CAITLIN MCCAULEY | FEATURES COLUMNIST
On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Wisconsin State Assembly voted to pass a bill that would eliminate any age restrictions on hunting in the state. Under the current hunting mentorship program, state residents as young as 10 years old can participate in hunting season. Currently, residents must be 12 years old in order to obtain a hunting license and/or hunt with a gun. Children under 12 years must be participating in a mentored hunt in order to participate in the hunting season.
The bill proposes that any resident of Wisc. may participate in a mentored hunt, regardless of age. Currently, there are 34 states across America that do not require a minimum age in order to hunt.
The Wisc. State Assembly has already passed the bill, and it has now moved onto the State Senate. Assuming the bill passes, it would then move onto the desk of Gov. Scott Walker to be signed into law or potentially vetoed. If the bill is vetoed by the governor, both the Assembly and the Senate must vote to override the bill by a two-thirds vote.
Not only does the bill stamp out any age restrictions to hunt in Wisconsin, but it also dismisses a limit to the number of hunting devices that a hunting mentor and the person being mentored may possess between them. Additionally, the bill would prohibit any hunting mentor from killing a deer for the younger hunter who is hunting with the mentor. Lastly, the proposed bill does not allow for the mentor to use the deer carcass tag issued to the person being mentored while hunting.
New rules that will apply to this year’s hunting season include: hunters will no longer be required to validate or attach their deer tag to their deer, but hunters must continue to use their tag number to register their deer by 5 p.m. the day after hunting to ensure recovery.