Michigan Parents Decide When Kids are Ready to Hunt

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Michigan is losing adult hunters by large numbers. They are trying to introduce youth hunters, currently a youth has to be 10 to get a hunting license, and 12 to hunt with a firearm. With the proposed House Bill 4371, and Senate Bill 207 that outlines the youth mentor hunting program, parents would be able to determine when their child is ready to obtain a hunting license. With the program they would need a mentor at least 21 years of age to go with them. "We need to do everything we can to get the kids interested in hunting and get them into it, and maybe starting at a little younger age will help do that."

One advocate says he wishes this was available when he was a youth, as it would've kept him out of trouble. Other hunters say they loved being able to go out with their family hunting. By opening up the door for youth hunters the state is hoping to increase their hunters for the long run. It will help get youths out and excited about something. The new license would include a resident small-game license, combination deer license, all-species fishing license, spring and fall turkey-hunting licenses, and a resident fur-harvester license. From Livingston Daily.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

I really like the approach

I really like the approach that Michigan is taking when letting parents decide when their child is old enough to hunt.  There are many places that are like this, but not enough.

I know in California, you cannot hunt big game until you are 12 years old.  This bugs me to no end, because I don't believe a politician can arbitrarily tell me when my kid can hunt.  However, there are other places that are way more lenient.  I watch episodes online from someplace in Missouri, I think, and the guy has already had a couple videos of his daughter, who is 7 years old, shooting a doe and a turkey.

You can't imagine the excitement on her face when she shot those critters.  I think it's a positive step in life, and getting the kids involved at a younger age will, as it said, keep them out of trouble.

Not sure what the age is back in Vermont, but they do have a youth season, kinda like wha they talk about here.  They can hunt with anyone over a certain age, who has a license. One of my favorite things to do when i go home to hunt is stop by the weigh in station and check out the photos of the successful kids from the previous weekend.  Doe, spike, or 10 pointer, they are all smiling.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That sounds like apretty good

That sounds like apretty good idea.  I wish I could have started hunting when my parents thought I was ready for it.  I think they parents would have abetter understanding of when their own kids are respondsible enough to start hubnting and the ethical about it.  I feel that they should be able to atleast read very well as so they can read tyhe regulations along with posted signs...so they would not trespass on somewhere they shoould not be.  Here in colorado to hunt big game it is 12.....10 would be nice...especially as my little boy will be six this year...just that much closer.

hunter25's picture

I really like what Michigan

I really like what Michigan is doing with this one, I had commented before that this would be a good idea to get kids started younger and keep them interested in hunting. Many states you can't even start until your 14 and by thta time many of your hobby paths are already formed. As long as a hunter safety class can be passed I think any age is fine as long as a mentor is with them. Some kids are not ready at twelve but others are ready many years younger. The biggest hurdle is actually being proficient with the shot but with good coaching and and a proper rifle it can be done. In fact many are less susceptible to buck fever at that age than if they are forced to wait and dream until they are older as the suspense keeps building along with the pressure when they finally get the chance to pull the trigger. 

I'm sure the state is trying to guarantee future income as much as anything else but it's a great idea.