Previous reports – and some recent Facebook posts – that the U.S. government is enacting a nationwide minimum hunting age of 21 (or 18) are fake news.

On October 27, 2014, the National Report website published an article that reported the United States government was looking to implement a new “minimum hunting age” of 21:

The United States Government has decided 2015 is the year to enact a new nationwide “minimum hunting age” of 21. Previously, each state has set its own minimum age for a hunter to hunt alone and sometimes a different age for minors to hunt while in the company of an adult.

The federal regulation, set to go into effect on July 1st, 2015, will supersede all existing hunting age restrictions in all fifty U.S. states. For example, prior to this ruling Alaska had no license require for any hunters under the age of 15; meaning that a four-year old could go out and hunt game with or without adult supervision. Under the new policy, any hunters under the age of 21 will be locked out of the sport and all hunters over 21 will be required to show a national hunting license upon request from a game warden.

Although the article was presented as an authentic news article, there were many fabricated issues with the story. It used a quote from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gregory Pearson (who is not a real person), and cited a petition from the NRA (that does not exist.)

The minimum hunting age in the United States is, and will remain, decided by individual states, not set by federal law.

Image courtesy usfwsmidwest Flickr

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