Wisconsin Youth Gun Deer Hunt
Youths ages 12 through 15 who plan to hunt in a special statewide youth gun deer hunt on Oct. 7 and 8 will not have to shoot an antlerless deer first in Earn-a-Buck deer management units in order to shoot an antlered deer.
Department of Natural Resources officials say the 2006 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations contain what might be confusing hunting rules for youths participating in the hunt.
"This hunt is all about introducing youth to Wisconsin's deer hunting heritage," said Randy Stark, chief DNR warden. "We don't want complexity and confusion -- we want kids and their mentors to have fun and memorable experience."
For the past several years the youth gun deer hunt was a one-day statewide antlerless only hunt for youth ages 12 through 15. This year the season has been moved ahead two weeks, is two days instead of one, and will allow the youth participants to shoot one buck deer and additional antlerless deer.
"We want to clarify that Earn-a-Buck rules will not apply for youth participating in the special statewide youth gun deer hunt," said DNR conservation warden Tom Van Haren. "If they wish, youths hunting deer with a gun may shoot the first deer they see in any deer management unit, except state park and non-quota units, anywhere in the state on those two days. They do not have to shoot an antlerless deer first in EAB units on these days if hunting with a firearm."
However, Van Haren also points out that youth participants do not receive an additional buck tag for this hunt. If they shoot a buck during this hunt, it must be tagged with their gun buck deer carcass tag, so they would only be able to hunt for antlerless deer during the regular nine-day deer season Nov. 18-26.
It is important to note, Van Haren added, that this clarification applies only to gun deer hunting as this special youth hunt and the rules that go with it are for gun deer hunting only. Like all other bow hunters hunting deer with a bow on these two days, youth bow hunters must also observe EAB rules in EAB designated deer management units.
A second clarification concerns CWD units. The buck bag limit in CWD units for youth gun deer hunters is the same as any other deer management unit in the state during the special youth gun hunt. Each youth gun deer hunter is allowed to take only one buck deer with a firearm during this two-day hunt and must tag it with their buck gun deer carcass tag. They may harvest as many antlerless deer as they have valid tags for. This differs from other gun deer seasons in the CWD units, which have unlimited either sex hunting and hunters can shoot more then one buck.
As before, this clarification applies only to gun deer hunting during this special two-day hunt. Youths hunting deer with a bow on these two days may take advantage of the unlimited either sex rules that otherwise apply in CWD zones.
As in past youth hunts, each youth must have first passed a hunter education course and possess a gun deer hunting license in order to participate in this special hunt. In addition, regardless of their age or hunter education certification, the youth must also be accompanied by an adult.
"It is important that parents or guardians understand this requirement as it is more restrictive than the rules that apply during the archery or other gun deer seasons," Van Haren said. Additionally, an adult may not accompany more than two youth gun deer hunters during the special youth hunt.
Blaze orange clothing requirement applies to all hunters during youth gun deer hunt.
"All hunters are reminded that blaze orange clothing requirements apply to all hunting except for waterfowl hunting on these two days, not just to the youth gun deer hunters," Van Haren said. Waterfowl hunters are also encouraged to wear some blaze orange when moving to and from their hunting locations or blinds.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Van Haren - (608) 266-3244