Mentored Youth Hunter Program allows youth 9 through 15 years of age to hunt without first passing an approved hunter education program. It gives unlicensed youngsters the opportunity to receive mentored, one-on-one field experience and training on the ethics, safety, responsibility and enjoyment of hunting while closely supervised by a licensed adult.
Youth “First Time” Program guarantees big game hunting opportunities for youth. Under the program young hunters can receive up to three tags: one buck deer (100 series), one antlerless deer (600 series) and one antlerless elk (200 series).
Youth-only hunts for big game, upland bird and waterfowl give young hunters a safe, well-supervised and low-stress setting where they can enjoy hunting while learning some fundamental skills.
The time shared between a youngster and mentor is invaluable. There simply is no better way to introduce a young person to safe, ethical and responsible hunting than with the close supervision of an adult mentor. That is precisely what the Mentored Youth Hunter Program is designed to encourage.
As an incentive to participate in the mentored youth hunting program, youth will receive one mentored youth preference point for each year they register for the program. Once the department receives the youth’s registration form, if the youth does not have a hunter identification number, a number will be assigned and a mentored youth preference point updated in the system.
A youth may participate in the mentored youth hunter program, without first passing an approved hunter education program, provided the youth:
The supervising hunter shall:
The supervising hunter and the mentored youth hunter shall not collectively possess more than one weapon legal for the hunt at any given time while hunting.
Any wildlife harvested by the mentored youth hunter shall be counted towards the supervising hunter’s bag limit. A youth is not eligible to participate in the mentored youth hunting program if the youth possesses their own valid hunting license and/or tag(s) valid for the dates, area and species being hunted. The mentored youth hunting program is not applicable to designated youth-only seasons and hunts.
To qualify for the “First Time” program:
To receive one of the First Time hunts, apply beginning July 1. The hunt must be applied for and the tag purchased before the first day of the hunting season.
Not all hunts are included in the program. Each hunt must meet a minimum tag allocation to be available to “first time” hunters.
Min. Tag Level
|Buck deer (100 series)
*2020 Buck Deer 1st Time Youth Hunts
|at least 201 tags|
|Elk (200 series - antlerless only)||at least 51 tags|
|Antlerless deer (600 series)||at least 51 tags|
ODFW offers youth controlled elk hunts with longer seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31). To apply, hunters must:
The application deadline is May 15. For more information about the hunts available and how to apply, see this year’s Oregon Big Game Regulations.
Youth hunters with an unfilled Western Oregon general season deer tag, an unfilled W. High Cascade (119A), or an unfilled Hood-White River (141A) controlled hunt tag may hunt the area of the Western Oregon general deer season the Saturday and Sunday after general rifle deer season ends. The bag limit is one buck having not less than a forked antler. This opportunity is not available to Mentored Youth Hunt Program participants as each youth hunter must have their own tag to participate.
To apply for this program hunters must:
The application deadline is May 15. For more information about the hunts available and how to apply, see this year’s Oregon Big Game Regulations
Youth pheasant hunts are held on private lands and state wildlife areas throughout the state each September. Participants in these hunts must:
For more information about the hunts available and how to make a reservation, see this year’s Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
Spring Youth Turkey Hunt
Every year on the weekend before the opening of the General Spring Turkey Season, hunters 17 years and younger will have the field to themselves for a youth-only turkey season. No special registration or application is required to participate in this hunt, but youth hunters must:
Youth waterfowl hunts are held at several wildlife areas and federal refuges each fall/winter. In addition, there is a statewide waterfowl season in late September. To participate in these hunts, youth must:
For more information about the hunts available and how to make reservation, see this year’s Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
includes fishing, hunting, shellfish, and Columbia River Basin Endorsement
includes a Combination fishing/hunting/shellfish license, a Combined Angling Harvest Tag; Spring Turkey Tag, General Cougar Tag, General or Controlled Bear Tag, General or Controlled Elk Tag, and General or Controlled Deer Tag ; and Validation for Upland Birds and Waterfowl (available after July 1)
Deer, elk, and bear tags are not automatically issued at the time a Sports Pac License is issued. Hunters must remember to pick up deer, elk and bear tags by the day before the earliest hunt opens for deer, elk and controlled bear and by Sept. 30 for general bear.
Hunters age 17 and under must wear a hunter orange exterior garment (shirt, jacket, coat, vest, or sweater) or hat when hunting game mammals or upland birds (except turkey) with any firearm. The exterior garment or hat must have hunter orange visible in all directions (360 degrees).
Youth 17 and younger must pass a hunter education course before hunting in Oregon, unless enrolled in the Mentored Youth Program. Students have three options: an online course, an independent study workbook course, or in-person attendance at a class taught through ODFW’s statewide network of 600 volunteer instructors. Online and independent study students must pass a field day with a hunter education instructor before being certified.
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