Youth Deer Hunt Day

The Youth Deer Hunt day is the 4th Saturday following Labor Day. Learn more about this opportunity for young hunters.

2021 Youth Deer Hunt day is October 2.


MassWildlife created Youth Deer Hunt Day to allow young hunters to hunt deer with their own permit. The hunt occurs on a special one-day season before the state's annual deer hunting seasons. Shotgun deer season regulations apply during the hunt. Licensed hunters who hunt other animals on this date must follow special restrictions.

2021 Youth Deer Hunt Day harvest report: 874 young adults participated in the 2021 Youth Deer Hunt Day on October 2. The preliminary harvest report is 76 deer reported through the online MassFishHunt system. 

License and permit requirements

12–14 years old

  • Each child has to be with a licensed adult. Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted. The adult may not use a hunting implement.

  • A Youth Deer Permit is required, which you can get through MassFishHunt.

15–17 years old

  • Massachusetts residents:

    • Minor hunting license

    • Youth Deer Permit

  • Non-residents:

    • Massachusetts non-resident Big Game License

    • Youth Deer Permit

You can get your license at a license vendor. You can get a Youth Deer Permit at a vendor or online at MassFishHunt beginning August 1.

The Youth Deer Hunt Permit is valid only for the day of the Youth Deer Hunt. Hunters cannot use it during any other deer hunting seasons.

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Information about the hunt

Only one hunting implement is allowed.  Shotgun, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow may be used. If the minor is accompanied (12-14 year old hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult), the adult may not use a hunting implement.

The bag limit is one deer of either sex. The Youth Deer Permit allows either:

  • 1 antlered deer statewide
  • 1 antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Zone(s) specified on the permit (In 2021, an antlerless deer may be taken in any zone)

Any deer taken during the youth hunt are not considered part of the statewide season bag limit.

All youth hunters and any accompanying adults must wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back, and head.

Young hunters must fill out the tag from the Youth Deer Permit and attach it to the deer before moving it. Do not use any other deer tags. You must report deer harvest within 48 hours.

Share your Youth Deer Hunt Day photos with us using #MAYouthDeerDay.

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Hunting restrictions during the Youth Deer Hunt season

You can hunt other game species during the Youth Deer Hunt date. Hunters must follow extra requirements when hunting other game on this date.

  • No rifles or handguns.
  • No dogs except for hunting waterfowl on coastal waters and salt marshes.
  • All hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back, and head.
  • If hunting waterfowl, you must wear blaze orange on your way to and from your blind or boat. You can remove orange once you’re in a blind or boat.

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