Youth Hunting Bill Promotes Safety and Education in the Great Outdoors

Legislation Passed In Both The Assembly and Senate Allows Youth To Hunt With An Adult

Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda) today announced his excitement for the approval of the youth hunting bill that was recently signed into law by Governor Paterson. In the past, New York has had some of the strictest outdoor recreation laws on the books, making it difficult for minors to gain experience hunting and trapping, activities that are both educational and recreational.

“This legislation will provide children with greater opportunity to hunt and trap under the tutelage of a parent or mentor,” stated Giglio. “I am proud to have supported this overdue reform to our state’s hunting and trapping laws.”

A junior hunting license will allow a minor, starting at 12 years of age, to harvest a variety of wildlife, excluding big game, with a firearm. Fourteen- or 15-year-olds will be able hunt deer and bear with a firearm, provided they are closely supervised by an adult. This adult can be a guardian or mentor who is at least 21 years of age and approved by a parent, if the parent does not wish to accompany the minor.

The accompanying adult must have three years’ hunting experience, hold a license to hunt big game, and maintain physical control over the minor at all times. Both the chaperone and minor are required to wear blaze orange clothing with no less than 50 percent worn above the waist while hunting. This bill will also allow a young person under the age of 12, who does not possess a trapping license, to join a parent or mentor who is a licensed trapper with at least three years of experience.

“For many of us in western New York, hunting and trapping make up an important part of outdoor life. This legislation will provide future generations of hunters, trappers, and outdoor enthusiasts with the skills and training they need to enjoy the experiences of hunting and trapping both as a sport and a means of provision,” said Giglio. “The legislation also promotes a safe way for young people to participate in these activities and bond with adult mentors in the great outdoors of our beautiful state.”