N.L. lowers legal hunting age to 12, improves access for hunters with disabilities

In an effort to get more young people out hunting, Newfoundland and Labrador is lowering the minimum age for both small and big game licences.

The new age limits were announced Friday along with other changes to the Wildlife Act and regulations, including efforts to help those with disabilities have better access to hunting and angling.

The minimum age to shoot small game, coyotes and other furbearing animals has been lowered from 16 to 12, and the minimum age to shoot big game has been lowered from 18 to 16.

"Including young people in our outdoor heritage, access to our hunting experiences, that's been something that other provinces, other jurisdictions have enjoyed for quite some time," said Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources.

"It's something that's been asked for not just by young people but by parents here in Newfoundland and Labrador."

New age requirements come into effect immediately, but young hunters will only be permitted to use a gun under the supervision of a qualified adult.

Early big game draw application dates will be in effect for next year's season, to allow hunters and trappers more time to plan for the season.

More accessible hunting

Changes were also announced to make it easier for people with a disability to hunt and fish in the province.

They include giving people with a disability first dibs on moose put down by conservation officers for humane or public safety reasons.

As well, hunters designated by a disabled person to shoot under their licence will be allowed to be 800 metres away, or in line of sight, whichever is greater.

People with disabilities will also be given priority access to firearm safety training in 2018-19.

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Comment by Peter Emberley on October 29, 2017 at 11:17pm
Good point.
Comment by Lee Chaulk on October 29, 2017 at 1:53pm

I would like to see a couple changes mostly... recognition of New types of firearms for hunting (.17 HMR for example) and do away with caliber restriction on coyote hunting , there is no bonus paid anymore and the fur is practically worthless outside of fur season.

Comment by Peter Emberley on October 29, 2017 at 11:54am
Be nice if we had a group to do just that.
Comment by Lee Chaulk on October 29, 2017 at 7:10am

Great news ..I bet there will be a lot of wildlife course enrollments after this and the purchases of those little youth .22LR and 410's ..it's a shame the previous generation didn't get to benefit from this earlier ..i knew a few young fellow who loved hunting but lost interest before they turned old enough to hunt.

So what else can we try to get looked at maybe getting changed now? 

Comment by Peter Emberley on October 27, 2017 at 5:16pm

This is wonderful news for our youth and the entire outdoor community.
There has been many people and groups advocating for years to get the hunting age lowered.
A big Thanks and Congratulations to everyone.

Newfoundland Federation of Hunters & Anglers

Newfoundland Association of Hunters & Anglers

Newfoundland & Labrador Outfitters Association.

Newfoundland Sportsman

Newfoundland & Labrador Waterfowlers

Totally Outdoors NL

There was tremendous support from

OP Fishing & Hunting

Coastal Outdoors

Blue Ridge, The Outdoor Store

And all the Rod and Gun Clubs across the province.

The members of the wildlife division, managers, enforcement officers and many more I'm sure.

Lastly and just as important are the outdoor community. The Hunters, Anglers and outdoor people.

Here's a tip of the hat to Everyone!!!

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