This year's hunt: October 10 & 11, 2009
The youth deer hunt was made possible through the Deer 2000 and Beyond Project. The hunt is designed to give youth hunters ages 10-15 an opportunity to hunt deer and gain valuable hunting experience at a time when other hunters are not authorized to hunt deer with a firearm. Starting in 2009, hunters 10-15 years of age, with or without hunter education certification, are eligible to participate in the youth gun deer hunt with a mentor (see below for details).
On the first morning of the 2008 Youth Hunt, 12 year old Nelson Kreciak of Butternut, WI, shot this 7 point buck on his family's property in rural Price County. His step-father, John Kelto, commented: "the deer dropped where it stood with one shot of his .308 at 70 yards. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited! With a great first experience like this, I'm sure that Nelson will be a hooked on deer hunting for a long time." Congratulations Nelson!
Youth Hunt Rules and Regulations:
- Youth hunters may hunt deer with a gun on October 10 & 11, 2009 in all deer management units, except state park units and deer management unit 48.
- The bag limit is one buck with their Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag plus additional antlerless deer per Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag valid for the DMU the youth is hunting.
- In Deer Management Units (DMU's) designated as CWD, youth hunters are exempt from the earn-a-buck requirements, but are only allowed to tag one buck and must use their one "Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag" during the October 10 & 11, 2009 youth gun deer hunt if a buck is tagged. This exemption only applies to the two day youth gun deer hunt. During all other deer hunting seasons, youth hunters are required to follow earn-a-buck requirements in DMUs designated as CWD.
- Allowable types of guns are those authorized on the first day of the regular 9-day, November gun deer season.
- One adult may not accompany more than 2 youth hunters. If one youth is under the “mentored hunter” rules, the adult may “accompany” no more than one other youth at the same time and only if the 2nd youth is at least 12-15 years of age and has completed hunter education (see rules below for details).
- All other hunting regulations apply. See the 2009 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations for more information.
- Hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. To “accompany” means the adult is within both visual and voice contact of the youth. The adult does not have to be a licensed hunter or a hunter education graduate to accompany 1 or 2 youth who are at least 12 years of age and have completed a hunter education course.
- Adults accompanying youth hunters may not “gun hunt” for deer during the youth hunt, but may possess a bow or gun and hunt for a game species that is open for them to hunt at that time.
An adult may not accompany more than two youth hunters during the youth gun deer hunt at any given time.
For all youth hunters 10-11 years of age, or youth hunters 12-15 years of age who do not possess a hunter education certificate, but possess a gun deer hunting license:
- Hunters must be “mentored” by an adult who is within arm’s reach at all times during the hunt.
- Qualified adult mentors must be at least 18 years of age and have the youth’s parent or guardian’s permission to mentor the youth hunter.
- Mentors must possess a valid hunting license for the current year (any type of game).
- If the mentor was born on or after 01/01/73, they must be a graduate of a hunter education course or have completed basic training with the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Qualified adult mentors may only mentor one youth hunter who is age 10 or 11, or who has not completed hunter education at any given time.
- Only one firearm may be possessed between the mentor and youth who is age 10 or 11, or who has not completed hunter education, if participating in the youth gun deer hunt.
Mentors are encouraged to go over the four basic rules of firearm safety with the youth prior to hunting:
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded;
- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;
- Be sure of your target and beyond; and
- Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
- Both resident and non-resident youth hunters are eligible to participate with a mentor.