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Youth Hunting in New Hampshire

Matching wits with wildlife, braving the elements, testing themselves—a new generation is discovering a passion for hunting!

Hunting with young people allows them to develop their observational skills, and helps them gain the confidence and comfort level they need to enjoy a lifetime in the outdoors. We hope you’ll share your experience and take a young hunter out this fall; it will be a priceless experience for you as a mentor—and for your young friend as a future hunter, conservationist and adventurer!


There is no minimum age for hunting in New Hampshire. Youth hunters (under the age of 16) may hunt during all regular hunting seasons when accompanied by a properly licensed adult hunter who is at least 18 years of age. All N.H. hunting rules apply.

“Accompanied” means within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be affected. A properly licensed adult is one who possesses any and all licenses/permits needed for the species being hunted and the method being used by the youth hunter. No regular N.H. hunting or archery license is required for hunters under 16 years of age; see chart under License Fees for required licenses and permits.

All deer, bear and turkey must be tagged and registered according to rules applying to those species for adults. Deer taken by youth hunters should be tagged with the SPECIAL DEER tag. Adult hunters who have filled their tags are allowed to accompany a youth hunter, but the adult may not possess firearm or take any game. Youths may not use a crossbow.

Hunter Education is not required for youth hunters under age 16, but youths should try to complete the Hunter Education course sometime between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday; that way, they’ll have the required Hunter Education certification when they apply for their first hunting license after they turn 16.

Special N.H. Youth Hunt Weekends

New Hampshire’s special youth hunt weekends are about much more than hunting. They’re a unique opportunity for kids to spend time in the woods with a parent, grandparent or adult mentor, to share the outdoors experience without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters.

  • Waterfowl September 27–28, 2014
  • Deer (either sex)* October 25–26, 2014
  • Turkey** April 25–26, 2015

All N.H. hunting rules apply during special youth hunts. In addition, accompanying adults may not carry a firearm and may not take game. Adults may not accompany more than two youths during the deer and turkey youth hunts. Deer taken by youths during the special weekend shall constitute the one deer allowed by firearm per hunter.

* Non-resident youth hunters may participate in the N.H. Youth Hunt Weekend for Deer only if New Hampshire youth may hunt during special youth deer hunts in their state.

** Turkey License required.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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