Opening day of duck season is an exciting time, especially for youngsters hunting for the first time. During the 2017 North Dakota youth waterfowl hunting season, Ducks Unlimited volunteers took a group of kids hunting at the Coteau Ranch. The ranch, which is open to public hunting, is owned by Ducks Unlimited and located in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region.

The young hunters attended Ducks Unlimited's Youth Waterfowl Hunting Workshop in August, where they learned the basic skills for hunting waterfowl. They were taught hunting regulations and duck identification and learned about duck calling, decoy spreads, training a retriever and firearm safety.

Safety needs to be stressed when taking young people in the field to hunt, and that is where a good mentor comes in.

"We want to have fun and hunt ducks, but it is important to always remember to handle our guns in a safe manner to prevent any accidents," said Terry Lassiter, DU regional director in North Dakota.

The morning was cold and rainy but the kids got some good experience and will hopefully use what they learned on future hunts.

The Prairie Pothole Joint Venture contributed funds to purchase waders and ammunition for the kids.

Do you want to take a young person waterfowl hunting but don't have the gear? Ducks Unlimited and the North Dakota Game and Fish offer a range of equipment for use for free. Contact the Ducks Unlimited office at 701-355-3500 to check out decoys, ground blinds and other equipment for duck or goose hunting.

Click here to see more photos of the youth hunt.