Everything You Need To Know About Youth Hunting

youth hunting feature

1. What is Youth Hunting Season?

youth hunting session

Photo credit: http://gf.nd.gov/hunting/big-game/youth-deer-hunting

Youth hunting season was brought about to encourage the younger generation to start up hunting as a sport and more so to continue the heritage and history of hunting in general. The stats have shown that less and less youth are taking up hunting and in an attempt to not let the sport die, youth hunting season was created. Many a proud father wants to pass down the knowledge and weaponry he has had, in turn, passed down by ancestors, to his sons or even daughters (hunting is not sexist).

However, the main reason for youth hunting season should be seen around the safety factor. While there are not designated areas for the youth to hunt, at least not most of the time, it is good to know that other, more experienced hunters, will be aware that youth are out and about. This brings about a sense of caution.

There is not a minimum age limit to youth hunting across most of the states, although some do stipulate that to kill an animal the child must be at least 10 or 12 years old. We feel, as the parent or guardian of the youth, this needs to be at your discretion. There is, however, a maximum youth age allowed, which differs from state to state. Generally this is that the youth may not be older than 17 years of age.

Most states require that the youth must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult i.e. Older than 18 years of age or in some states they must be older than 21 years of age, and who has no hunting implements on there person at the time. In some areas they have age limits on when a youth can hunt on their own, generally around 16 years of age.

A youth hunting license is required however, under 18 year olds don’t need a license should they be hunting on land that is owned by their parents. The rules also state that there must be at least one adult for every two youths.

Have a look at this website which gives you the age limits per state. This is very informative.

There are other rules around youth hunting and those range from the color of clothing worn whilst hunting, normally the hunters orange (for visibility reasons, the number of kills allowed and sometimes the type of species is dictated, especially with waterfowl

Some states make a provision specifically for turkey youth hunting seasons and this would take place in Spring, which is the April/May time period. Turkey hunting is a great way to introduce a young person to hunting in general. Turkey’s, whilst they are not the smartest bunch of birds, are the most paranoid and this then means one has to learn patience and precise hunting methods to snag one of the skittish gobblers. Specific rules apply to turkey hunting for youth as well. Some states, like Ohio, have very specific guidelines about youth waterfowl hunting, such as that their maximum age is 15 years, instead of 17.

2. When is Youth Hunting Season?

Not every state allows a designated youth hunting season, but more and more are coming on board. Every state has a different period so you would have to go look up exactly when your state opens up youth hunting season. Generally it is around the October/November mark and runs for about 5 to 9 days.

3. How to Get a Youth Hunting License?

Again, every state has there own rules about applying and obtaining a youth hunting license. There are some kindred rules though such as that to obtain a youth license you must be able to produce a certificate of competency whether it be that states specific program or a general Hunting Education certificate. The youth’s guardians or parents would apply for the license at the local authorities department and ensure, once the youth reaches the age above youth maximum age, to then have them complete a Hunter Safety course or the equivalent specific to that state.

4. Best Place for Youth Hunting in the USA

The states that boast the best youth hunting program are increasing in numbers every year. So far 30 states are in on the youth hunting specific seasons.
Here are our top 5 states for youth hunting:

  • Ohio

Ohio offers a period specifically Saturdays and Sundays over October and November for small game youth hunting and in addition only allow hunting of certain fowl in certain areas. For the deer hunting for youth their season is at the end of November.
Check out this website for further info.

  • Texas

In the cowboy state, they have divided their youth hunting seasons up into the different animals and counties. The general consensus is over October and November, however some turkey hunting can be done over March and May. Take a closer look here.

  • Florida

Florida, interestingly enough, only allow youth to hunt turkey and their season for this is dependent on three counties, ranging from February month and March month. Here are the specifics.

  • Washington DC

In Washington, they have also divided the seasons for youth hunting up into the species of animals. Deer, or specific white-tailed deer is over October and November. Pheasant is limited to Eastern and Western Washington and over two days in September, with Eastern allowing hunting of Quail, Northern Bobwhite and Partridge too. More details can be found on this website.

  • New Hampshire

New Hampshire is great for youth hunting, boasting an entire weekend over the end of April and beginning of May. This specifically for turkey hunting, which is a great way for youth to start hunting. Should you want to take a chance on some deer, New Hampshire offers a deer hunting youth weekend over October too. Here is more info.

So, you can see there is much to adhere to and think about when it comes to youth hunting season, however, to keep the sport alive and growing over the future years, one needs to cater to the youth. They are, after all, the future of hunting

About the author

    Brandon Cox

    I'm Brandon, and with a passion and love for all things hunting, I have invested much time and money bringing myself up to speed with the latest and best hunting Intel. Through my hunting website, I want to share and excite all on the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

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