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!

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. Hunters age 12–16 are exempt from antler point restrictions and may take any buck with antlers 3″ or longer. Junior hunters may not use a crossbow to take a deer during this hunt. Rules of the 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 youth turkey and big game hunts. During the youth waterfowl hunt the accompanying adult must have a federal duck stamp and may carry a firearm if the respective regular season is open.

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 28–29, 2019
Western New York October 12–13, 2019
Long Island October 26–27, 2019

Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Hunting Zone

Tentative Dates

Northeastern September 21–22, 2019
Southeastern September 21–22, 2019
Lake Champlain September 28–29, 2019
Western October 5–6, 2019
Long Island November 9–10, 2019

Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

Upstate NY (north of Bronx-Westchester Co. boundary) and Suffolk County April 25–26, 2020

Youth Firearms Deer and Bear Hunt*

Upstate NY (north of Bronx-Westchester Co. boundary; excluding bowhunting-only WMUs) Columbus Day Weekend; October 12–14, 2019

Brooke Westfall with a 9 point taken in the
first few minutes of the 2018 youth hunt.

This is Johnathon’s 1st deer. His younger
brother and father helped him achieve this
goal during his 2nd year of hunting.