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Wisconsin allowing 10-year-old hunters

August 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin’s new 10-year-old hunting age takes effect Tuesday.

The minimum age for hunters in the state until now has been 12. But Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill this month that allows 10-year-olds to hunt with a mentor.

The new age goes into effect Sept. 1 - the same day the Canadian geese and mourning dove seasons open. Ten-year-olds also will be able to shoot coyotes, skunks and weasels. It’s open season on those animals year round.

Supporters say the new hunting age will ensure young people take up hunting and preserve Wisconsin’s outdoor traditions. Critics say 10-year-olds can’t handle guns safely and someone inevitably will get hurt.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I applaud Gov. Jim Doyle for trying to preserve Wisconsin’s hunting heritage.  As for whether 10 year olds are mature enough to handle guns safely or not depends upon the 10 year old and their mentor/guardian/parent/grandparent. As anyone who has raised children or grandchildren know, kids all mature differently.  Obviously, the Armstrong girls don’t have a problem with firearms and hunting, but, I would suspect that has a lot to do with their upbringing and family’s hunting heritage. I am a volunteer hunter safety instructor in Illinois and have had many 10 year olds make a perfect score on the hunter safety exam.  These youngsters are intelligent, hard working, attentive in class, and all seem to have a burning desire to want to learn to hunt.  They also have a responsible adult that supports their desire to hunt and are willing to attend the hunter safety course with them.  It’s always amazing to me how some of the kids actually make a better score on the test than the “mentors.”

It is especially nice to see that Wisconsin is supporting youth in hunting programs, as opposed to IDNR’s questionable attack on the Armstrong girls’ landowner permit status!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/31 at 09:10 AM

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