Proponents of hunting age proposal: Let the parents decide

The hunting age in Wisconsin is on its way to becoming a thing of the past. 

The State Assembly passed a bill eliminating the minimum hunting age in a 57-32 vote Thursday night.  The Republican-authored bill will now head to the State Senate.  

The measure would mean 6-year-old Konstadina Spyropoulos could join her 10-year-old Khloie Hernandez hunting in the woods. 

"It would be really exciting," said Konstadina Spyropoulos, age 6.

"I like to spend time with my grandpa and my grandma and my cousin," said Khloie Hernandez, age 10.

The girls go to Buck Rub Outfitters with their grandparents every Thursday.  The owner said it's common to see families at the Pewaukee archery range.

"To get kids started younger before they get hooked on the video games and all that kind of stuff.  Let them try something that they can take with them for the rest of their life and enjoy and it's good camaraderie," said Greg Kazmierski.

Years ago Greg Kazmierski helped push for the original mentor hunting bill.  The current law, the same for guns and archery, requires hunters be at least 12 year's old and 10 with a mentor.  Those in favor of the bill said the hunting age should be left up to parents.

"It's very similar to what Illinois and Iowa have.  They've never had an age restriction," said Kazmierski.

Lawmakers said 34 states allow kids under 10 to hunt.  The bill would also get rid of the rule a hunter and mentor share a weapon.  Critics like Rep. Chris Taylor, Madison, disagree.

"We are forgetting the reasoning of mentoring, which is a person being able to talk a younger hunter through the entire process,"  Taylor said.
 

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