DEEP: Junior Hunter Training Days

Junior Hunting

 
{Junior hunters with mentor}
The Wildlife Division, along with volunteer instructors from the Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program and several Connecticut sportsmen's clubs, holds special events for junior pheasant hunters at various sportsmen's clubs throughout the state on Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day (October 13, 2018) and additional dates in the fall. These mentored events allow junior hunters to sharpen their shooting skills on a trap range and then take to the field to hunt with either a certified volunteer hunter safety instructor or experienced hunter, as well as with well-trained dogs with their handlers. Graduates of the CE/FS Program that are between the ages of 12 and 16 years old and who possess a valid Junior Hunting License are eligible to apply to participate in these free events.
 
"Hunt on Your Own" junior pheasant hunts are also available at designated state-owned locations for licensed junior hunters accompanied by a licensed adult hunter.
 
Stay tuned for event details for 2018.
 
View photos to learn what a typical Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day is all about.

Read an article (PDF) about the Junior Pheasant Hunting events in the November/December 2015 issue of Connecticut Wildlife magazine.

2018 Junior Hunter Training Days

Regulations designate certain days for youth hunting in Connecticut. On these days, licensed junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) may hunt when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter 18 years of age or older. The adult mentor may not carry a firearm and at all times must remain within physical contact in a position to provide direct supervision and instruction. These training days will provide junior hunters with an opportunity to learn safe and effective hunting practices from experienced hunters.

SPRING TURKEY - SATURDAY, APRIL 14 through SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018 (excluding Sunday)
Private Land:
Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have both a valid Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and written consent from landowner.
State Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have a valid Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Adult mentor may assist in calling turkeys. Hunting hours for Junior Hunter Training Days only: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 5:00 pm. Harvested turkeys must be tagged and reported (more info).

{image of junior turkey hunter with two turkeys} {image of junior turkey hunter with two turkeys}
{Jr. Hunter carrying turkey} {Two Jr. Hunters with turkeys}
 
 
WATERFOWL - Usually two Saturdays in the fall. Dates will be available in summer 2018, and also published in the 2018-2019 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide.
 
Junior hunters (ages 12 to 15) must have a valid small game junior hunting license and a 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. NEW for 2018: Sixteen and 17-year-old hunters can participate in the training day in 2018. They must have a valid hunting license, a 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, and a 2018-2019 federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm. Ducks, geese, mergansers, and coots may be hunted. Bag limits and shooting hours are the same as for the regular duck and goose hunting seasons.

{junior waterfowl hunter with mentor}

The Connecticut Waterfowlers Association sponsors a Waterfowl Mentoring Program. View an article (PDF) in Connecticut Wildlife magazine that describes how this great program pairs experienced volunteer mentors with youths and even adult novice waterfowl hunters.

PHEASANT - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2018
State and Private Land: Youth participants must possess a current junior hunting license and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There may be exceptions if hunting on a private shooting preserve or a hunting club property with a stamp exemption. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm.

DEER - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 through SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2018 (excluding Sunday)
Private Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have a valid private land shotgun/rifle deer permit and written consent from landowner.
State Land: Licensed junior hunter must have a state land shotgun deer permit (Lottery or No-Lottery). Adult mentor must have a valid deer permit of any type. Deer hunting on Junior Hunter Training Days is permitted on any Lottery or No-Lottery Deer area, regardless of area designated on the permit, with the following exceptions:
 1. Yale Forest, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-East Block, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-West Block, MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Valentine/Pine Hill Block, and MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Sweethear Mt.Block are not open during Junior Deer Hunter Training Days.
 2. Centennial Watershed State Forest and Bristol Water Company are only open to junior hunters and mentors who have both been awarded a permit for these areas.

Report your deer harvest either by telephone (1-877-337-4868) or
online.

{image of junior deer hunter with deer}

 

A Typical Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day

{Hunter safety instructors addressing Jr. hunters} {Jr. hunters at the trap field} {Hunter safety instructors and Jr. hunters before pheasant hunt}
Each hunt begins with a safety review by certified hunter safety instructors.
Before heading out to the field, junior hunters have the opportunity to sharpen their skills on the trap field.
Dog handlers explain to the hunters and safety officers about what to expect and safety considerations for the hunting dogs.

{image of hunting dog}
{junior hunter harvesting pheasant}
Well-trained hunting dogs wait with great anticipation for the hunt to begin.
Thanks to the assistance of the instructors/mentors and well-trained hunting dogs, junior hunters are usually able to harvest their first pheasant.

 

Content last updated on November 15, 2017.