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Youth deer hunt is October 7-8; blaze orange required for safety

Published by Central Office September 19, 2017

Contact(s): Keith Warnke, DNR hunting and shooting sports coordinator, 608-576-5243

MADISON -- Youth hunters and those interested in mentoring young hunters are reminded this year's youth deer hunt is October 7 - 8, and please remember to wear blaze orange.

The youth hunt is an opportunity for boys and girls, ages 10-15, to hunt with a gun or other legal weapon prior to the regular firearm seasons. The youth hunt is open to all residents and non-resident youth hunters with a gun-deer license and appropriate tags.

Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sports coordinator for the Wis. Department of Natural Resources, says the weekend is ideal for families and friends. "The memories made last a lifetime and sharing with our children is rewarding. I know that from personal experiences with my own daughters."

Please note: Junior Antlerless Deer carcass tag is valid in all counties this year. Also, all hunters are required to wear blaze orange during the Youth Deer Hunt.

All youth hunters must be accompanied by a mentor 18 years of age or older. Youth ages 12-15 with a hunter education certificate may hunt within visual and voice range of a mentor.

Hunters ages 10 and 11, as well as those ages 12-15 who have not completed hunter education, may gain hunting experience under the Hunting Mentorship Program. This program requires youth to hunt within arm's reach of a qualified mentor who has completed hunter education and holds a current hunting license.

Only one weapon may be possessed jointly between youth and mentor. Mentors may not hunt using a firearm during the youth deer hunt weekend, must be within arm reach and must possess a valid Wisconsin hunting license for the current hunting season. License type does not matter, unless the mentor will be hunting other game.

Download the complete rules for mentored hunting [PDF].

Hunters of all ages are reminded to follow the four rules of firearm safety:

First-time hunters and those that have not purchased a license in at least 10 years are eligible for a discounted first-time buyer license. Visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "license" for more information.

As in previous years, those new to hunting can celebrate their first harvest with the official first deer or first hunt certificate. Simply follow the instructions on the page to upload a photo of your first deer and describe your experience. For more information, and to create your own first deer certificate, search keywords "first deer certificate."

To learn more about youth hunting and general deer season regulations, search keywords "youth hunt" and "deer" respectively.

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773