Pennsylvania: Proposed Rule Making to Restrict Mentored Youth Hunting

National Event Gets Kids Outdoors
Pennsylvania: Proposed Rule Making to Restrict Mentored Youth Hunting
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA –-(  The Pennsylvania Game Commission is proposing to eliminate deer and wild turkey from the list of species mentored youth hunters under the age of 9 can pursue.

This proposal would restrict young hunters under the age of 9 to only hunting small game, while mentored youth ages 9–12 would remain licensed to harvest small and big game.

You can see the proposed agenda and the proposed rulemaking here for the meeting set for January 25-27.

The Commission cites public concern regarding the ability of youth to handle the firearms commonly used to hunt deer and wild turkey, as well as allegations that some adults unlawfully use their mentored youth’s harvest tags.  However, as described here, the program is designed for a safe hunting experience, and it is unfair to restrict all youth under 9 because of these assumptions and allegations.

It is the responsibility of parents to decide when their child is ready and able to hunt with a particular firearm under the trusted supervision of a mentor, and it is the duty of law enforcement officials to prosecute those breaking the law.

The mentored hunting license program is meant to remove barriers and create opportunities for newcomers to hunting.  Thirty-three states sell apprentice or mentored hunting licenses, and since 2006, more than one million mentored hunting licenses have been sold.  Across the country, concerns raised by anti-hunting campaigns pertaining to safety have been laid to rest.  In fact, the experiences in these states have shown that apprentice hunting is, by far, the safest form of all hunting, something that is already one of the safest activities in America.

The NRA believes that apprentice hunting is critical to help preserve and strengthen the future of our cherished hunting heritage.  

Please contact [email protected] and urge the Game Commission to oppose this proposed rulemaking.  

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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Kathy Davis
Kathy Davis

Lets deal in facts and NOT in emotion or hearsay shall we? There was no minimum age requirement for hunting in PA until 1937. The facts are PA was the first state to implement “modern day” mentored youth hunting opportunity in 2005 and enacted into regulation in 2006. The Senate vote was 50-0 and the house vote was 196-1. The then sitting commissioners implemented the program with a vote of 8-0. 33 states have followed in Pennsylvania’s mentored hunting footsteps since its inception; all with no minimum age. In the 2013-2014 license year, 140 deer and 170 turkey were taken… Read more »


Kids under 9 should be doing just what the kid in the photo is doing…getting ready for the time when he is able and ready to hunt really. When is a 6 year old gonna learn and practice ahead of time? When hes five? All kids this age do is wound game, and provide another tag in most cases, for daddy to use with the kid never even stepping foot in the woods. Its a flawed program and needs to change. We need to get our kids in the woods, but age 2 isn’t the way to go about it,… Read more »