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Too Young To Hunt Alone


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#1 Spirithawk

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:55 AM

Anyone else notice the story on MSN's home page about the young 15 year old kid who, while hunting in fog with his 16 year old brother, mistook an elderly lady for a bear and shot her in the head killing her? The story goes on to bring up the issue of kids too young to hunt alone and states that have no minimum age limit or those, such as Texas where the minimum age is 9.

    Seven states ; Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington set no minimum age for solo hunting. In Texas, kids can hunt alone when they are 9.
  • In Alaska, Louisiana and Tennessee, the minimum age for unsupervised hunting is 10, in Missouri it's 11, and in nine other states it's 12.
That's a total of 21 states in which kids can hunt alone at age 12 or younger. And in 19 of them, young hunters afield by themselves may pursue any game — big or small — that is in season.

I have to agree that there should be a minimum age. You sure don't give a 9 year old a license to drive a car and turn him loose. It's just common sense. Jason started out hunting with me. Small game at first, squirrels with a single shot .410 and as he grew older, and proved both his safety and hunting skills, he progressed to a .22. Then down the line a bit he got to deer hunt with me and used a Ruger .44 mag carbine. But in all instances we were together untill I was convinced he was able to hunt alone safely. I'm proud to say he's the most safety concious hunter I know and at 14 I trusted him more than most grown men I knew. One of the most important lessons of all was knowing your target, beyond any doubt, and knowing what was around and beyond it before pulling that trigger! Jason often proved to me that he had learned that lesson well by his letting game, he could have shot, pass because he wasn't sure of my location. So while I agree with the story on MSN, I worry how those who already are anti hunting, will read into it what they want and use it for farther ammo in their arsenal to, not just ban all hunting, but to scare kids away from wanting to learn about hunting as well. To me it goes to prove that each of us has a responsibility to, not just hunt safely and ethicly ourselves, but to also teach our children those quallities and to be there to see to it that they put those lessons into practice!

That obviously wasn't done in this case and as a result an elderly woman's life was ended and a young man will now have to live the rest of his own life bearing the burden of knowing what he did.

Edited by Spirithawk, 21 July 2009 - 11:05 AM.


#2 irinman2424

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:02 PM

last fall in Michigan a 9 year old shot his dad with a 22 they walked out in the woods together squirel hunting and his dad walked away and dropped down a hill when he came back up the kid seen his hair and shot him in the head he will be alright but who in their right mind would turn a 9 year old loose with a 22 and walk away???
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#3 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:37 PM

PA has a Mentored Youth hunting opportunity for kids under 12 yrs old. The youth must be mentored by a licensed adult age 21 or more. The youth must be within an arms length of the mentor. If I remember correctly the youth cannot carry the weapon but can have it in hand if they are not moving. Persons age 12 - 16 are classed as Junior Hunters. They must take a hunter safety course and purchase a license. Junior license holders age 12 and 13 must be accompanied by an adult member of the family at least 18 yrs old or an adult serving in place of the parent. Persons 14 and 15 must be acconpanied by any adult 18 or older and a 16 yr old may hunt alone.
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#4 mudduck

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:18 PM

I think too much emphasis is placed on the "kill" of the hunt, rather than on the "thrill" of the hunt. I don't think normal nine year olds have a burning desire to kill anything, but I do think they have a desire to please their parents. The ability to concentrate for long periods and to foresee possible outcomes of choices one has to make while hunting, is expecting too much of most 9 year olds. Bring them along on hunts, but don't let them hunt un-attended

#5 runNgun

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:37 PM

I know at least for me at nine years old, it was fun trying to hit birds with my BB gun. But I honestly don't think I would have been able to comfortably kill a deer at that age. I think parents have to actaully to decide when their child actaully is ready to take an animal's life and safely hunt, and not just when the regulations legally permit them to hunt. You can tell a kid important safety practices about hunting, but that doesn't mean they will remember or heed it. In my opinion they actaully have to see and experience them with an adult to make sure they stick. Hunt with your child until they are 12 or 13 years old, and then decide if they can handle themselves responsibly in the woods
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#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 05:36 PM

You know, it's just common sense but unfortunately that's something that too many lack these days. Added to the tradgedy is that the story will turn many youth away from hunting because their parents will panic and use this as an example of why not to let their kids get into hunting. You notice that you sure don't ever see any success stories of youth involved hunting posted on Google or MSN's home page! How hunting unites family members. How hunting skills teach discipline and ethics. How healthy a diet of wild game is compared to chemical laced meat bought in markets. Saddly that's the trend in all news these days. Tradgedy makes front page news, but let something good happen and it's pushed to the back page, if it's mentioned at all.

Edited by Spirithawk, 22 July 2009 - 05:37 PM.


#7 BrandonT

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:37 PM

I agree... Every child is different and mature at their own pace. Some kids may be perfectly responsible at 10 or 12 years old, but others may not be that way until they are closer to 20. Just depends on how they are raised, the hunter's safety clasess that they attend, and the different hunters that they grow up around. Just my opinion, but I would think their maturity would be the guideline, not just an age. I take my stepson (age 5) out deer hunting with me right now. I let him take his BB gun and shoot at some game with it. Of course we are mostly in an enclosed blind and we know who is on the rest of the property and where they are at and I am sitting right next to him. Like I said, it all depends on the childs responsibility. :)
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#8 tomscheland

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:59 AM

here in tn it's the same as in Pa., a person cannot hunt alone until they are 16 years of age and then must behave someome at least 21 with them, and must complete a hunter's safty cource before buying a licences
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