The Northwoods Youth Deer Hunt Challenge (NYDHC) celebrates young hunters and their success in the woods. The Challenge is now open and youth hunters ages 10-17 are encouraged to get involved. 

Hunters must live and hunt in Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Price or Iron counties. Any youth can enter the NYDHC, whether or not they harvest a deer. 

All entrants and their families will be invited to the NYDHC banquet at the end of the deer season. Keep an eye on The Lakeland Times for the date of that banquet. 

Every youth who registers and attends the banquet will receive a prize. Thousands of dollars of prizes are at stake — everything from guns to hunting equipment. Entrants must be present to win, but need not have harvested a deer, as long as they have sent in an entry form for the Challenge.

The mentored hunt category is open to youth hunters 10-12 years old. The top scoring deer from this category will receive special recognition at the banquet. Also, the top three scoring deer from the archery, crossbow and gun categories will be awarded special recognition at the banquet. The youth hunter with the top scoring buck in each category will also receive a mount of their deer, courtesy of Strasburg’s North Country Taxidermy.

Antlered deer wishing to be considered for Challenge Awards must be brought into one of the following locations within 10 days (240 hours) of being registered with the DNR: North Country Taxidermy in Hazelhurst, Kurt’s Island Sports in Minocqua or the Lakeland Times in Minocqua. Entry forms can be picked up at all of these locations as well as the Northwoods River News in Rhinelander. 

Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at