NRC Approves Mentored Youth Hunting Program for 2012
Contact: Dan Eichinger, 517-373-9337 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources
Feb. 10, 2012
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has approved a new program aimed at introducing children under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing. The Mentored Youth Hunting program will start with the 2012 season, with licenses on sale starting March 1.
"The Department is fully supportive of this new program that will help introduce children to the sport of hunting, ensuring that we successfully pass along Michigan's rich outdoor traditions," said Rodney Stokes, director of the Department of Natural Resources. "We wish to thank our many conservation partners who helped develop this program with the NRC, providing a new opportunity for us to interest Michigan's youth in hunting and fishing."
The $7.50 Mentored Youth Hunting license will be 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. 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 approved by the NRC for the 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 and can only be used on private land, consistent with current state law.
Voluntary mentor guidelines have been developed by the DNR, and are available at www.michigan.gov/mentoredhunting
, along with other information about the program.
A workgroup consisting of representatives of several conservation organizations, including three youth representatives, developed recommendations for the regulations, which were adopted by the NRC. Organizations serving on the workgroup included the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Michigan Hunter Safety Education Instructor Association.