Youth Hunting ExcitementDecember 15th, 2011 by MUCC Staff.
All summer long the question from my 7yr old son Drake was, “can I hunt this year?” I had taken him out of school to testify on the Hunter Heritage bill before the House committee. We went up to the hearing and sat before the committee and made our case for allowing younger hunters afield. Members of the committee even asked Drake a few questions before bringing it to a vote at the end of the session. It was my chance to teach him how we as hunters can get involved. Since that day, there’s was a constant barrage of questions about the bill. Frequently he would ask for an update until the bill passed both house and senate. I then explained how the governor would need to sign it, which he did.
Now we are to the nuts and bolts of everything. The youth hunters will hit the woods next year but what are the details going to be? This is up to the Natural Resources Commission to decide. A workgroup was formed to take up the issue, research, brainstorm and flesh out rules that would allow safe participation of younger hunters. After several meetings and countless hours of research, presentations and deliberations, the workgroup has come up with some recommendations for the NRC to consider. As a father of two little boys, I personally think the recommendations are sound and allow parents to make decisions based on their particular circumstances.
Now that the NRC has a framework to consider, it’s only a matter of time before it’s tweaked and reshaped into the Youth Mentored Hunting Program that will take effect before this coming turkey season. I for one, have some work to do getting things ready to take a couple kids out into the woods on their first hunts. I’ve got two boys that are excited to go hunting with their dad.