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New Jersey



Take a Kid Hunting

Deer, Waterfowl, and Turkey Youth Hunt Days

Take this great opportunity to introduce youths to hunting!

All youth hunters must have a valid youth hunting license. See Youth Licenses in Licenses, Permits & Fees.

  • Supervision: 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 the adult mentoring hunter set up together at the same location, hunting as a unit, not hunting independently. The adult does not need a zone or area permit to supervise, only their valid license. The adult CANNOT hunt on any youth days but may call for the youth. Youth hunters do not need a harvest number to report harvests during youth hunts or non-permit deer seasons.

For additional harvest reporting requirements, see Deer Hunting Regulations.

Take a Kid Hunting!

Who can hunt?

Youth hunters aged 10 to 16, accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age with valid license appropriate to firearm used. Youth farmers are exempt from the license requirement when hunting on the property on which they reside. Properly licensed adult MUST be set up together with Youth Hunter (same tree, blind, etc). Direct supervision only. See Youth Licenses in Licenses, Permits & Fees. ADULTS MAY NOT HUNT ON DESIGNATED YOUTH DAYS

What do I need?

Seasons are open Statewide unless otherwise noted.


Bag Limits

Report Your Harvest


September 23, 2023

1 deer, either sex ARCHERY ONLY

Antler Point Restrictions and Earn-A-Buck regulations do not apply. Fill in Deer Transportation Tag or hand-made card with same info prior to using Automated Harvest Report System.

November 18, 2023

1 deer, either sex SHOTGUN or MUZZLELOADER ONLY


NORTH Zone – Youth ONLY, Oct. 7, 2023

Bag limits: same as during regular season except 2 scaup. See Migratory Bird Regulations for details.

See Migratory Bird Regulations for all waterfowl hunting requirements. For FAQs on youth hunts, go to

SOUTH Zone – Youth ONLY, Oct. 14, 2023

COASTAL Zone – Youth ONLY, Oct. 28, 2023

Statewide – Youth Feb. 3, 2024


April 20, 2024

1 male turkey

Fill out Turkey Transportation Card on Permit prior to using Automated Harvest Report System to check-in bird. If no bird is taken this day, Youth Permit may be used during Hunting Period Y.

WMA Youth Pheasant Hunt Days

All youth hunters must have a valid youth hunting license. See Youth Licenses in Licenses, Permits & Fees.

  • Nov. 4 and Nov. 6–10 Rain or Shine!

The NJDEP Fish & Wildlife's R3 and Hunter Education Program's Take a Kid Hunting Pheasant Hunt will allow properly licensed and supervised youth hunters (see table, below) to hunt any of the 10 stocked wildlife management areas (WMAs) on Saturday, Nov. 4 and Monday–Friday, Nov. 6–10.

In a cooperative effort between the NJDEP Fish & 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. 4 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 who are welcomed and encouraged to follow the hunters through the fields. All pre-registered hunters will receive an information packet. One guided hunt session will be offered, starting at 7 a.m.

A limited number of youth hunters will be allowed on each WMA during the guided morning hunts. To register, go to and select one WMA where you wish to hunt. For each WMA, when registration reaches capacity, the WMA will disappear from the online registration and the youth will need to select one of the remaining options. Priority will be given to first time participants. Register early; spaces fill quickly!

Online registration for the Nov. 4 guided youth hunt opens Sept. 5 and closes Oct. 15. Late registrations will not be accepted. Pheasant hunt information will be emailed to registered youth hunters during the open registration period. For questions, email [email protected].

Selected Wildlife Management Areas for Youth Pheasant Hunting


Guided AM Nov. 4 only

Open 1 PM Nov. 4

Open All Day Nov. 4

Open All Day Nov. 6–10


Black River




Colliers Mills





Semi-wild Preserves Youth Upland Bird Hunt Day

All youth hunters must have a valid youth hunting license. See Youth Licenses in Licenses, Permits & Fees.

  • Saturday, November 4, 2023

Properly licensed and supervised youth hunters (see Who can hunt? top of Take a Kid Hunting table above) are permitted to hunt on licensed semi-wild hunting preserves for pheasant, quail and/or partridge on Saturday, November 4 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.

Instructors NEEDED!

Become an instructor with NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.

Our Hunter Education Unit is looking for New Jersey’s best ­sportsmen and sportswomen to become ­instructors at locations where students take the live-fire test after first having completed the online portion.

Call (856) 629-0552

Leave your name and address to receive an application.

Or complete the application form

Youth Hunter
Youth hunter enjoying his time in the field. Photo by David Stonner. Come join the outdoor experience of NJ's Take a Kid Pheasant Hunting Program!

Youth Deer Hunter
Samantha Rubsam, mentored by her father, harvested her first deer during the 2023 winter archery season with a crossbow. Samantha’s special dad and daughter moment will last a lifetime! Photo by Matt Rubsam.

Youth Turkey Hunter
11 year old Ellie House was able to connect with her first turkey on youth day. She sat with her father, while he worked the hen calls, and her mother sat behind them with a gobble call. It was mid-morning and the group of turkeys were active and interested. Ellie sat still as a hen and smaller tom passed by. She waited for the perfect moment and with one shot she harvested this big tom. Photo by Cliff Goodwin.

Youth Waterfowl Hunter
Youth days allow mentors to introduce young hunters to the ethical use and stewardship of waterfowl, and to encourage youngsters and adults to experience the outdoors together. Alexia Ford smiling ear to ear as she proudly displays her first duck, a beautiful hen wood duck. Photo by Mike Ford.