Youth deer hunt Columbus Day weekend

T he Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that a statewide youth deer hunt will be held over Columbus Day weekend.

“Implementation of this youth deer hunt is a hallmark moment of New York hunters and represents continued efforts of DEC to engage more young people in nature and outdoor recreation,” Joe Marten, DEC Commissioner, said in a release.

The youth deer hunt will take place Oct. 6-8 in both the Northern and Southern zones. Junior hunters (ages 14-15) with a big game hunting license will be eligible to take one deer of either gender with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed adult.

Junior hunters may use a Deer Management Permit or Deer Management Assistance Program tag for an antlerless deer or, during the youth firearms season only, they may use their regular season tag to take a deer of either sex.

Early bowhunting season, which is open Sept. 27 to Oct. 19 in the northern zone and Oct. 1 to Nov. 16 in the southern zone, will remain open during the youth hunt, but officials encourage hunters to set aside the weekend for youths only.

More details on the youth hunt as well as the Junior Hunter Mentoring Program, are available on the DEC’s website at

This year’s rifle deer hunting season will be held from Oct. 20 to Dec. 2 in the Northern Zone and Nov. 17 to Dec. 9 in the Southern Zone.

Hunters ages 12 to 15 will also have the chance to hunt pheasants this weekend, Sept. 29-30, a weekend prior to the regular pheasant hunting season, in northern and eastern New York.

The state announced last week that they released 30,000 pheasants on public lands in advance of the upcoming pheasant season, which begins on Oct. 1.



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