The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds parents, grandparents and mentors of the special opportunities available through the Take a Kid Hunting Program. These days provide a quality hunting experience for properly licensed youth hunters by increasing their opportunity for harvesting game in a setting which encourages responsible and safe hunting practices with a supportive atmosphere.
The Youth Bow Deer Hunt will be Saturday, September 24. Although the Fall Bow deer season opened in some zones on September 10, the day is a week before the statewide opening. Also, the “antlerless deer first” requirement is waived for youth hunters that day as it is during the entire early season period. The Youth Firearm Deer Hunt is November 19.
In the 2016-17 season there will be two Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days in each of the three hunting zones beginning October 1 in the North Zone. That day is followed by October 15 in the South Zone, and then November 5 in the Coastal Zone. The final Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are in early 2017, on February 4 in the North and South zones, and February 11 in the Coastal Zone.
The popular Youth Pheasant Hunt on November 5 provides an opportunity for youth hunters to hunt on 10 stocked Wildlife Management areas. On eight of those WMAs youths have the opportunity to work with volunteer mentors with trained dogs. Registration is required and is available now online at www.njfishandwildlife.com/ythpheas_register.htm. Those wishing to serve as a volunteer mentor and/or dog handler can register online as well. More information is available on page 23 of the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Digest.
Members of Semi-wild Preserves can take advantage of the Youth Upland Bird Hunt, also on November 5, to introduce youths to upland bird hunting before the regular opening of the season.