Youth Hunting Regulations

Youth Hunting Licenses

  • Types: Available for firearms deer, archery deer, muzzleloader deer, and small game.
  • Eligibility: Residents and nonresidents under age 18.
  • Cost: Free or reduced price, though an issuing fee applies even for free licenses.

Youth Deer License Privileges and Restrictions


  • Either Sex: Youth under 18 may take deer of either sex in antlerless deer lottery permit areas without needing an antlerless permit.
  • Seasons: Youth firearms license is valid during Youth Deer Season and Statewide (A) and Late Southeast (B) seasons, excluding Muzzleloader Season.


  • Antlerless Deer: Youth may not tag antlerless deer or legal bucks taken by another individual.
  • Bucks-Only Areas: Antlerless deer cannot be taken in bucks-only areas.

Youth Firearms License Requirements

Big Game:

  • Ages 9 and Younger: Not allowed to hunt.
  • Ages 10 and 11: Must have a free license and be within immediate reach of a licensed parent or guardian.
  • Ages 12 and 13: Require a free or reduced-price license and must be accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian.
  • Ages 14-17: May hunt on their own with a reduced price youth license.

Small Game:

  • Ages 13 and Under: May hunt without a license but must be accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian.
  • Ages 14 and 15: Can hunt on their own without a license.
  • Ages 16 and 17: Require a reduced price youth small game license. Stamps might be required for certain seasons.

Wild Turkey:

  • Ages 12 and Under: Need a reduced price youth license and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Ages 13-17: Various rules apply based on exact age, generally requiring reduced price licenses and, in some cases, parental accompaniment.


  • Ages 4 and Under: Certain animals must be included in the accompanying parent's limit.
  • Ages 12 and Under: May trap without a license.
  • Ages 13-17: Require reduced price youth license and must complete trapper education.

Youth Firearms Safety Training Requirements

  • Availability and Demand: Classes are in high demand; information is available online.
  • Age Specifics: Requirements vary by age, with some requiring certificates for big game and turkey, while others are required for all hunting types.
  • Apprentice Validation: Available as an alternative to the firearm safety certificate for certain age groups.

Participation Rules

  • Adult Accompaniment: Youth ages 10 to 13 must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older). The adult need not be licensed and is typically not allowed to hunt, with some exceptions in certain areas.
  • Party Hunting Prohibition: Youth must tag their own deer. Party hunting is not allowed.
  • Regular Season Eligibility: Participation in the youth season does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season, but deer harvested during the youth season count toward the youth's annual statewide bag limit.

Licensing and Equipment

  • License Requirement: A valid firearm deer license is required. Youth aged 10, 11, and 12 must possess a free license, while youth aged 12 and older also need a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation.
  • Crossbow Usage: Permitted for youth possessing a youth firearms license during the youth deer season.
  • Early Antlerless License: Not required for participation.

Safety and Bag Limits

  • Blaze Orange/Pink: Required for all hunters, trappers, and adult mentors.
  • Bag Limit: Generally, one deer of either sex, with exceptions in bucks-only areas and variations in areas with different bag limits. Deer harvested must be tagged with the youth's firearm license.
  • Bonus Permits: Not valid for legal bucks during the youth season. Youth must use their youth firearm license tag for antlerless deer in certain areas.

Special Area Regulations

  • 600 Series Areas: Youth may use disease management permits for antlerless deer under specific conditions.
  • Whitewater State Game Refuge: Open to youth during the season, but the surrounding area may have different regulations.
  • Itasca State Park: Closed to hunting during the youth deer season.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.