Special memories will again be made across the state as young hunters take to fields and forests with parents and mentors on New Jersey’s Youth Firearm Deer Hunt Day this Saturday, November 17.

The Youth Firearm Deer Hunt is the most popular of New Jersey’s eight special youth hunt days provided each year through the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Take a Kid Hunting Program. Youth hunt days are designated for upland game, waterfowl and turkey in addition to a Youth Archery Deer Hunt Day and the  Youth Firearm Deer Hunt Day.

Youth hunt days are meant to provide high quality hunting experiences and fond memories for both the youth hunter and the adult hunter who must accompany and supervise them. Although valid hunting licenses are required for both the youth hunter and the supervising adult, only the youth hunter is allowed to hunt on the youth hunt day. This allows adult hunters to focus solely on the safety, learning and hunting experience of their young hunting partner. Another contribution to the quality of youth deer hunts is holding the youth hunt prior to the regular firearm deer season when there are more deer for youth hunters to pursue and fewer hunters to compete with for prime hunting locations.

The youth firearm hunt is an extension of the Six-day Firearm Season so no special season deer permit is required. The hunter must have a valid Youth Firearm Hunting License and be under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 21 years old and who has a valid firearm license. Direct supervision is defined as the youth hunter and parent / guardian set up together at the same location and hunting as a unit – not hunting independently.

Youth hunters may use a shotgun or muzzleloader on this day, but if a muzzleloader is used, both the youth hunter and adult mentor must possess a valid NJ Rifle Permit. The adult cannot hunt or possess a firearm, but may grunt, call or rattle for the youth hunter.

One deer of either sex may be taken by youth hunters on November 17. Antler point restrictions do not apply on this day for the youth hunter. Successful hunters must report their deer via the new Automated Deer Harvest Report System (see http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ahrs.htm for details).  More information on the Youth Hunt and AHRS is available in the 2012 Hunting Digest (http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/dighnt12.htm ) on pages 22, 29 and 33).

For more information on the Take a Kid Hunting program visit http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/takekidhunting.htm .

Logo courtesy New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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