Freedom of Choice: Wisconsin Removes Minimum Age for Hunters

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill removing the state’s minimum age for hunters, giving parents and mentors more ability to choose when their children can begin hunting.

Dylan Javoroski killed this 11-pointer during the 2017 Wisconsin youth hunt. (Photo: Contributed by the Javoroski Family)

Wisconsin’s Assembly passed a bill in October to eliminate the state’s minimum hunting age. Hunters had to be be at least 12 years old to purchase a license or hunt with a gun unless they were in a mentored hunt. In those mentored hunting programs or events, children as young as age 10 could 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 by a 21-12 margin in the Senate. Walker signed the bill on Nov. 11.

The minimum age requirement varies from state to state. The Wisconsin Hunters’ Rights Coalition says 34 states (now 35, with Walker’s move) have no minimum age.

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.

Walker also signed three other bills into law. Read about them here