Youth Deer Hunting Day, Oct. 1

Kids day in the woods

huntingwithkidscroppedAny avid outdoorsman knows the importance of deer hunting to control the population and help preserve a healthy heard. The problem is that the we have an aging population of hunters. National Shooting Sports Foundation claims that for every 100 hunters lost to dropping out due to age only 69 young hunters are taking their place. It is up to us to share our knowledge and love of the sport with our kids so that they may continue the practice. There are few ways to better bond with your kids then sharing with them the love of the outdoors and safe participation is shooting sports. Teaching them the safe techniques of tracking and hunting deer on Cape Cod is crucial to the health of our deer population.

In an effort to promote this, MassWildlife is once again holding a Youth Deer Hunt this Saturday, October 1st. Here is more information from them.

MA Youth Deer Hunt Day*

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) created the Youth Deer Hunt Day to provide young people an opportunity to hunt deer with their own permit during a special one-day season that precedes the Commonwealth’s annual deer hunting seasons (paraplegic, archery, shotgun, and primitive arms). Youth Deer Permits are available only at MassWildlife offices and sporting license vendors; permits are not available online. All who participate are reminded that shotgun deer season regulations apply during  the Youth Deer Hunt. In addition, licensed hunters who hunt squirrels, raccoon, opossum, certain migratory game birds, and crows on this date must follow special restrictions.*

Season Date: October 1, 2016

License/Permit Requirements:

  • 12-14 years old: No hunting license is required but the youth must be accompanied by a duly licensed adult. (One adult per youth hunter.) Youth Deer Permit is required. This applies to both resident and non-resident youth hunters.
  • 15-17 years old: Massachusetts minor hunting license is required, Youth Deer Permit is required. Non-resident youths must possess a valid Massachusetts non-resident Big Game License and Youth Deer Permit.

Youth Deer Permits are FREE, but can only be obtained at a license vendor or MassWildlife office. Youth Deer Permits are not available online. The Youth Deer Hunt Permit with its accompanying tag is valid only for the day of the Youth Deer Hunt and cannot be used during any other deer hunting seasons.

Hunting Implements: Shotgun, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow may be used.  When a minor is accompanied by an adult, only one hunting implement between them is permitted. Accompanying adults may not use any hunting implements.

 buckBag Limit: One (1) deer of either sex.  The Youth Deer Permit allows the taking of either one antlered deer statewide OR one antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Zone (s) specified on the Permit. For 2016, one deer of either sex can be taken statewide.  NOTE: Any deer taken during the youth hunt are not considered part of the state wide season bag limit.

Blaze Orange: All youth hunters and any accompanying adults must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back, and head.

Harvest Reporting: Successful youth hunters must immediately fill out and detach the tag from the Youth Hunt Deer Permit and attach tag to deer prior to moving it in the field.  Do not fill out or use any other deer tags. Deer harvest must be reported online within 48 hours through the MassFishHunt system ( or at a traditional game checkstation.


If you do head out in the field for Youth Deer Hunt Day, share your photos with us at using #MAYouthDeerDay



A few other game species may be hunted during the Youth Deer Hunt Date (October 1, 2016). Hunters must follow additional restrictions and requirements when hunting other game on this date:

  • Rifles and handguns: Rifles and handguns are prohibited for hunting any game. (Includes gray squirrel, raccoon, opossum, and crow.)
  • Use of dogs: Dogs may not be used for hunting any game on this date except for waterfowl hunting (ducks and geese) on coastal waters and salt marshes.
  • Blaze orange: All hunters must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back, and head on this date. Waterfowl hunters are required to wear blaze orange in transit to and from their blind or boat. Orange may be removed once the waterfowler is in a blind or boat.