MUCC Testifies on Bill to Expand Mentored Hunt Program to Include Individuals with Special Needs

Lansing, MI — May 23, 2024 — This morning, Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), Michigan’s leading conservation organization, testified in committee on priority legislation expanding hunting opportunities for individuals with special needs.  

House Bill 5737, sponsored by Rep. Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) with bipartisan support expands Michigan’s successful mentored youth hunting program to include children and adults with special needs, that are incapable of passing a written hunters safety test but can perform hunting tasks under the direct supervision of a hunting mentor. 

The hearing on HB 5737 was held in the House Committee on Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, chaired by Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), a cosponsor of the legislation. Rep. Pohutsky promptly scheduled a hearing on the bill after its introduction on Wednesday.  

The committee reported the bill, with the recommendation that it pass, on a unanimous vote.  

MUCC’s support for this legislation comes from a grassroots member policy passed at it’s 2023 Annual Convention. The policy resolution, authored by MUCC member Mike Thorman, was born at a club banquet from a mother telling her and her son’s story.  

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also testified in support of the legislation.  

This legislation will not affect a large swath of Michigan’s hunters but will mean the world to those that it does, said Justin Tomei, MUCC’s Policy and Government Affairs Manager. 

“Often, we work on regulations or laws affecting hundreds of thousands of Michigan’s hunters, anglers, and trappers. This legislation is vastly different in terms of scope,” said Tomei. “To those hunters who will soon be able to pursue their outdoor dreams, and to their families, this legislation means everything.” 

If the legislation is adopted before the legislature leaves for summer break the DNR is hopeful they can implement the program in time for the 2024 deer season.  

The next step for the legislation is a vote by the entire House of Representatives, before moving to the Senate for consideration. 

To learn more about MUCC and its other legislative priorities visit  

Leave a Comment