New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said New York’s second annual Youth Deer Hunt, held Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 12-14, was enjoyed by thousands of junior hunters, many of whom were successful in taking their first deer.
“The youth deer hunt is an important step in preserving our hunting heritage and provides junior hunters a unique opportunity to spend focused time with an experienced adult mentor as they learn the ropes of firearms deer hunting,” Martens said.
“With plenty of advance notice and good weather, more junior hunters were able to participate this year. There was a lot of enthusiasm among families with eligible junior hunters, and we’ve been hearing stories from happy hunters.”
During the youth deer hunt, junior hunters ages 14 and 15 with a big game hunting license are eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm when properly accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult.
About 18,000 junior hunters were eligible to participate in the 2013 youth deer hunt, and, to date, junior hunters have reported taking nearly 700 deer. The DEC anticipates the final harvest estimate for the youth deer hunt will be higher after all reports are in and the harvest is calculated.
Last year, during the inaugural youth deer hunt, about 60 percent of eligible junior hunters participated and DEC calculated that they took more than 1,400 deer. A report on the 2012 youth deer hunt is available at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/youthdeer2012.pdf.