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New Jersey



Take a Kid Hunting

Youth Hunter with Adult Supervising
Keith Griglak/NJDEP Fish and Wildlife

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 24, 2022

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 19, 2022

1 deer, either sex SHOTGUN or MUZZLELOADER ONLY


NORTH Zone – Youth ONLY, Oct. 8, 2022

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. 15, 2022

COASTAL Zone – Youth ONLY, Oct. 29, 2022

Statewide – Youth Feb. 4, 2023


April 22, 2023

1 male turkey

Fill out Turkey Report 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. 5 and Nov. 7–11 Rain or Shine!

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife's R3 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. 5 and Monday–Friday, Nov. 7–11.

Youth Hunter with Adult Supervising
Youth hunter and mentor in the field during the Take a Kid Pheasant Hunting program. Come join the outdoor fun! Photo by Keith Griglak/NJDEP Fish and Wildlife.

In a cooperative effort between the NJDEP 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. 5 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. 5 guided youth hunt opens Sept. 6 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. 5 only

Open 1 PM Nov. 5

Open All Day Nov. 5

Open All Day Nov. 7–11


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 5, 2022

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 5 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.

Youth Deer Hunter
Hunter Garrison completed his NJ hunter education archery course last August and harvested his first buck on the first day of the 2021 permit bow season! Photo by Brian Garrison.

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. A big smile from Ethan Thurman as he proudly displays his first northern pintail during a Youth Waterfowl Day. Photo by Edward Thurman.

Youth Turkey Hunter
After quietly and anxiously sitting concealed in a blind since before sunrise, Carlie Gleason, 13, spotted some movement about 100 yds out. Gaining her composure, Carlie smoothly adjusted her 12 gauge shotgun on the gun rest and put the bead on the closest gobbler. When the bird stopped and gobbled at 20 yards, Carlie harvested her first turkey. It is a day she and her dad will never forget, and her smile says it all. Photo by Jim Gleason.

Veteran / Active Military Waterfowl Hunts

Veterans and Active Military are welcome during two statewide, Veterans/Active Military Hunting Days on Nov. 5, 2022 and Feb. 4, 2023.

See Veterans/Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days section in Migratory Bird Regulations for details.

Instructors NEEDED!

Hunter Education Instructor and Student

Become an instructor with Fish and 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 at: