Take a Kid Hunting Program
2017-2018 Youth Hunts - All dates are Saturdays (except Youth Pheasant November 6-10)
Deer Bow Hunt: September 23, 2017
Pheasant Hunt: November 4, and Monday-Friday, November 6-10, 2017
Upland Game Bird Hunt: November 4, 2017
2018-19 Waterfowl Hunts:
Oct. 6 & Feb. 2, North Zone
Oct. 13 & Feb. 2, South Zone
Nov. 3 & Feb. 9, Coastal Zone
Deer Firearm Hunt: November 18, 2017
Turkey Hunt: April 21, 2018
Turkey - One day held prior to the opening
of the regular spring season.
The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s popular Take a Kid
Hunting Program is designed to provide a quality hunting
experience for properly licensed youth hunters. These days,
first added to the Game Code by the Fish
and Game Council for the 2001-2002 season, increase a young
hunter's opportunity for harvesting game in a setting which
encourages responsible and safe hunting practices in a more
relaxed setting. The program is coordinated by the division's
Hunter Education Unit.
The primary component of the program is a series of "youth
hunts" - special days, often outside regular hunting seasons
on days provided in the Game Code. Hunts often utilize the expertise
of "mentors" to further enhance the hunting experience.
There are typically five (5) youth hunting events: turkey,
pheasant, upland birds, deer and waterfowl as described below.
All hunts require the hunter possess a valid Youth
License and be under the direct supervision of a properly
licensed, non-hunting adult 21 years of age or older.
Youth Turkey Hunting Day is a great
opportunity for the next generation of hunters.
Pheasant - Prior to 2017, held the Saturday prior to the opening
of the regular season. In 2018 the "Youth Season" has been extended to include the Monday through Fridy prior to the regular season opening dates. The Take a Kid Pheasant Hunting program provides opportunities for young hunters to learn and experience pheasant hunting using trained bird dogs under the supervision and guidance of knowledgeable volunteer hunting mentors. Youth hunters can participate in a guided hunt on one of eight Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state that are stocked with pheasants reared at the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Rockport Pheasant Farm.
Pre-registration is required for guided hunts (application form available in September). Youth hunters between the ages of 10
and 15 who do not pre-register for a guided hunt can hunt during special
hours on any one of nine stocked WMAs. Support is provided by the
Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.
Upland Bird - One day held prior to the opening
of the regular season on licensed semi-wild preserves.
Waterfowl - Days are held outside
of the regular waterfowl seasons during periods of higher waterfowl abundance
to enhance the hunting experience for youths and their mentors. Youth hunters can also take advantage of the special Wading River Youth Waterfowl Blinds and Mentoring Program.
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- Two days (bow and firearm)
held prior to statewide opening days. These hunts are extensions
of the Fall Bow and Six-day Firearm seasons so no special permit
is required. Antler point and "antlerless deer first" requirements do NOT apply on these days. Youth hunters may still harvest two antlered deer during the regular Six-day Firearm Season and one antlered deer during the Fall Bow Season.
More complete information on each season is found in the Hunting and Trapping Digest.
For more information, or if interested in being a mentor or
a trained dog handler, call the Hunter
Education Unit at 856-629-0552.