September 27, 2023

Maine's "Very Restrictive" When It Comes To Hunting?

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The debate has been prevelant for some time as to what we are going to do to encourage our kids to sustain the tradition and strong heritage of hunting. Many feel that with all the electronic gadgets and gimmicks, kids are getting hooked on computers and video games long before they are old enough by law to go hunting.

Some states are taking bold steps to make a change. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are two states that now have some type of program to get kids as young as 8 into the woods with an adult.

Today opens youth turkey hunt day in Maine. Any kids, with a proper hunting license and/or permit, between the ages of 10 and 15 can go turkey hunting if accompanied by a licensed adult. Some people want that age restriction changed.

According to an article this morning by Deirdre Fleming, in the Portland Press Herald, Tom Nannery regional officer for the National Wild Turkey Federation, says that the Federation is planning to make a proposal to the state of Maine to get that restriction of minimum age lowered to 8 years.

The article further states that according to the National Wild Turkey Federation in South Carolina, Maine is listed as “very restrictive” when it comes to introducing kids to big-game hunts.

According to federation figures, of Maine’s adult population, 12% hunt while kids age 6-15 only 7%. The highest percent goes to neighboring Vermont whose youth hunters total 12% of the population in their age group but only 6% to the south of us in Massachussets.

Many feel, as I do, that when states began the youth hunt days it was a good thing and has proven itself to be affective. It is now time for some amendments to the rules to improve the opportunities and along with those changes, some serious attention needs to be paid toward the age restrictions and how to safely and affectively get our young, young kids out enjoying the benefits of hunting.

Tom Remington