New Hampshire Youth Hunt Weekend for Deer Set for October 25-26, 2008

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Successful Youth Deer Hunt: "This is Patrick Higginbottom from Weare, NH.  This was his first kill on Oct. 27 on Youth Weekend.  He is so proud! This is a 120 lb. 6 pointer.  Patrick was dedicated enough to hunt in the rain! Boy did it pay off!!!" --Greg Higginbottom CONCORD, N.H. — Young deer hunters will have their own opportunity for success on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, 2008, when New Hampshire’s youth deer hunt is held.  This weekend gives young people statewide the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so that they can devote all of their time and attention to coaching their young companions.

Prospects for this year’s youth season are good, according to Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.  Gustafson notes that while the winter of 2007-08 was more severe than in recent years, New Hampshire’s deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities and memorable experiences.   In 2007, young hunters took 642 deer during the youth weekend, just slightly below the record 668 deer taken in 2006.

“The weekend is a chance to introduce young people, under the careful guidance of an experienced adult, to deer hunting,” said Gustafson.  “You can build bonds for a lifetime while tracking a whitetail 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.”

New this year, non-resident youth hunters may participate in the New Hampshire Youth Deer Hunt Weekend only if New Hampshire youth may hunt in their state if it holds a special youth deer hunt. Currently, Vermont youths may not participate in this fall’s New Hampshire youth deer hunt weekend because of residency restrictions on Vermont’s youth hunt.  These restrictions do not apply during the regular seasons for deer.

Gustafson notes that hunting can help youngsters learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and gain an appreciation for the wildlife and wild places of New Hampshire. 

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 hunting license and do not have to complete a hunter education requirement.
  • Both resident and nonresident youth may take part, but for nonresidents, their home state must allow N.H. youth to participate in their special youth deer hunt.
  • Youths must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older, 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 2008-2009 N.H. Hunting Digest, available from Fish and Game license agents statewide or on the Fish and Game website at Download the whole publication or just the tag.
  • Youths and accompanying adults must comply with all Fish and Game laws relative to hunting deer.

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 turkey in the spring.

For more details on hunting in New Hampshire, and online hunting license sales, visit

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  Visit