Youth deer gun season is Oct. 15-17, 2021. If you have a young hunter in your life, you won't want to miss it!
Many young hunters are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Oct. 15. That Friday will be opening day for the 2021 three-day youth deer gun season.
The timing of this season is often a benefit for youth hunters. Deer are still in summer feeding routines and are easy to pattern. And temperatures in October tend to be mild, which makes for a more comfortable hunt. Here’s 10 tips for accompanying adults for introducing young hunters to youth deer season:
- Hunters in the know … take a doe. Youth deer gun season hunters can harvest two deer, and both of those can be does. If the first two deer you see are does, we encourage you to fill the freezer with venison! However, if you head to the woods with three deer licenses – two antlerless and one antlered – you’ll be ready for any scenario. Just remember that the youth deer gun season limit of two deer may include no more than one antlered deer. Read more about the importance of antlerless harvest here.
- All deer taken during the youth deer gun season are included in the hunter’s combined season limit of six deer, but are not included as part of the hunter’s regular deer gun season limit of four deer. So, don't skip youth deer gun because of concerns about not being able to particpate later!
- Before going afield, help youths complete the Oklahoma hunter education course free online. Successful students 10 and older will receive hunter education certification, although it is not mandated for youth deer gun season participants.
- Practice scenarios with youths, such as shooting from a blind and shot placement.
- Use a ground blind when possible. Kids tend to move around a lot, and a blind can help conceal movement.
- Bring plenty of snack and drinks to keep kids happy.
- Pay attention to the weather forecast for the days afield. Make sure to bring gear and clothes that will keep the young hunters comfortable.
- Teach kids that hunting is not all about the harvest; point out the many others reasons people enjoy getting outdoors.
- Dallas Barber, big game biologist for the Wildlife Department, urges mentors to take youth hunters to scout hunting areas before opening day and make it a positive experience. Point out the things to look for, like tracks, scrapes and rubs. Have them help you create a ground blind, and cut brush to conceal it.
- Don't limit your hunting season to deer only. See other great fall hunting opportunities here.
Have more questions? We have you covered with this complete guide to the 2021 youth deer gun season.
- Don P. Brown is information & education specialist for the Wildlife Department