Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
October 12, 2006

State's Youth Deer Hunt Set for Oct. 21-22, 2006

CONCORD, N.H. -- Aspiring young deer hunters will have their own shot at success the weekend of October 21-22, 2006, when New Hampshire's youth deer hunt is held. This special weekend gives young people statewide the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of other hunters. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so that they can devote all of their time to coaching and mentoring their young companions.

"The youth weekend is a chance to introduce young people, under the careful guidance of an experienced adult, to deer hunting," said Kent Gustafson, deer project leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "You can build bonds for a lifetime while tracking a white-tail through the autumn woods or deciphering the sounds of the forest from a treestand. We hope hunters will spend the weekend with their sons and daughters, grandchildren or young friends, helping them learn what hunting is all about."

Gustafson notes that today's kids are busy with many activities, but hunting is more than just something to do -- it can help them learn about their environment, conservation, tradition and ethics. The youth weekend isn't the only time kids can hunt in New Hampshire -- young people are allowed to hunt during any legal hunting season under the supervision of a licensed adult hunter -- but the youth weekend gives them a chance to get out in the field before the muzzleloader and firearms seasons open.

The basics of New Hampshire's youth hunting weekend for deer are as follows:

  • Youths must be under 16 years of age to participate; they do not need a h Youths must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older, and the adult must have a valid New Hampshire hunting license. Both resident and nonresident youth can take part.

  • Youths must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or oder, and the adult must have a valid New Hampshire hunting license.

  • Adults who accompany youth hunters may not carry a firearm or assist in taking the deer, other than to supervise.

  • Each licensed adult may accompany up to two youths under 16 years of age.

  • A deer of either sex is legal statewide during the youth weekend.

  • Youths are entitled to their own bag limit of game; any deer taken constitutes the one deer allowed by muzzleloader or regular firearms per year.

  • All deer need to be registered, as required during the regular season; youths should tag their deer using the tag found inside the back cover of the 2006-2007 Hunting Digest, available from Fish and Game license agents statewide or click here and on the orange publication cover to download.

  • Youths and accompanying adults must comply with all Fish and Game laws relative to hunting deer.

The chances for getting a deer on the youth hunting weekend should be better than during the regular season, Gustafson says. Young hunters took 326 deer during the youth weekend last year, a 4% increase over the previous year. New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. It also offers youth weekends for waterfowl hunting in the early fall and for wild turkey in the spring. The special weekends are part of the reason New Hampshire New Hampshire ranks third nationally for youth hunting participation (only Missouri and Oklahoma rank higher), according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

For a link to the Families Afield report sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the National Wild Turkey Federation, click here.

For information on other youth hunting opportunities in New Hampshire, click here.

For more details on deer hunting in New Hampshire, click here.

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