Former hunting instructor weighs in on lowering big game age limit

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.

As of now, only kids who are 12 and up can take a shot at game like deer, elk bear and wolves. But ten and 11-years-old can shoot smaller game, like turkey and some types of birds.

Idaho Fish and Game says it gets confusing for parents to try and keep up with what their young children can and cannot shoot. Its proposal asks that upland game and big game age limits be the same-- ten and up.

If the proposal is approved by state legislature, ten and 11-year-old children could hunt big game with adult supervision after they pass a hunter's education course.

Marc Brown was NRA certified to teach kids to hunt and use firearms for several years. He says he doesn't think changing the age limit is a bad idea.

"It's got to start somewhere," Brown told KBOI.

But, he adds that it depends on the kid.

"Every kid's different," Brown said. "Some kids are a little more responsible than others. Some have a better attention span. And I think some kids have different parents, too."

Brown says he didn't pass every child he ever taught. He only passed those who he felt were truly ready to get out and hunt.

He tells KBOI he would support modifying Idaho's age limit. But he says he feels parents should make the ultimate decision on whether to take their ten and 11-year-olds out based on maturity and readiness.

Idaho Fish and Game says hunting being a popular family sport in Idaho is a big reason why it wants to lower the age limit on big game hunting.