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January 09, 2012

The Latest in Whitetail News

By Dave Hurteau

Today’s roundup leads with three particularly provocative stories.

First, from the Iowa City Gazette, a Cedar Rapids deer hunter’s experience with a lead-poisoned eagle changes his opinion on lead-free ammo. Would it affect yours?

Second, from the Boston Herald, a hunting accident raises a pair of legal questions: Should Massachusetts’s law (a) require hunters to gain permission before hunting private property, and (b) clearly identify their target before shooting. What do you think?

And third, whenever a toddler kills a deer, or two in this case from the Tidewater News, there’s the obligatory question: How young is too young? Care to weight in?

More headlines:

Blind Hunter Bags Buck

Strange Buck Killed in Michigan

Minnesota Officers Shoot Antlers to Save Deer

Northern Plains States Deer Hit Hard By EHD

15 Deer Trample Michigan Man

CWD Spreads in Nebraska

Comments (15)

Top Rated
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from Douglas wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

As for lead... There has to be good substitute material for projectiles. Poison is poison and I sure have scattered my share of lead. I would rather switch than fight.

Shooting accident... I remember this story from way back then. No excuse for it at all and yes for getting permission and no brainer for clearly identifying the target. Once you press "send", theres no getting the bullet back.

Toddlers shooting deer? One should be able to gut and drag before being allowed afield to harvest large game animals. At least be able to carry a 5 gallon pail of water.
Just my humble opinions.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

As for the accident, I'm pretty sure that if you don't gain permission, you are trespassing, which is illegal and eliminates the need for new legislation. If you don't clearly identify your target before pulling the trigger, you are wantonly endangering an unidentified target, also illegal if it happens to be or contain human life.
I believe that it should be left to a parent's discretion as to what age a kid can begin hunting. That is not an issue that any legislative body can or should mandate. In KY you can hunt with an adult at any age but you must be 16 to hunt alone. I think that's fair. At any rate, the pic is great of this kid with his deer.

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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I think the knee-jerk reaction to children hunting is always going to be something along the lines of "Ok, he is able to acquire a target and accurately take the shot - but does he actually realize the consequences of his actions." Children, especially young as 4 years old, have a hard time really putting action with consequence, especially a consequence such as death. I'm not saying I think that we can really say "at such and such an age, that's when kids should be allowed to hunt," and so long as the parents are required to be with the kids, that's a plus - but you're also going to have people pointing to those kids in Jonesboro - kids whom I'm sure their parents trusted with firearms and had experience handling the weapons, but really could not understand the real repercussions of their actions. It's a fine, wiggly line, and I'm not sure there's a "right" answer, just an answer that we have to live with as a society.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Four or 5 is too young to take a life because a 4 or 5 year old can't comprehend enough to make that decicion intelligently. Trespassing is trespassing and you always need to identify your target positively before pullimg the trigger(another reason a 4 y.o. shouldn't harvest an animal.) I'm sure both of these bases are covered in prior legislation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Houndz wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

If I had a problem with eagles eating my leftovers I would probably get ammo with no lead. I do believe that you should have permission to hunt on someones private land and that you should clearly identify your target before shooting. I think it's for the parents to decide how old their children should be to hunt, and the parents should supervise their children if there at a very young age.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I think it's a little presumptuous to infer every lead poisoned animal is a result of hunters bullets. I'd use lead free ammo if the price came down a bit and performance was similar. For all we know that eagle ate a fish that ingested a lead sinker, or picked up the lead by ingesting anything MADE IN CHINA. I wonder if it had Melamine poisoniong as well?!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I agree with steve182. I remember the past California Condor lead issue and how some independent researchers determined that there was more environmental lead present in their habitat than lead from hunter's bullets.
As far as lead free pure copper bullets go, I have used them before and all the current copper bullet ammo is not as expensive as it used to be.
I am scratching my head trying to understand the point about hunting on private property and someone getting shot. Is someone stating that if someone hunts on private property then that someone is more likely to accidently shoot someone?
Hunting safety should be practiced across the board regardless of where one is hunting. That safety includes being cognizant of where you are shooting and making darn sure one has properly identified one's target.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

In reference to the hunting "accident". In WV written permission is required to hunt on someone's property and we have a law that states" that game must be plainly visible before shooting". My Grandson killed his first deer at 7 and he is 11 now and has killed 2 bucks and 4 does with his rifle and 2 does with his bow. We have a new hunter. It depends on the young person and the locality. In our rural area kids are more in tune with nature than one would be in the city. They watch and help parents and grandparents kill and butcher hogs and cattle and killing animals for food is a way of life even at an early age. They know where their food comes from.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

First- no it wouldn't change my view, if a eagle ate chrome from a road kill and died should we ban chrome plated bumpers? Second--A. Yes B. Thats a no-brainer! Third--Maybe but who cares, he certaianly looks happy and thats good enough for me!

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from rock rat wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I thought written permission was needed in MA, if the land isn't posted the offense is just hunting land without permission, if posted it's trespassing. Or that's what I read.

I use unleaded to hunt but regular for target. When I tried to buy 165 or 150 at the big box hunting store there were none in 30/06. I don't like the slow expanding 180s for deer, goes right through before it ever thinks of getting bigger.

My kids have been around hunting and dead animals since they were born. If he'd study for his small game license I'd help him go get whatever he can competently shoot. I think big game here is at 13.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

FYI, according to the linked story at least:

Massachusetts does not require a land owner’s permission to hunt on private property. Maine, as a result of the 1988 tragedy of Karen Wood, 37, a mother of infant twin girls, is the only New England state to mandate hunters have a confirmed visual of their prey’s head and torso before shooting.

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from berkshiredave wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

In the Massachusetts case, the "hunter" was also a state police trooper. Haven't they all had avanced training? Think more training will help? More laws?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huron wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

4-5 is too young to hunt in my opinion, but I'm glad that it's up to the parents to decide rather than the gov't.

As far as the Mass hunting accident...how much more could've gone wrong?!? This further cements the fact that I would never buy any property in that state.

Hope that lady recovers ok and the state trooper stops giving hunters a bad name with his carelessness.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

4 years old, Really??? That is too young for a person to be out making potential life and death decisions - kids this age do not have the reasoning skills (and yes, admittedly from the Mass. case of the trooper, neither do some adults). Just because one man and his 4 year old child were able to pull it off does not make it a good idea. If you think that parents are good judges of their kid's abilities and can control their children's impulsive behaviors, come work with me at the sporting goods store for a couple of days - you will see that most parents are not capable of controling their young kids while shopping in the store, much less out hunting in the woods and using a firearm! I will admit that I have met a few very responsible parents and children that could probably handle the basics of shooting a deer but they are not the majority. Simply put, all too often kids lack the necessary reasoning skills and make bad choices.

So while I am hunting or just enjoying the out-of-doors, I would prefer to not put my life in the hands of young children. I lost a dear friend in high school to another teenager who made a very bad decision while the two of them were deer hunting. This was a double loss because the teen that accidentally discharged his firearm (after slipping on a rock) wound up in a mental hospital as a result. And they were both very responsible teens who grew up in the out of doors........

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Five year old kids should not be allowed to hunt. There's just too much at risk physically and emotionally - even with direct parental supervision. In MN, you can hunt as early as 10 (for some reason, you're not required to take the hunter safety classes until you're 12) and THAT seems too young.

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Post a Comment

from Douglas wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

As for lead... There has to be good substitute material for projectiles. Poison is poison and I sure have scattered my share of lead. I would rather switch than fight.

Shooting accident... I remember this story from way back then. No excuse for it at all and yes for getting permission and no brainer for clearly identifying the target. Once you press "send", theres no getting the bullet back.

Toddlers shooting deer? One should be able to gut and drag before being allowed afield to harvest large game animals. At least be able to carry a 5 gallon pail of water.
Just my humble opinions.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I think it's a little presumptuous to infer every lead poisoned animal is a result of hunters bullets. I'd use lead free ammo if the price came down a bit and performance was similar. For all we know that eagle ate a fish that ingested a lead sinker, or picked up the lead by ingesting anything MADE IN CHINA. I wonder if it had Melamine poisoniong as well?!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Four or 5 is too young to take a life because a 4 or 5 year old can't comprehend enough to make that decicion intelligently. Trespassing is trespassing and you always need to identify your target positively before pullimg the trigger(another reason a 4 y.o. shouldn't harvest an animal.) I'm sure both of these bases are covered in prior legislation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I agree with steve182. I remember the past California Condor lead issue and how some independent researchers determined that there was more environmental lead present in their habitat than lead from hunter's bullets.
As far as lead free pure copper bullets go, I have used them before and all the current copper bullet ammo is not as expensive as it used to be.
I am scratching my head trying to understand the point about hunting on private property and someone getting shot. Is someone stating that if someone hunts on private property then that someone is more likely to accidently shoot someone?
Hunting safety should be practiced across the board regardless of where one is hunting. That safety includes being cognizant of where you are shooting and making darn sure one has properly identified one's target.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from berkshiredave wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

In the Massachusetts case, the "hunter" was also a state police trooper. Haven't they all had avanced training? Think more training will help? More laws?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

As for the accident, I'm pretty sure that if you don't gain permission, you are trespassing, which is illegal and eliminates the need for new legislation. If you don't clearly identify your target before pulling the trigger, you are wantonly endangering an unidentified target, also illegal if it happens to be or contain human life.
I believe that it should be left to a parent's discretion as to what age a kid can begin hunting. That is not an issue that any legislative body can or should mandate. In KY you can hunt with an adult at any age but you must be 16 to hunt alone. I think that's fair. At any rate, the pic is great of this kid with his deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I think the knee-jerk reaction to children hunting is always going to be something along the lines of "Ok, he is able to acquire a target and accurately take the shot - but does he actually realize the consequences of his actions." Children, especially young as 4 years old, have a hard time really putting action with consequence, especially a consequence such as death. I'm not saying I think that we can really say "at such and such an age, that's when kids should be allowed to hunt," and so long as the parents are required to be with the kids, that's a plus - but you're also going to have people pointing to those kids in Jonesboro - kids whom I'm sure their parents trusted with firearms and had experience handling the weapons, but really could not understand the real repercussions of their actions. It's a fine, wiggly line, and I'm not sure there's a "right" answer, just an answer that we have to live with as a society.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Houndz wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

If I had a problem with eagles eating my leftovers I would probably get ammo with no lead. I do believe that you should have permission to hunt on someones private land and that you should clearly identify your target before shooting. I think it's for the parents to decide how old their children should be to hunt, and the parents should supervise their children if there at a very young age.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

In reference to the hunting "accident". In WV written permission is required to hunt on someone's property and we have a law that states" that game must be plainly visible before shooting". My Grandson killed his first deer at 7 and he is 11 now and has killed 2 bucks and 4 does with his rifle and 2 does with his bow. We have a new hunter. It depends on the young person and the locality. In our rural area kids are more in tune with nature than one would be in the city. They watch and help parents and grandparents kill and butcher hogs and cattle and killing animals for food is a way of life even at an early age. They know where their food comes from.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

First- no it wouldn't change my view, if a eagle ate chrome from a road kill and died should we ban chrome plated bumpers? Second--A. Yes B. Thats a no-brainer! Third--Maybe but who cares, he certaianly looks happy and thats good enough for me!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I thought written permission was needed in MA, if the land isn't posted the offense is just hunting land without permission, if posted it's trespassing. Or that's what I read.

I use unleaded to hunt but regular for target. When I tried to buy 165 or 150 at the big box hunting store there were none in 30/06. I don't like the slow expanding 180s for deer, goes right through before it ever thinks of getting bigger.

My kids have been around hunting and dead animals since they were born. If he'd study for his small game license I'd help him go get whatever he can competently shoot. I think big game here is at 13.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

FYI, according to the linked story at least:

Massachusetts does not require a land owner’s permission to hunt on private property. Maine, as a result of the 1988 tragedy of Karen Wood, 37, a mother of infant twin girls, is the only New England state to mandate hunters have a confirmed visual of their prey’s head and torso before shooting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huron wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

4-5 is too young to hunt in my opinion, but I'm glad that it's up to the parents to decide rather than the gov't.

As far as the Mass hunting accident...how much more could've gone wrong?!? This further cements the fact that I would never buy any property in that state.

Hope that lady recovers ok and the state trooper stops giving hunters a bad name with his carelessness.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

4 years old, Really??? That is too young for a person to be out making potential life and death decisions - kids this age do not have the reasoning skills (and yes, admittedly from the Mass. case of the trooper, neither do some adults). Just because one man and his 4 year old child were able to pull it off does not make it a good idea. If you think that parents are good judges of their kid's abilities and can control their children's impulsive behaviors, come work with me at the sporting goods store for a couple of days - you will see that most parents are not capable of controling their young kids while shopping in the store, much less out hunting in the woods and using a firearm! I will admit that I have met a few very responsible parents and children that could probably handle the basics of shooting a deer but they are not the majority. Simply put, all too often kids lack the necessary reasoning skills and make bad choices.

So while I am hunting or just enjoying the out-of-doors, I would prefer to not put my life in the hands of young children. I lost a dear friend in high school to another teenager who made a very bad decision while the two of them were deer hunting. This was a double loss because the teen that accidentally discharged his firearm (after slipping on a rock) wound up in a mental hospital as a result. And they were both very responsible teens who grew up in the out of doors........

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Five year old kids should not be allowed to hunt. There's just too much at risk physically and emotionally - even with direct parental supervision. In MN, you can hunt as early as 10 (for some reason, you're not required to take the hunter safety classes until you're 12) and THAT seems too young.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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