Youth deer season

Young boy sitting proudly next to a deer.

The youth firearms deer season will be conducted statewide from Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18. Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit. The following regulations apply.

Participation

  • Youth ages 10 to 17 may participate. Youth ages 10 to 13 must be accompanied by an adult parent/guardian/mentor 18 or older. The adult does not need to be licensed.
  • The accompanying adult cannot hunt in most areas and party hunting is not allowed (youth must tag their own deer). Adults may hunt in areas where the early antlerless season is open with the correct license.
  • Participation does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season; however, deer harvested during the youth season count toward the youth’s annual statewide bag limit.

Requirements

  • Participating youth must possess a valid firearm deer license. Youth age 10, 11, and 12 must possess a free license. Youth age 12 and older must also have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation.
  • An early antlerless deer license is not required for youth to participate in the youth deer season. Only youth who continue hunting in an area open for the early antlerless season after their youth license is filled need to possess an early antlerless license.
  • Blaze orange/pink requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors during this season.

Bag limit/bonus tags

  • The bag limit is one either sex deer, except where the early antlerless season is in effect. Youth may not take antlerless deer in permit areas designated bucks only.
  • Legal bucks must be tagged with the youth’s firearm license. Bonus tags are not valid for legal bucks. Party hunting is not allowed.
  • Deer permit area designations for the youth season are the same as the firearms season. A permit area designated hunter choice during the firearm season is hunter choice during the youth deer season.
  • Youth may use a bonus tag rather than their youth firearm license tag for antlerless deer in permit areas designated managed or intensive, or where the early antlerless season is in effect.
  • In disease management areas (600-series) youth may use a disease management permit in place of a bonus permit to tag antlerless deer.
  • Youth must use their youth firearm license tag if they take an antlerless deer in a permit area designated lottery or hunter choice. Bonus tags are not valid in these areas.
  • The youth season is open statewide.
  • The Whitewater State Game Refuge in Winona County is open only to youth participating in the Youth Deer Season. It is not open to early-antlerless season hunters.
  • Itasca State Park (Deer Permit Area 287) is closed during the Youth Deer Season.