INFO: Trad Archery for Bowhunters



Author Topic: Proposed youth hunting law  (Read 326 times)

Offline Bear Heart

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 2009
Proposed youth hunting law
« on: February 14, 2009, 01:59:00 PM »
WA lawmakers consider minimum age for lone hunters

Pamela Almli was less than an hour into a hike on the popular Sauk Mountain Trail in Skagit County when she was killed by a 14-year-old hunter who thought she was a bear.

By BRIAN SLODYSKO

Associated Press Writer
OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Pamela Almli was less than an hour into a hike on the popular Sauk Mountain Trail in Skagit County when she was killed by a 14-year-old hunter who thought she was a bear.

The Aug. 2 accident was a rarity - Almli was the first non-hunter killed by a hunter in Washington in more than 25 years - but lawmakers are considering a handful of ways to increase outdoor safety.

One proposal would reinstate a law that hunters under 14 be accompanied by an experienced adult. The shooter in Almli's death was hunting with his 16-year-old brother.

Another measure would require hikers to wear bright "hiker's orange" clothing. A third bill would make the minimum age for hunting alone 16.

"My husband and I do a lot of hiking ... so we were very shocked when we heard about this horrible situation," said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, sponsor of the bill raising the solo hunting age to 16. "We thought very personally about our safety, and our dog's safety, and our friends' safety, and other family members' safety."

Advocates of setting a minimum age for hunting alone say it is only common sense. But opponents say a hunter's experience, not age, matters most.

Current law allows anyone to hunt alone, so long as they have passed a state-certified safety course. Until 1994, state regulations required solo hunters to be at least 14. But that requirement was inadvertently eliminated by the Legislature, said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, sponsor of the bill reinstating the solo hunting age to 14.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has repeatedly asked the Legislature to reinstate the original rule on numerous occasions, but lawmakers have been reluctant to act, said Mik Mikitik, the department's hunter education coordinator.

Washington's youth hunting regulations buck national trends, said Douglas Shinkle, who tracks sportsmen's issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Most states encourage supervised youth hunting - with minimum ages as a safety measure - to encourage youth participation in the sport and to keep license fees flowing into wildlife department budgets as the overall number of hunters declines.

In Washington, not all lawmakers support the idea of changing the rules in the emotional time following Almli's death.

"The urban people tend to get a little nervous about the idea of hunting," said House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, adding see isn't sure any of the bills have enough support to pass.

advertising

A few months after Almli's death, Tacoma resident Juan Cortez was shot while picking bear grass in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest by a 55-year-old elk hunter.

This example, opponents of the hunting regulation say, proves age isn't always what matters most when judging the safety of a hunter.

"If I learn to drive at 35 or if I learn to drive at 17, I'm still inexperienced and a beginner," said Mikitik.

In years past the National Rifle Association lobbied against attempts to reinstate the old law, but so far they have been silent this year. Phone calls to the NRA were not returned.

Ed Owens, a lobbyist who works for sportsmen's groups, said that if the youth hunting bills gain significant momentum, he expects they'll push back.

Hikers groups, meanwhile, oppose any "hiker's orange" requirement.

"Are you really going to require every single hiker and every tourist who visits Mt. Baker Snoqualmie Forrest to wear hunter orange?" asked Andrew Engelson, editor of Washington Trails magazine.

---

The measures are Senate Bill 5559, House Bill 1114, and House Bill 1116

---

On the Web:

 http://www.leg.wa.gov
Traditional Bowhunters of Washington
PBS Associate Member
Jairus & Amelia's Dad
"Memories before merchandise!"

Offline Bear Heart

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 2009
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 02:00:00 PM »
What do you guys think about this?
Traditional Bowhunters of Washington
PBS Associate Member
Jairus & Amelia's Dad
"Memories before merchandise!"

Offline Cascade Drifter

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 118
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 09:46:00 PM »
I think anyone who shoots a woman wearing a blue coat and thinks it was a bear should have their hunting rights revoked for quite a few years.Just my opinion, I'd bet this is one of those foolish acts of using your scope to look at people and a round went off.To hunt solo with a rifle, I would say 16 is plenty young enough.GR
Hickman "Critter Gitter,Lee Thunderbolt.

Offline Ray Borbon

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 301
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 01:19:00 AM »
I think it stinks that some lady got shot by a teenage kid who did not identify his target.

What I think it boils down to is the general populace would like to be able to see some adult responsibility when firearms are being discharged. Plenty of kids are capable of hunting alone. Time has proven that to be true. I know that lots of kids I have seen should not be out hunting even with adults. I have seen many adults that should be playing video games instead of hunting.

What is even worse than juveniles losing privileges is that the August bear season was nixed. I guess when someone gets shot in September that month will be nixed. Even if it is just a juvenile. Did you see the change in the new proposals? You can't even hunt bears in August on public property in Western Washington. Hunters are losing their opportunities. The usual responses are the bears are not good in August (highly dependent on where you are hunting if you ask me) and that you could not get the meat out in time before it spoiled (also not necessarily true as I dragged a bear out 5 miles on my back and drove home for 1.5 hours in heat as the bear meat did not spoil last year).

Hunting is privilege which was recently abused by one kid and the rest will now pay for it. Our society these days thinks they can just banish something and it will make problems go away like this. Instead of actually understanding a problem and actively dealing with it...

Most of the friends I have who hunt with their children are always there when the kid pulls the trigger on a firearm or are not far away from some sort of stand. I know that is not true for everyone though...

Offline Paul WA

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 787
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 01:35:00 PM »
Ive seen many adults that should not be out hunting alone...PR
"I'm a trophy hunter till something else comes along"

Offline Ray Borbon

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 301
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 01:16:00 AM »
Adults won't be hunting much in August on so called public lands. Problem solved I guess.

Offline Bear Heart

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 2009
Re: Proposed youth hunting law
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 09:11:00 PM »
My problem is once in 25 years something happens and all of a sudden you need a law.  Boom! as you read that a car crash just killed somebody.  What, no more cars?  I will be an old man by the time it happens again.
Traditional Bowhunters of Washington
PBS Associate Member
Jairus & Amelia's Dad
"Memories before merchandise!"

Users currently browsing this topic:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
 

Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | User Agreement

Copyright 2003 thru 2020 ~ Trad Gang.com ©