By Del Milligan firstname.lastname@example.org With sales of resident hunting licenses in Florida dropping about 9 percent over the past decade, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is launching a program in hopes of sparking the interest of junior hunters. The Youth Hunting Program is designed to provide quality hunting for youth 12-17, hopefully developing a lifelong passion for the outdoors in the next generation. Florida landowners and hunting clubs are being asked to host weekend youth hunts, and volunteers are sought to teach hunting skills and oversee the hunts. The Shikar Safari Club is funding the start-up costs for the program, but additional donations will be needed. The commission hopes to train 25 volunteers to serve as huntmasters in the first year. "We promise to run safe, positive, educational and mentored youth hunts and are looking for all types of year-round hunting opportunities including deer, turkey, hogs, exotics, dove, small game and waterfowl," said Alan Busenbark, the commission's hunter safety business manager, in a released statement. Landowners or hunting clubs willing to donate weekend hunts, and volunteers who would like to help, can contact Busenbark at 850-413-0084 in Tallahassee, or email to alan.busenbark@MyFWC.com. The state already encourages youth to hunt ducks with its Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 4-5. Children under 16 may hunt with a non-hunting adult those two days after the season ends on Jan. 29.