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From the February 2013 Conservationist

A young woman poses with the 8-point buck she killed.

2012 Youth Deer Hunt a Success!

This past Columbus Day weekend (October 6-8, 2012) marked the state's first youth firearms deer hunt. During the special weekend hunt, 14- or 15-year-old junior hunters with a big game license were eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed, experienced adult. In total, junior hunters reported taking nearly 760 deer.

The youth hunt was a great opportunity for junior hunters to learn about New York's hunting traditions; feedback from young hunters who participated was enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive. No hunting-related shooting incidents were reported during the hunt, either. (Editor Dave Nelson reminds all hunters that wearing hunter orange saves lives!)

Here are photos of just a few of the junior hunters who participated in the youth hunt. Visit DEC's Big Game Hunting Photo Gallery to see more of this year's successful hunters. Congratulations to all who participated.

Image at top of page: On October 8, Alexis Dekanek took this 8-point buck on her family's farm in Herkimer County. This was her first deer hunt.

A girl in an orange vest poses next to her buck and shot gun
Olivia Yeaple took this 8-point buck
with a shotgun.


A young woman with an orange hat poses with her buck
Hannah Hayes of Honeoye Falls
took her first buck on October 6.


A young man in a camoflage jacket poses with an 8-point buck that he shot
On October 6, Michael Cook from
Parishville took this 8-point buck.


A young woman poses with a large buck that she shot
Fourteen-year-old Rhiannon Goetze
shot this impressive buck, her first
deer, in Monroe County.


A young man wearing an orange jacket and carrying a gun poses next to his 7-point buck
Charles "Chas" Decker from Bloomville
harvested this 7-point buck, which was
his first deer.