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  1. #1

    Default Wisconsin is about to eliminate minimum age for hunting!!

    Wisconsin has one of the worst Governors, especially if you hunt public land, in the country and we are his signature away from having no minimum age for youth hunters. I personally think it's a terrible law and a minimum age should be required but what really takes the cake is that the law allows for the parent or mentor to ALSO carry a firearm along side the learning and inexperienced hunter. As a professional who works with kids and also has 10+ years volunteering with our local "Learn to Hunt" program I have enough ground to say this law is foolish. I would also say that the WORST objective judge of a child's ability is...his/her...parents...period.



    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/stat...47d1ac133.html

  2. #2

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    I have coached kids sports for years and there is definitely an argument to be made that kids mature at different rates and that there are probably 8 year-olds that are ready for hunting and 14 year-olds that are not, so I can see the argument that kids should be able to take hunter's safety and whenever they are ready and if they pass the test then they are ready to hunt. But this assumes that the hunter safety instructor is assessing whether a child is ready, which often they are not and just trying to get kids through the required material and put a card in the kids hands.

    So while I can see the other-side... I agree this is a terrible idea. Also I can certainly see lots of 3 year-olds shooting deer in Wisconsin next year with their dads, wink wink....

  3. #3
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    In Va there is no minimum and I think our hunter recruitment is better than average. If you don't get kids involved early then other things like sports become the focus. This was my argument when Va changed and allowed Sunday hunting. It gives the kids a chance to do multiple things. Small game is just not the same as big game, if it was we would see more squirrel pictures on here. I agree that there is a safety aspect but from a state with no minimum age, I can't recall an incident with a young hunter in the field. I think you'll find young hunters are more safe than late teen early twenty hunters with a Rambo mentality.
    Self proclaimed Founder, President, and Spiritual Leader of the I.S.V.F......Introduce Speedgoats to Virginia Foundation

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fwagner View Post
    Wisconsin has one of the worst Governors, especially if you hunt public land, in the country and we are his signature away from having no minimum age for youth hunters. I personally think it's a terrible law and a minimum age should be required but what really takes the cake is that the law allows for the parent or mentor to ALSO carry a firearm along side the learning and inexperienced hunter. As a professional who works with kids and also has 10+ years volunteering with our local "Learn to Hunt" program I have enough ground to say this law is foolish. I would also say that the WORST objective judge of a child's ability is...his/her...parents...period.



    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/stat...47d1ac133.html
    Just curious. How many kids do you have?

    Statistically, how many youth hunters have accidentally shot another hunter vs "experienced" adult hunters who saw something move and shot at it....
    God's trying to bless America, there's just too many people getting in the way.

  5. #5

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    I was shooting and hunting game at 5 years old. But I do see some of my friends with 13 year olds that I wouldn't take hunting. They're good kids but They just haven't been exposed to firearms enough to trust them in anything but a very controlled environment.
    Last edited by TimeOnTarget; 11-09-2017 at 10:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2003
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    Frigid Ohio
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    I started hunting, with my Dad, when I was 9. I've been pig hunting with a 5 yr old and his Dad (he shot a pig as big as mine). My son started at 10. Not one mishap, nor safety infraction.

    I can also tell you this, I will not take one step into the field with my niece's 18 yr old meathead boyfriend, who thinks he's the next Jack O'Connor !!
    "Talent, hits a target, no one else can hit... Genius, hits a target, no one else can see."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    I have coached kids sports for years and there is definitely an argument to be made that kids mature at different rates and that there are probably 8 year-olds that are ready for hunting and 14 year-olds that are not, so I can see the argument that kids should be able to take hunter's safety and whenever they are ready and if they pass the test then they are ready to hunt. But this assumes that the hunter safety instructor is assessing whether a child is ready, which often they are not and just trying to get kids through the required material and put a card in the kids hands.

    So while I can see the other-side... I agree this is a terrible idea. Also I can certainly see lots of 3 year-olds shooting deer in Wisconsin next year with their dads, wink wink....
    Doesn't require ANY hunters safety, as long as their parent is with them. Who will also be allowed to carry a gun!

  8. #8

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    All kids mature differently. I'm five years younger than my older brother. He didn't start to take an interest in shooting and hunting until around 10 or 11. During that time when he was learning I was also being exposed to guns, safety, and hunting. My dad saw that I was mature about it. I remember one of my first duck hunting experiences at 7 I passed on a shot because of cows in the background. By age 8 he would drop me off and I'd sit and hunt until he came to pick me up. This included doves, squirrels, ducks, and deer.

    For this reason I'm glad Louisiana doesn't have an age restriction. Saturday morning I will be taking my nephew squirrel hunting on public land and given the location we may have a chance to stalk a pig. Unfortunately his dad and my sister are not into hunting so he has limited exposure to guns and hunting. He is 8 years old and handled himself well last year during the few hunts he was able to make. On the other side...his brother is 6 and I would not dare to give him anything more than BB gun and highly supervise him doing so.

    In reference to the article what exactly is a "mentored hunt"?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fwagner View Post
    Who will also be allowed to carry a gun!

    I'm torn between on this part. If it's a defined youth hunt then absolutely only weapon which the kid will posses. And in most cases it's better to only carry one gun and focus on the kid shooting. But when I take my nephew hunting this week I will have a gun as backup in case a quick follow up shot is needed or we come across multiple pigs.

  10. #10

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    Wisconsin Public Radio debated this on Tuesday Morning. They had the sponsor of the bill, a republican, and a democrat who was against it. As a Hunters Ed Instructor and an Iowa resident where we do not have a minimum age requirement I am OK with the law change as I see youth in my hunters ed programs who have been hunting with their family since a young age and are ready, but I also see young adults who are not ready to hunt. It should be up to the parents discretion. I do not agree with the 2 gun rule. If there is going to be a youth or a mentor hunt I believe it should be all about the youth. https://www.wpr.org/shows/two-takes-...h-hunting-laws

  11. #11

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    As others have mentioned, I think maturity plays a major role in what age is appropriate. I agree with the OP, a complete dismissal of a minimum age is detrimental. Not to say that there isn't children out there who can comprehend practical safety measures and understand ethics at younger ages than their peers, but those kids are not the majority. As a fella who has taught hunter safety courses, I can tell you from what I've experienced is that those kids who are in dire need of a mentor to hold their hand in the field far outweigh those children who could probably recite the certification test at the age of six. Every chance I get I lobby for a reduction in the minimum age, not a dismissal. VAspeedgoat hit the nail on the head in regards to recruitment and sustainment for our youth hunters. We need to reduce the minimum age in order to expose these kids at a younger age, put them behind the trigger, put them in the spotlight, put them in a position to a positive experience. I won't get into specifics on what age I feel is appropriate because there's too many people who feel their child is the one I'm directing my opinion at. But come on, waiting until your 12 or 13 to actually legally be behind the trigger? Give me and the kid a break, at that point in time a child's interest will most likely be elsewhere if they've never been allowed to legally hunt. Early exposure is a must, but lets keep a minimum age for maturities sake. Would you let a 1st year apprentice electrician go out on his own on a high voltage job? No. Time and education are essential.
    "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take a chance?" -Ronald Reagan

  12. #12
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    We have no minimum age to hunt here in illinois. Doesn't bother me too much. My step son is 9 and he will be deer hunting with me next weekend for the first time. I started when I was 8. I've hunted with kids before that are safer and more aware than a lot of adults I've been around. As stated above I'd take them out anyday compared to some of the "adult" hunter asshats I've seen handle a gun in the past. All depends on the individual and how much they were exposed to guns and how mature they are. On the same note just because the minimum age is 12 doesn't mean they should hunt either, some still aren't ready then, so why not leave it up to the parents or whoever is taking them to decide. Just my .02

  13. #13

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    Geeze get off my lawn.

    What is so bad about letting the parent decide when they think THEIR kid is mature enough to start hunting. I grew up in WI and it sucked I couldn't hunt till I was 12. I was more mature and I was a big enough kid I could have easily started when I was 10.

    My boys are 10 and 12 and I have a 7 year old daughter. Both boys killed their first deer when they were 7. My boys are more mature than a lot of adults around I know. We have always treated them as we would treat anyone, I don't think we ever talked like a baby to them.

    The counts right now are 10 year has 3 deer and 1 hog in Texas. My 12 year old has 5 deer, 2 of which he killed with a bow. It has always been like this in Iowa for a long time I can recall ever hearing of an incident. I have more concern with kids majority level and understanding what killing an animal means. I felt my boys understood this.

    In Iowa it is a 1 to 1 ratio of licensed hunter over 18 to you hunter under 12. Therefore I cant take my 7 year old daughter and 10 year old son at the same time. I can however take more than 1 gun which I don't have a problem. I don't load the guns until we are siting in the stand (muzzle loaders so I don't put the primer in). Since it is a muzzle loader if I have a tag I like having the back up in case a bad shot happens.

    My 7 year old daughter wants to try to kill a deer with a crossbow, the only season we can do that in here is late muzzle loader. I set up a trail camera on a bean field on public ground today. I will let it sit for a couple weeks, the season is a ways off.

    This is great news for WI.

  14. #14

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    Side note the way WI people hunt in general is different so I get why you have the thoughts you have. I am guessing you are visioning kids running around carrying their own loaded guns finger on the safety ready to go. This is how I was raised hunting. The deer culture is kind of shit in WI on how they do things. I didn't see it until I got out on my own.

    I am headed home for the rifle season in a week, my 12 year old is coming for his first rifle hunt. I don't go there to kill deer anymore. I go to hang out with family and enjoy camp.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxx View Post

    The counts right now are 10 year has 3 deer and 1 hog in Texas. My 12 year old has 5 deer, 2 of which he killed with a bow. It has always been like this in Iowa for a long time I can recall ever hearing of an incident. I have more concern with kids majority level and understanding what killing an animal means. I felt my boys understood this.

    In Iowa it is a 1 to 1 ratio of licensed hunter over 18 to you hunter under 12. Therefore I cant take my 7 year old daughter and 10 year old son at the same time. I can however take more than 1 gun which I don't have a problem. I don't load the guns until we are siting in the stand (muzzle loaders so I don't put the primer in). Since it is a muzzle loader if I have a tag I like having the back up in case a bad shot happens.
    You're talking about a mentorship or apprentice hunting, that's something I can get onboard with in a heart beat. I wish more states would take this approach.

    Just out of curiosity, at what age does the state allow a hunter to be without an adult?
    "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take a chance?" -Ronald Reagan

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLDemo View Post
    You're talking about a mentorship or apprentice hunting, that's something I can get onboard with in a heart beat. I wish more states would take this approach.

    Just out of curiosity, at what age does the state allow a hunter to be without an adult?
    12 with hunter safety. The system WI is going to is the same thing. I think in WI you still have to be 14 to hunt alone.

    My son took hunter safety and he was more than comfortable hunting on his own this year with a bow. It was still really monitored. I would walk him to his stand, make sure he gets settle in. Then I would go to my stand. Depending on the stand I would come get him or he would meet me at the truck. We always wear harnesses and all my stands have life lines in them. He has a cell phone so we could text each other so I could keep track on how he was doing.

    We always say our 12 year old is 12 going on 30. With that this is archery hunting. I am still not comfortable with him having a gun on his own.

    I will have my 10 year old in a duck blind with me. I will only have one gun loaded but I will probably have mine ready to load in case I have to finish off a wounded. I really want to see him get his first duck this weekend. I spent a lot of time with his brother in a tree stand this year.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gellar View Post
    Wisconsin Public Radio debated this on Tuesday Morning. They had the sponsor of the bill, a republican, and a democrat who was against it. As a Hunters Ed Instructor and an Iowa resident where we do not have a minimum age requirement I am OK with the law change as I see youth in my hunters ed programs who have been hunting with their family since a young age and are ready, but I also see young adults who are not ready to hunt. It should be up to the parents discretion. I do not agree with the 2 gun rule. If there is going to be a youth or a mentor hunt I believe it should be all about the youth. https://www.wpr.org/shows/two-takes-...h-hunting-laws
    Lots of good opinions here, and I completely agree some kids under the age of 10 could absolutely handle hunting in SOME situations but allowing the mentor to also carry a gun is absolutely ridiculous and that's were the law loses me. I'm a mentor of first time hunters for 10+ years and all the focus needs to be on the youth hunter and nothing else, carrying two guns just doesn't allow for that in my opinion.

  18. #18

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    When you see people post with statistics about how many deer their kids have taken....those are the parents that worry more then anyone.

  19. #19

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    Yup I am just doing a freaking terrible job with my kids. Both these boys are active in sports, participate in GATE program at school. The older one qualified for a SEAL program. Again it is my job to parent my kids as I see fit. If my kid was hunting with a repeating rifle I wouldn't carry one but I started out my kids with Muzzle loaders. I have not problem having a law that allows me to carry one also, there are a lot of reasons for me to want have one along. It isn't that hard to have two guns and still put all the focus on the little one. If the law got rid of that it wouldn't bother me much either.

    Again I think the culture of WI deer hunting is bass awkards but go ahead and only pick one of the things I wrote and toss that back in my face. Your original posts starts it off with a political rant. The two items are mutually exclusive and having nothing in common.








  20. #20
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    northern illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by fwagner View Post
    When you see people post with statistics about how many deer their kids have taken....those are the parents that worry more then anyone.
    Yes someone being proud and bragging up there kids is horrifying.

  21. #21

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    I have taught firearm safety for over 20 years and have been bringing with my kids since they were 3-4 years old (they just came along, no gun work for them). The kids that are mature enough to understand all the needed aspects of firearm safety at less then 10 years old are very rare. there are a bunch that can get it right 80-90% of the time though (80-90% doesn't cut it for me when talking firearm safety). Most of the worst ones are the ones that come from families that do a lot of hunting and the kid is thus a know-it-all.

    The type of hunting open to young kids matters a lot as well. Pheasant hunting for example, is actually a hard thing for young kids to do as the shooting zones change constantly. You have dogs and the parent, etc. and it makes it pretty hard for a newbie. On the other hand, my boys got to duck/goose hunt this year for the first time. I left my gun at home (and thus it was one of our best years ever for geese!!) every single time so I could dedicate 100% of my time to them. After that experience, it is stupid to allow the parents to bring a gun IMHO.

    I would love for their to be as many opportunities as possible for kids. Reduced price tags and youth only hunts are great.

  22. #22

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    I'm on the side of not so much age, but safety, knowing what killing is and understands it and can they actually operate the weapon 100% by themselves. Operate means carry it, hold it up and aim and not put it on some sticks for them, draw the minimum draw weight for a bow and if they can use a crossbow they need to be able to cock and operate it. I see this time after time these 6-8 years old's that in no way can even IMO operate the weapon so why should they be hunting? I personally know very few kids under 10-12 that are mature enough or strong enough to hunt so that is where I lean when it comes to age.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fwagner View Post
    When you see people post with statistics about how many deer their kids have taken....those are the parents that worry more then anyone.
    Well that came out of left field...While my opinion is to lower the minimum age and maintain a minimum age while allowing a youth to hunt with a mentor at a younger age than the minimum, I can't imagine ever questioning a parent who allows their child to take more game than them. Just sounds silly to question. I'd gladly allow my son and daughter to fill the tags while I watch, can't think of a single reason that's wrong in any facet. Hell, even if I had a gun while being a mentor I'd let them shoot first. Coach by example.

    maxx, those are some great pictures! Keep on keepin' on!
    "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take a chance?" -Ronald Reagan

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MNElkNut View Post
    I have taught firearm safety for over 20 years and have been bringing with my kids since they were 3-4 years old (they just came along, no gun work for them). The kids that are mature enough to understand all the needed aspects of firearm safety at less then 10 years old are very rare. there are a bunch that can get it right 80-90% of the time though (80-90% doesn't cut it for me when talking firearm safety). Most of the worst ones are the ones that come from families that do a lot of hunting and the kid is thus a know-it-all.

    The type of hunting open to young kids matters a lot as well. Pheasant hunting for example, is actually a hard thing for young kids to do as the shooting zones change constantly. You have dogs and the parent, etc. and it makes it pretty hard for a newbie. On the other hand, my boys got to duck/goose hunt this year for the first time. I left my gun at home (and thus it was one of our best years ever for geese!!) every single time so I could dedicate 100% of my time to them. After that experience, it is stupid to allow the parents to bring a gun IMHO.

    I would love for their to be as many opportunities as possible for kids. Reduced price tags and youth only hunts are great.
    This is a objective opinion based on a many years of expert training...posting pics of your kids and what they have taken is missing the point. Nobody is attacking anyone as a parent, obviously good memories are being made but I know PLENTY of parents who will take this law as a method to compare their kids to other kids and have their kid be the youngest kid to get a deer...and you know it.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by mn public hunter View Post
    i'm on the side of not so much age, but safety, knowing what killing is and understands it and can they actually operate the weapon 100% by themselves. Operate means carry it, hold it up and aim and not put it on some sticks for them, draw the minimum draw weight for a bow and if they can use a crossbow they need to be able to cock and operate it. I see this time after time these 6-8 years old's that in no way can even imo operate the weapon so why should they be hunting? I personally know very few kids under 10-12 that are mature enough or strong enough to hunt so that is where i lean when it comes to age.
    exactly this!!!!

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