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Mentored Hunting Programs

The Mentored Hunting Program has expanded to offer opportunities to unlicensed hunters of all ages. Mentored hunters are not required to take a Hunter Education class before obtaining a permit to hunt through the program.

Younger than 12: Youngsters who participate in the mentored program for at least three years before turning 12 are required to get a license at 12 rather than continuing as a mentored hunter. License buyers must first successfully complete a Hunter-Trapper Education course.

Ages 12 and older: Mentored hunters ages 12 or older may participate in the program for a maximum of three license years. After that time, they must take a Hunter-Trapper Education course to purchase a hunting license.

Necessary Permits & Licenses

A Licenses and Mentored Hunting Program permits can be obtained from any license issuing agent or online at the Game Commission's "The Outdoor Shop."

Mentored Hunting Program permit fees are $2.90 for resident and nonresident applicants under 12; $6.90 for resident applicants 12 to 16; $41.90 for nonresident applicants 12 to 16; $20.90 for residents 17 and older and $101.90 for nonresidents 17 and older.

A mentor (licensed hunter at least 21 years old) who serves as a guide to a mentored hunter must possess a valid, current hunting license or otherwise qualify for a license and fee exemptions.

A mentored hunter must obtain a permit, which will contain his or her unique Customer Identification number (CID). A Social Security number is needed for a CID number to be issued.

Doves & Pheasants: In addition to a Mentored Hunting Program permit, a mentored hunter needs a migratory game bird license to hunt doves and a pheasant permit to hunt pheasants. All mentored hunters can purchase migratory bird licenses and pheasant permits.

Archery & Muzzleloader: Mentored hunters are exempt from requirements to obtain archery and muzzleloader add-on licenses or stamps applicable to hunting archery or muzzleloader seasons for any species that can be hunted in the mentored program.

Species, Seasons & Bag Limits

A mentored hunter can hunt squirrels, rabbits, hares, ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail, pheasants, crows, doves, porcupines, woodchucks, coyotes, deer, and turkeys in any of their respective seasons, and must follow daily and season bag limits for each species (one antlered deer, one fall turkey and one bearded turkey in the spring, per license year).

A mentored hunter 16 and under is eligible to hunt during any special youth hunting seasons for species open to mentored hunters. This includes the antlerless-deer-only Special Firearms season held in October for junior and senior license holders.

Mentored hunters 16 and under follow the same deer antler restrictions as junior license holders, which is one antler at least 3 inches long or one antler with at least two points.

A mentored hunter who participates in any hunting party shall count as a member of the hunting party for maximum allowed numbers.

Harvest Tags

For mentored hunters ages 7 and older, the permit includes antlered deer, fall turkey and spring turkey harvest tags. Mentored hunters ages 7 and older can apply for their own antlerless deer licenses (one antlerless license per mentored permit holder) and DMAP permits.

For mentored hunters who are under 7 years old at the time of application, no big-game harvest tags will be issued to .

  • A mentor can transfer one valid antlered deer harvest tag to a mentored youth who was under 7 years old at the time of application. The transfer may not occur until the mentored youth has harvested the antlered deer, and must occur before the deer is tagged. The youngster completes the tag information and attaches the tag to the deer's ear. The mentor must report the deer and check the "taken by mentored youth" box on the harvest report card. A mentored youngster may not receive by transfer more than one antlered deer harvest tag each license year.
  • A mentor can transfer one spring and one fall turkey harvest tag to a mentored youth who was under 7 years old at the time of application. Transfer may not occur until the mentored youth has harvested the turkey, and must occur before tagging the turkey. The youngster completes the tag information and attaches the tag to the turkey's leg. The mentor must report the turkey and check the "taken by mentored youth" box on the harvest report card. A mentored youngster may not receive by transfer more than one spring and one fall turkey harvest tag each license year. 
  • A mentor can transfer one valid antlerless deer license and/or one Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permit to a mentored youth who was under 7 years old at the time of application. Antlerless licenses are valid within the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for which they were issued, and DMAP permits are valid on the specific properties for which they were issued. The transfer of the antlerless license and/or DMAP permit may not occur until the mentored youth has harvested the antlerless deer, and must occur before tagging the deer. The youngster completes the tag information and attaches the tag to the deer's ear. The mentor must report the deer and check the "taken by mentored youth" box on the harvest report card. A mentored youth may not receive by transfer more than one antlerless deer license and/or one DMAP permit each license year, and is ineligible to make direct application for an antlerless license and/or a DMAP permit.

Safety & Liability

A mentored hunter 16 and under must be stationary (the state or condition where a person is still, fixed in place or static, indicated by a cessation of all forward, backward or lateral movement, whether in the standing, kneeling, sitting or prone position) and within arm's reach of the mentor at all times while in possession of any lawful hunting device (any firearm or implement that is lawful to be possessed during the current season and used to harvest the particular species) while engaged in hunting or related activities.

A mentored participant 17 or older must hunt within eyesight of his or her adult mentor, and at a proximity close enough for verbal instruction and guidance to be easily understood without the aid of electronic communication devices or sound-amplification devices.

A mentor may not accompany more than one hunter at any given time while participating in the Mentored Hunting Program. For example, a mentor cannot accompany a mentored hunter and a licensed junior hunter at the same time. (A supervising adult can accompany any number of junior hunters outside of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.)

A mentor and mentored hunter 16 and under may not possess collectively more than one lawful hunting device at any given time while engaged in hunting or related activities. The mentor must carry the lawful device in transit to and from the spot.

A mentor and mentored hunter must be in compliance with fluorescent orange requirements for the species they are hunting.

A mentor is responsible and accountable for all actions of the mentored hunter occurring while engaged in hunting or related activities. A mentor who causes or allows a mentored hunter to engage in an unlawful act shall be punishable as the principal offender.

Information on Hunter Safety can be found in the online study guide: Today's Hunter & Trapper in Pennsylvania.