A special four-day deer hunting season, exclusively for youth ages 10-17, will begin on October 17 across the state of Minnesota.

According to the Minnesota DNR,  all youth must have a deer license to participate. An adult parent, guardian, or mentor must accompany youth ages 10-13. All youth hunters and mentors must follow blaze orange/pink clothing requirements. Adults may not hunt, unless they are in an area open during the early antlerless season.

Youth deer hunting seasons have taken place in select areas in Minnesota since 2004, but this marks the first year that it will be available across the state.  The season runs October 17 through October 20, which coincides with statewide teacher workshops, so many Minnesota students don’t have school during the youth season’s first two days.

Here are more details, which should hopefully help answer questions:

  • Youth ages 10-17 may take one either-sex deer by firearms statewide, including in the Whitewater State Game Refuge.
  • Deer permit area 287 (Itasca State Park) is not open for the youth deer season.
  • Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit.
  • An adult parent/guardian/mentor 18 or older must accompany youth ages 10-13 at all times during the hunt. The adult does not need to be licensed.
  • Blaze orange/pink requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open during this season.
  • The accompanying adult cannot hunt and party hunting is not allowed (youth must tag their own deer), except during the early antlerless season with the correct license.
  • Youth 12 years of age and older must have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation.
  • Participating youth must possess a valid firearm deer license. Youth age 10, 11 and 12 must possess a free license.
  • The bag limit is one deer only. Youth may use their regular license or a bonus permit if they take an antlerless deer, except in “bucks only” deer permit areas.
  • Bucks must be tagged with the youth’s regular license.
  • Participation does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season; however, the harvested deer counts against the youth’s annual statewide bag limit.
  • Deer permit area designations for the youth season are the same as for the regular firearms deer season. For example, a deer permit area designated as hunter choice during firearms season is hunter choice during the youth season.