FREDERICTON (GNB) – The public is invited to review and provide comment on a proposed regulatory change that would lower the legal age for hunting to 12 from the current 14. The deadline to provide comments is Aug. 14.

"Changing the minimum age for hunters from 14 to 12 is something the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation has asked for in an effort to attract young people to hunting,'' said Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northup. "This would conform with federal legislation and with most other jurisdictions in North America, so we are therefore proposing to amend regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Act to permit this change as of Sept. 1.''

Federal legislation allows youths who are 12 years old to obtain a minor's possession permit for a firearm. In recent years, most provinces have lowered the age limit for hunting to 12 to be consistent with the federal legislation.

Under the proposed regulations, youths between 12 and 16 would be able to hunt small game and varmints while accompanied by an adult. They would also have to first complete firearm safety and hunter education courses.