Appropriate Hunting age

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by Double Deuce, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Double Deuce

    Double Deuce New Member

    Jun 1, 2009

    Read this article and was wondering what peoples opinions are, in my state 12 is the age limit for Big Game, and there is no restriction on smaller game as long as they have passed their hunter safety course. IMO I think 10 is too young for big game but I don't have a problem with it, I find it intersting that all the bad examples they gave had nothing to do with a hunting situation.
  2. fmacsin1

    fmacsin1 New Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Moosehead Lake, Maine
    I believe in my state (Maine), you can hunt at the age of 10 after you've taken and passed the hunter safety course, and I'm not sure, but I think the 10 yrs olds have to hunt with an adult. My dad started me around the age of 8 to learn to shoot. I think the first 10 times I could only practice with the .22 (no live bullets). By age 10, I was shooting and that fall, my dad took me hunting for deer.

  3. kutaho

    kutaho New Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Peoples Republic of the Pacific Northwest
    I think thats what the law is now here in oregon.
    Late 50's and 60's it was diffrent.
  4. OBrien

    OBrien New Member

    May 6, 2009
    Bangor Maine

    Yes here in Maine it is 10 and you don't need a hunter safety course but have to be with an adult. At 16 your on your own but need a hunter safety course. I don't know of very many hunting accidents here that involve children that young on either end of it.

    From the article

    Am I the only who read it to under stand that 30 have no minimum age and another 28 have created apprentice licenses. Wouldn't that make 58 states. Maybe that is something I missed in the second or third grade.
  5. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho
    I started hunting squirrels and rabbits with my dad at about four and shot my first squirrel at five. Dad was standing right with me when I shot it. He didn't let me hunt by myself until I was about eleven. I also believe it depends on the youngster. I wouldn't want to pressure a youngster into hunting but if he/she really wants to go,then by all means take him/her. Two of my three daughters are excellent shots and the third is better than most cops I shot with during qualifications. Good luck and stay safe. catfish
  6. WildBill69

    WildBill69 Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    I feel it should be up to the parents (as long as they use good judgment). Some kids are ready before others.

  7. whip

    whip Member

    Jan 29, 2006
    I teach hunter safety each year to kids beginning as young as 8 years old. Not all are ready for the responsiblility of hunting whether supervised or not. It just depends on the individual child and their parents. I started my own children hunting with me as dog handlers or just tag alongs when they were able to walk along. My daugher shot her first rabbit at age 8. My son at age 5. Both with me right there with them helping them make the stalk and set up for the shot. My daugher killed her first and only deer at age 14 which was the legal minimum age here in Wyoming at that time. My son shot his first deer at age 12 after they changed the law to 12. Both sat through several hunter safety classes with me and I wouldn't have let them hunt if I didn't feel they were ready. My son tried to get an elk but we couldn't get the right set up at age 12. He was ready but my daughter would have needed more time regardless of what the legal age was.

    My biggest concern are some of the adults that take my hunter safety graduates hunting. They have the kids do some unsafe and unethical actions while hunting because thats the way the parents hunt.
  8. armabill

    armabill Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Glenolden, Pa.
    It all depends on the child.
  9. Maximilian II

    Maximilian II New Member

    May 25, 2009
    Northwest GA
    Dad says I was age 3 or 4, but maybe 5 that I started to shoot. I couldn't hold the weight of the .22 bolt action myself, but did aim and pull the trigger. That's younger than most I bet, but the results were pretty good. At 8 I had my own .410 single shot and routinely went shooting with minimal supervision. At 12 or so I got my first rifle, the same 10/22 I still have. First day I had it (Christmas) I shot at (and missed, 3 times) a doe that happened to bolt through the yard. Same year, I started shooting our 12 gauge.
    As to my safety record, I've had exactly ONE accidental discharge. Ever. I'm 40.
    Teach them young, they'll never forget. Watch them close, you'll never regret.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  10. I believe it depends a great deal on the personality and ability of the child involved. On average, I would say 10 or 12 is a reasonable age range for a beginning hunter under supervision by a competent adult. My own rule is that two factors need to be present before a youngster should be allowed to actually hunt big game:

    1. Proper training by a competent adult in firearms safety and use.

    2. The ability to shoot a rifle accurately that is of sufficient caliber to obtain clean kills on the game hunted. One should not be out hunting mulies or moose with a .243 in my humble opinion. ;) Yes, i know, kills can be obtained with rifles that small, but there is not sufficient margin for error for a kid.

    For small game, like rabbits and squirrels, that may be hunted with small caliber weapons like a .22, an younger age may be appropriate, depending on the kid involved.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009
  11. swanshot

    swanshot Active Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Perth western australia
    I find myself in accord with these comments Pistol.
    I was once heard farmer tell his son "If you're big and strong enough to shoot the rifle accuratly offhand, then you're big enough to shoot what needs it". I interpreted this to mean something like, "if you can't handle a 308 comfortably, then you are not ready to shoot anything that needs a 308".
    Sees like a reasonable criteria to me.
    All this assuming of course that the youngsters attitude is good.
  12. Sandman

    Sandman Active Member

    Jun 17, 2009
    At age 5 my Dad was taking me squirrel hunting and duck hunting with a .410. I killed squirrels at that age. At 7 I graduated to a crackbarrel 20 ga. and killed my first ducks. Sometime around 8 or 9 he took me deer hunting with a shotgun. Graduated to a .243 at 10 and killed my first deer then (that is still my deer rifle 26 years later). I was probably 12 or 14 before I was allowed to hunt by myself, but by then I had many years of training.

    I took my oldest daughter to the duck blind without a gun at age five. Started teaching both to shoot last year at 5 and 6 with a .410 and a .22. Took both of them in the duck blind last year and brought the .410 hoping they could shoot a duck on the water, but no opportunities. They are still very small so I am not ready to let them shoot on their own at moving targets, but hopefully that is not far away.
  13. Southern Boy

    Southern Boy New Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    I started shooting very early in life with dady, i was also taken on all the hunts with him to either sit in the tree stand of walk with the hog-dogs ect.. I was not allowed to carry a gun untill about 10-11, when dad figured i knew how to handle the gun and make a clean kill. Head shots were all i was allowed to take. Otherwise meat was wasted. With my kids, a gun was like a chainsaw, when you can handle it and use it properly, you are old enough to get to work.
  14. fyimo

    fyimo New Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    I got started late in life at about 25 but I started my two sons at 13 in trainig with a center fire rifle ( they shot pellet guns at 12) and they started to hunt when they were 14. My Grandson shot his first deer at 12 years old and this year He is doing a youth Elk hunt in Kentucky and we think he will get a trophy because it's a special hunt and they are providing a guide.

    It varies by the kid also as a few friends of mine started their kid hunting really early for Elk in Colorado and the kids just hated it as they weren't physically ready for the toughness of the hunt. Those two boys don't hunt anymore and it was because of their first experiences.

    When my Garndson did his first Elk hunt in Colorado when he was 13 my Son had to cut back on where he hunted so that he would not beat the kid up on the mountains by hunting where we usually hunt. It would have been to physically demanding on him because at the time he weighed around a 100 pounds.

    He uses a Savage Model 99 in 300 Savage that I gave him as it was my first gun and I had it completly redone and gave it him before his first Deer hunt. He took a Doe with his youth Deer tag on opening morning with it.
  15. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    First check the laws in your state. In Texas there is no law concerning what age a child may hunt.

    It depends on the kid and if they want to and are able to handle the responsibility of handling a gun. I got a BB gun when I was around 8. I was shooting friends before then. I got my Ithaca #51 Featherweight 12ga when I was 11 and my Marlin #60 .22 the next year I think.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Hunting & Fishing Forum First big hunting trip Oct 1, 2017
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Deer Hunting Prep: Scouting Bucks, Grunt Calling and More (#404) Sep 4, 2017
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Hog/Deer Hunting in Georgia Aug 29, 2017
The Hunting & Fishing Forum TN shotgun hunting laws Aug 11, 2017
The Hunting & Fishing Forum TRAINING A DOG FOR HUNTING Aug 9, 2017