That’s not what we mean when we say start them young.
This year Wisconsin eliminated the state’s minimum hunting age. The age was originally set at 12, but that all changed. When I first heard this, I thought this was great for the sport, giving kids a chance for an early start. Well, there’s always someone to ruin it for the rest of the group.
The Journal Sentinel reports that 10 hunting licenses were sold to children under the age of 1. While it’s not officially known if the babies actually hunted, I think we can all assume they didn’t. This leaves only a handful of reasons for purchasing these licenses. The first is that the licenses were purchased as a keepsake for the child. The second is to possibly pay more into the wildlife funds supported by license sales. The unfortunate alternative, however is that these licenses were purchased for use by another hunter.
According to the Journal Sentinel, the first-time mentored hunting licenses are cheaper and don’t have any harvest limitations. The Sentinel also reports that 52 licenses have been sold to children 5 and younger. When you look at ages 9 and below, a total of 1722 licenses have been sold, which is great as long as those youths are in fact hunting.
While I have my suspicions that these licenses are being abused, I don’t think this should be a reason to rethink or overreact to this law change.