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Special Youth and Veterans/Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days FAQs

 

The following FAQs pertain to Special Youth and Veterans/Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days:

  1. Who can participate in Youth Days?

  2. Do Youth Day participants need a federal and state duck stamps and HIP certification?

  3. Who can serve as a mentor during Youth Days?

  4. Who is eligible to participate in Veterans and Active Military (VAM) Days?

  5. Do Vets/Military need a federal and state duck stamps and HIP certification?

  6. On the "Joint" Youth and VAM Day (February 6, 2021), are Youths required to hunt with VAM, and vice-versa, in order to participate?

  7. Who has authority to set these special seasons?

  8. When did these seasons start and how many special days can states have?

  9. What is the purpose of these special waterfowl hunting opportunities?

10. How are these special days chosen each year in New Jersey?

11. What was the logic in setting the 2020-21 special waterfowl days in New Jersey?

12. Are active military, National Guard or disabled veterans eligible for any special hunting licensing privileges in New Jersey?

1. Who can participate in Youth Days?
Individuals who have a valid Youth Hunting License or are less than 16 years of age on the season date and qualified to hunt without a license under the farmer license exemption.

2. Do Youth Day participants need a federal and state duck stamps and HIP certification?
Youth hunters 16 years of age and older must possess Federal and NJ Waterfowl Stamps. Participants should also be HIP certified.

3. Who can serve as a mentor during Youth Days?
Youth hunters must be under the direct supervision of a non-hunting adult 21 years or older who has a hunting license. Mentors cannot hunt ducks on these days.

4. Who is eligible to participate in Veterans and Active Military (VAM) Days?
Veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training), may participate.

Active Military: Members of Armed Forces on active duty, including National Guard and Reserves (other than active duty for training).

Veteran: Those who served in the active military and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

Qualifying credentials for participation could be either:
1. Active military identification card
2. Copy of honorable discharge certificate DD-214

5. Do Vets/Military need the federal duck stamp, state waterfowl stamp and HIP certification?
Yes.

6. On the "Joint" Youth and VAM Day (February 6, 2021), are Youths required to hunt with VAM, and vice-versa, in order to participate?
No. On this day, Youths and VAM can hunt either together, or independently.

7. Who has authority to set these special seasons?
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has the authority to set annual migratory bird seasons under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Flyway Councils provide input to the Service when setting annual migratory bird regulations. States can select these dates within federal guidelines.

8. When did these seasons start and how many special days can states have?
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days began in 1997. The Service allows states to hold Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days on non-school days when youths have an opportunity to participate. VAM were first offered in 2019. States can choose up to two Youth and two VAM days in each zone. At the discretion of the state, VAM days can be the same or different than Youth Days.

9. What is the purpose of these special waterfowl hunting opportunities?
Youth Days are held when duck seasons are closed to the general waterfowl hunting public. The objective of Youth Days is to introduce young hunters to the concepts of ethical use and stewardship of waterfowl, encourage youngsters and adults to experience the outdoors together, and to contribute to the long-term conservation of the migratory bird resource. Youth Days are a unique educational opportunity, above and beyond the regular season, which helps ensure high-quality learning experiences for youth interested in hunting. The Service allows states to choose special hunting days for Veterans and Active Military personnel to recognize their service to our country.

10. How are these special days chosen each year in New Jersey?
Division staff annually meets with the NJ Migratory Bird Season Setting Committee to recommend migratory bird season dates. This Committee has six representatives appointed by the NJ State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. After thorough discussion, recommended season dates are presented to the Fish and Game Council which has the authority to select the final season dates within federal guidelines.

11. What was the logic in setting the 2020-21 special waterfowl days in New Jersey?
"Front-loaded" dates, or hunting season dates that occur before the opening day, are highly desired for special waterfowl days. Ducks are generally abundant at this time and are still na´ve to hunting pressure. However, several states have reported reduced waterfowl abundance and a diminished hunting experience during "standard" opening days (e.g. when all can hunt), and some of the blame is sometimes placed on the pressure that comes with front-loaded Youth Days. Given these concerns, the Fish and Game Council (Council) reserved the front-loaded special days to Youths Only. Each of New Jersey's three waterfowl zones has one front-loaded Youth Day.

Council chose one "Joint" Youth and VAM day on the first Saturday in February. This will allow VAM personnel to share a unique hunting experience with a youth family member, relative, or friend. However, Youths or VAM can hunt either together, or independently.

Finally, Council chose one VAM only day on the second Saturday in February.

In an effort to simplify regulations, both the Joint Youth and VAM day and the VAM Day only, are being held statewide.

12. Are active military, National Guard or disabled veterans eligible for any special hunting licensing privileges in New Jersey?
Yes, additional information below:

Licenses for Active Duty Service Personnel
Any person on active duty in the armed services of the United States, whether a state resident or non-resident, is entitled to hunt with a resident license. Service personnel may obtain a resident hunting license upon presenting proof of active duty to a license agent. A previous resident license (from this or any other state) of the appropriate type or proof of successfully completing the appropriate hunter education course is still required to obtain a hunting license.

Licenses for NJ National Guard Members
Eligible active NJ National Guard personnel are entitled to free licenses, permits and stamps. Contact MSG (Ret.) Robert Greco via e-mail at Robert.Greco@dmava.nj.gov or at NJ Department of Military/Veteran Affairs, 101 Eggert Crossing Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Call 609-530-6866 for more information.

NJ Disabled Veteran License Information

NJ Migratory Bird Information

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Last Updated: August 10, 2020