For many, it was a weekend of memories made that will last a lifetime.
The annual Youth Firearms Big Game Hunt during the Columbus Day weekend began at sunrise Saturday and ended at sunset Monday. It allowed junior hunters (ages 14-15) to hunt with a firearm for deer or black bear while being accompanied by an unarmed, licensed, experienced adult hunter. For many of the young hunters it was their first time out.
The junior hunters were required to have taken and successfully passed a hunter safety course and have a hunting license. The adult mentor was required to be at least 21 years of age, be a licensed big game hunter and have at least three years of big game hunting experience. See the DEC website for more about the hunt and its regulations.
Last year, a total of 1,148 deer and seven black bear were reported taken during the special hunt, according to the DEC’s 2019 deer and black bear hunting summaries. The hunt took place in both Northern and Southern