Take a Kid Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting


Take this great opportunity to introduce youth hunters to deer hunting!

Youth Deer Hunting Days

  • Youth Bow Hunt
    Saturday, September 21, 2019
  • Youth Firearm Hunt
    Saturday, November 23, 2019

Who can hunt

Hunters with a valid youth hunting license. See Youth Licenses, License, Permits & Stamps.

  • The youth hunter MUST be under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 21 years old and who has a valid firearm or bow and arrow license corresponding to the season hunted. Direct supervision is defined as both the youth hunter and parent/guardian set up together at the same location, hunting as a unit, not hunting independently. The adult CANNOT hunt on this day. The adult may grunt, call or rattle for the youth. In addition to the youth, the adult accompanying the youth should wear the required hunter orange during the youth firearm deer hunt.

Bag limits

Youth may hunt statewide for one deer of either sex on each of the above dates.

  • During the Youth Firearm Deer Hunt, youths may hunt either with a shotgun or muzzleloader. No bows.
  • If the youth is hunting with a muzzleloader, both the youth and the adult must possess a valid Rifle Permit.
  • Antler Point Restrictions and Earn-A-Buck requirements do NOT apply on these days for the youth hunter.
  • These hunts are extensions of the Fall Bow and Six-day Firearm seasons; no special season deer permit is required. Youth hunters may still use a bow to harvest one antlered deer during the Fall Bow Season, and use an appropriate firearm to harvest two antlered deer during the Six-day Firearm Season.

Report Your Harvest

The youth hunter should complete all information requested on the Harvest Report Card.

  • The card, or hand-made version, should include the youth hunting license number or Conservation ID number, sex of deer, number of antler points, date, zone, deer management unit, county and township from which the deer was taken, in order to have your information ready for when you report your harvest through the Automated Harvest Report System. Youth hunters do not need a harvest number during youth hunts or non-permit deer seasons.

Bill Hill (grandfather to Zach)

Going hunting with his dad since he was 8, Zachary Hill registered for the firearm Hunter Education course on his 10th birthday. Here at 14, Zach and his father Brett show pride in harvesting this fine Youth Day 11-point buck.


Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

Veterans and Active Military Also Welcome!

Youth hunters must possess a valid Youth Firearms License to hunt the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days. See also Youth Licenses, License, Permits & Stamps. Veterans and active military members are now eligible to hunt on these days.

All youth hunters must be under the direct supervision of a licensed, non-hunting adult 21 years of age or older. Hunting hours on these special youth days are from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset on the following dates by zone:

  • North Zone—Oct. 5 and Feb. 1
  • South Zone—Oct. 12 and Feb. 1
  • Coastal Zone—Nov. 2 and Feb. 8

A HIP number is required. Daily bag limits for ducks, Canada geese, brant, snow geese, coots, and gallinules will be the same as those allowed during the regular season. Adults may not hunt on this day.

M. Braden

Young waterfowl hunters (L to R) Kyle Braden, Nick Yanuzzelli and John Yanuzzelli after a Coastal Zone Youth Hunt joined by their faithful companion, Maris.


Youth Turkey Hunt Day

  • Saturday, April 18, 2020

Youth hunters with a valid youth hunting license who have obtained a turkey permit may begin their spring turkey season on the special youth turkey hunting day, April 20, 2019. See Youth Licenses, License, Permits & Stamps. Youth must be under the direct supervision of an adult 21 years or older who possesses a valid New Jersey hunting license. Adults may not hunt on this day.

Joseph Fyke

Jeffrey Fyke, 14, harvested this 15-pound gobbler on his first-ever turkey hunt during last year’s Youth Turkey Hunt Day. His uncle, Joseph Fyke, also from Pennsylvania, said that New Jersey’s outstanding youth hunting programs prompted him to purchase land in the Garden State to share family hunts.

Upland Bird

Youth Upland Bird Hunt Day

  • Saturday, November 2, 2019

Youth hunters with a valid youth hunting license (see Youth Licenses, Licenses, Permits & Stamps), under the direct supervision of a New Jersey-licensed, non-hunting adult 21 years or older, will be permitted to hunt on licensed semi-wild hunting preserves. Youths may hunt for pheasant, quail and/or partridge on Saturday, November 2 from 8 a.m. to sunset. Take advantage of this great opportunity for hunters belonging to semi-wild preserves to ­introduce youth hunters to upland bird hunting without competition from adult hunters who may not hunt on this day.

James Garvin

On Peaslee WMA, Savannah Russo, 13 of Franklinville, hunted over Brittany Spaniel Wyatt guided by dog handler James Garvin.


Youth Pheasant Hunt

  • November 2 and 4–8, 2019 Rain or Shine!

This year’s Take a Kid Hunting Pheasant Hunt will allow properly licensed hunters with a valid youth license (see Youth LicensesLicenses, Permits & Stamps) to hunt any of the 10 stocked Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Monday–Friday, Nov. 4–8, 2019. In a cooperative effort between the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, volunteer hunting mentors with trained bird dogs will guide youth hunters on a Saturday, Nov. 2 pheasant hunt. This experience will increase the young hunters’ opportunity for harvesting a pheasant in a setting which encourages responsible and safe hunting practices.

All guided morning hunt participants must pre-register and be accompanied to the check-in by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians are welcomed and encouraged to follow the hunters through the fields. All pre-registered hunters will receive an information packet. One session will be offered, starting at 7 a.m.

Only 50 youth hunters will be allowed on each WMA during the guided morning hunts. To register for a guided morning hunt, go to NJFishandWildlife.com/ythpheas_register.htm and select the wildlife management area where you wish to hunt. When registration for each site reaches capacity, that particular site will be removed from the online registration options. Select one of the remaining locations. Register early; spaces fill quickly!

Registrations are accepted from Tuesday Sept. 3 through Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Information pertaining to the pheasant hunt will be mailed on or around Oct. 15.

Selected Wildlife Management Areas for Youth Pheasant Hunting


Guided AM Nov. 2 only

Open 1 PM Nov. 2

Open All Day Nov. 2

Open All Day Nov. 4–8


Black River




Colliers Mills






Volunteer Dog Handlers and Youth Hunting Mentors Needed

Come volunteer with us as a dog handler or youth hunting mentor to help support the tradition of safe, responsible hunting! To participate, visit our website at NJFishandWildlife.com/ythpheas_register.htm and select Youth Hunt Volunteer. When registering, be sure to accurately complete all fields. You will be contacted by a Fish and Wildlife Take-a-Kid Youth Hunt Coordinator during the week of Oct. 14 with details about the Nov. 2 hunt.

Jim Cox, the current Take-a-Kid Youth Pheasant Hunt Coordinator at Peaslee WMA said this about being a volunteer during this youth pheasant hunt: “There’s no better reward than sharing in the joy and excitement of a young hunter’s first experience afield! The Youth Pheasant Hunt is more than just harvesting a bird. It is about forming friendships, hunter safety, and watching trained bird dogs work a field, all while pursuing premiere upland gamebirds.”