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Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Junior Hunter Mentoring Program

12- and 13-year-old junior bowhunters can hunt deer and bear with a bow if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed a course in both Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education
  • Purchase a Junior Bowhunting License
  • Be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or a “youth mentor” who is 21 years or older and designated in writing by the junior hunter’s parent or legal guardian (use the form below)
  • The adult accompanist needs to have at least 3 years of experience in hunting deer or bear by longbow AND have a license to hunt big game in the same seasons.
  • The parent, guardian or youth mentor must maintain physical control over the minor at all times while hunting.

14- and 15-year-old junior hunting license holders can hunt deer and bear with a gun if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed a course in Hunter Education
  • Purchase a Junior Hunting License
  • Be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or a “youth mentor” who is 21 years or older designated in writing (use the form below)
  • The adult accompanist needs to have at least 3 years of hunting experience AND have a license to hunt big game in the same seasons.
  • The parent, guardian or youth mentor must maintain physical control over the minor at all times while hunting.
  • The Junior Hunter must stay on the ground and cannot use an elevated (tree) stand.
  • Both junior hunter and adult accompanist must wear fluorescent orange or pink: a shirt or jacket with 250 sq inches of solid/patterned fluorescent orange or pink (the pattern must be no less than 50% fluorescent orange or pink) OR a hat with no less than 50% of the exterior consisting of solid fluorescent orange or pink AND visible from all directions.

14 and 15-year-old junior bowhunters and first-time 16 and 17-year-old big game hunters must:

  • Be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or person 18 years or older designated in writing (use form below)
  • The adult accompanist needs to have at least 1 year of hunting experience AND have a license to hunt big game in the same seasons.

Trapping Mentoring Program

Trappers under 12 years of age:

  • May accompany and assist a licensed trapper who has at least 3 years of trapping experience
  • May assist the licensed trapper in all aspects of trapping without possessing a trapping license
  • The licensed trapper may be a parent or legal guardian, or someone 18 years or older designated in writing (use the form below).
  • If trapping on your own and you are under 12 years, you will need to successfully complete New York’s Trapper Education Program.
  • To continue trapping once you are 12 years old, you need to take the class.