According to the startribune.com, The Gopher State is not lacking for hunters. The paper claims that Minnesota is home to 500 thousand Bambi killers (someone should have warned me). According to Wikipedia, The Land of 10,000 Lakes has 5.2 million residents. Despite the fact that a full 10 percent of the population goes deer hunting, the state government sees licensed hunters as something of an endangered species. So some bright spark came up with a plan. “This year, the Department of Natural Resources is floating a possible four-day statewide youth-only deer season in October, a couple weeks before the regular firearms season. Youths age 10-17 would be allowed to kill one either-sex deer. The purpose is to encourage youths to deer hunt at a time when the percentage of young hunters is declining.” Yes, you heard right: the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate?) wants to encourage fathers to drag their sons out into the wild with deadly weapons. Nothing wrong with that, of course—unless you think about it . . .
“I swear didn’t shoot it. JUNIOR DID.” Not that I’m the first one to think of THAT “issue”:
“We don’t think an individual who goes to the time and effort to take their kid on a special youth hunt will shoot the kid’s deer,” [DNR big game program manager Lou] Cornicelli said. “It just doesn’t make any sense. Will someone do it? Yeah, probably. But I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem.”
Hey, does anyone sees this as a potential safety issue? Well, yes and no. One of the commentators on the article says the idea is a dog.
You and Friends along with your hunting Dogs are walking along. The Dogs are out flushing the birds for you. And all of a sudden you hear a gun shot. and realize your dog has been shot. Or is it your Best Friend that has leaned against a tree to rest but has branches above his head and looks like a deer from a far. And then you learn that it was because of this Youth Hunt your friend is now Dead. It is because the DNR and The State of MN has allowed children ages 10-17 out in the woods with a High Power Deer Rifle or a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun with slugs without going thru Firearm Safety.
Surfing around, it appears most Minnesotan hunters are more concerned with, you guessed it, their own bag.
“We’re very interested in getting kids out and creating more opportunities for them, but there’s real confusion of why DNR would even consider it statewide, when there are many areas that are lottery-only or bucks-only,” said Johnson. “We just don’t have the numbers of deer available, especially in the far northeast and southwest.”
Said Johnson: “You have a half-million deer hunters out there; if you throw them to the wind and concentrate just on the kids, it doesn’t make sense. If you don’t provide opportunity for adults, they won’t stay in hunting either. You can’t give up retention and focus on just recruitment.”
Ah, marketing. You gotta love marketing. Hey, I wonder what the deer think of the plan. Not that deer think on the conscious level, being deer and all. But I bet if they could think, they wouldn’t appreciate a kid with a gun wearing a T-shirt reading “Venison: My Aim Is True.” You know, if someone made a shirt like that.