String Of Deadly Hunting Accidents Spurs Call For Raising Minimum Hunting Age

Hunting animals for "sport" is not only deadly for the animals but also dangerous for people, especially in areas where underage children are permitted to hunt. Each news report of a child killed or accidentally killing a parent or guardian during a hunting trip emphasizes the need for raising, or establishing, the minimum hunting age. Most states do not even have a minimum hunting age. Hunters have to make split-second decisions about firing a high-powered, long-range weapon in an intense, highly adrenaline-charged setting. It is unrealistic to expect that a child can consistently and safely make the right choice on where to point his or her weapon and whether or not to fire it. Many state wildlife agencies attempt to recruit young children by holding "youth hunts" for children as young as eight. "The only purpose of these youth hunts is to recruit children who are too young to hunt safely," said Fund program coordinator Norm Phelps. "With tragic hunting accidents involving children recently in Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, it is a wake up call for citizens to take a close look at their states' wildlife agencies and demand a minimum hunting age of at least 16."

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