Wisconsin governor signs bill to cut minimum hunting age
By Chris Eger
Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a number of hunting-related bills into law Saturday including one that eliminates the threshold age to hunt.
Classified as a “youth mentored hunting bill” by its sponsor, Assembly Bill 455 passed the legislature earlier this month by healthy margins and removes the requirement that a person is at least 10 years old to participate in a hunting mentorship program, leaving it up to parents to decide the budding sportsman’s minimum age.
Wisconsin Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, told lawmakers his legislation was about letting parents choose when their kids are ready to participate in hunting, not relying on a state mandate.
“I know my daughter would have been fine squirrel hunting with a .22 at age 6 had it been legal,” said Stafsholt. “Grouse hunting with a .410 shotgun a year or two later would have been warranted in my opinion.”
The change in state law advocated by Stafsholt eliminates the minimum age requirement for mentored hunts as well as the limit of one hunting device– such as a bow or gun– that a mentor and mentee can have between them while harvesting game. Under the new law, both can now carry a device, though it does bar