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New bill looks to lower unsupervised hunting age in Maine to 14

A new bill in Augusta is looking to lower the hunting age in Maine from 16 to 14 years old.
A new bill in Augusta is looking to lower the hunting age in Maine from 16 to 14 years old.(WABI)
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 2:52 PM EDT
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Maine (WABI) - A new bill in Augusta is looking to lower the age to hunt alone in Maine from 16 to 14 years old.

State Representative Dustin White says the bill is aimed at allowing parents who think their kids are mature and responsible enough to be able to go hunting at an earlier age by themselves.

All the same permit and safety course requirements would still apply.

Colonel Dan Scott of the Maine Warden Service testified neither for nor against the measure but did bring up some concerns to the committee hearing the bill.

”I believe in parents knowing their children better than the government. Educate our children at an earlier age to teach them the proper safety protocols, possibly reducing the likelihood of accidents or hunting violations later on in their lives,” said White.

“It’s difficult to predict if there would be an increase in incidents if people 14 to 16 years of age were able to hunt on their own after having completed a safety course. This would also permit two 14-year-olds to climb into a canoe, one behind the other, with shotguns,” said Scott.

Colonel Scott, when asked directly if he would allow his 14 year old to go hunting alone, said no.

Representative White also argues this bill would encourage more family participation on Youth Hunting Day.

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