PA Game Commission holds public meeting on hunting age limits

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Deer and turkey hunters across the state may soon be required to leave their children at home when they head into the woods.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will vote on two proposals that could change the future of the sport in the Commonwealth.

One proposal would alter the Mentored Youth Hunt Program, limiting the age for a child to hunt deer or turkeys to nine-years-old. Any child above the age of nine would not be affected.

The Commission says it's because some hunters are abusing the program. During a public board meeting Sunday afternoon in Dauphin County, opponents say conservation officers should be given tools they need to keep the abuse in check. Parents and their children also attended the meeting and say the proposals will ruin their family traditions.

"It brought tears to my eyes. I literally cried on film seeing my daughter harvest something for the first time ever. It's an emotional experience," said Ken Miller, an avid hunter from Halifax Township in Dauphin County.

"I feel sad and mad because I did this all my life and now they're taking this away from me and I can't believe that," added his daughter, Paige.

The other proposal would impact non-hunters on state game lands. Without a permit, a person would not be allowed to hike, cycle, snowmobile or horseback ride during hunting season.

The public board meetings will continue Monday and Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is expected to vote on the proposals Tuesday.

15 comments

  • Raymond

    Should be an age limit. Its not rational or reasonable to say its legal for a two year old to pull the trigger on a deer. That’s lunacy.

    • CatchAndReleaeWildTrout

      Really, a two year old. Are you a moron ?
      Go make comments on another article of maybe something you may have a clue about.

      • David Harkens

        Good post Ray. But why wait for 2 years old? Its legal for a 2 MONTH old with no age limit currently. I agree with you, that’s just flat out goofiness.

  • penndutch

    It is appropriation that perplexes me ,a obedient young child is safe with a firearm, I conjecture the way the world is ruled!

  • Deerhunna

    All you hear about around here is unscrupulous dads and other adults using kids tags to kill another buck themselves and nobody can do anything about it. The program is a total joke by not having an age. Dumbest law currently on the books = no age for hunting. But I know of 3 or 4 poachers that would like to see it stay that way.

    • Gene

      Have you turned the identities of those poachers over to the Game Commission? Typical reaction to a problem: a very few people abuse a program so deny it to all. How about the same approach to welfare abuses?

      • OneMan'sOpinion

        Would you call the cops if your wife was speeding or tell your son’s wife if your son was cheating? (Notice that I did not use murder or bank robbery as an example because that is in a different league).

          • OneMan'sOpinion

            My point was that sometimes people look the other way instead of reporting poachers or reporting actions that aren’t blatantly serious.

      • king ruddy

        If you are a community leader ,a “poverty simulation” is established for thursday, to understand life on a daily basis!

  • d.gill

    I agree with this. My son has been doing the mentored youth since he is 8. I believe it builds character and responsibility. It also builds parent and child relationship wich is an almost forgotten tradition anymore. My son can not hunt unless his grades are up and doing well in school. This will not effect him. But under 8 I do see the point . 8-12 deer hunting may be lil high caliber gun. But I think it builds trust, bonds, and traditions. Remember hunt safe and don’t litter. And be responsible…

  • Brandon

    My daughter who is 7 walked around with me this deer season. She has shot targets and was excited cause I said that she was ready to try to take a deer next season. Now she prob wont get that chance. I made sure she was comfortable and accurate with the gun before I mentioned that she was ready.

  • Grousehunter

    IF THE GAME COMMISSION FIXED THE DEER PROBLEM AND QUIT ALLOCATING ALL THOSE TAGS AND GOT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IDIOTS OUT OF THE AGENCY THEY WOULDNT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT ALL THE POACHING AND ALL THE PREDATORS, THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH DEER TO GO AROUND. AS FOR THE KIDS< 10 SHOULD BE YOUNG ENOUGH FOR ANYONE.

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