Special Deer Season Planned for Youth

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages all young hunters age 12-16 to participate in the special youth firearm deer season scheduled statewide Sept. 25-26. Properly licensed youth may take a white-tailed deer with a firearm during this two-day hunt.

This is the fifth year for the youth-only hunt in Michigan. Last year, over 18,500 youngsters participated in the youth firearm deer season, harvesting more than 6,000 deer, about one percent of the total 2003 white-tailed deer harvest.

Youth-only hunts have been established across the U.S. in recent years in response to concerns about the declining national trend in hunter numbers. Such hunts are an opportunity to provide beginning hunters with training and mentoring, helping them develop interest, skills and firearm safety awareness.

"Mentoring is a vital component of the youth hunting program," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "This special weekend hunt provides mentors the opportunity to teach, share experiences, and help instill in our young people a respect for animals and their habitat."

Young hunters, age 12 and 13, are restricted to using archery equipment to participate in the weekend hunt. Hunters age 14 to 16 may use a firearm or archery equipment to take a deer. Both public and private lands are open to the youth firearm season.

All young hunters participating in this special hunt must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult does not need a deer hunting license and is prohibited from carrying a firearm or bow during the special youth firearm deer season. Hunters may not use bait during this season. All youth hunters are required to wear hunter orange.