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I recently went through the "photos of the month" and one in particular caught my eye. It was a photo of a 5yr old boy who kill

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  • I recently went through the "photos of the month" and one in particular caught my eye. It was a photo of a 5yr old boy who kill

    I recently went through the "photos of the month" and one in particular caught my eye. It was a photo of a 5yr old boy who killed his first buck with a firearm. I looked into the regs in OH where the buck was taken and this is completely within the law even if the child has not successfully completed a hunter safety program. The child simply has to purchase an apprentice lic. and be accompanied by a mentor who is 21 or older. What are your thoughts on this? I'm really curious to see what my fellow sportspersons think about this.

  • #2
    I have no problem with this if its legal, but I think kids should have to wait until they are a little older and more responsible. No matter what anybody says I don't think 5 year olds are mature enough to hunt, but like I said before if its legal I have no complaint.


    • #3
      as long as the "mentor" is teaching the kid how to hunt..true hunting...and teaching them safety as well as respect for the outdoors, other hunters, etc...then I see it as a great learning opportunity. the boy would get more experience early on and probably be able to hunt by himself easier....when he's of age of course =)


      • #4
        Both deerslayer and carsonstutz bring up good points. I feel the same way; it may be legal, but that is an incredible amount of responsibility for a 5 year old to be controlling (in reference to a centerfire firearm). I think I would be less cautious if the state required a firearm's safety course to be completed prior to hunting with an adult.


        • #5
          Was hunting sml. game with dad at 4yrs old.
          Killed my first deer/buck at 10 hunting by my-self.
          As has been said, "if legal, it's fine" , "If you teach your kids to hunt you'll never hunt your kids" !


          • #6
            i have no problem with the legalities but that boy could not begin to understand the responsibilities of firearms or really appreciate that deer.


            • #7
              I killed my first game animal at 5 years of age, a grey squirrel some 43 years ago. It may well have been a deer if we had had very many back then! My Dad taught me to hunt and shoot early on. I was taught to handle and respect firearms as soon as I understood what they were. By the way, I killed one of those scarce deer at the ripe old age of seven.

              My wife and I taught our son the same way. At 4 he had his own Chipmunk .22 LR. He took the hunter ed exam at age seven and passed with a 90. This was 5 years before he was required to. He was taking squirrels at 5 and took a deer at 8 with a .44 mag Marlin Model 94 Carbine with a cut down stock. At 24, he still hunts to this day, even though his new career gets into the way a good bit as do young ladies...

              I'm all for teaching children firearm safety and handling as early as possible along with the values of our hunting heritage. I don’t believe that a state should arbitrarily set a minimum age for hunting or that they should sell "apprentice licenses" but then again I live in the south…


              • #8
                Good question!
                I often wondered how a 5-year old could actually have the cognizance, not to mention the strength and attention span,to point the gun,get the deer in the scope/sights ... keep it there long enough to s-q-u-e-e-z-e the trigger, and not act out prior to the recoil.

                By the way, it's allowed in Kentucky, what you just described, Matouse. It is great for the sport, and future generations, but let's get real ... how many 5-year olds have gone through the process of planned education of proper gun use? How long can a 5-year old remember and or retain the useful information?

                Who actually pulled the trigger?

                The Department of Wildlife in most states, are planting seeds for the next generation, but I personally think 5-years old is too young.

                Reminds me of when I was 6-years old and would sit on my fathers lap and "drive his car." Was I really driving? No.


                • #9
                  I think its great. Sure, its a TON of responsibility for such a young kid, but obviously he had appropriate parental/mentor supports. In this day and age of "political correctness", and with dwindling numbers of sportsmen, its more impotant than ever to get kids started in the outdoors. They earlier they start, the more "hooked" they will be!


                  • #10
                    My boy will be 5 next year. I may bring him into the woods or a ground-blind to hunt with me, but he won't be doing any shooting. I'll likely not do any shooting either. I don't think he's ready for it. Currently he scouts with me, which he enjoys. I like the idea of being able to decide as a parent when he's ready though. If you feel your 5 y.o. is ready... take'm hunting. I'll likely wait a few years.


                    • #11
                      I also looked into the regulations in OH after seeing that picture. I like the idea, but I was not where near ready to be safe enough to hunt at the age of 5. My maturity level is still in question at the age of 28. To each his own.


                      • #12
                        Well boys,

                        I may be an exception to the rule but I was certainly cognoscente at age 5, but then I grew up a farm and my Mom tells me I was 30 years old at age 12!

                        I knew what it meant to take a life from a game animal at age 5. I was taught that by my father, mother, grandmother and grand father. I was taught the value of human life also. I was taught not to waste the life of an animal unless it was used to feed the family or protect our livestock or poultry. I was also taught to take kill shots only and not to sling lead. I was taught that an animal should not suffer needlessly and I was taught to respect an animal’s life and give thanks for it. When I went squirrel hunting I was given a certain number of cartridges and I had better bring home a like number of squirrels or unfired rounds.

                        I was an average kid of average size and strength. I had no trouble shouldering or carrying a Winchester Mod 190 .22 LR back then. I was always supervised by an adult. Would you believe my paternal Grandmother took me hunting about as much as my Dad did? She was a hell of a squirrel and rabbit hunter and one hell of a shot too! I killed my first deer with a 20 gauge H&R Topper shotgun loaded with a slug. I was practiced with that gun until I could keep all my shots in a pie plate at 40 yards. The shot gun was cut down to fit me by my Dad. The next year I received a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington for my Birthday. I handled it just as well.

                        My son was also taught this. We taught him to think, to reason and to understand nature and life. Just as I was. The earlier we begin a child’s education the better off the child will be. We also teach the child life values before the increasing liberal world has their crack at them. The child then has the ability to compare and contrast and make their own "educated" decisions.

                        Guys, it is all in how I was raised and how my parents and their parents were raised…


                        • #13
                          There seems to be two schools of thought here. Those who started hunting as pre-schoolers think it is a great idea. You can't start them too young. And those who had to wait until they were mature enough to handle the responsibility are not too keen on the idea. As 2Poppa put it, who actually pulls the trigger?


                          • #14
                            You certainly are the "exception" and progressed through the various levels of maturity as your father and family inspected what they expected.

                            Your "home education" would go far in todays world of electronic communication, that extracts and reduces the need to be present and close to the ones we love. We even have to invent "smiley faces" that indicates pleasure or favor.

                            Beekeeper, you have a generational blessing and you have passed it on!

                            Great Post Beekeeper ... you made my day!


                            • #15
                              Here I am in agreement with 2Poppa.

                              5 years old? Walked out in the woods, shouldered a rifle, took aim, held it, and fired that accurately.

                              I smell something in that, and it ain't just venison.




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