News

Are you ready for the Youth Big Game Hunt?

This weekend brings a new opportunity for junior hunters, as New York’s annual Youth Big Game Hunt on Columbus Day weekend has expanded to include bear as well as deer.  On October 8-10, licensed 14- and 15-year-olds may use a firearm to hunt big game while accompanied by an experienced, licensed adult hunter.

Each eligible junior hunter is allowed to take one deer (either sex) and one bear.  During the youth hunt, antlerless deer taken with a firearm may be tagged with a regular season tag, Deer Management Permit, or Deer Management Assistance Program tags; antlered deer may only be tagged with the regular season tag.  Though junior hunters may have multiple deer tags, they may only take 1 deer with a firearm during the Youth Big Game Hunt.

This special hunting opportunity takes place throughout the state, except in Suffolk County and bowhunting-only areas.  Additional rules that apply to junior hunters and their adult mentors can be found in the Hunting & Trapping Guide (pages 36-37) or on the DEC website.

The Youth Big Game Hunt is a great way for experienced, adult hunters to help the young people in your life have an enjoyable and successful hunt.  Get out and enjoy the nice weather and beautiful foliage this weekend while you teach young family members and friends the fine points of big game hunting.  Create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.