Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 6-8, marked the state’s first youth firearms deer hunt and reports from the field indicate the youth deer hunt was a success for many junior hunters as they learned about New York’s rich deer hunting tradition under the watchful eyes of experienced mentors, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens recently announced.
During the youth deer hunt, junior hunters (ages 14-15) with a big game hunting license were eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm when properly accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult.
The number of Junior Hunting license holders who were eligible to participate at least one day of the youth hunt was 12,753. To date, junior hunters have reported taking 486 deer, though hunters have seven days to report their kill. DEC anticipates the final harvest estimate for the youth deer hunt will be higher after all reports are in and the harvest is calculated.
“We received enthusiastic feedback from parents and excited young hunters who took part of the Columbus Day weekend,” Martens said. “These experiences demonstrate the great value of providing this unique opportunity for junior hunters.”