Saturday, July 26, 2008

New York Governor Signs Junior Hunting Bill

© By Othmar Vohringer

Lowering the age restriction for young hunters has been a battle many hunters in New York have fought very hard over the past several years. My good blogging friend Marc Alberto at the NYbowhunter.com blog has reported regularly on that struggle and kept hunters abreast of what is happening.

Moving to our new house and other commitments left me little to no time to keep up with the development of the initiative to lower the age for young hunters in New York. So when I got an email yesterday from another good friend, Richard Worden, member of the National Board of Director of Hunters Helping Kids and chapter President of HHK Northern New York, telling me that the governor of New York has signed the youth hunter bill into effect I was very pleased over this victory.

Like Richard, and I am sure many New York hunters too, I expected that the bill would lower the age to 12 ore even lower instead of 14 years of age. However this is a step in the right direction that will give hunters a base to work from to get the age lowered. Let’s just hope it will not take another half decade to make politicians see commonsense.

While I try to understand the motivation of governments to put age restriction on hunting I am a firm believer that ultimately the power to make the decision should be with the parents. It would serve us all much better if the government makes flexible age restrictions like between the ages of six and ten.

The reason I say "that ultimately it should be the parents that decide at what age their child is ready to hunt" is in the fact that only a parent knows a childs mental and physical ability and what it is able to do or not to do. I am aware that child huggers and politicians think parents are not capable of making decisions concerning their own children! But they are.

In order to get a child interested in hunting we have to start with them at a very young age. Studies have shown that most children have made their minds up what they like at age 14 to 16. Getting a child that late into hunting is difficult at best. Sure we can take children along on scouting trips and teach them all there is to know it. But ultimately what gets children hooked on hunting or fishing is when they can show off success in form of their first harvested game.

You can read the new bill here.

Now I am off over the weekend to shoot my bow at our outdoor archery range. It’s only five weeks to hunting season and I haven’t shot my bow this year. High time to get some much needed practice done. I’ll let you all know how it went next week.

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3 comments:

SimplyOutdoors said...

This is definitely a step in the right direction, although I do agree with you on what the minimum age should be.

These days, with the advent of ipods, video games, and other such things, we have to get kids interested in hunting at an earlier age, and once they get to be 14 or so you have already lost.

It's good to see New York moving in the right direction though and hopefully this opens some doors for future negociations as well.

Kristine said...

I'm glad that New York passed the bill, but I agree with you that ultimately it should be up to the parents to decide. I've known five year old kids who were responsible enough to hunt, and I've know fifteen year old kids who weren't. It depends on the personality of the child, and who would know that better than their parents?

Othmar Vohringer said...

I have been wondering how this will go from the day I heard about it. So when I heard that New York signed this law I was pleased even so I expected more from it. But as I said it’s a base on which we can build.

It’s also a good example of what hunters can do if they stick and work together on an issue.

-ov-

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