Youth Age Bill

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,380
I just saw that there are 2 bills that being proposed. I fully support changing the youth age for big game to 10 years of age. However I am saddened to see that neither bill really does much if anything. One bill allows kids age 11 to hunt if they are 12 by end of season (which is minimal change and does nothing significant). The other bill allows for youth with terminal illnesses to get a special permit. I am not opposed to either bill.

However I would propose we look at lowering the age. Currently I can take my son age 10 to either Idaho or MT to hunt. But here in WY where he lives and loves to hunt, he has to wait 2 more years.

I have other reasons to lower the age as well. But curious about how other hunters in WY feel? My son has proven he can handle hunting at age 10 with ease. In fact I trust him more in the woods than I do most adults.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,704
MY personal opinion is that 12 is just right. I have 4 boys. My now 16 year old would have been just fine at the age of 10 or 11 since he has always been big and strong. My now 15 year old could not have done it, and was about right at 12. My current 12 year old is bigger and stronger, but no way could have done it at 10 or 11.

I know we could get into the age and size thing, but 12 is plenty young. And my oldest has been on more hunts helping my friends and family the last 8 years, than most of us do in 20 plus years.

Kids dont need a tag in hand every year to "get into" the sport. Tagging along vs Tag in hand is becoming a problem, and it shouldnt be. If they have to have a tag in hand from 12-18, sorry to say it, but they will never be "INTO IT" for the rest of their life.

Ok, rant over!!
 

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,380
MY personal opinion is that 12 is just right. I have 4 boys. My now 16 year old would have been just fine at the age of 10 or 11 since he has always been big and strong. My now 15 year old could not have done it, and was about right at 12. My current 12 year old is bigger and stronger, but no way could have done it at 10 or 11.

I know we could get into the age and size thing, but 12 is plenty young. And my oldest has been on more hunts helping my friends and family the last 8 years, than most of us do in 20 plus years.

Kids dont need a tag in hand every year to "get into" the sport. Tagging along vs Tag in hand is becoming a problem, and it shouldnt be. If they have to have a tag in hand from 12-18, sorry to say it, but they will never be "INTO IT" for the rest of their life.

Ok, rant over!!
So let me ask you this, would all of your boys been fine sitting in a pop up blind with a crossbow for antelope? It is not about strength but about the ability to simply hunt. I also don't want to discount the importance of youth girls. They are pulled even more by social pressures at age 10 than boys.

A little devils advocate, wouldn't you rather have the option at age 10? Shouldn't a parent be able to decide what activity is right for their child? Why would you advocate for limiting a parents choice? There are several states where any youth old enough to pass hunter safety can hunt.

What would be the down side to lower the age to 10? What fall out or how would it hurt? I am just curious as I want to know what objections there might be... How exactly is having a tag in hand becoming a problem? How does allowing them to have a tag hurt more than forcing them to just tag along?
 

mulecreek

Very Active Member
Messages
1,401
I am fine with 12. I would probably be fine with 10. I don't know as there is a downside to a younger age than the current 12, but I also don't think there is an upside to a younger age. What do you think would be the upside to age 10?

This is very subjective thing. No one is right or wrong. Given that I think picking the age of 12 is just fine. It worked well for my two sons, I bet it will work for yours as well. As would 10. As would 14. Its just a starting point.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,704
So let me ask you this, would all of your boys been fine sitting in a pop up blind with a crossbow for antelope? It is not about strength but about the ability to simply hunt. I also don't want to discount the importance of youth girls. They are pulled even more by social pressures at age 10 than boys.

A little devils advocate, wouldn't you rather have the option at age 10? Shouldn't a parent be able to decide what activity is right for their child? Why would you advocate for limiting a parents choice? There are several states where any youth old enough to pass hunter safety can hunt.

What would be the down side to lower the age to 10? What fall out or how would it hurt? I am just curious as I want to know what objections there might be... How exactly is having a tag in hand becoming a problem? How does allowing them to have a tag hurt more than forcing them to just tag along?
Question #1:
Would they have been fine? With a cross bow, yes 1 or 2 of them. With out a bipod. The others, no!

Question #2:
In todays society, we want to cancel and change everything just because "MY KID" can so we need to change it for everyone. I am fine with them setting rules and we follow. To turn the question a bit with my oldest son. Since he has always been bigger and stronger than most kids, should it have been legal for him to drive at 14? 13? He could have done it. So should we change the law to let me as a parent have control on that??? Some how we have to draw the line in CEMENT and follow them. Its best for the grand majority.

Question #3:
Down side? Like I said before, we need to draw the line somewhere. We will always want to push the limits. Who's to say that 10 years down the road people will push for 8 year olds???

Having a tag is becoming a problem. If the kids have to have the gun/tag in hand from day one, they are being spoiled IN MY MIND and wont truly enjoy what hunting is. It is not always about the tag and the kill. It is about being in the field with family and/or friends and enjoying the time. Learning. Growing. Teaching. and the list can go on.

And as you said in your last sentence "How does allowing them to have a tag hurt more than forcing them to just tag along?"

If they have a tag.....GREAT! But if they have to be "FORCED" (your words, not mine) they WILL NEVER LIKE HUNTING OR THE OUTDOORS!!!!

We live in a time where as parents, we want our kids to have everything. The best showes, newest mitt, glove, bat, racket........or what ever you want to write down. And along with that we want them to have a tag too. But, being patient and learning the sport of hunting by following dad isnt such a bad thing, is it? Spending time with dad should be fun, not forced. Spending time with brother/sister or aunt/uncle/cousin who has a tag should be fun, right? Not forced?

Thats my thought. I know not everyone will agree with me. Maybe I am a hard a$$ on my kids. But they will earn what they have and they will learn along the way.
 

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,380
Question #1:
Would they have been fine? With a cross bow, yes 1 or 2 of them. With out a bipod. The others, no!

Question #2:
In todays society, we want to cancel and change everything just because "MY KID" can so we need to change it for everyone. I am fine with them setting rules and we follow. To turn the question a bit with my oldest son. Since he has always been bigger and stronger than most kids, should it have been legal for him to drive at 14? 13? He could have done it. So should we change the law to let me as a parent have control on that??? Some how we have to draw the line in CEMENT and follow them. Its best for the grand majority.

Question #3:
Down side? Like I said before, we need to draw the line somewhere. We will always want to push the limits. Who's to say that 10 years down the road people will push for 8 year olds???

Having a tag is becoming a problem. If the kids have to have the gun/tag in hand from day one, they are being spoiled IN MY MIND and wont truly enjoy what hunting is. It is not always about the tag and the kill. It is about being in the field with family and/or friends and enjoying the time. Learning. Growing. Teaching. and the list can go on.

And as you said in your last sentence "How does allowing them to have a tag hurt more than forcing them to just tag along?"

If they have a tag.....GREAT! But if they have to be "FORCED" (your words, not mine) they WILL NEVER LIKE HUNTING OR THE OUTDOORS!!!!

We live in a time where as parents, we want our kids to have everything. The best showes, newest mitt, glove, bat, racket........or what ever you want to write down. And along with that we want them to have a tag too. But, being patient and learning the sport of hunting by following dad isnt such a bad thing, is it? Spending time with dad should be fun, not forced. Spending time with brother/sister or aunt/uncle/cousin who has a tag should be fun, right? Not forced?

Thats my thought. I know not everyone will agree with me. Maybe I am a hard a$$ on my kids. But they will earn what they have and they will learn along the way.
So a younger kid cant earn what they get? oh and forcing them meant that they had no option to hold a tag. Not forcing them into the woods.

As for the one argument, pushing for 8, why not? If a kid was under direct supervision of the adult and was proficient with the firearm. why not 8?

By your logic the longer we force them to wait the better? So why not up the age in the opposite direction? So would you say letting a kid shoot rabbits or small game at a younger age is spoiling them? I am completely playing devils advocate because I honestly do not understand the line of thinking. Comparing it to driving seems a bit of a reach, but even there are some provisions for kids to have farm permits at age 14 and drive on county roads, not to mention there is really no law that prevents anyone of any age from driving on private property.

So my take away is that allowing a 10 year old to have a permit is spoiling them and as a result harmful to the kid. I am truly only asking because even after my son turns 12 next spring I am still going to pursue the issue, unless I see a real negative or downside. I also know that when I do this I will meet some objections and I want to understand those objections.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and allowing me to play devils advocate.
 

Chesterwyo

Active Member
Messages
951
Speaking from personal experience. When my kids turned 10 I took them deer hunting in Idaho. Physically, they could handle anything I threw at them. But it all fell apart when a big buck presented itself. I got one kid within 200 yards of a 180 inch buck (far bigger than I ever imagined we'd see) He missed it several times. And hunting hasn't really been the same for him since. I know every kid is different, but my kid wasn't emotionally equipped to deal with that. And it's negatively impacted his hunting. Would it have been different if he was 12 years old at the time? No way of knowing. But that was our experience.
 

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,380
Speaking from personal experience. When my kids turned 10 I took them deer hunting in Idaho. Physically, they could handle anything I threw at them. But it all fell apart when a big buck presented itself. I got one kid within 200 yards of a 180 inch buck (far bigger than I ever imagined we'd see) He missed it several times. And hunting hasn't really been the same for him since. I know every kid is different, but my kid wasn't emotionally equipped to deal with that. And it's negatively impacted his hunting. Would it have been different if he was 12 years old at the time? No way of knowing. But that was our experience.
Thanks, this is something I have considered as well. Emotionally ready is likely just as varied as physically ready. It is too bad you had that negative experience, what do you think would have been the result if your son managed to take that buck on his first shot?

My wife was 22 on her first hunt with me. She pulled the shot on a fork horned buck, and we spent over 4 hours (probably like 6) tracking and trying to finish the little buck off. That nearly broke her. She was ready to give up. Luckily she also had an elk tag and 2 days later we found a smoker 6x6 bull that presented a further and more challenging shot. One shot and the bull DRT. I still think that had we not made that second shot, she would have never been a hunter, just an observer...

Did your son ever get a chance at redemption after that big buck?
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,704
So a younger kid cant earn what they get? oh and forcing them meant that they had no option to hold a tag. Not forcing them into the woods.

As for the one argument, pushing for 8, why not? If a kid was under direct supervision of the adult and was proficient with the firearm. why not 8?

By your logic the longer we force them to wait the better? So why not up the age in the opposite direction? So would you say letting a kid shoot rabbits or small game at a younger age is spoiling them? I am completely playing devils advocate because I honestly do not understand the line of thinking. Comparing it to driving seems a bit of a reach, but even there are some provisions for kids to have farm permits at age 14 and drive on county roads, not to mention there is really no law that prevents anyone of any age from driving on private property.

So my take away is that allowing a 10 year old to have a permit is spoiling them and as a result harmful to the kid. I am truly only asking because even after my son turns 12 next spring I am still going to pursue the issue, unless I see a real negative or downside. I also know that when I do this I will meet some objections and I want to understand those objections.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and allowing me to play devils advocate.
Geez, you sound like a liberal. Twisting and turning and giving an excuse for anything.

Why is driving at 14 not a good comparison? I know my son could handle it. But my other 3, no way. We have to have limits. We have to draw a line. If they are proficient with a rifle at 6, 7 or 8 let them shoot and practice on all legal targets. If my son can drive at 14, I will take him into the outdoors and let him continue to drive and practice until he is at legal age.

"Forcing them to wait"? They dont have to wait to go with dad. They can still go with dad.

"Forcing" my son to wait until he is 16 to legally drive alone is not a bad thing. He can gain plenty of experience in the field and driving with me.

But my point is on all of this, and not meant to bash or argue, is to point out that there has to be limits. We have to draw the line. And along with that I firmly believe we need to do that with our weapons. Long range hunting is not hunting, it is target practice on live animals. And my list could go on and on. Anyways, wish you the best of luck in the draws and hunts and with the kids!!!
 

Chesterwyo

Active Member
Messages
951
Thanks, this is something I have considered as well. Emotionally ready is likely just as varied as physically ready. It is too bad you had that negative experience, what do you think would have been the result if your son managed to take that buck on his first shot?

My wife was 22 on her first hunt with me. She pulled the shot on a fork horned buck, and we spent over 4 hours (probably like 6) tracking and trying to finish the little buck off. That nearly broke her. She was ready to give up. Luckily she also had an elk tag and 2 days later we found a smoker 6x6 bull that presented a further and more challenging shot. One shot and the bull DRT. I still think that had we not made that second shot, she would have never been a hunter, just an observer...

Did your son ever get a chance at redemption after that big buck?
I can't help but think that if he had killed that buck that it would have given him an unrealistic expectation when it comes to just how difficult it is to kill a big buck. But that's easy enough to set straight with a couple of consecutive years of not getting a big one. He did get another opportunity at a nice buck a few years later, but was very hesitant, and it didn't end up coming together for him. He has however really grown as a waterfowl hunter. His confidence hunting ducks and geese and skill with a shotgun is pretty incredible.
 

DanMan

Active Member
Messages
131
I grew up in the south at a time when many of us boys were hunting small game even before school age. My 1st real deer hunt was age 10 and I shot 2 nice whitetail bucks that year all by myself. My dad was probably quarter mile away out of site. There was no age restrictions or HE classes back then.
That said, I think 12 years is plenty young for the vast majority of youths. While there may be a few kids who are ready at a younger age, most haven't developed the mental and emotional maturity to be a safe and ethical hunter and use good judgment on when and what to shoot. Some folks never develop that even at 50 years old.
Those two years of development between 12 and 10 I think are a tipping point for the majority.
 

elks96

Very Active Member
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2,380
The only people that want the age changed to 10 are people that have children 10 years old.
So want to point this out... One of the bills currently being considered in WY, is allowing for the age to be dropped when a kid has terminal illness and may not make it to 12 to hunt. The issue was recently there was a young lady who was not 12 who wanted to hunt through a program like make a wish. In WY she was not legally able to hunt here because of the state laws. Would you have supported this even if you did not have a 10 year old?
 

elks96

Very Active Member
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2,380
I grew up in the south at a time when many of us boys were hunting small game even before school age. My 1st real deer hunt was age 10 and I shot 2 nice whitetail bucks that year all by myself. My dad was probably quarter mile away out of site. There was no age restrictions or HE classes back then.
That said, I think 12 years is plenty young for the vast majority of youths. While there may be a few kids who are ready at a younger age, most haven't developed the mental and emotional maturity to be a safe and ethical hunter and use good judgment on when and what to shoot. Some folks never develop that even at 50 years old.
Those two years of development between 12 and 10 I think are a tipping point for the majority.
So wouldn't you rather have the freedom as a parent to determine when is the right time? As for the idea that a kid cant be a safe ethical hunter, does that mean that we should not allow them to hunt small game at a younger age?
 

DanMan

Active Member
Messages
131
So wouldn't you rather have the freedom as a parent to determine when is the right time? As for the idea that a kid cant be a safe ethical hunter, does that mean that we should not allow them to hunt small game at a younger age?
In interest of the greater numbers I have to honestly answer NO. If that door is opened , who can say that most parents will use clear judgment in determining if their 10 year old is ready for the responsibilities that come with being a hunter. Same is true whether big game, small game, or birds. Bad things can happen - I know 😯.
I have 4 of my own and I absolutely say take them along and keep it fun for them, But there are sound reasons for a minimum age of 12 before we give them the responsibility that comes with being a hunter and taking game.
 

elkantlers

Very Active Member
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2,549
So want to point this out... One of the bills currently being considered in WY, is allowing for the age to be dropped when a kid has terminal illness and may not make it to 12 to hunt. The issue was recently there was a young lady who was not 12 who wanted to hunt through a program like make a wish. In WY she was not legally able to hunt here because of the state laws. Would you have supported this even if you did not have a 10 year old

If The Wyo G&F want to make an exception for one terminally ill 10 year old I would be OK with that. I would not support every ten year old hunting.
 

nripepi

Very Active Member
Messages
1,609
Look to the east coast for some ideas, many states have implemented a mentor program with no age restrictions. You have to be in close arm contact with the hunter you are supervising and I believe in most states they use your tags. There are some really young kids, like 6-8, shooting deer and turkeys. I personally think 12 is a good number, but that is what I grew up with. 12 is still the age to get your own license.
 

jm77

Very Active Member
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2,095
My two grandsons at 10 years old. No problem. It should be left up to parents to decide when.

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Deerlove

Long Time Member
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5,302
Speaking from personal experience. When my kids turned 10 I took them deer hunting in Idaho. Physically, they could handle anything I threw at them. But it all fell apart when a big buck presented itself. I got one kid within 200 yards of a 180 inch buck (far bigger than I ever imagined we'd see) He missed it several times. And hunting hasn't really been the same for him since. I know every kid is different, but my kid wasn't emotionally equipped to deal with that. And it's negatively impacted his hunting. Would it have been different if he was 12 years old at the time? No way of knowing. But that was our experience.
emotionally dad has to be a good sport although its hard. How many minutes did it take for my kid to get set up for a shot. LOL He missed a ton, but killed a lot as well. Dad has to stay positive, I kept telling my son in sports and hunting you got to have a short memory and move forward.
 

jm77

Very Active Member
Messages
2,095
Speaking from personal experience. When my kids turned 10 I took them deer hunting in Idaho. Physically, they could handle anything I threw at them. But it all fell apart when a big buck presented itself. I got one kid within 200 yards of a 180 inch buck (far bigger than I ever imagined we'd see) He missed it several times. And hunting hasn't really been the same for him since. I know every kid is different, but my kid wasn't emotionally equipped to deal with that. And it's negatively impacted his hunting. Would it have been different if he was 12 years old at the time? No way of knowing. But that was our experience.
I had strict rules with these boys, even at 12 years old. They knew ahead of time if the situation wasn't right, no shooting. Had to be a solid rest and an animal that was calm or unaware. Any other way and you set them up for failure at that age.
 

Chesterwyo

Active Member
Messages
951
I had strict rules with these boys, even at 12 years old. They knew ahead of time if the situation wasn't right, no shooting. Had to be a solid rest and an animal that was calm or unaware. Any other way and you set them up for failure at that age.
That’s a fact. I had everything settled in that regard. Dead rest on a stump, broad side shot at a standing still buck with a rifle he’d shot a bunch and was comfortable with. He missed the first shot and the buck couldn’t tell where he needed to go. So he held tight, kid just couldn’t hit him.
 

canyoncrosser

Active Member
Messages
531
Each child is different, my 10 year old was ready mentally as soon as he was ready physically. He was bird hunting at 8. My younger boy, almost 8 years old isn’t quite the same but close.
I’d like to be the one to decide as I know my children best.

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Mooretitan

Active Member
Messages
135
My oldest son started hunting around 8 when he passed his hunting test. Mostly small game with he handling the gun and getting him lined up on sticks. Those rabbits hunts were so great times. He killed is 1st buck at 10 in Idaho. Missed a couple bucks opening day but got one a few days later. Another great memory for my dad and me. Now he is turning 14 soon and has 3 bucks and an elk, couple coyotes, badger, tons of small game and birds. Kid is a hunting machine but everything for the most part has been in pretty controlled settings. This next season he will be given a lot more freedom to roam on his own to a certain degree as I focus on his younger brother.
With that said I do think it should be up a parent but before the age 12 or whatever legal age for that state it should be on the parents tag. I would have no problem hunting with my 9 year old daughter and having her fill my tag if everything was set up for her to make a great shot. Now I dont think at 9 or 10 she should be necessary have her own tag.
 

Wiszard

Long Time Member
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8,845
Robb- Tell the G and F that your 10 year old identifies as a 12 year old. Done! You're welcome.

I think it should be 10 and leave it to the parents to decide if the child is old enough to handle hunting. Y limit the kids that are ready at 10?
 

nripepi

Very Active Member
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1,609
What is the reasoning for this?
I think if you do it this way, that it stresses the mentoring role and safety a bit more, at least puts it in the back of your mind more that this is a teaching moment. It is probably not much different then allowing a 10-year old to get a tag and require them to be supervised, but I kind of like the idea myself.
 

elks96

Very Active Member
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2,380
What is the reasoning for this?
I have had a few people think that the all the little kids are gonna take lic opportunities from others? Given our random draw, that is possible, but on the same hand we have general resident tags, so would that resident tag really limit others opportunity?

I like the MT system. A parent who is successful in the draw can buy the same tag for a mentor ages 10 and 11. Then at age 12 they must enter and buy their own tag.

I am not sure what is the right answer for WY, but I would really support moving the age to 10 for big game... Like you we have found opportunity out of the state that I would much rather be hunting in the state...
 

jm77

Very Active Member
Messages
2,095
I would support 10 & 11 hunting for deer and antelope. They should be required to pass Hunter Safety rather than use the Hunter Mentor program. They should get there own tag. Using a parents tag opens the door for more crazy unintended garbage with license transfers.

I can almost guarantee there are many adults, maybe a few on this forum, that aren't any better of a hunter than my two oldest grandsons.
 

elkmo41

Active Member
Messages
237
It is 6 in Missouri!! My boys were killing whitetails every year since then. Antelope in Wyoming as soon as they were old enough, then on to muleys. 10 is fine but depends on the parent/kid. Selfishly we had to wait til 12 so it should stay 12, helps my draw odds.
 

ICMDEER

Very Active Member
Messages
2,672
I would also favor 10 if they pass hunter safety and with a parent or adult mentor along. I actually passed hunter safety when I was 6. I hunted rabbits, birds and anything I could until it was legal for me to hunt big game. I killed my first buck, a yearling, on opening day when I was 12. I honestly think I was a better shot at moving animals when I was a kid than I am now. That first buck was running hard downhill and I whacked him with one shot, right behind the shoulder. Not sure I could do that from a sitting position now. But at that time, I had been shooting running jack rabbits almost every night for years, and plinking birds every chance I got. I also shot every tin can and rock within a mile of our house. Kids are different and have different skill levels and personalities. I'd favor giving them a chance.

But as I wrote, with a mentor and having passed hunter safety.
 

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