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New Michigan law permits 10 year-olds to hunt deer, elk, bear with firearm

From Michigan Department of Natural Resources

-- A change in state law effective Sept. 1 makes it legal for 10 and 11-year olds to hunt deer, bear or elk with firearms in Michigan.

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.

The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest; the publication went to press before the law was changed.

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 ñ if they have successfully completed hunter education training ñ 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. Youth hunters 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 will provide additional hunting opportunities for youngsters less than 10 years of age. For more information on hunting opportunities in Michigan, go to

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