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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read an article last week about how more and more states are dropping the min. age for hunters. In some states license sales have jumped 50%.

Here in New England I think NH is the only state that allows youth hunting.

Should Maine drop its age limit? What do people think?
 

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The only thing I like about Maine's policy is that once you have your junior license both youth and adult can carry a rifle (except on youth day). I believe in NH anyone under 16 has to be with a licensed adult, but you can only have one gun between the two hunters. I don't see a problem with changing the age limit, but change is sometimes a difficult thing when it comes to Maine laws. Just look at the Sunday hunting issue.
 

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Statistic clearly show that in states with lower age limits and/or not minimum age limit, there are no more hunting accidents than in others.
It's really about people wanting to legislate how we raise our kids.
 

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I would have trouble seeing the state allowing children under 10 years of age actually possesing a firearm or Bow while hunting. I personally feel the 10-15 junior hunter status is a good system. My son is 14 and we have had alot of good experiences the past four years. Eventhough he is resposible and handles weapons well and is a relaitivly good woodsman I am glad he has one more year before he can venture out on his own.
 

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NH has it all over maine in the youth dept.no license no minimum age .kids should be free till 16 years of age. if we want the tradition to go on we need to involve the youth ,if the state really needs the money the youth fees bring in raise my license fee and i will gladly pay my share to see that they hunt for free. just the ramblings of someone who started hunting at 6 years old and has never regreted a minute of it. strings
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Kev I gues that is the point, it should be up to you to know your child. I see kids that are ready to start at 6 and kids that won't be ready till 14. The last thing you want to do is rush it and lose the oppertunity. But to drop the min age puts the choice back in the best quilified hand...the parent and child.

Last night I came up from editing video to find my son drawing maps with a crayon to all the deer runs he has marked behind the house. Last year he brought me back there and sure enough he had 2 trails (well used) marked where the deer were coming out in the field. He has dragged a chair out to sit and watch one. Now he has maps!!! The kid has a sick problem and i will need to get him profesional help soon.

But not all kids are that into it. I take out lots of youth hunters every year and I see plenty of 10-14 year olds that are just not ready. The choice should be up to the parents and be based on the interest and ability of the child.

Parents have a role to assess and foster interest and nuture abitlity. When the time is right... it is right.

Just my .02
 

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Agreed........
 

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We are running a poll over at the Black Bear Blog as to what age a child needs to be before he/she can hunt and carry a rifle. Click the following link and vote on the left side of the site.

http://www.blackbearblog.com
 

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I feel it should be left up to the parent or parents. Government doesn't know the maturity of one kid from another.
What I would like to see is a longer season for youths. One day is nice but I personally think more kids would be interested in hunting if their season went a week.
Just my .02
 

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Hey Porter good to see you. I agree it should be left up to the parents. For instance there could be a 4 year old kid who is mature enough to carry. But there could also be a 4 year old kid who has some issues that handing him a weapon could be lethal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
But there could also be a 4 year old kid who has some issues that handing him a weapon could be lethal.


Same could be said for a 15 tear old......
 

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Cobbett this is definitely true and that could apply to a 40 year old. I am not saying we should place limits as a law, but parenting placing limits just leads to judgment call by our societal leaders.

But I honestly believe the sooner you place that rifle in their hands and teach them all about hunting safety and respect the better off we will all be.
 

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I think that one thing we might stand a chance at seeing changed with the youth hunt is to do away with the one deer bag limit.
When you send a kid off to hunt that Saturday and they bag a deer, their hunt for deer is over. Getting them hooked on deer hunting is more than just bagging a deer.
We read story after story of kids on youth day, having gotten that "first" deer out of the way, watch smaller deer pass and wait for another chance later in the season.
I know several people at MDIFW feel that way too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think that natural law will prevail. In states that have no limit, 6 seems to be the earliest I have seen. In NH, Dylan is the youngest to get a deer on record, but there were lots of 7 year olds and a 6 on record that got a bear.

Down South a 6 year old hunting is about the average I see most kids start. Granted its a different kind of hunt and very compatible for kids.
 

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We just started a mentored youth program her in PA. It used to be 12 years old to hunt, not it's any age. And the best part is that the kids don't even need a license. The adult has to accompany the child while hunting and only 1 firearm is allowed. This year, they are allowed to hunt chucks, spring gobbler and squirrel. Next year, they are approving antlered deer.

My son in 13 months old now. I figure he has to wait.....oh....about 4 years. He will definitely be popping squirrels by 5!!!
 

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im sold on getting kids involved with firearms at an early age. the lessons that they learn about safety are some of the most important. i would bet that if someone were to investigate shooting sprees by kids that they would find out those kids werent brought up with a firearm in there hands at an early age. children whos parents take the time to teach them to hunt and firearm safety early on know that a weapon is never pointed at a human for any reason nor anything else that they dont intend to shoot. i have seen many adults that handle weapons in very unsafe manners and have had to bring it to their attention and got a look of disgust. teaching is the key i think schools should have a firearms safety program that at least covers the basic knowledge kids need to be around weapons instead of punishing the ones that love shooting and hunting. strings
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bigbuck 200

That is great. I would love to see that take hold here too. Your little one was born at just the right time.
 

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Strings called it straight........ how about NRA Jr.? Local chapterization through local clubs to promote youth programs. Boyscouts always looking for instructors on firearms. Start small........teach them all.
 
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