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NJ Offers Three Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

September 21, 2004

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protectionís Division of Fish and Wildlife is offering waterfowl hunting days for young hunters this fall. One youth day will be held in each of the stateís three waterfowl zones Ė September 25 in the north zone; October 2 in the south zone; and October 23 in the coastal zone.

This special opportunity is provided to introduce young hunters to the exciting sport of waterfowl hunting. New Jersey's three waterfowl zones are ecologically quite different. Unique patterns of waterfowl migration can be found in each zone. This creates a positive experience for both youngsters and their mentors.

This year, Youth Waterfowl Days in the south and coastal zones will be held later than in past years. The south zone youth day will occur just as migratory populations of several species of ducks, most notably green-winged teal, wood ducks and black ducks, begin to arrive. For the first time, the coastal zone youth day will be held late enough that some brant should be present as well as significant numbers of ducks. In addition, youngsters can enjoy a hunt in the coastal zone marshes without too many mosquitoes.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows states to select Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days since 1997. The youth days are held on Saturdays when youngsters and their mentors are most likely to have time to participate. In addition, youth days are held outside of the regular duck season so youngsters can hunt in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Youth hunters with a valid youth license and accompanied by an adult (aged 21 or older) may participate in as many youth hunting days as they wish. As such, mentors that are willing to travel could involve their youths in up to three different Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days in New Jersey.

During Youth Waterfowl Days, daily bag limits for all species will be the same as their respective bag limits during the regular season. Specifically, duck bag limits will be 6 ducks and may not include more than 4 mallards (including no more than 2 hens), 4 scoters, 3 scaup, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 pintail, 1 canvasback and 1 black duck. For Canada geese, youths will be able to take 3 birds in the south zone and coastal zone. In the north zone, youths may harvest 8 Canada geese since the youth day occurs during the September Canada Goose Season. Youngsters will also be able to harvest 2 brant and 15 snow geese in each of the zones. Bag limits for coots, moorhens and gallinules will be the same as the bag limit allowed during the regular season.

Hunters can make the most of these multiple youth days by taking advantage of nearly 300,000 acres of public land in the Divisionís Wildlife Management Area System. This extensive collection of public land open for hunting includes wooded swamps, lakes and tidal marshes perfect for waterfowl hunting and is the result of an ambitious acquisition program started in 1932.

The New Jersey 2004-05 Migratory Bird Regulations are also available online (pdf, 114kb) and at Division offices and license agents.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 21, 2004