Montana Law Allows Young Hunters to Get an Early Start

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A new Montana law passed last year will allow some youths to start hunting before their 12th birthday.

House Bill 221, passed by the 2009 Montana Legislature, makes it possible for a youth who will reach 12 years of age by Jan. 16, 2011 to participate in any hunting season that opens after Aug. 15. The youth must first pass a hunter's education course and be properly licensed.

"The law seeks to allow youngsters who turn 12 in the course of a license year to get started hunting a bit earlier than they could in the past," said Ron Aasheim, chief of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Communications and Education bureau.

In past years, a youth could not hunt until he or she turned 12 years old.

For more information on hunting eligibility requirements visit FWP's Web site at