Youth hunters must be mentored or accompanied by adult
A statewide youth deer hunt will be held the weekend of Oct. 6-7 in Wisconsin. The hunt is designed to give youth hunters ages 10-15 an opportunity to hunt deer and gain valuable hunting experience at a time when other hunters are not authorized to hunt deer with a firearm.
Since 2009, hunters ages 10 through 15 have been able to participate in the youth gun deer hunt, which is open to both resident and non-resident youth hunters.
The hunt is open in all deer management units, except state park units and areas where permits are not issued by the Department of Natural Resources. The bag limit is one buck with a gun buck deer carcass tag, plus an additional antlerless deer per antlerless deer carcass tag valid for the DMU or a junior antlerless deer tag, which is valid statewide. Archery deer hunters are required to wear blaze orange clothing whenever any gun deer hunt is open, including during the youth deer hunt.
Youth hunters do not have to have a hunter safety certificate, but are subject to certain restrictions depending on their age.
Youth ages 10 and 11 and youth ages 12 through 15 years who do not possess a hunter education certificate can participate if they are “mentored” by an adult who is within arm’s reach at all times during the hunt. Only one firearm, bow or crossbow may be possessed jointly between the mentor and youth who is age 10 or 11, or who has not completed hunter education, if participating in the youth gun deer hunt.
Youth ages 12 through 15 who possess a hunter education certificate can participate if they are accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. To “accompany” means the adult is within both visual and voice contact of the youth. Adults accompanying youth hunters may not “gun hunt” for deer during the youth hunt, but may possess a bow or gun and hunt for a game species that is open for them to hunt at that time. The adult does not have to be a licensed hunter or a hunter education graduate to accompany one or two youth hunters who are at least 12 years old and have completed a hunter education course.
An adult may not accompany more than two youth hunters during the youth gun deer hunt at any given time.
More information on the requirements for mentoring or accompanying a youth deer hunter can be found in a Youth Hunt Rules and Regulations [PDF] factsheet available on by searching for “youth hunt” on the DNR website and then clicking on the link below Youth Deer Hunt.
Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources