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Nov. 13, 2003


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds families that properly licensed and supervised youth hunters will be allowed to hunt for one deer on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003. Part of the Division’s “Take A Kid Hunting” program, this special deer hunt is designed to increase a young hunter’s opportunity for harvesting a deer with the help of a parent or other mentor in a setting that reinforces the principles of responsible, ethical and safe hunting.

“The youth deer hunt follows a long line of traditional youth hunts in New Jersey,” said Division Director Martin J. McHugh. “Special youth pheasant hunts have been held in the Garden State since 1995 and youth waterfowl days have been authorized by Federal regulations since 1998. Like other youth hunting programs, Youth Deer Hunt Day is not designed to introduce youngsters to the sport of hunting, but intended for existing youth hunters who have successfully completed a hunter education course and obtained a youth license. The youth hunt provides a special opportunity for young hunters to share the hunting experience with a parent or mentor who can focus solely on providing a quality hunting experience for their child on that special day.”

“The Youth Deer Hunt Day increases a young hunter’s chances of harvesting a deer since they are the only hunters allowed to hunt deer with a firearm on that day. Even though last year’s weather was less than ideal; it was cold, rainy and windy – a record 805 responsible, young hunters were successful,” said Division Hunter Education Administrator Paul Ritter. “In fact, some of these youngsters took their very first deer during this special hunt.”

The youth hunter must be directly supervised by a licensed, non-shooting adult aged 21 or older. The bag limit is one deer of either-sex. Neither the “Earn-a-Buck” requirement, nor antler point restrictions apply on that day for the youth hunter. This hunt is an extension of the Six-day Firearm Season, so no special season deer permit is required. Note that youth hunters may still harvest two antlered deer during the statewide Six-day Firearm Season that occurs December 8-13, 2003.

Any firearm and ammunition approved for deer hunting may be used. Youths can hunt with either shotguns or muzzleloaders. If using a muzzleloader, both parties must have a valid rifle permit.

All other hunting requirements apply. Hunting hours are ˝ hour before sunrise to ˝ hour after sunset EST. Youth hunter status applies to the holder of a valid Youth Hunting License or the immediate family members of qualified occupant farmers who are between the ages of 10 and 15.

Direct supervision means that both the youth hunter and parent/guardian are set up together at the same location, hunting as a unit and not hunting independently of each other. The adult cannot hunt or possess a firearm. However, he or she can grunt call or rattle for the youth. In addition to the youngster, the accompanying adult must wear the required hunter orange.

Successful young hunters must tag their deer with a homemade transportation tag and take it to the nearest official checking station. The tag must include the youth hunting license number, sex of the deer, number of antler points (if any), date, zone, county and township from which the deer was taken, and must state “Taken During the Six-day Firearm Season - Youth Hunt.” A supplemental tag will NOT be issued.

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