Marissa Grover, 12, of Orrington, listens as Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Lee Kantar explains the antler measurements he's taking from the six-point buck that Grover shot on Youth Deer Day in 2017. Credit: John Holyoke

Young hunters will head afield on Saturday for the 17th edition of Youth Deer Day, during which many will make lifetime memories with adult hunting mentors.

The day is open to junior hunters who have not yet turned 16. Youth Deer Day began in 2002 and has become a popular prelude to the state’s firearms season on deer. Maine residents will mark their opening day a week later, on Oct. 27, while the opening day for all hunters is Monday, Oct. 29.

Each junior hunter must be accompanied by an adult, who is not allowed to possess a firearm. The day is all about youth hunting and is designed to give young hunters a head start on the season. To that end, in Wildlife Management Districts where any-deer permits have been issued, youth hunters are allowed to target does or bucks on Youth Deer Day even if they do not possess an any-deer permit of their own.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...