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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a little hesitant to do this because I am afraid it might be in bad taste or seem insensative which it certainly is not intended to be. But I have to ask the very practicle question: Should the legal hunting age or rather the lack therof be reevaluated? On the one hand there is the question: Should a blanket policy be changed due to a single incident? And on the other hand one can point out how each of our lives have changed due to the single event of 911. What are your thoughts? Have recent events changed your mind on this issue?
 

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I try very hard to avoid knee-jerk reactions. Most of the time, knee-jerk reactions do not solve the problem and have unseen consequences that create bigger issues than the solution. However, I do not think you can compare the one time incident on 9-11 to the one time incident that happened in Benjamin UT. The differences in scale, scope, and consequence are too large to begin to explain. Also, I would argue that 9-11 was not a one time event...It was a culmination of events that had been playing out for decades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NHS, so are you saying that the present regulations providing no legal age limits for hunters ought not or need not to be reevaluated?
 

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I agree that a knee jerk reaction is not the way to go here.
It was a young nine year old involved but look at the accidents we have also had with full grown adults.
Accidents are just that accidents.
It is tragic and my heart goes out to everyone involved.
I do not think the age limit needs to be reevaluted at this time.
Now if we started having a ton of accidents involving kids under twelve I might change my opinion on this.
I hope the hunter ed instructors are being very attentive about who they are passing for certification.
I think they know they're jobs well, At least mine did some twenty years ago.
Zach
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Silvertip, you brought up a very good point that I would like to explore further. the present regulations place a tremendous amount of responsability on those hunter safety instructors. My question is: Is that too much responsability to place on them?
 

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I think it's allot of responsibility on the instructor's and the adults that are watching them in the field. It depends on the individual. Some people watch there children and other's let them run wild. Again it would depend on how many accident's in the field before it can be evaluated.
 

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campfire said:
NHS, so are you saying that the present regulations providing no legal age limits for hunters ought not or need not to be reevaluated?
No. I'm saying that it is not wise to make policy or regulation changes based on one incident. That is a knee jerk reaction.
 

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I would have to lean toward the adults (parents) having the final say so if someone is ready to go hunting.
 

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Kids can do a lot more than we give them credit for - no disagreement there. It is a little more responsibility, however, than is maybe appropriate to bear in the case of firearms in the field. What I mean is that I drove a truck on a farm years before 16 - many of you did the same. I don't think I appreciated the danger of a car until I got in a bad weather accident many years after 16. My point is that doing and being ready, mature. etc. for the thing you are doing are two seperate things and I very much believe that children relate more to being able to do things as the "end all" of the experience more so than being able to understand things.

Coincidentally, I lived across the street from the family where the man was raised many years ago. I was too young to know him, but still have a fond memory of his parents and just the fact that they were part of "my" neighborhood. More than anything, they got after me for playing on the lawn :).

What a tragedy from what is meant to be a good time out with family. I would say not really worth it on the no age law. Sure you can justify it in a lot of ways, but why? I didn't need to hunt at 9 to become an addict for life. I love the sport and I think there is also a portion of respect gained just by nature of having to wait for something. Put them on the range, give them the feel and lessons appropriate and then have them wait and watch you for years. No harm in waiting and lots of quality experiences inbetween. I wish the family the best, and more than anything - I hope the boy recovers from the experience. I can guess how he might feel about this law when he is our age.
 

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I think it would be a taragity for one accident to bring the legal hunting age back. I remember when I was finaly old enough to take hunter ed and go hunting, it was so exciting. I cant wait until my daughter (below) gets to go hunting with me and be able to experience the excitement of having that game in your sights.



On that note. I have known some adults who dont know or practice safe hunting, things that my four year old already knows. I think the real responsibility falls on the parents of the child. They know them better than any, with all due respect, hunter ed instructor, and should be the final say as to when the child will be able to safely carry a firearm in the field. Im very proud of my four year old, she has shot my pistol and my shot gun (with assistance), and loves it.
 

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No offense but I can't stand it when the argument for change is due to a recent accident, Every anti-gun, hunting, and/or (insert name here) group uses this argument. There have been youngsters hunting now and before there was a minimum age. There is true data available to look at, yet the emotion card gets used. I understand that there are quite a few people opposed to this but they could at least come up with new material. Accidents happen and will continue to happen, there is nothing that society or the government can do other than lock every one in rubber rooms (no that won't work you could choke on your food while fighting the restraints of your straight jacket). I apologize in advance if you are playing the devil's advocate, it just that there are too many people starting fights and trying every thing they can do to stop things they don't like based solely on feelings.
 

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As a hunters education instructor I have mixed feelings about this subject. I understand the argument that children can do more then we give them credit for and are capable of hunting in a safe manner. On the other hand we as a society have limited their age to when they can legally drive, legally partake of alcohol and tobacco, and many other things. So the real question is when is the right time to allow them to hunt? I don’t know as there is a REAL RIGHT age to allow them to safely carry a weapon. The problem that you have is each child develops at a deferent rate. Case in point my 8 year old physically is the size of most 10 and 11 year olds but mentally he is still an eight year old. As much as I would love to have him in the field carrying a rifle with me, he is not ready from that kind of responsibility.

As for the comments about hunter safety instructors allowing these young kids to hunt, I know that they were not derogatory comments towards Hunter Safety Instructors and I appreciate the faith that you have in the hunter’s education system. But we as hunter safety instructors can not prevent kids from passing the class just because we don’t think they are old enough or ready for the responsibility that comes with carrying a rifle. If the kids meets the hunters safety class requirements (75% or better on the written test, and 50% or better on the shooting test) we have too pass them. The parents/legal guardians are the one’s that are 100% responsible to know if/when the child is ready to take on the responsibility of carrying a firearm. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you don’t think that your child is ready for the RESPONSIBILTY, DON’T please DON’T put them in a hunters safety class. It’s not fair to expect the hunter safety instructor to make this decision after only knowing the child for no more then 15 hours.

400bull
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
400BULL,
WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!
 

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Recalling the tragedy of adult deer hunter that accidently shot and killed his adult hunting companion this fall, it is obvious age is not the only factor to consider. 400bull and others have hit the other factors, maturity, experience with guns, and experience with hunting. Mom/Dad/Adult mentors obviously must take responsibility and answer the ultimate question, "Is this little one ready to safely carry/discharge a firearm and kill game?" For everyone's safety, I hope this question is honestly answered, even if the adult really, really wants a little hunting buddy.
 

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Personally, when I first read this post I thought just like Petersen - I do not want a 9 year old carrying a 12 gauge behind me. I think the legal hunting age needs to be re-evaluated, and it is not a knee jerk reaction. I moved back to Utah in May and was concerned when I learned the law had been changed. I believe hunting is a privilege just as driving is a privilege, and both require a certain level maturity and judgement. I doubt we would consider lowering the driving age, mostly because of risk it poses to other people (not just the young individual). There are plenty of adults who have hunting and driving privileges revoked because they are unable to do so safely.

I also look forward to taking my little boy afield, however, I think he should accompany me without carrying a gun for an appropriate amount of time to develop respect and appreciation for firearm safety.

My heart goes out to the boy and his family.
 

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The legal age should be 12/16 just like it use to be, under those ages is to young. end of story. I was walking out of FB the other night and their was to kids with there dad they had a few birds but they did not act old enough to be out their.
 

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sagebrush said:
I would have to lean toward the adults (parents) having the final say so if someone is ready to go hunting.
Me too. Unfortunately, there are many that do not posess the skills to make good decisions when it comes to this. Chalk it up to darwinism.

Most will be conscious guardians when making the decision to take their youngsters out.

Just like there are many 16 year olds that have no business driving, there are many kids who have no business carrying a firearm. Age has nothing to do with capabilitiy. I know many 40 year olds that would make me wince if I found out they owned guns, but where do you draw the line between agency and communism? (A little drastic.)

Give a dog a bone and let him bury it where he pleases. If he can't find it later, it's his own **** fault.
 
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