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Youth Hunts: Guidelines and Requirements

Encouraging the Tradition of Hunting

Engaging youth in hunting is crucial for keeping the tradition alive. Sharing the passion for the outdoors with young enthusiasts plays a significant role in this endeavor.

Young Sportsman Hunts: Eligibility and Regulations

  • Age Group: Youth aged 6–16 are eligible to participate in Young Sportsman Hunts, with the exception of elk hunts (see elk hunting section for details).
  • Accompaniment by Adults:
    • Each young sportsman must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, aged 21 or older.
    • The adult is required to stay in a position to immediately control the hunting device.
    • During deer and bear hunts, the accompanying adult must comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters.
    • A single non-hunting adult can accompany multiple youths.

Licensing and Education Requirements Based on Age Groups

  • Ages 6–9:
    • No license or hunter’s education certification required.
  • Ages 10–12:
    • Must meet hunter education requirements or possess an Apprentice Hunter Education Permit.
  • Ages 13–15:
    • Required to have a valid hunting license.
    • If hunting waterfowl, a Migratory Bird Permit is necessary.
  • Age 16:
    • In addition to the above, youth aged 16 must have the appropriate supplemental license (Waterfowl, Gun, Archery, or Muzzleloader).
    • If hunting waterfowl, a Federal Duck Stamp is required.

WMA Permit Requirements

  • General Rule: Everyone hunting on a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) must have a WMA permit.
  • Exceptions:
    • Sportsman License holders.
    • Youths under 16 hunting small game and waterfowl when accompanied by an adult with a valid WMA permit.

Deer Hunting Season

  • Dates: October 28–29, 2023, and January 13–14, 2024.
  • Antlered Deer Limits:
    • Units A, B, C, D, and L: Limit of 2 antlered deer.
    • Unit CWD: Limit of 3 antlered deer, no more than 1 per day (counts towards the statewide limit).
  • Antlerless Deer Bag Limits:
    • Units A, B, C, D: Limit of 2 antlerless deer.
    • Units L, CWD: Limit of 3 antlerless deer per day.

Bear Hunting Season

  • Dates: October 28–29, 2023.
  • Bag Limit: Limit of 1 bear per year, either sex.
  • Hunting Zones: Only in Bear Hunting Zones 1, 2, and 3.
  • Restrictions: No dogs allowed during the bear hunt.

Waterfowl Hunts

  • Dates: February 3 and 10, 2024.
  • Bag Limits: Same as the regular season daily bag limits.
  • Youth Hunts:
    • Adults and other persons accompanying youths are not permitted to hunt during these youth waterfowl hunts.
    • Geese, coot, gallinules, moorhens, and ducks may be taken by youth.
    • WMAs with special closing times are open all day for the Young Sportsman Waterfowl Hunts.

Spring Turkey Hunt

  • Dates: April 6–7, 2024.
  • Bag Limit: One bearded turkey per day, which counts toward the statewide bag limit.
  • Restrictions: Only one turkey can be a jake (young male turkey).

Wildlife Management Area Youth Hunts

  • Availability: Various TWRA Wildlife Management Areas offer young sportsman hunts.
  • Species: These hunts include a range of wildlife species such as deer, turkeys, and doves.
  • Further Information: For detailed information on these special hunts, check the WMA listings located in the back of the guide.
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Disclaimer:

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.