Some New York parents say they love the fact that they can hunt with their children.

On Tuesday, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the results of the second year of a pilot program allowing children to hunt deer.

DEC Announces Second Successful Year of Youth Deer Hunt Pilot Program

Deer Crossing Road,washington state

"The results show youth big game hunters enjoyed another safe, successful, and well-attended season afield," the DEC states in a press release.

Children ages 12 and 13 are allowed to hunt deer with a gun or crossbow with an experienced adult mentor, officials note. The bill allowing children to hunt deer was passed in 2021 under a 3-year pilot program.

“I love that I can hunt with my daughter from age 12. If my daughter had to wait until 16, I doubt she would be hunting," an Ulster County parent told the DEC.

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The law requires the DEC to analyze the results of the pilot program each year and report its findings back to the State Legislature.

"Once again, DEC is hearing from families across the state who were thrilled to share their traditions of hunting and wildlife conservation with younger family members," Seggos said.

DEC: New York Youth Hunters Record Another Safe Year With More than 1,800 Deer Harvests Reported


The DEC reports over 9,400 12 and 13-year-old hunters, representing nearly 9,200 families, were eligible to hunt deer this fall with a firearm or crossbow. Youth hunters in New York reported over 1,800 deer harvests.

During a post-hunt survey, 82 percent of youth hunters and 87 percent of their adult mentors were moderately or greatly satisfied with their youth big game hunting experience, according to the DEC

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For the second straight year, the DEC reports there were no hunting-related shooting incidents, violations, or license revocations involving children hunters.

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"DEC's review of data collected also shows youth hunters followed safety guidelines and showed both respect for wildlife and their fellow hunters while afield. I'm proud to see that New York's environment is in good hands with this next generation of environmental stewards," Seggos said.

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