New State Law allowing 10-year-olds to Hunt Deer, Elk, or Bear with a Firearm
Marquette, MI – The Department of Natural Resources announced that a change to a Michigan State law that took effect on September 1st. The law was changed after the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest was published, so the changes will not be reflected there.
The recent changes were apart of the Hunter Heritage Act with creating a new mentoring program. This will eliminate age requirements for hunting in 2012.
For 2011, if hunters less than 14-years-old have successfully completed hunter education training or an apprentice hunting license, they may hunt on private land. They can hunt with either a firearm deer license of junior combination deer license.
A student from Northern Michigan University was very uncertain on her thoughts pertaining to adjustments made to this law. She said, “At least it is private land. I don’t like guns and I don’t think kids should have guns. I am a firm believer in hunting though.”
Hunters less than 14-years-old can only hunt on private land with a firearm. These young hunters must be in possession of either a firearms deer license or an antlerless deer license. If the hunter is ages 10 or 12 they are allowed to use a combination deer license. Once the youth-hunter has been hunter-safety certified, the accompanying adult must be at least 18-years-old. But, if the young-hunter is using an apprentice license, the accompanying adult must be at least 21-years-old.
“It’s great that kids are learning to be safe with guns, but kids still shouldn’t have guns.” Said the student from NMU.
Additional hunting opportunities will be provided in 2012. Currently under development by a workshop with the Natural Resources Commission, The mentored Youth Hunting Program is providing additional opportunities for youngsters less than age 10.