Michigan's New Law Creates Mentored Hunting Program

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A new law recently signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will provide new hunting opportunities for youth under the age of 10 by creating a mentored hunting program for the 2012 hunting season. The program is known as the Hunter Heritage Program.

"This is a great opportunity for Michigan's youth," said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. "Our youngsters can start hunting earlier with a safe program, which can have a lifelong impact on their interest in conservation and natural resources. Since becoming Director, I made increasing participation in our hunting heritage one of my top four priorities. This program will help us achieve that goal."

The new law provides hunting opportunities for youths under the age of 10 by allowing them to hunt in conjunction with the mentored youth hunting program. The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has been charged with developing the program under the law. The law also creates a mentored youth hunting license, which allows mentored youths to participate in a wide variety of hunting opportunities on a single license. Mentored youth hunting license holders will be able to hunt deer, turkey, small game, trap fur-bearers and fish for all species on this license.

In the coming months, the NRC will engage both department staff and external partners in developing the mentored youth hunting program, with the objective of having the program start in the 2012 license year.

Under the new law:

  • A parent or legal guardian of the minor child must apply for the license on behalf of the child;
  • A mentored youth hunting license will cost $7.50;
  • The mentor, who must be at least 21 and possess a valid hunting license, will need to accompany the youth at all times;
  • At age 10 the youth will no longer be eligible for a mentored youth hunting license, but will need to either take hunter safety and then purchase a regular license, or hunt under an apprentice license for up to two years.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Frequently Asked Questions
Hunter Heritage Law/Mentored Youth Hunting Program

What does the new law do?
The law allows youths, under the age of 10, to hunt with a mentor. Mentored youths will be required to obtain a mentored youth hunting license and hunt in conjunction with the mentored youth hunting program, which is now being developed.

When does the program begin?
In the coming months, the NRC will engage with both department staff and external partners in developing the mentored youth hunting program, with the objective of having this program up and running for the 2012 license year.

How much will a mentored youth hunt license cost?
The cost for a mentored youth license is $7.50. The fee was established in the legislation that created the license.

What hunting privileges are provided under this license?
Resident small game, combination deer, spring and fall turkey, all-species fishing, and resident fur harvesters.

What is the apprentice license?
The apprentice license is for anyone 10 years of age and older who has not received hunter safety certification. An individual may hunt with an apprentice license for two license years. A regular licensed hunter who is 21 years or older must accompany the apprentice license holder into the field.

What license do I purchase once I receive my hunter safety certification?
If you are 10 years of age or older with hunter safety certification, you can purchase regular hunting licenses.


GooseHunter Jr's picture

I always like hearingn about

I always like hearingn about programs like this.  I just wish they would have had all these when I was young.  But I am glad that they are here now beasuse my little boy just turned 6 and he keeps getting closer and closer to the day when he gets to start chasing some big game around with his old man....I just hope Papa will be arounf for it also...KInda cool to get three genearation up elk hunting.

hunter25's picture

I think I have commented on

I think I have commented on this before but I think these programs are great. Sometimes having to wait until 12 years old may be too late to really get the seed planted deep enough to instill a lifetime of hunting. Some kids are not able to start that young but with good training many are ready at a much younger age. I believe in Texas you can hunt at 8 for sure and maybe even younger. I know I plan to get my grandson started in one of these states for hogs or deer as he will have to wait till he is 12 here in Colorado if the law stays the way it is now. Just 6 more years and he'll be ready to go.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I always love seeing states

I always love seeing states that enact youth hunting seasons, and mentored hunting opportunities. Too many kids are out there sitting in front of their computer or video game.  It's time for them to get into the outdoors.

I cannot wait until my son is old enough to get out there.  He cannot hunt big game in California until he is 12, but as soon as he can safely pass the course, I will get him out there chasing doves.  He even told me that at 5 years old, he wants to go chase the ones I shoot.  Who needs a dog, right? lol

Kudos to Michigan!  The more youth we get into our sport, the more chance that we will have to pass it on to future generations.