Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 36 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
General News    H4'ed 11/4/17

Should 5-Year-Olds "Plink" Squirrels and "Gig" Frogs ?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   6 comments
Message Martha Rosenberg
Become a Fan
  (84 fans)

While most of the U.S. is trying to get guns out of the hands of children, hunting groups and state legislatures are trying to put them in.

While the nation tries to mentor children academically, hunting groups and state legislatures are trying to mentor them in hunting.

This week, the Wisconsin state Assembly passed a bill removing minimum age restrictions for child hunting as long as the child is accompanied by an adult who follows certain rules.

States Are Lowering Hunting Ages For Children
States Are Lowering Hunting Ages For Children
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
  Details   DMCA

Lowering child hunting ages in the U.S. is a trend that is at least a decade old. Eleven years ago, the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC) proposed new laws under a "Families Afield" program to fight the declining number of hunters. There were two million less hunters in 2004 than 1982 and the number continues to decline.

Specifically, the 2006 bills repealed regulations that prohibit children from hunting until they're 12 and have passed a hunter safety course. Rules like that are "barriers" to hunting bemoaned NASC, presumably speaking for state Departments of Natural Resources that rely on hunters to keep them financially afloat.

When Wisconsin considered the age lowering bill in 2006 bill, Wisconsin resident Joe Slattery said eight-year-olds "still believe in Santa Claus," and are just learning cursive writing. His own son was killed by a child hunter

By 2006, similar youth hunting laws had sailed through 13 other state legislatures.

Besides lowering the hunting age, 2006 Families Afield legislation legalized "apprentice" hunting licenses--the apprentice can hunt under the direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter before completing hunter safety training. This put "training back into the hands of Uncle Joe," charged hunter safety instructor Dave Dalton in the Detroit Free Press.

"We're not doing this for money," said State Rep. Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) who authored the 2006 eight-year-old Wisconsin hunter bill and owned a gun shop. "This is about getting kids involved in hunting at a younger age [so they] participate for the rest of their lives."

But former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell disagreed about the purpose of an age lowering hunting law for children. "We need this law because for every 100 hunters who retire, only 62 take up the sport," he said. "If this trend continues, our ability to manage wildlife will be severely affected and Pennsylvania's economy will suffer."

Hunting is not just about killing said Bobby Purcell, a member of North Carolina's wildlife commission and executive director of the Wolfpack Club. "One of the things I really enjoy about taking my son out is he gets to appreciate what God gave us and how beautiful our nature is." (That's why people hike and camp.)

But Shawn Meyer, a northern Indiana sportsman and full time youth pastor disagreed and said it is about hunting. Young kids may be "unable to appreciate a hunt that ends without something being harvested," he wrote on his web site huntwithakid.

"Five-year-olds and under will get more out of an outing if it's plinking squirrels, catching bluegills, gigging frogs, or blowing a box of shells on doves than if it's sitting motionless for hours on end," he advises.

And there is more outdoor fun for five-year-olds besides shooting squirrels and doves or gigging frogs said John Johnson of Braham county, Minnesota in the Isanti County News. With a couple of dozen traps and some fresh meat kids can "find enjoyment" trapping possums.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Martha Rosenberg Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend