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.
The $7.50 Mentored Youth Hunting license will be a “package” license that includes small game, spring and fall turkey, 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.
• 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 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.