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Proposal For Lowering Hunting Age

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By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Big game in the Gem State includes wolves, bears, and deer.

Idaho Fish and Game wants to give younger children a shot at hunting these animals.

"As a very young child, I went out hunting with my grandpa and my dad and so that was a great experience, and I've been taking my kids with me ever since they were little," says Kirk Tubbs, owner of Tubbs Berry Farm.

Tubbs takes his four children on hunting trips every chance he gets.

Recently, the proud father boasts his 12-year-old daughter shot her first deer.

"It was exciting for me to be with her... anytime you're outdoors it's wonderful. If we're out hunting and we don't find anything that's ok; it's just the time spent together as a family," he explains.

A proposal is in the legislature to lower the minimum age for hunting big game from 12 years old to 10.

"It just depends on what your comfort level is. Just because it's allowed doesn't mean you have to let your kid hunt at the age of 10; it just gives you the opportunity," points out Kelton Hatch, Regional Conservation Educator.

The proposal would require all hunters under the age of 12 to pass a hunters education course and be accompanied by an adult with a hunting license.

Tubbs notes, "As with all these young hunters, mentored hunting is encouraged. I teach hunters’ education and we teach the basics of firearm safety but a lot of time has to be spent with mentors... kids will surprise you how much they can learn at a young age and they'll pick it up fast."

Hatch adds, "Most states surrounding us across the country allow any age to begin hunting and we felt like the right supervision it would be fine in the State of Idaho... I don't see it as that big of a change."

All of this in an effort to increase youth participation.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee agreed unanimously that a full hearing should take place to debate the issue.

After that, they will decide whether or not to send it to the full House for a vote.


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