Getting outdoors to hunt squirrels, rabbits and other small game is the focus of Minnesota's Take a Kid Hunting Weekend this Saturday, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 23.

During the weekend, adult Minnesota residents accompanied by a youth younger than age 16 can hunt small game without a license but must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

"Small game hunting is an excellent way to learn how to hunt and sets the stage for pursuing bigger game like turkeys or deer," said James Burnham, DNR's recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) coordinator. "New hunters can learn about the woods, build fundamentals for safe and successful hunting tactics and spend some quality time with a mentor."

Squirrel or rabbit hunting also offers a reason to walk in the woods during the transition to fall colors and can provide some delicious table fare.

"Hunting squirrels or rabbits often means lower pressure to harvest an animal, warmer temperatures, more conversation and a focus on fun," Burnham said. "So if you're looking for younger faces at deer camp or in the turkey blind, weekends like this can help stir an interest."

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