Elmer Fudd managed to avoid running afoul of the law, getting the correct duck-hunting license, when Bugs tricked Daffy into writing F-R-I-C-A-S-S-E-E-I-N-G D-U-C-K on his application form in a memorable 1953 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon Duck! Rabbit, Duck!

But young Long Islanders can learn hunting ethics, regulations, safety requirements and other "responsible" practices as part of the 25th annual Youth Waterfowl Program being offered in two days of instruction this fall by the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The program is open to 30 students, ages 12-15, officials said Tuesday.

Applications are due by Oct. 14, with the Youth Waterfowl Program instructional course set for Oct. 22 — and the designated youth hunting day set for Nov. 5.

Registration requirements include that all applicants complete a hunter education course by Oct. 22, are 12- to 15-years-old, and possess a junior small game hunting license by Nov. 5.

They also must registered with the State DEC Harvest Information Program.

That program requires those who plan to hunt woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, rails, snipe, coots, gallinules or sea ducks to register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, which enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies to monitor annual harvests — and establish annual hunting regulations throughout the state.

“The Youth Waterfowl Program is a staple of DEC’s efforts to encourage responsible hunters to pass down traditions to the next generation and grow New York’s environmental stewards,” State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement, adding: “The abundant hunting opportunities on Long Island are the perfect setting to share the skills necessary to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community.”

The program has trained approximately 650 young waterfowl hunters since its inception in 1998. Officials said instruction areas included: hunting ethics and regulations; waterfowl identification; firearms safety review; retriever and decoy use; cold water survival and boating safety; and trap shooting. The DEC said appropriate COVID-19 precautions would be followed.

Experienced waterfowl hunting volunteers will act as mentors to guide participants through the program. Officials cited a long tradition of waterfowl hunting on Long Island and said all new applicants must attend an instructional day at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club on Oct. 22 before participating in the youth hunt at either Southaven County Park or Hubbard County Park on Nov. 5. Each year two days are set outside of the regular hunting season in each waterfowl zone around the state to allow junior hunters to hunt both ducks and geese, officials said.

All junior hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter — and officials said those adults could not hunt during the two youth hunting days.

For more information, call 631-444-0255 or email R1SportsmanEducation@dec.ny.gov.

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