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Hunter education poll

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As a hunter education instructor, I was shocked to hear that the new minimum age to take a hunter education course is now 9 years old in Texas, not 12 years old as was the minimum for many years now. This means that, technically, a parent can legally turn a 9 year old loose with a firearm to go hunting on their own. IMO, I think this is way too young for a child to be hunting on their own. I am sure there are many 9 year old children out their who can hunt with the best of them, but I would question the maturity level of most kids this age.

As an instructor, I personally am hesitant to sign off on these youngsters. I would feel really lousy if one of them had an accident on my watch.

What do you all think? :-?

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Agreed, but with adult supervison, nine might be old enoungh. My son went "hunting" several times with me when he was eight, carrying an unloaded 22. At nine he got to go on a few more with his unloaded gun. We spent some time target shooting and had a big time.

At age ten, we both went through hunter training! Man, that was a great time for sons and dads. That year marked his first trip with a loaded gun. His weapon was a single shot 20 gauge shotgun, but by then he had fired hundreds of rounds, trap shooting. All and all, it was a great experience and as the years have come and gone, my son has become a very skilled outdoorsman.

8-)

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Too young for unsupervised hunting.

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Hesitant? I would want nothing to do with it. A 9 year old should not be in the woods alone, hunting with a loaded weapon. Here is a good question, if the child gets lost or something happens, will the parents be prosecuted for a crime?. Like neglect (middle of the woods, alone, in winter), child indangerment, ect. ect.

There are a few more things I would love to say but I'm sure someone else has the exact opposite view.

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A 9 yo child should not be left alone for any reason. Let alone, to hunt by himself.

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There is no way a 9 year old child should be hunting on his own.  However, if he can pass all required courses then he should be able to hunt with his folks.

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I hunted by myself when I was a kid, I use to hide my shotgun in a hollow tree and when I got out of school I would head for the woods.

There was 11 of us and you weren't to young to do anything. We had a Dad that taught us how to hunt, fish and work. I guess a lot of things were different back then In fact I see these nice looking teachers going out with 13 year old and they say that the kid will be messed up for the rest of their lives, well I sure wished my 6 th grade teacher

had paid me a little more mind. ;D

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by law a child under 17 must have hunters education,witch you must be 13 to take

This varies from state to state. In Tennessee, there is no minimum age to hunt, but Hunters Educations is required at 10:

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/huntered.html

8-)

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Not a thing wrong with it.

X2 You have to pass the test to get certified. The test isn't that hard, but for a 9 year old it could be.

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Supervised or unsupervised is the key here. Would it be illegal to take a nine year old hunting with you if he had not taken the course? In that case, it would make much more sense. JMHO

Ronnie

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My dad started teaching me how to handle a rifle when I was 6. He made me a wooden gun with all the details. (Safety, Trigger Guard, ect.) I passed my hunters safety course when I was 9. It scared the crap out of me. From that point on my dad was always with me and I didn't carry a loaded gun untill I was 13. When I turned 14 he let me hunt by myself for the first time.

I am doing the same thing with my boys.

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Too young, not responsible enough. Here in Idaho 10 year olds can small game hunt with supervision. I think kids need to have a certain maturity level to hunt unsupervised, wether he/she is 12 or 18, depends on maturity and responsibilty of the youngster.  My 8 year old started shooting a .22 at age 5.  He will hunt at age 10 supervised, and it depends on his maturity level as to when he gets to hunt by himself.

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Well, everyone's experience is going to be different.  I was 9 when I went through a hunter safety course.  My dad took me duck hunting after I passed the course.  I hunted with him out of a blind.  I had a little .410.  Shot a spooney at 60 yards with that little gun.

The issue is not hunting alone at that age.  Anyone with common sense should recognize that even after a hunter safety course, the parent needs to reinforce what the child learned in the course and maintain strict supervision until the child has some experience for a couple of years.  Just my humble opinion.

Tom

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Unsupervised? I'd be against it! Too many things could go wrong! I took mine when I was 11 (b-day is in september) so when hunting season rolled around, I was ready....... ready to head out hunting with Dad. PA's law (at least was) was the youth hunter had to stay with the adult. If memory serves me right, as the youth's age rose, you were aloud to be X amount of distance (think it was 100yds) from the adult. At 16, you could hunt on your own. I was like fluke, my Dad started me out young taking me out in the woods, I shot bow and played around with my bb gun too. When the time came to take the test, most of it was already second hand knowledge to me.

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At age 9, my son was shooting skeet with my 20 ga., and firing light loads with my .357. He also had been walking with me in the field, carrying the empty 20 ga. I always felt he was very responsible, and trustworthy, but I would never let him hunt by himself at that age.

Falcon

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For any who question Texas' law, here's a link:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/hunter_education/required.phtml

Further research on the topic states that this new law took effect back in April of this year. My take on this is that a 9 year old can legally take to the field alone after passing a hunter ed. course.

I myself, too, was dove hunting with a .410 around age 8 or 9, but not by myself until I was around 15 or 16. Up to that point, I had been accompanied unarmed in the field with my dad just about all my life. One of you mentioned the word "common sense". I don't know about anyone else, but I've experienced way too many parents who had no common sense (remember, I've taught in public school for 16 years).

For some time now, Texas has not required any kind of "structured" driver training for 15-16 year olds who seek to get their driver's license. Parents can pay a fee and "promise" to train their children themselves. I have witnessed quite a few over the years who paid the fee and handed the keys over to the kid without spending ample time with them training them to drive. IMO, the driving habits of our youth here have worsened since then. I fear this may happen with our kids in the hunting field. Passing an exam does not qualify anyone to perform either task. Students need to be properly trained in the technical aspects of either endeavor before taking to the road or field. I DO plan on taking action by writing and/or calling our Parks and Wildlife commissioners regarding this decision.

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And. . . BTW guys, I plan on using this poll as a reference in my comments to the Parks and Wildlife commision.

THANKS for voting!!

-Fisher

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Unsupervised absolutely not  ;)

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no. Plain and simple. If they are competent enough to pass a hunter safety exam then they should be able to hunt by themselves. I deer hunted by myself since I was 7 or 8 without an exam which I didnt get until I was 10. But I have a dad who his biggest priority was safety and he taught  me very well before I hunted by myself. But I do believe now that kids need the hunter safety program. If a 6 or 7 year old can pass a hunter education exam they should be able to hunt by themselves

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I am an ole country boy from west by god virginia. I started deer hunting when i was 6 years old with a New England Arms single shot 410. By the time i was nine I had already shot three deer. However until I was ten I never hunted alone. Too many things can happen to a child that age without the firearm such as falling and hitting one's head. Where i hunt gun season the temp is between 10-40 degrees. I would not leave my child alone in those temps. anyway. I think that it is good that they are teaching hunters safety at that age however i would not allow them in the field alone until 12 years of age.

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no. Plain and simple. If they are competent enough to pass a hunter safety exam then they should be able to hunt by themselves. I deer hunted by myself since I was 7 or 8 without an exam which I didnt get until I was 10. But I have a dad who his biggest priority was safety and he taught me very well before I hunted by myself. But I do believe now that kids need the hunter safety program. If a 6 or 7 year old can pass a hunter education exam they should be able to hunt by themselves

I'm sorry, but being able to memorize information and pass an exam does not qualify anyone to hunt.  To be a true hunter, you need to be able to properly handle and shoot a firearm, understand the habits of the game, read game sign, perhaps make life or death decisions, etc.  These are all things that can only come from experience and training from another responsible hunter.  I don't think there's any reason to allow any kid younger than 12 to hunt own their own, no matter who they are. JMHO

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