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Minimum Hunting Age Statutes

Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife

Minimum Hunting Age Statutes


Updated July 2011

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 State

 Citation

License Requirement 

Alabama 

Ala. Code §9-11-50

No child under the age of 16 is required to procure a hunting license; a licensed adult must accompany the individual. 

Alaska

N/A

No license required if 15 years old or younger.

Arizona

 
N/A

A person under 14 may hunt wildlife other than big game without a license when accompanied by a properly licensed person 18 years or older. No more than two unlicensed children may accompany any license holder. No one under the age of 14 may take big game without having completed a Hunter Education Course. No one under age 10 may take big.

Arkansas

N/A

No license required if 15 years old or younger.

California

N/A

Junior hunting licenses available for those under 16 who have passed the hunter safety requirement.  Big game hunting prohibited for those under 12.

Colorado

C.R.S.A. § 33-4-117

Youth game hunting license for persons under the age of 18 with showing of hunter education certificate.  If under 16, must have youth game hunting license and be accompanied by adult 18 years or older.

Connecticut

C.G.S.A. § 26-38

Minors 12 to 16 may hunt with a licensed adult, provided they have a junior license and are not carrying more than one weapon.  No more than two minors may hunt with a single adult.

Delaware

N/A

Junior hunter license available for those age 13 to 15.

Florida

N/A

Children under the age of 16 are not required to have a license; however, they must carry proof of age identification.

Georgi

Ga. Code §27-3-41

Makes it illegal for any individual under the age of 12 to hunt wildlife unless they are under the direct supervision of an adult. 

Hawaii

Hawaii Administrative Rules §13-123-2 

Youth under fifteen may hunt with valid state license, but must be accompanied by a non-hunting, licensed adult. 

Idaho 

N/A

Residents 10 to 17, with hunter education course, may get license to hunt upland game birds, migratory birds, cottontail rabbits, and unprotected and predatory birds and animals, but not turkeys or sandhill cranes.  They must be accompanied by a licensed adult. 

Turkeys and sandhill cranes may be hunted by youths 10 or 11 with additional license.  Youths 12 to 17 may hunt turkeys, sandhill cranes, and big game with additional license.

Illinois N/A

License application requires any individual born on or after January 1, 1980 to submit a previously issued hunting license or Hunter Safety Certificate with their application. 

Indiana

N/A

Youth hunting license available for children under 17 who have passed a hunter education class.

Iowa 

N/A

Individuals under the age of 12 can be issued a deer or turkey license; however, a licensed adult hunter must accompany each youth hunter.

Kansas

N/A

Residents 15 or younger are not required to have a hunting license.

Kentucky N/A 

Jr. Sportsman License available to youths under 16.  License application must be signed by parent.  Children under the age of 12 are license exempt. 

Louisiana

N/A

Youth under 16 may hunt if under direct supervision of an adult.

Maine

N/A

Youths 10 to 15 may hunt with a junior license.

Maryland

N/A

Junior license available for those under 16 who have completed Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunting Safety.

Massachusetts

M.G.L.A. 131 § 14 

Minors 15 to 17 if accompanied by person 18 years or older or if minor has certificate of completion of hunter education course.

Michigan

M.C.L.A. 324.43520

A minor who is less than 10 years old may obtain a mentored youth hunting license. A minor who is less than 10 years old shall not hunt game under a mentored youth hunting license unless that minor complies with all requirements of the mentored youth hunting program.

Minnesota

N/A

Youths 11 or younger may hunt non-big game if accompanied by parent or legal guardian.  12 and older may hunt big game with hunter education certificate.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-7-20.1

Children at least 12 years of age and under 16 must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course.  However, they may hunt without having the certificate if under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age.  Children under the age of 12 must be under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age when the child is hunting.

Missouri

N/A

Youths age 6 through 15 may hunt antlerless deer and turkey when in the immediate presence of a qualified adult.

Montana

Various sections of Mont. Code Ann. §87-2

Hunters over the age of 12 may hunt most species, including big game, provided they pass a hunter’s safety course as required. Resident minors between the ages of 12 and 15 can fish and hunt upland game and migratory birds during the open season with just a conservation license, without completing a safety course. 

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. §37-413 and §37-452

A person under the age of twelve years who is accompanied by a person nineteen years of age or older having a valid hunting permit may hunt. However, you must be at least twelve years of age to hunt antelope, elk, or mountain sheep, and any person who is twelve through fifteen years of age shall only hunt antelope, elk, or mountain sheep when supervised by a person nineteen years of age or older having a valid hunting permit. No person shall hunt deer unless such person is at least ten years of age, and any person who is ten through fifteen years of age shall only hunt deer when supervised by a person nineteen years of age or older having a valid hunting permit.

Nevad

Nev. Rev. Stat. §502.010

Allows individuals under the age of 12 to hunt without obtaining a license and prohibits them from hunting big game at any time. Makes it unlawful for any child under the age of 18 to hunt any wild birds or mammals without being accompanied at all times by the child’s parent or guardian or an authorized person who is licensed to hunt.

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §207:2-a

Prohibits any minor less than 16 years of age to hunt using a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow and bolt except when accompanied by a licensed adult. 

New Jersey

 N.J. Stat. Ann. §23:3-3

Authorizes the issuance of youth hunting licenses to individuals between the ages of 10 and 16 who have successfully completed a course in gun or bow and arrow safety. 

New Mexico

N/A

Youths under 18 may hunt with certificate of having passed hunter education course.

New York

N.Y. Environ. Cons. Law §11-0929

Minors under 12 may not obtain a hunting license or hunt wildlife. Prohibits a licensee between the ages of 12 and 14 from hunting with a gun or longbow unless accompanied by a licensed individual 21 or older. Licensees between the ages of 14 and 16 may not hunt wildlife with a gun or longbow unless accompanied by an individual 18 or older.

North Carolina

N/A

Under age 12, may hunt if accompanied by a licensed adult and after having passed hunter safety course.

North Dakota

N/A

For big game, minimum age is 14, with hunting safety class required.  Small game has no minimum, but anyone 12 or older must have passed hunting safety class.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1533.13

Prohibits any individual under the age of sixteen from hunting unless accompanied by a parent or other adult.

Oklahoma

N/A

Youths under 16, with hunter education class, may hunt small and big game, and may hunt alone.  Without a hunter education class, may hunt small game only and must be accompanied by licensed adult 21 or older who has passed hunter education course.

Oregon

N/A

Youth 9 through 13 may participate in mentored youth hunter program without having to pass hunter education class.  No one under age 11 may hunt big game.

Pennsylvania

34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2705(2)

Youths 12 through 16 may hunt with a junior hunting license.

Rhode Island

N/A

Junior hunting license available for youths 12 to 14.  Requires hunting safety course and licensed adult supervision.

South Carolina

N/A

Children under sixteen years of age are not required to procure or possess a hunting or fishing license or any other permit or license required for hunting or fishing unless that child engages in the taking of wildlife or fish for commercial purposes.

South Dakota 

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §41-6-12

States that no person under the age of 12 may be granted any hunting license. Any person who is 11 and who will become 12 during the period September first through December thirty-first, may be granted any hunting license and be allowed to hunt beginning September first. 

Texas

N/A

A person under age 17 who has lawful access to a firearm may hunt with the firearm if the youth has successfully completed the hunter education course, or is accompanied by a licensed hunter age 17 or older who has complied with the hunter education requirement, if applicable.

Tennessee

N/A

Youths under 13 do not need a license to hunt.  Youths 10 to 12 need hunter education course.  Youths under 10 do not need hunter education course, but must be supervised by adult 21 or older.

Utah  Utah Code Ann. §23-20-20

Requires any person under the age of 14 be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older while hunting with any weapon.

Vermont

N/A

No minimum age, but must have passed hunter safety course.

Virgini

VA. Code § 29.1-300.1

 

Although a resident under the age of twelve is not required to obtain a license to hunt, any person under the age of twelve, or an individual on his behalf, may purchase a Virginia hunting license or a junior lifetime hunting license pursuant to § 29.1-302.1, without completing a hunter education program as required in subsection A of this section, provided that no person under the age of twelve shall hunt unless accompanied and directly supervised by an adult who has, on his person, a valid Virginia hunting license. 

Washington

N/A

No minimum age, but must first pass hunter education course.

West Virginia

N/A

No minimum age, but it is illegal for anyone under the age of 15 to hunt on public land or the lands of another unless accompanied by a licensed adult, at least 18 years of age, who remains near enough to render advice and assistance.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. Ann. §29.592

 

A person who is at least 10 years of age may hunt when with a licensed hunter who is: 18 years of age or older and is the parent or guardian or is authorized by the parent or guardian to serve as a mentor.   

Wyoming

N/A

Minimum hunting age is 12 years.  All hunters must pass hunter education course.

Source: NCSL Compilation, 2008.

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