Wisconsin moves to lower hunting age to 10

  • Article by: RYAN J. FOLEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 18, 2009 - 5:19 PM

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin lawmakers moved Thursday to lower the hunting age by two years to 10 and offer youngsters reduced license fees in an effort to preserve the state's hunting culture.

Under the plan approved by the Assembly on a voice vote, anyone 10 or older could hunt with an adult mentor without taking a safety course beforehand. The pairs could have only one gun or bow between them and must stay within arm's reach of one another. Mentors would have to be at least 18 and have hunting licenses.

"It's important for us to include young people in the activities that a lot of us hold near and dear," said Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, who has pushed for years to lower the hunting age. "This is about our heritage."

The mentorship program is designed to attract not only more young hunters but adults who want to "test drive" the sport, said Randy Stark, chief conservation warden for the Department of Natural Resources. He said he expects to see more women hunt with the program.

The plan was approved by the Senate 27-6 last week and now goes to Gov. Jim Doyle. The governor's spokesman said he supports the bill but stopped short of promising to sign it.

"The governor appreciates the tradition of handing down hunting from one generation to the next," spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner said. "We're just going to have to take a look at the language once it reaches his desk."

Thirty states have no minimum hunting age and 28 have created apprenticeship programs similar to what is proposed in Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, which lobbied for the bill. The state programs vary in minimum age, safety requirements and license fees.

Minnesota already allows kids as young as 10 to hunt big game in a change of law that went into effect last year. It allows youths 10 and 11 years old to hunt deer and other big game in Minnesota with high-caliber firearms and slug-shooting shotguns without first passing a hunter education and firearms safety course.

The youths must be under direct supervision of an adult licensed hunter, and the adults must be within “arm’s reach’’ of their proteges.

Minnesota also allows youths 10 and under to hunt small game, if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The Wisconsin measure comes in response to concerns that there may be fewer hunters as young people lose interest and aging baby boomers give up the sport. The program would start Sept. 1, in time for the fall deer gun season that attracted more than 640,000 hunters last year in isconsin.

The original plan would have kept the fees for youth at current levels, which are $20 for a deer license and $9 for a small game license. But both houses adopted an amendment creating a $4.25 license fee for children who are 10 and 11 in an attempt to attract more interest.

The DNR estimates the bill will mean at least an additional 9,200 hunters in Wisconsin every year. Current law allows children who are 12 to hunt under adult supervision if they have passed a safety course. Hunters who are 14 can go out alone.

Many apprentices will probably decide hunting is not for them, Stark said. But others may decide to take safety courses to receive licenses to hunt on their own. The DNR charges $10 for the course and expects an additional 2,000 people to enroll each year.

Rep. Ann Hraychuck, D-Balsam Lake, a hunting safety instructor, said hunting with a mentor "has proven to be the safest way for kids to hunt."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Top 6th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 0 Top 5th Inning
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Toronto 1
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Mets 1
Boston 8 Top 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Miami 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 1 Top 1st Inning
Houston 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Bottom 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 21 2nd Qtr 8:45
Connecticut 0
(6) Jacksonville St 0 2nd Qtr 15:00
(8) Michigan State 21
Bowling Green 0 1st Qtr 2:29
Western Ky 14
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 3 13:06
Montreal 8
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close