the hunt, just not while their youth is shooting.

SCDNR will reserve six areas this year for youth hunts on opening day, Sept 3. No early registration is needed, and hunters will be selected on a first come first served basis. The rules and field listings are in the regulations bulletin and on line at www.dnr.sc.gov. Hunts begin at noon, and the shooting ends at 6 p.m. Hunters are limited to 50 shells per hunt.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission offers only one special youth/adult hunt, Sept. 3, on the Mountain Island Educational Forest outside Charlotte. Hunting parties must consist of one youth less than age 16 and one properly licensed adult at least 18 years old. The hunt is a permit-only hunt, limited to 40 hunters. It is available through the Commission’s permit-hunt program, but the application deadline was Aug. 10. You can check to see if any permits were leftover by calling 888-248-6834.