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Ask a Conservation Officer: small game hunting with an 11 year-old

Q: I am the father of an 11-year-old who likes to hunt. Is it legal for him to shoot small game if I am with him and I have a license?

A: Yes, at age 11, he can hunt small game if accompanied by a parent or guardian. He does not need a Firearms Safety Certificate or a small game license. You as a parent or guardian need a small game license if you are assisting him.

Here is a breakdown of small game license requirements for youth ages 17 and under:

For small game, a Firearms Safety Certificate (FAS) is not required for youth age 12 or younger.

Youth age 13 and under may hunt small game (no license required) if in possession of a FAS Certificate and accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parent or guardian must be licensed if assisting the youth.

Youth age 14 and 15 may hunt on their own without a license, just need FAS.

Youth age 16 and 17 may hunt on their own, and must possess a reduced price small game license ($5). In addition, a Federal Duck Stamp is required to hunt waterfowl.

In many cases, youth license and Firearms Safety Certification requirements will differ for big game, turkey, and trapping. See page 34 of the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook to ensure that your youth hunter has the licenses and certificates required while afield.

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