House Bill 1305, sponsored by State Representative Mike Buckingham (R-33), passed the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee with a vote of 9 to 4 on February 8.
The bill as originally introduced provided no age limit for small game and a limit of 10 years old for big game. It was amended before passing to lower the eligible hunting age for both big and small game to 10 years old. States with restrictive hunt ages have the lowest hunter retention numbers in the country. Thirty states do not have a minimum age requirement, and those states have the highest youth hunting rates while enjoying safety records that are equal to, or better than, states with the restrictive ages.
Please contact your State Senator at (605) 773-3821, and your State Representative at (605) 773-3851, and respectfully let them know you support House Bill 1305, as well as empowering parents to make these decisions.