Licenses for a new program aimed at introducing children under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing in Michigan are now available for purchase. The Mentored Youth Hunting license costs $7.50, and is a “package” license that includes small game, spring and fall turkey (private or public land), two deer tags (any deer), a furbearer trapping permit and an all-species fishing license.
“The Department of Natural Resources is excited to be offering this new opportunity to youths and their families,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “Ensuring that Michigan’s natural resources are protected and managed for future generations means we need to be nurturing tomorrow’s conservationists today. This new program will introduce children toMichigan’s hunting and fishing heritage, building lifetime good memories and a respect of the out-of-doors.”
An adult mentor must be at least 21 years old, have previous hunting experience and possess a valid Michigan hunting license. Another provision of the law allows 10-year-olds to hunt big game on private land with a firearm, which was implemented starting with the 2011 deer season.
The regulations for Mentored Youth Hunting program include:
- No limit on the number of youth a mentor can have with him or her in the field, leaving it at the discretion of the mentor.
- A limit of two hunting devices – bow, crossbow or firearm – per mentor.
- The youth in possession of a hunting device and engaged in the act of hunting must be within arm’s length of the mentor.
- The mentor shall ensure that the hunting device is sized appropriately to fit the physical abilities of the youth to ensure safe and responsible handling.
- The mentor will be held responsible for the youth’s actions.
- The issued deer tags under the Mentored Youth Hunting license can be used for either sex (antlered or antlerless), are not subject to antler point restriction regulations in certain parts of the state. When using a firearm, the tags can be used only on private land, consistent with current state law. Youth hunting with a bow or crossbow may hunt on public or private land.
Voluntary mentor guidelines have been developed by the DNR, and are available at www.michigan.gov/mentoredhunting, along with other information about the program.