October 19, 2016

IFW News - - Youth Deer Hunting Day is Saturday, October 22

AUGUSTA, Maine -- On Saturday, October 22, young hunters across the state get their own day to hunt deer. “Hunting is a wonderful way to learn about conservation, responsibility, patience and respect for our vast natural resources,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, “And youth deer hunting day gives all hunters an opportunity to share that with a young hunter.”

The number of junior hunting licenses and lifetime hunting licenses to those under 16 has increased over the last ten years, going from 21,395 in 2006 to 24,332 in 2015.

This growing segment of hunters mirrors the overall trends that have seen the number of hunting licenses increase for five straight years. Hunting continues to be an economic catalyst in much of Maine, supporting over 3,400 jobs with an economic output of over $338 million.

On youth deer day, youth hunters who possess a junior hunting license can hunt deer on this day if they are under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian or a qualified adult. Any person who accompanies a junior hunter must hold or have held a valid hunting license or have successfully completed a hunter safety course. A qualified adult is a person at least 18 years of age approved by that youth hunter’s parent or guardian, and this person must hold or have held a valid Maine hunting license or have successfully completed a hunter safety course. The accompanying adult cannot possess a firearm.

The junior hunter on this day can take one deer of either sex in a Wildlife Management District where Any Deer permits were issued. In WMDs where there are no Any Deer permits issued, junior hunters may only take an antlered deer. All laws pertaining to hunting during the open firearms season on deer apply on the youth deer day.

The department uses the Any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

Any hunter under the age of 16 may purchase a junior hunting license. Junior hunters must be under the supervision of an adult while hunting. Hunters from 10–15 years of age must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, an adult supervisor. Hunters under the age of 10 must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, an adult supervisor who remains at all times within 20 feet of the hunter.

Hunters can also transfer their Any Deer permits or Bonus Deer permit to a junior hunter, or any other hunter. Certain restrictions apply, including that a resident permit may only be transferred to another resident, and a nonresident permit may only be transferred to another nonresident. This transfer can be done online until 11:59 p.m. October 30, 2015.

For more information on how to swap or transfer your permit, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/anydeer/#swap.

If you plan to take a young hunter out on youth deer day, remember, preseason scouting can be critical in the success of any hunt, and scouting should include seeking landowner permission on the land you want to hunt. Asking for permission only takes a minute, and the time that it takes benefits both you and the future of hunting.

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