Bill Advances to Remove Minimum Age for Young Hunters

Some states have age requirements or other restrictions for young hunters while others don’t have any, allowing parents to decide when the time is right.

One state legislature is wrangling with the longtime debate about a minimum age for hunting, with a bill moving from one of its two houses after approval to eliminate its current requirement.

Wisconsin’s Assembly passed a bill to eliminate its minimum hunting age. Hunters currently must be at least 12 years old to purchase a license or hunt with a gun unless they’re in a mentored hunt. In those mentored hunting programs or events, children as young as age 10 can hunt.

The bill would eliminate the age minimum and allow anyone of any age to hunt in a mentored hunt. It was passed by the Assembly on a 57-32 vote and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. 

The minimum age requirement varies from state to state. Some have no requirements, allowing parents or guardians to determine at what age their children may hunt with them, others or by themselves. Other states have different ages, with some such as Wisconsin combining age requirements with mentor hunts or programs.

UPDATE: The bill was approved Nov. 7 in the Wisconsin Senate by a vote of 21-12 and was forwarded to Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it into law.