CONCORD — Preliminary reports show that young hunters succeeded in harvesting 359 deer during the 2012 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend in New Hampshire, which took place on Oct. 27 and 28.
This year’s preliminary youth hunt total is below the final 2011 total of 475 deer for the weekend, but only slightly down from the preliminary 2011 total of 387, according to Kent Gustafson, the Wildlife Programs Supervisor for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
The 2012 numbers remain preliminary because all registrations have not yet been verified.
“New Hampshire’s youth hunters had a productive weekend with many being successful in taking a deer, perhaps their first,” Gustafson said. “Equally important was the opportunity to learn some deer hunting skills, enjoy the companionship of their hunting mentor and share the excitement of deer hunting.”
The youth deer weekend gives young people statewide the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so that they can devote all of their time and attention to coaching their young companions. New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999.
Youth also may hunt in New Hampshire during the regular deer seasons. All youth hunters under age 16 must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years or older while hunting. “Accompanied” means “within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be effected,” pursuant to state law.
New Hampshire also offers special opportunities for young hunters through a youth turkey weekend each spring and a youth waterfowl weekend in September.
For more information about youth hunting in New Hampshire, visit huntnh.com/Hunting/youth_hunting.htm.