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NJ Offers Four Youth Waterfowl Days

August 31, 2005

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is offering four waterfowl hunting days for young hunters this fall. Youth days will be held in each of the state’s three waterfowl zones – September 24 in the north zone; November 11 and 12 in the south zone; and October 29 in the coastal zone.

This special opportunity is provided to introduce young hunters to waterfowl hunting. New Jersey's three waterfowl zones are ecologically quite different, with unique patterns of waterfowl migration within each zone. This allows the Division of Fish and Wildlife to schedule youth days during periods of higher waterfowl abundance within each zone to enhance the hunting experience for youths and their mentors.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has allowed states to select their own youth waterfowl hunting days since 1997. States can select up to two consecutive days with a requirement that the dates be comprised of weekends or holidays when youngsters can participate. In addition, these special youth days are held outside of the regular duck season so youngsters can hunt in a more relaxed atmosphere.

This year, an extra day was added in the south zone to encompass the Veteran’s Day holiday. In addition, dabbling ducks should be abundant as well as Atlantic Population (migratory) Canada geese. For those hunting in the coastal zone, that youth day should coincide with the arrival of significant numbers of migrant ducks and Atlantic brant.

Young hunters with a valid youth license and accompanied by a properly licensed adult (aged 21 or older) may participate in as many youth hunting days as they wish. As such, mentors that are willing to travel could involve their youths in up to four different youth waterfowl hunting days in New Jersey.

During the youth days, daily bag limits for all species will be the same as their respective bag limit during the regular season. Specifically, duck bag limits will be 6 ducks and may not include more than 4 mallards (including no more than 2 hens), 4 scoters, 2 scaup, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 pintail, 1 canvasback, and 1 black duck. For Canada geese, youths will be able to take 3 birds in the South Zone and Coastal Zone. In the North Zone, youths may harvest 8 Canada geese, since the youth day occurs during the September Canada Goose Season. Youngsters will also be able to harvest 2 brant and 15 snow geese in each of the zones. Bag limits for coots, moorhens and gallinules will be the same as the bag limit allowed during the regular season. See the New Jersey 2005-06 Migratory Bird Regulations (pdf, 8kb) for details.

Mentors and young hunters should note that New Jersey’s Wildlife Management Area System currently consists of nearly 300,000 acres of public land open to hunting which can help them make the most of these multiple youth days. This tremendous volume of land includes wooded swamps, lakes and tidal marshes perfect for waterfowl hunting.

For more information on hunting opportunities in New Jersey as well as maps of wildlife management areas, visit

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2005
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 31, 2005