Hunting Age Debate in Wisconsin

RICK: GETTING OUTDOORS ISN’T JUST ABOUT THE FOLIAGE FOR EVERYONE IN OHIO – FOR SOME THE SEASON MEANS HUNTING. HUNTING FOR FOOD- THINK DEER, RABBIT AND TURKEY - IS A RURAL TRADITION THAT DATES BACK TO WAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING.

IN OHIO, EVERY HUNTER NEEDS TO HAVE A LICENSE TO HUNT ON PUBLIC LAND AND TO GET THIS LICENSE THEY NEED TO PASS AN EDUCATIONAL TEST. AND ANYONE UNDER 17 IS ABLE TO EARN A YOUTH HUNTER LICENSE, BUT THEY MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A NON-HUNTING ADULT 21 YEARS OR OLDER. YOUTH HUNTERS ALSO HAVE SPECIAL HUNTING TIMES.

BUT HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG TO GO HUNTING? IN WISCONSIN A BILL IS BEING CONSIDERED THAT WOULD LIFT THEIR AGE REQUIREMENT AND MAKE IT MORE LIKE OHIO.

BUT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO THINK IT’S NOT SAFE TO HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN OUT HUNTING.

KENT WAINSCOTT SPOKE WITH LAWMAKERS AND HUNTERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE DEBATE.

KENT: IT'S ROOTED WISCONSIN TRADITION, BUT AT WHAT AGE SHOULD CHILDREN BE ALLOWED TO HUNT?

JIM FERRELL / HUNTER: "IT'S NOT SO MUCH A QUESTION OF AGE, AS IT IS, MATURITY."

KENT: BUT CURRENTLY THE STATE ALLOWS KIDS AS YOUNG AS TEN TO HUNT WITH THEIR PARENT OR GUARDIAN AT THEIR SIDE.

BUT SOME NOW SOME LAWMAKERS WANT TO LIFT THE LIMIT - AND LET PARENTS DECIDE WHEN THEIR CHILD IS OLD ENOUGH TO HUNT.

ROB STAFSHOLT / WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY: "I THINK PARENTS ARE THE BEST ONES TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN."

KENT: REPRESENTATIVE ROB STAFSHOLT'S BILL WOULD LET ANY CHILD, NO MATTER HOW YOUNG, HUNT - AS LONG AS THERE'S A PARENT OR MENTOR WITHIN ARM'S REACH.

BUT THE BILL IS DRAWING HEAT FROM DEMOCRATS.

GORDON HINTZ / MEMBER, WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY:"WELL I DON'T THINK THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN WHO THINK IT'S A GREAT IDEA TO LET 4 OR 5 YEAR OLDS HOLD A FIREARM TO BE ABLE TO HUNT IN WISCONSIN."

KENT WAINSCOTT/ REPORTING: "WE ASKED SOME FOLKS HERE AT THE WAUKESHA GUN CLUB, WHO WERE SPLIT ON WHETHER OR NOT YOUNG CHILDREN SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HUNT."

JACK TANS / OPPOSES BILL: "I'M NOT SURE WHY SOMEBODY WOULD WANT TO HAVE KIDS YOUNGER THAN 10 IN THE WOODS WITH A GUN, EVEN WITH A MENTOR."

KENT: MANY THINK THE LAW SHOULD STAY AS IT IS - BUT NATE WOLFF SAYS HE'LL KNOW BEST WHEN HIS YOUNG SON IS READY TO HUNT.

NATE WOLFF / SUPPORTS BILL: "IF THAT'S TEN, IF THAT'S SHOOTING A GUN BEFORE THAT, WHEN I FEEL HE'S COMFORTABLE TO SHOOT IS WHEN I WILL TAKE HIM OUT."

RICK: THANKS KENT. SO YOU’VE HEARD BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY – NOW WE WANT TO KNOW IN THIS WEEK’S POLL: WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD DECIDE WHEN KIDS CAN HUNT? THEIR PARENTS, OR LAWMAKERS?

YOU CAN VOTE BY CLICKING THE POLL BUTTON ON OUR WEBSITE. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HUNTING IN OHIO BY CHECKING THE LINKS BENEATH THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE.


Find Out More


Website Article: Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Hunting and Trapping Regulations | Links to all the state hunting laws including those for kids.

Website Article: The Sportsmen Alliance, 10 Tips on Taking Kids Hunting | Going hunting this year? Here’s some suggestions.

Online Reference Book Article: INFOhio, Points of View, Hunting: An Overview.  | Pros & cons about hunting. May need password.

 

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