The Pennsylvania Game Commission has recently issued some new regulations concerning youth hunting. Under the new regulations, “Kids of any age still would be allowed to hunt deer and turkey in Pennsylvania…[b]ut to get their own tags for those animals, kids would have to be at least 7 years old…. Currently, the state’s mentored youth hunting program allows kids of any age under 12 to get tags to shoot deer and turkeys while under the direct supervision of adults — usually their parents….” . . .
In 2013, the agency sold 39 permits to kids under the age of 3, including 14 to kids less than 1 year old.
By setting a minimum age of 7 to get deer and turkey tags, the commissioners said they believe they will hamper attempts by adults to abuse the system by getting tags for their kids and then using them themselves.
The commission originally considered raising the minimum age for hunting to 9, but could not come to a consensus on this.
Many outfitters, ranches, and guide services are catering to young hunters. Ox Ranch in Texas prides themselves on being very kid-friendly, with experienced youth hunting guides ready to help teach alongside their regular duties.
What’s the right age for hunting? I came to firearms from the perspective of self-defense, and although I hope to do some wild pig hunting at some point in the next year or so, my experience in the sport is almost nil. Taking a 2-year-old hunting seems…ill-advised. But is 5 or 7 too young?
I admit I’m coming at this from a position of ignorance. What say you, experienced hunters?