“Parents or other adult mentors go with youth to the fields and forests during these annual hunting opportunities,” said Mike Kurre, Department of Natural Resources mentoring coordinator. “Time spent outdoors together is important and continued adult support can shape youth into lifelong hunters.”
Youth can apply to hunt deer in select state parks and other refuge areas during 17 special deer hunts in October and November.
Youth have until Friday, Aug. 19, to apply for the hunts. Of the 17 special hunts, 15 are firearms hunts for youth ages 12 to 15, and two are archery hunts for youth ages 12 to 17.
A limited number of either-sex permits are available for each hunt. However, the hunt in Buffalo River State Park and Camden State Park are for antlerless deer, and in the Lake Shetek State Park hunt youth need to harvest an antlerless deer before getting a permit to harvest a buck.
Participation in other deer hunting seasons remains an option for youth who take part in the special youth deer hunts, but any deer harvested count against the youth’s season bag limit. An adult parent, guardian or mentor must accompany the youth at all times while hunting, but only the youth may hunt. Both youth and mentor must attend a mandatory pre-hunt orientation clinic.
The two archery hunts are for youth, ages 12 to 17.
Camp Ripley, 175 permits, hunt is Oct. 8-9, clinic is Oct. 7-8.
Lake Alexander Preserve, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 8-9, clinic is Oct. 7.
The 15 firearms hunts are for youth, ages 12 to 15.
Afton State Park, 25 permits, hunt is Nov. 5-6, clinic is Oct. 15.
Banning State Park, six permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct 28.
Blue Mounds State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Nov. 19-20, clinic is Nov. 18.
Buffalo River State Park, 14 permits, hunt is Nov. 5-6, clinic is Nov. 4.
Camden State Park, 15 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
Itasca State Park, 75 permits, hunt is Oct. 15-16, clinic is Oct. 8 or Oct. 14.
Kilen Woods State Park, six permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, clinic is Oct. 21.
Lake Bemidji State Park, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 21-23, clinic is Oct. 20.
Lake Shetek State Park, 12 permits, hunt is Nov. 19-20, clinic is Nov. 18.
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, 15 permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, clinic is Oct. 21.
St. Croix State Park, 90 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 22 or Oct. 28.
Savanna Portage State Park, 25 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
Sibley State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30 clinic is Oct. 28.
Tettegouche State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
Zippel Bay State Park, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, park will mail clinic information.
In addition to the 17 application-only hunts in state parks and refuge areas, any youth ages 10 to 15 also can participate in the youth deer season that runs Oct. 20-23, in 27 permit areas that encompass portions of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota and portions of the Twin Cities metro area.
If the number of applications exceeds the number of permits, the DNR will randomly draw names to choose participants. Youth may apply for one archery hunt and one firearms hunt. Successful applicants also must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase appropriate licenses and follow hunting regulations.