Possible head start for kids hunting big game

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Idaho Fish and Game is looking to lower the age kids are allowed to start hunting big game from 12 to 10 years old.

An Idaho Fish and Game spokeswoman said the reason for the age drop proposal is because they have been getting a lot of requests from families wanting to take their kids out at a younger age. She also mentioned if the age change gets approved, kids between the ages of 10 and 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and must have a hunter education license.

"All of my kids from 21 down to seven years old are involved in shooting sports," said Shannon Brewer. "It's really been a plus for my kids."

Brewer said he just moved to Caldwell from Colorado where the age limit to hunt big game there is 10 years old. He's enjoyed allowing his kids to get out at an earlier age.

"It's a really responsible idea to get younger kids involved in shooting sports at an earlier age and it creates an atmosphere where their parents are involved with them in doing that," said Brewer. "It gets youngsters out doing fun things, doing it responsibly."

Jaden Bartlow is another avid hunter; he said he hunts geese, ducks and deer. He agrees with the proposed age drop because he sees many families introduce their kids to guns even younger then 10, and this will enable them to teach responsibility in the field sooner.

"It's great for dads to be able to take their kids hunting and get their first deer, elk, whatever they're hunting that year at 10 years old," said Bartlow.

When we asked Facebook users to weigh in, we also got many in agreement with this proposal, but some aren't on board.

Carol Thacker Pullen wrote, "there is a reason we do not let 10 year olds drive. One of the biggest reasons is they lack the maturity to do so, why would we think they have the maturity to handle a gun at that age?"

An Idaho Fish and Game spokeswoman said they understand hunting is a family sport in Idaho and that's a reason why they want to lower the age limit on big game hunting.

"Often you get a family with several kids and mom or dad or both parents hunt and the older siblings might be hunting and the younger child really, really wants to go along," said Vicky Runnoe. "And we really like the fact that they'll be tied with that child needing to be with an adult to have that experience and mentoring with an adult."