Land Bank considers Youth Deer Hunt Day

The commissioners will return to the idea in a future meeting. 

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank considered a youth deer hunt day for October 1. — MV Times

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission considered allowing Youth Deer Hunt Day on its properties. 

During a meeting on Monday, land superintendent Harrison Kisiel told the commission that a Youth Deer Hunt Day takes place in the state on the “fourth Saturday after Labor Day,” which would be Oct. 1, for minors 12 to 17 years old. According to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), children 12 to 14 years old need a licensed adult with them, while those who are 15 to 17 years old need only a minor hunting license. Both age groups need a “free youth deer hunting permit.” Out-of-state hunters who are 15 to 17 years old will need a Massachusetts nonresident big game license alongside the permit. Kisiel recommended going ahead and advertising the event, which to his knowledge the Land Bank has never done before.

“This was brought up in our last hunting subcommittee meeting,” Kisiel said. “There is excitement from some members of the board to see if the Land Bank would be willing to do this.”

Oak Bluffs commissioner Kristen Reimann wanted to know the procedure if there were only a couple of interested people. 

“The reason I wanted to get this out there pretty much right away is to see what sort of volume we get,” Kisiel said. He said if the signup was very low, he would ask which property the hunters had an interest in, such as Waskosim’s Rock Reservation, then that area would be closed off for Youth Deer Hunt Day. Kisiel added that the day allows for shotgun hunting, so properties that typically allow shotgun hunting would need to close “weeks earlier” than the usual deer shotgun season, which MassWildlife lists as happening from Monday, Nov. 28, to Saturday, Dec. 10. 

On the other hand, Kisiel said that if there are many people signing up for the youth hunt day, then some limitations may be implemented on how many hunters are allowed per property. 

“I don’t think it’s going to be very widespread, but it’s very heartfelt that some fathers and sons wanted to continue this tradition … kind of in a low-key way before the whole season opens up,” commission chair Pamela Goff said. 

Aquinnah commissioner Sarah Thulin said while she does not have an issue with the Youth Deer Hunt Day, the Land Bank staff will need to keep in mind that many people like walking some of their properties during the shoulder season. 

The commission unanimously voted to return to the topic in a couple of weeks, after Kisiel follows up with the hunting subcommittee and returns with a more detailed proposal.


    • Happens in every northern New England town. Most are taught to respect the land,
      Understand the land, to appreciate their surroundings and hunt.
      These skills are invaluable to rural communities and are the most essential to being self sufficient. The island is over populated with deer. Every country store in VT has many smiling children with their first Buck during youth day.

    • A lot. That’s why the state mandates Basic Hunter Education for anyone who choses to hunt. Also He/ she won’t be alone “wandering around”, they’ll be helping learn where food comes from and how awesome these animals are. Also conservation, patience, determination, self reliance, self confidence, and connecting with nature. They’d be helping all the rich folk keep their expensive plants alive while keeping the tick issue in check. So the answer is a lot can also go wrong, but a lot can go right.

    • Nothing, and it has been going on and still goes on since we have been a country. Firearms and hunting safety are best taught early.

    • Nothing wrong with young people learning how to hunt responsibly. Something needs to be done to thin the herd which will help the tic and Lyme issue. So let’s keep Dick Cheney far far away from MV.

  1. Personally I oppose hunting on any Land Bank Property. Walkers, bicycle riders, runners and dog walkers go to LB properties during hunting season.

  2. The greatness of a society is judged by the way the animals are treated.” ~ Gandhi

    #6 / Ten Commandments: Thou Shalt Not Kill.

  3. Martha’s Vineyard has a long tradition of adult family members and friends introducing youngsters to hunting and fishing. It is part of the Island’s outdoor culture.
    The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife created the Youth Deer Hunt Day to allow young hunters to hunt deer with their own permit before the state’s annual deer hunting seasons. Youngsters 12–14 years old must be with a licensed adult. Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted. The adult may not hunt. Youngsters 15-17 years old must hold a minor hunting license.

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