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Take a Kid Hunting Program

Upcoming 2014 Youth Hunt
Turkey Hunting Day: April 19, 2014

The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s popular Take a Kid Hunting Program is designed to provide a quality hunting experience for properly licensed youth hunters. These days, first added to the Game Code by the Fish and Game Council for the 2001-2002 season, increase a young hunter's opportunity for harvesting game in a setting which encourages responsible and safe hunting practices in a more relaxed setting. The program is coordinated by the division's Hunter Education Unit.

The primary component of the program is a series of "youth hunts" - special days, often outside regular hunting seasons on days provided in the Game Code. Hunts often utilize the expertise of "mentors" to further enhance the hunting experience.

There are typically five (5) youth hunting events: turkey, pheasant, upland birds, deer and waterfowl as described below. All hunts require the hunter possess a valid Youth License and be under the direct supervision of a properly licensed, non-hunting adult 21 years of age or older.

Youth, mentor and turkey
Youth Turkey Hunting Day is a great opportunity for the next generation of hunters.
Click to enlarge
Turkey - One day held prior to the opening of the regular spring season.

Pheasant - One day held prior to the opening of the regular season. The Take a Kid Pheasant Hunting program provides opportunities for young hunters to learn and experience pheasant hunting using trained bird dogs under the supervision and guidance of knowledgeable volunteer hunting mentors. Youth hunters can participate in a guided hunt on one of eight Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state that are stocked with pheasants reared at the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Rockport Pheasant Farm.

Pre-registration is required for guided hunts (application form in the Hunting Digest. Youth hunters between the ages of 10 and 15 who do not pre-register for a guided hunt can hunt during special hours on any one of nine stocked WMAs. Support is provided by the State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. .

Upland Bird - One day held prior to the opening of the regular season on licensed semi-wild preserves.

Waterfowl - One or two days, depending on zone, held outside of the regular duck season during periods of higher waterfowl abundance to enhance the hunting experience for youths and their mentors. (NOTE: Open to youths 15 and under only.)
Happy and proud youth with first buck
Click to Enlarge
Deer - Two days (bow and firearm) held prior to statewide opening days. These hunts are extensions of the Fall Bow and Six-day Firearm seasons so no special permit is required and youth hunters may still harvest two antlered deer during the regular Six-day Firearm Season and one antlered deer during the Fall Bow Season.

More complete information on each season is found in the Hunting Issue of the Fish and Wildlife Digest.

For more information, or if interested in being a mentor or a trained dog handler, call the Hunter Education Unit at 856-629-0552.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 27, 2013