Special Seasons Designated for Young Hunters

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Share Your Knowledge, Reconnect To Nature — Take a Junior Hunter Afield During These Special Seasons!

Photo courtesy of Bill Conners

Dutchess County sportsmen hosted a youth pheasant hunt for the 23rd year. Three dozen volunteers helped coordinate the event. About a dozen dog handlers were present to take turns taking 35 junior hunters afield. The young hunters met with success and took several birds. ECOs were also on hand to provide guidance to the young hunters.

Once again, DEC is providing a special youth deer season over the three-day Columbus Day weekend. Junior hunters (ages 14–15) will be eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm during this season and may use a Deer Management Permit, Deer Management Assistance Program tag, or a regular season tag. Junior hunters may not use a crossbow to take a deer during this hunt. Rules of the Junior Hunter Mentoring Program (Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program) also apply.

DEC also offers special opportunities for junior hunters (ages 12–15) for waterfowl, wild turkey, and pheasants.

For all youth hunts, junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter. Both the junior and adult hunters are required to have a hunting license for the youth deer season, a hunting license and a turkey permit for the turkey hunt, and a hunting license and current HIP registration for the waterfowl hunt. Adults are not allowed to possess a firearm, crossbow or bow or to harvest an animal while accompanying a junior hunter during the special seasons.

Crossbows may only be used by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.

Youth Hunts

Youth Pheasant Hunt

Northern and Eastern New York September 29-30, 2018
Western New York October 13-14, 2018
Long Island October 27-28, 2018

Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Waterfowl Hunting Zone

Tentative Dates

Northeastern September 22-23, 2018
Southeastern September 22-23, 2018
Lake Champlain September 29-30, 2018
Western October 13-14, 2018
Long Island November 10-11, 2018

Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

Upstate NY (north of Bronx-Westchester Co. boundary) and Suffolk County April 20-21, 2019

Youth Firearms Deer and Bear Hunt*

Upstate NY (north of Bronx-Westchester Co. boundary; excluding bowhunting-only WMUs) Columbus Day Weekend; October 6-8, 2018