HUNTING – The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to give kids as young as 10 years old a shot at bringing down big game, saying it should be up to their parents if youngsters are allowed to hunt some of Idaho’s prized species.
That’s a two-year age decrease from the current minimum of 12 years old.
If Idaho lawmakers agree with the proposal, Idaho’s age requirements will mirror those in Arizona, Maine and Nebraska, all of which allow children 10 and up to hunt. Some states, including Washington and Nevada, do not have a set minimum age to hunt.
Currently, 10- and 11-year-old kids can hunt for small game in Idaho, but they can’t hunt for bigger prey.
Unlike hunters 12 and up, who can head out after deer, elk, bear and other wildlife alone, the younger children must be accompanied by an adult who is licensed to hunt in Idaho.
Sharon Kiefer, department deputy director, says it’s a matter of parental discretion. The department has received repeated requests from parents to provide an option for younger hunters, she said.
“This doesn’t mean you must go hunt game at age 10,” Kiefer said. “This just gives families that option.”
In Idaho, everybody born after Jan. 1, 1975, must complete a hunter-education course to buy an Idaho hunting license – or else show proof of a previously held valid hunting license in Idaho or another state.
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