This weekend I went to the Black Hills for a hunting trip but I didn't have a license. Along with my dad, I was going with my brother-in-law and his son to show them the ropes of deer hunting.

Dave, who just turned 50 this year, had never gone deer hunting in his life. Last year I took his son Luke deer hunting for the first time and he wanted to be able to do it with him. Dave had an apprentice tag and Luke had a mentor tag. Both licenses get them an Any Antlerless deer license good anywhere statewide. So why not go to the Black Hills?

The apprentice tag can be had by adults 18 and over who have not had a license in the last ten years. One can only get an apprentice tag once as an adult. (There are many other provisions for the apprentice tag, see GFP for all the details.)

Dave and I got to our spot and sat for less than two hours on Saturday. Sometime around 8:30 am a whitetail doe made her way out of the trees on the far side of the creek bed we sat along. After waiting a few minutes for a clear, ethical shot, he harvested his first deer.

While I did most of the working doing the gutting, he didn't shy away from it. He even got in there to do some of the yanking and pulling. Then back at the cabin, he let his lunch get cold because he was too busy getting started skinning it so we could bone it out for the trip home.

Unfortunately, his son didn't get a deer this weekend, but he has until January 1, 2020, to get it done. Plenty of time to do so near home instead of the Black Hills.

If you are a hunter, take someone hunting for the first time. If you are interested in hunting, ask one of your hunting friends or family members if they will come with you for an apprentice hunt. There's a good chance you'll both be glad you did.

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