Michigan: Youth Hunting Bill Passes Michigan House
On May 24, House Bill 4371 passed in the Michigan House by an 85 to 23 vote and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
Introduced by state Representative Peter Pettalia (R-106), HB 4371 would establish a mentored youth hunting program allowing parents to determine at which age their kids are ready to hunt. Current Michigan law requires a child to be at least ten years of age to get a hunting license and twelve years of age if it involves hunting deer with a firearm. HB 4371 would eliminate those restrictions and allow a child to experience hunting at an earlier age with a mentor.
Since the Families Afield efforts were set forth in 2005 on a nationwide campaign, there have been approximately 600,000 hunters safely added to the field. In fact, studies have shown that mentored hunters are one of the safest groups in the field. Michigan ranks last in the nation when it comes to the recruitment and retention of hunters and HB 4371 could improve Michigan’s last-in-the-nation hunter recruitment and retention rate. HB 4371 is modeled after a similar Pennsylvania law that has succeeded in getting many youth involved in hunting with a mentor while learning proper safety and ethics at a young age – a try-before-you-buy approach.
Please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to support HB 4371. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.