New York May Lower Bow Hunting Age Requirement

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The New York legislature passed a bill that would lower the age requirement for new bowhunters from 14 to 12, on par with other states' age limits. The governor has yet to sign the bill, but if he does it would continue a trend of getting new hunters involved earlier with big game hunting in the state. The Times Herald-Record has a write up on the new legislation.

According to the bill as passed, a junior archery licensee who is 12 or 13 "shall not hunt deer or bear unless accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian or other person at least 21 years of age." The parent or guardian must have at least three years experience hunting with a longbow, hold a big-game license and maintain "physical control over the minor," which includes the ability to give verbal directions and instructions, and "maintain constant visual contact and provide guidance and supervision to the minor."


hunter25's picture

This is good to see as there

This is good to see as there is no reason for the age to be higher to get started than the age of 12 they are looking at. When I was a kid it was 14 where I lived and 12 in a neighboring state so my dad would buy the non resident tag and take me over there to get started as it was just a few miles over the border. I believe it was 14 when I first moved to Colorado but my kids lucked out when they lowered the age before the were old enough anyway.

I know in some states like Texas and I'm sure some others that you can hunt big game much younger than that, as young as eight for sure and maybe even lower but I'm not sure. I have no problem with that low of an age as long as your child is proficient and you are hunting with them to ensure safety and follow up of any shots taken. I do know that some kids are not quite able at that young of an age though. Age 12 is fine if the practice is put in and they can make the shots. I do plan on taking my grandson to Texas for at leastg hogs or something as soon as he can shoot accurately but he's only two years old right now so I still have a little time left.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is really good news. 

That is really good news.  Always good to hear that states are willing to make some good changes like this.  It will really allow the kids nto get out there in the woods that much earlier and really grow a passion for hunting which may help keep them fromk getting in trouible other ways.  Nice jib New York.

groovy mike's picture

More good news from New York

This is more good news from New York state. 

They recently changed the big game hunting minimum age from sixteen down to fourteen years old, and small game from fourteen down to twelve years old (basically backing each age limit down by two years).  I know that is still older than some states, but I take it as a positive development.  I know my son (who is 14) was delighted to be able to hunt big game this year instead of waiting for two more long years to chase white tail deer. 

I always think that more hunting opportunities are a good thing.  The supervision requirement in this bill seems reasonable to me too.  Any time a new hunter goes in the woods it is worth having a mentor along to show them the ropes and make sure that the hunt is safe above all else.

Thanks for sharing the news on this pending legislation.  Please keep us posted with any future new developments.