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At what age is a youth ready for Hunter's ed?

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At what age is a youth ready for Hunter's ed?

Old 08-16-2009, 04:34 AM
Typical Buck
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Default At what age is a youth ready for Hunter's ed?

I know that most of us take our sons and daughters hunting, if they wish, and we teach in the field. But I want to know what age do you think a child is old enough to take and comprehend a state sanctioned Hunters Safety Education Course?

For licensing purposes, my state requires that you be certified at 16 years of age. I think it should be alot sooner. But 16 is when you must start buying a license and therefore show proof of Hunters ed certification.

I have a 9 year old that is dieing to hunt me this year and he wants to take the course. Will it be too advanced for him? Is the test at the end beyond his level?

The range visit shouldn't be a problem. This kid has shot everything in my arsenal (except the .50 bmg). And it has been 20 years since I took the course, so I will be attending with him for a refresher and to provide guidance for him.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:06 AM
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I'm all for getting kids started hunting small game at an early age but I do feel some folks tend to rush things a bit especially when it comes to big game.Some of what I've seen on the Pursuit channel made me cringe.Ole dad takes junior out and he makes a poor hit on an animal.Dad just shrugs it off and says "don't worry son you'll get another chance".In most case's the gun or crossbow is bigger than the kid trying to hold/aim the thing.Small wonder he can't shoot it well.At any rate kids need to be taught gun safety from around 8- hunter ed at 11 or so but not allowed to go after small game till 12 and big game till around 14.I know these numbers won't sit well with many but I'm more concerned with safety for other hunters in the field and clean kills on the animals than ole dads pride'n joy.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:26 AM
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In Iowa, the soonest the child can take the Hunters Safety class and be certified is 11 1/2, because they are not eligible to hold a hunting license or tag until they are 12. Before that they can hunt with a parent, but the parent must be within basically arms reach of the kid as long as the kid is armed, the parent cannot be armed themselves, and the parent must have a valid Iowa hunting license and any game tags if applicable. Once the child is 12 and has the Hunters Safety certification, they can hunt with an adult that is also hunting. In other words, you and the kid can both be armed and hunting together, and you no longer have to stay alongside the child.

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Old 08-16-2009, 05:38 AM
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It's 11 here in MN.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:40 AM
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I sponsored a few courses and saw a lot of kids that were 8 or 9 in the class, I don't remember any of them passing. Some of them pass at 10 or 12, but some of them can't read well enough to comprehend the testing. As long as the kid can do the course by themselves would be my basis of age limits. I don't think dad should "help" with the course testing part. Even if he goes thru the course and doesnt pass he will gain something. I waited on my grandsons till they were 14 to take the course, but they could hunt, just couldn't buy a license till they were 16.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:44 AM
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I have a son that will be 10 in January and he is leaps and bounds ahead of other kids his age as far as his knowledge and learning curve. I'm going to get him in the class this year. My eight year wants to as well, but he is not the shapest tool in the shed right now so he has to wait.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:56 AM
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I'm taking my 10 year old (11 in october) on the youth hunt this year. We were at the range yesterday, and he was accurate enough out to about 100 yards (6 in group). In KS they don't allow the course to be taken for credit until they are 11, and they don't offer any in our area past september. So, he will be taking it next fall.

Interestingly enough, there is no minimum on when you can hunt as long as you are supervised by a licensed adult hunter. No license required for the kid, just a $17 over the counter youth tag.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:15 AM
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Both my kids had sat thru firearms safety classes by the time they were 7 YO. It was a couple of more years before they got their certificates but that wasn't my goal.

I just figured that anything they got out of it would benefit them as far as safety goes. I wasn't so concerned about my guns which are secured pretty well but I was concerned about them going to a "friends" house where there were guns.

I also had them tag along with me carrying unloaded Red Ryders so they learned to carry without sweeping ect....
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:45 AM
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10 in our state was the earliest I believe, which is a great age in my opinion, i was 12, not too advanced, especially if his father knows what's going on...might not ace the test...but certainly is able to pass it and know hunter safety...
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:52 AM
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I'm an instructor here in IL. There is no age restriction as far as taking the class. We have to admit any and all. In my classes we try to speak with the parent(s) and just lay it out there. A six year old is going to be mighty disappointed when he can't pass the written exam. He doesn't have to even read it because we will read it to him. I have read the test to kids plenty of times and it breaks my heart and yes even later pulls a tear sitting there seeing the kid has no handle on it whatsoever. I've seen kids balling their eyes out.

I think 8 or 9 is the age where kids stand a fair chance of passing our test. Of course if they go to the online test who knows what kind of cheating could go on.

All that being said. I believe kids about 4, 5 or 6 can go out with their parent and start their "apprenticeship" so long as the parent keeps them comfortable and SAFE.
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