The State House Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation committee tomorrow will consider legislation to allow young children to hunt in Michigan. Michigan currently allows children as young as 10 to hunt with a bow and as young as 12 to use a firearm to hunt deer.
Peter Pettalia is a state representative from Presque Island in northern lower Michigan. His bill would eliminate the age limit, as along as the young hunter has an adult with them.
“It gives parents the right to determine when their children are ready in their eyes to safely hunt. So myself, if I have a grandchild I believe could carry a weapon to hunt, it gives me the opportunity to decide that.”
Pettalia says allowing children to take part may help reverse the decline in the number of hunters in Michigan.
“We have thousands, hundreds of thousands of acres of huntable land, yet we have the worst hunter recruitment rate in the nation and dwindling hunter retention numbers.”
Pettalia says he doubts allowing young children to hunt with their parents or adult mentors will increase hunting accidents.