NEW JERSEY – The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds parents, grandparents and mentors of the special opportunities available through the Take a Kid Hunting Program. These days provide a quality hunting experience for properly licensed youth hunters by increasing their opportunity for harvesting game in a setting which encourages responsible and safe hunting practices with a supportive atmosphere.
The Youth Bow Deer Hunt will be this Saturday, September 26. Although the Fall Bow deer season opened in “early” zones on September 12, the day is a week before the statewide opening on October 3. Also, the “antlerless deer first” is waived for youth hunters that day as it is during the entire early season period. The Antler Point Restriction requirement is also waived in zones where it normally applies. The Youth Firearm Deer Hunt is November 21.
To hunt on these specific Youth Days, youth hunters must have:
- A valid Youth Hunting License
- A valid Rifle Permit, if using a muzzleloader (adult also)
- A HIP Number, if hunting waterfowl
- A Youth Turkey Permit, if hunting Youth Turkey Day in the spring
Deer harvested on youth hunt days do not count toward regular Fall Bow or Firearm Deer Season bag limits. All deer taken on youth deer hunt days should be registered as a Youth Bow (or Firearm) Hunt deer. Youths can then harvest an antlered deer during the regular deer seasons.
In the 2020-21 season there will also be Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days in each of the three hunting zones beginning October 3 in the North Zone. That day is followed by October 10 in the South Zone, and then November 7 in the Coastal Zone. The final Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day is in early 2021, on February 6.
The Youth Pheasant Hunt provides an opportunity for youth hunters to hunt on ten stocked Wildlife Management Areas before the regular opening day. On eight of those WMAs, youths have the opportunity to work with volunteer mentors with trained dogs on Saturday, October 31. Registration is required and is available online. Those wishing to serve as a volunteer mentor and/or dog handler can also register online.
The Youth Pheasant Hunt is extended to six days so youths may continue to hunt pheasants Monday, November 2 through Friday, November 6. More information is available on page 19 of the 2020-21 Hunting and Trapping Digest.
Members of Semi-wild Preserves can take advantage of the Youth Upland Bird Hunt, also on October 31, to introduce youths to upland bird hunting before the regular opening of the season.
The Youth Turkey Hunt Day will be April 24, 2021. If no turkey is harvested on this youth hunt day, Period Y permits may be used in the designated zone for balance of the season until a bird is harvested.
For more information, click here.