Hunters who want to get kids out deer hunting can do so next week during Minnesota’s first-ever statewide youth firearms deer season.

The four-day season runs Oct. 17-20 and includes every permit area in the state, except 287 (Itasca State Park). The season coincides with Minnesota’s teacher workshops in the schools, so students do not have to miss school in order to hunt on Thursday and Friday.

The youth deer season in Minnesota began in 2004 in the northwestern part of the state. It expanded to include 28 deer permit areas in parts of southeastern, northwestern and the Twin Cities area where deer were most abundant.

Here are the details of this year’s youth season:

  • Youth ages 10-17 may take one either-sex deer by firearms statewide, including in the Whitewater State Game Refuge.

  • Deer permit area 287 (Itasca State Park) is not open for the youth deer season.

  • Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit.

  • An adult parent/guardian/mentor 18 or older must accompany youth ages 10-13 at all times during the hunt. The adult does not need to be licensed.

  • Blaze orange/pink requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open during this season.

  • The accompanying adult cannot hunt and party hunting is not allowed (youth must tag their own deer), except during the early antlerless season with the correct license.

  • Youth 12 years of age and older must have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation.

  • Participating youth must possess a valid firearm deer license. Youth age 10, 11 and 12 must possess a free license.

  • The bag limit is one deer only. Youth may use their regular license or a bonus permit if they take an antlerless deer, except in “bucks only” deer permit areas.

  • Bucks must be tagged with the youth’s regular license.

  • Participation does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season; however, the harvested deer counts against the youth’s annual statewide bag limit.

  • Deer permit area designations for the youth season are the same as for the regular firearms deer season. For example, a deer permit area designated as hunter choice during firearms season is hunter choice during the youth season.