Mentored Youth Hunting licenses now available

LANSING — Sen. John Proos on Friday reminded Southwest Michigan residents that Mentored Youth Hunting licenses are now available for the 2012 season.

“Hunting and fishing are great Michigan pastimes that help families bond while also fostering a passion for the outdoors in our children and teaching them the importance of preserving and respecting our natural resources,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I encourage local hunters and families to take advantage of this youth mentorship opportunity and safely share Michigan’s great traditions with the next generation of Southwest Michigan outdoor enthusiasts.”

The Mentored Youth Hunting program is designed to introduce youth under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing. Under the program, a package license for hunters less than 10 years old costs $7.50 and allows the youth to hunt turkey (spring and fall), deer and small game; trap furbearers; and fish for all species.

The program is a result of the “hunter heritage” legislation signed into law in 2011.

“I supported the measures that created this program because introducing youths to outdoor activities under the guidance of a mentor offers a unique learning experience.” Proos said. “This program will help children learn proper safety and ethics and also develop teamwork skills and self-confidence.”

Under the program, youths must be accompanied by a mentor who must be at least 21 years old, have previous hunting experience and possess a current Michigan hunting license. There is no limit on the number of children a mentor can have with him or her, but the mentor is responsible for the actions of the youth hunter in the field at all times.

For more information on the Mentored Youth Hunting program, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s website at: