Hunting age limits vary state by state. Generally, there is a lower age limit for bow hunting and/or hunting birds, but only older kids are allowed to use firearms or hunt big game. So the question is: should these age limits be removed?
A bill is being proposed in Michigan that would allow any kid to hunt as long as he or she was accompanied by a 21-year-old licensed hunter. Of course, the kid would need a license, too. But that would be obtainable at any age.
Folks opposing the bill argue familiar points. They say that kids with guns become more dangerous. Others oppose it because they oppose hunting in general. They just use this hunting age limit issue as a way to keep the number of total hunters down.
The supporters of the bill come at it from slightly different angles. There are those in favor of it because they believe it will allow more people to buy hunting licenses and that creates revenue for the state. But it seems that the charge is being led by parents who say that they should be able to decide when their kid is ready to hunt.
When I was a kid, I probably did some hunting before I was old enough to have a license. But it was just shooting squirrels with my dad and grandpa on our property. And I remember running through the woods with pellet guns and even the occasional .22 shooting at anything that moved. Now, I’m sure I wasn’t as careful as I always should have been. But I was certainly no threat to any fellow man at that point. I wasn’t a threat to the squirrels for a while either.
I’ve thought a lot about this issue for the last several weeks and I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t know where I stand on it. Part of me thinks that if I had a kid, I would be able to decide for myself whether or not he or she was ready. But at the very same time, I don’t know that I trust the judgment of everyone else.
Most of the things that get under my skin on a day-to-day basis are the types of things that I wish a person’s parents had done a better job on. Whether it’s bad manners, bad driving or bad habits, my parents taught me one way and every other parent has their own unique approach. Nothing wrong with that. But I don’t know if I trust every other parent’s approach to hunting and firearm safety.
So I trust me. I just don’t know if I trust you. Do you trust me to teach my kids the right thing? And can you be trusted?