New York’s annual Youth Big Game Hunt will take place weekend. From October 7 through 9, licensed 14 and 15-year-olds may use a firearm to hunt deer and bear while accompanied by an experienced, licensed adult hunter.
Early bowhunting seasons for deer and bear are now open in the Northern, and Southern zone.
Antlerless deer taken with a firearm may be tagged with a regular season tag, a deer management permit (DMP), or deer management assistance program tags. Antlered deer may only be tagged with the regular season tag. Junior hunters, including those with multiple deer tags, may only take one deer with a firearm during the Youth Big Game Hunt.
This hunt 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.
DEC reminds hunters going afield to follow the four cardinal rules of hunting safety:
- assume every gun is loaded;
- control the muzzle – point your gun in a safe direction;
- keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot; and
- be sure of your target and beyond.