New law allows younger hunters in Michigan

A change in state law that took effect Sept. 1 makes it legal for 10- and 11- year olds to hunt deer, bear or elk with firearms in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources announced. The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest as the publication went to press before the law was changed. The regulations change was part of the Hunter Heritage Act, which creates a new mentored hunting program and eliminates the minimum age requirements for hunting in 2012.
Tribune Staff
Sep 16, 2011


This year, hunters less than 14 years of age may hunt on private land with either a firearm deer license or junior combination deer license — if they have successfully completed hunter education training — or an apprentice hunting license. In either case, the youngster must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult designated by the parent or guardian.

Hunters less than 14 years of age may hunt with firearms on private land only. A youngster hunting deer must be in possession of either a firearms deer license or an antlerless deer license. A youth hunter ages 10 and 11 may use a combination deer license. If the youth has been hunter-safety certified, the accompanying adult must be at least 18 years of age. If the youngster is hunting with an apprentice license, the accompanying adult must be at least 21 years of age.

Beginning in 2012, the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, currently under development by a workgroup convened by the Natural Resources Commission will provide additional hunting opportunities for youngsters less than 10 years of age.


Michigan’s 2011 deer season opened on Thursday with a five-day early hunt for antlerless deer on private land in the Lower Peninsula.

That hunt will be followed immediately by a four-day youth antlerless deer season that starts Tuesday and covers most of the southern half of the state.

Firearms, archery gear or crossbows may be used for both seasons. Hunters must wear hunter orange and have permission from landowners or leaseholders to be on private property.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says maps and information are available at or at stores that sell hunting licenses.


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