The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to remind all participants of this weekend’s popular youth hunt for deer to review and to know the safety rules of this annual event.

The youth hunt held Oct. 5-6 is only open to persons 15 years and younger who have a gun deer license to hunt with a gun or other legal weapon before 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.

Be Sure to Participate in the Official First Deer Program

As in previous years, those new to hunting can celebrate their first harvest with the official first deer or first hunt certificate.

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Follow the instructions on the page to upload a photo of your first deer and describe the experience. For more information, and to create a first deer certificate, search keywords “first deer certificate.”

“Many youths are busy with school work and extracurriculars,” said Chief Warden Todd Schaller. “The youth hunt was designed to provide an additional opportunity outside the traditional deer seasons. It’s an opportunity to spend time outdoors observing nature, spend time with family and friends, and to slow down and breathe, yes and, hopefully, harvest a deer.”

Know the Rules

  • Youth hunters may hunt in all Deer Management Units except state park and non-quota units.
  • A gun deer hunting license is required if hunting with a firearm.
  • The bag limit is one buck per gun buck deer harvest authorization, plus one additional antlerless deer per antlerless deer harvest authorization valid for the Deer Management Unit the youth hunter will be hunting.
  • Youth hunters who possess an archer or crossbow license may continue to hunt with a bow or crossbow during the archery/crossbow season, which runs concurrently with the youth gun deer hunt. All other hunting regulations apply.

Here are more highlights of the rules:

  • Blaze orange is required for all hunters statewide, except for waterfowl hunters. The blaze orange requirement includes archery hunters and small game hunters
  • Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult guardian – even if the youth is 14 or 15 years old and has a hunter education certificate.
  • One adult may not accompany more than two youths at the same time. Accompany means within visual and voice contact without the aid of any amplifying device – other than a hearing aid.
  • Hunting mentorship rules apply to all youths who are age 11 and younger – as well as to any youth who have not completed a hunter education certification.
    Learn more about youth hunts on the DNR website, where hunters can also review regulations.
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