A junior hunting license offers young people the opportunity to participate in numerous high quality “apprentice” hunting activities offered by DFW and nonprofit wildlife conservation groups. By increasing the age eligibility of a junior license, SB 865 would allow youth to take advantage of these exciting outdoor opportunities for two more years – significantly increasing the likelihood they will become lifelong participants in hunting activities.
In addition, by increasing the junior hunting license age eligibility to 17 years of age and younger, SB 865 would bring hunting licenses in line with California law which generally deems someone as an “adult” at 18 years. Further, in 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service increased the age eligibility for youth waterfowl hunts from 15 to 17 years of age. The following letter expresses the support from California BHA and several other hunting and conservation groups in the state for this Bill.
**Update - SB 865 passed out of the Senate policy committee recently with amendments to place a 5 year “sunset” of July 1, 2028 on the change and which require DFW to gather data and report back to the Legislature on the effect of the change by October 1, 2026.