Youth, ages 10-15, can participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 23, in 27 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities metro permit area 601, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
“Youth can hunt with adult mentors during youth deer season,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “The season is a way to focus on young hunters so they have good experiences and learn valuable skills. You might be showing youth how to hunt now, but as their interest in the outdoors grows, pretty soon they might be teaching you a lesson or two.”
Deer permit areas open to the hunt are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349 and 601. Blaze orange requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open for the youth deer season.
Youth must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase a license and use the appropriate firearm for the permit area in which they are hunting. Youth may take a deer of either sex and may only take one deer during the youth season.
An adult mentor must accompany the youth but may not hunt or carry a firearm and does not need a license. However, in certain portions of permit areas 346 and 349 in Winona, Houston and Fillmore counties, the adult can participate in the early antlerless hunt while being a mentor if in possession of an early antlerless permit and a regular firearm license.
Public land is open, and private land is also open provided the hunters have landowner permission.
Participating in the youth deer season does not affect eligibility of youth to participate in the regular firearms deer season but any deer harvested does count against the youth’s season bag limit.
More information can be found on page 34 of the 2016 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook under the heading Special Youth Deer Season and online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.