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New York’s Youth Deer Hunt

Establishing Old Traditions in a New Generation

youth_deer-won.jpgIn 2012, DEC held New York State’s first Youth Deer Hunt during the three-day Columbus Day weekend. The Youth Deer Hunt was a positive experience for thousands of young hunters and provided a great opportunity for families to celebrate their hunting heritage and build a new generation of deer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. During the Youth Deer Hunt, 14- and 15-year-old junior hunters could take one deer, antlered or antlerless, with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult mentor (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program for other rules of the program and dates for 2013).

See the Big Game Hunting Photo Gallery for photos of successful junior hunters and the 2012 Youth Deer Hunt Report at for a full assessment of the special hunt opportunity.



  • 1,411 deer were taken (744 antlered and 667 antlerless deer).
  • 61% (7,779) of eligible junior hunters participated.
  • Non-participation was primarily influenced by lack of awareness of the Youth Deer Hunt and, to a lesser degree, by time conflicts during Columbus Day weekend.
  • The Youth Deer Hunt was a safe hunt, continuing national trends of outstanding safety records of mentored youth hunters. No safety violations or injuries were reported, and no junior hunters were cited for hunting violations.
  • The Youth Deer Hunt had negligible impact on bowhunters. Patterns of reported bow harvest and bowhunting success rates were consistent with previous years.




Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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