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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:eek: I don't mean to keep posting news stories but this is crazy. I would think the parents of the kid should get a sentence. That women had her sentence....she lost her life.

After Wash. accident, msnbc.com review finds lack of age requirements

By Mike Stuckey
Senior news editor
msnbc.com
updated 7:25 a.m. ET, Tues., July 21, 2009

Just before Tyler Kales was led from a Mount Vernon, Wash., courtroom to begin serving his sentence earlier this month, he apologized to the family of his victim.

“All I want to say is how sorry I am,” the reed-thin 15-year-old said in a quavering voice to relatives of Pamela Almli, 54, who died instantly when Kales mistook her for a bear and shot her in the head Aug. 2, 2008, while hunting in the fog in western Washington's Skagit County.

Kales, convicted by a judge of second-degree manslaughter in June, received 30 days in juvenile detention at his July 10 sentencing.

The case highlighted issues about hunting on public land in Washington that were news to some state residents. First, hunting in close proximity to hikers was perfectly legal. Second, there was no requirement for trailhead signs to warn hikers like Almli that there were hunters in the area.

And while Kales was not old enough to have driven himself to the trailhead, in Washington state there is no minimum age for hunting without adult supervision as Kales, then 14, was doing that day with his 16-year-old brother.

Washington is far from alone in allowing children to hunt with firearms on public lands without adult supervision, an msnbc.com review of state hunting regulations found:

Seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington — set no minimum age for solo hunting.
In Texas, kids can hunt alone when they are 9. :eek:
In Alaska, Louisiana and Tennessee, the minimum age for unsupervised hunting is 10, in Missouri it’s 11, and in nine other states it’s 12.
That's a total of 21 states in which kids can hunt alone at age 12 or younger. And in 19 of them, young hunters afield by themselves may pursue any game — big or small — that is in season. Laws on hunter education and licensing vary from state to state. And federal laws prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from buying a rifle or shotgun. No one under 21 may buy a handgun.

While low minimum hunting ages in some states and a complete lack of them in others may come as a surprise to non-hunters, they are supported by many members of the hunting community who say that when kids begin hunting, alone or supervised, should be up to their parents.

“I was very surprised” by the lack of a minimum hunting age, said Washington state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a Seattle Democrat who hikes often with her husband and their golden retriever on the ubiquitous trails of the Evergreen State. A previous minimum solo hunting age of 14 in Washington was stricken by a 1994 law.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31952727/ns/us_news-life/?GT1=43001
 

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That is a tragedy. He should of never taken the shot if he wasn't 100% sure the target was a bear. We have a hunter safety course that has to be taken to hunt in our state.

Legal hunting age w/o adult 11.
 

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If there had been an adult present, he wouldn't have mistaken the lady for a bear? Or somehow Dad would have said, wait a minute while I check that it is not a person? That seems to be the inference and I don't see it.

Millions of kids grow up hunting and know exactly what they're doing. As a non-killing suburb dweller, it might not be something I'd send my kid off to do, but then again my family hasn't been hunters since they figured out how to get to a supermarket.
 

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13 here in Michigan. Hunters are required to take hunter saftey. Most people know my husband is a hunter. My husband was hunting when he was 9, his grandfather was a DNR officer. It's all about education and the parents. Would I let my child hunt at 9? No way Jose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If there had been an adult present, he wouldn't have mistaken the lady for a bear? Or somehow Dad would have said, wait a minute while I check that it is not a person? That seems to be the inference and I don't see it.
I would hope an adult would have more common sense. The article stated they were
hunting in close proximity to hikers
. I'm just not sure how you mistake a hiker for a bear. And perhaps an adult may have been more cautious given the circumstances.
 

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You can hope that an adult would have more common sense, but the huge numbers of hunting accidents each year would probably prove you wrong.

I just think it's a weird case to try and prove that kids shouldn't be hunting without supervision. An adult could, and I'm sure has, made the exact same mistake the kid made.

What this case really shows is that all parties need to be made more aware of who else might be in the woods. A simple sign at the trailhead warning hunters and hikers of the presence of the other might have made all the difference.
 

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You can hope that an adult would have more common sense, but the huge numbers of hunting accidents each year would probably prove you wrong.
I can attest to this. I had a rifle shot whiz so close past my head that I heard it go by. At the time, I was wearing blaze orange, astride my horse, in my pasture, and less than 75 yards from my house! :eek: The idiot who fired the shot wasin a tree on our property, in our horse pasture, had not asked permission to hunt on posted land, and was firing towards the house. :mad: He was **** lucky that I couldn't reach his sorry ass, because I would literally have ripped his head off.
 

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I would hope an adult would have more common sense. I'm just not sure how you mistake a hiker for a bear. And perhaps an adult may have been more cautious given the circumstances.
It also said that there were no signs posted...it sounds like a mistake a person of any age could have made. I think the real problem is allowing hikers and hunters to be in close proximity with each other, especially in foggy conditions where bright orange hunting gear still might be hard to see. If a hunter is not expecting to see other people in the woods except wildlife (and a hiker is not expecting a hunter) it would be easy to make a mistake like that, no common sense involved. Bears are extremely dangerous. No way could you get up close enough to "check" and confirm it is a bear.
 

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It also said that there were no signs posted...it sounds like a mistake a person of any age could have made. I think the real problem is allowing hikers and hunters to be in close proximity with each other, especially in foggy conditions where bright orange hunting gear still might be hard to see. If a hunter is not expecting to see other people in the woods except wildlife (and a hiker is not expecting a hunter) it would be easy to make a mistake like that, no common sense involved. Bears are extremely dangerous. No way could you get up close enough to "check" and confirm it is a bear.
You still don't pull the trigger unless you know what you are shooting at, and if you have a killing shot. People don't just go around shooting at everything that moves in the woods. If it had been a more experienced hunter, he may have waited until he had a clear shot, and then seen that it was not a bear.
 

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You can hope that an adult would have more common sense, but the huge numbers of hunting accidents each year would probably prove you wrong.

I just think it's a weird case to try and prove that kids shouldn't be hunting without supervision. An adult could, and I'm sure has, made the exact same mistake the kid made.

What this case really shows is that all parties need to be made more aware of who else might be in the woods. A simple sign at the trailhead warning hunters and hikers of the presence of the other might have made all the difference.
I agree. Adults make this mistake all the time. Every hunting season there are new idiots, old idiots and experienced idiots who shoot at things they're not sure about.

An adult in the hunting party may not have stopped the tragedy from happening anyway - you generally don't hunt standing next to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You still don't pull the trigger unless you know what you are shooting at, and if you have a killing shot. People don't just go around shooting at everything that moves in the woods. If it had been a more experienced hunter, he may have waited until he had a clear shot, and then seen that it was not a bear.
Exactly. There is a reason kids or teenagers are supervised with most things. With more experience there is less chance of things going wrong.

Why do we supervise kids at all?

As a young teen I was extremely mature for my age and so was my friend. However, when we went shooting we always had an adult with us.
 

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When I was a freshman in high school, a classmate went hunting with his uncle, an adult. Before they even got out into the woods his uncle accidentally shot him. He died. We were 14.

An adult could have just as easily shot that woman in the head as the 14-year-old.
 

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Hunting as a whole is a very safe pursuit.

Like parents everywhere....there are some who are not qualified and might let a kid who is too young to hunt un-surpervised.

Real sportsmen hate those folks.

I had "my own" gun at 10.......but had to be supervised to shoot it. Started following around my dad and uncles for a couple years learning gun safety. (and getting knocked on my ass once for obvious lack of common sense. and my hunting privileges taken away for a while)

by 13 or 14 I was allowed to go on stand by myself.....while walking in and out with an escort.

By 15 I was turned loose in the deer woods......Gun safety was EXPECTED and if at any time I showed any lack of common sense......my dad would not have hesitated to revoke my right to hunt. (or more :) )

Seemed about right......and the way my friends and family are bringing along their kids ......and how my daughter will be taught.
 

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Adults drive and cause accidents and hurt themselves and others. We should let our 10 year olds drive vehicles too :)
Adults drink alcohol and mess up. We should allow children to drink and party as they please.
If anything the guardians of this child should be held responsible. Isn't that what happens when an underage person gets caught drinking and partying in their parent's home because their parents gave them permission?

Granted, adult hunters accidentally shoot at people or other things they shouldn't be shooting at...however the unsettling part for me is that handing something so powerful like a gun to a child. Do they have the mental capacity to responsibily handle something like that? and then deal with the reprucussions of an accident?

If we feel like a person should wait till they are 21 to drink alcohol, 16 to handle driving a vehicle...how on earth do we think it is ok to hand over a firearm to a child under 12without supervision? Does not make sense to me. I am not saying children should not be taught how to hunt but I do feel they need to be under adult supervision no matter how good they are or mature they are for their age. I feel like people underestimate the power, dangers and responsibilities that come with handling firearms. It really is not child's play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When I was a freshman in high school, a classmate went hunting with his uncle, an adult. Before they even got out into the woods his uncle accidentally shot him. He died. We were 14.
Wow that is terrible. :(

An adult could have just as easily shot that woman in the head as the 14-year-old.
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to argue here, I'm just posing the question of where kids become responsible enough to do certain things. I understand what you are saying but surely there has to be a line drawn somewhere. A gun is a huge responsibility.

Adults make mistakes but are generally more experienced (one would hope). Thats why there are laws for ages on most things.

Adults crash cars all the time and a lot of them cannot drive. I could drive a car (stick shift) proficiently at the age of 11. I was probably better than a lot of adults. Should I have been allowed out on the roads?
 

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Wow that is terrible. :(



Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to argue here, I'm just posing the question of where kids become responsible enough to do certain things. I understand what you are saying but surely there has to be a line drawn somewhere. A gun is a huge responsibility.

Adults make mistakes but are generally more experienced (one would hope). Thats why there are laws for ages on most things.

Adults crash cars all the time and a lot of them cannot drive. I could drive a car (stick shift) proficiently at the age of 11. I was probably better than a lot of adults. Should I have been allowed out on the roads?

The statistics actually show that young hunters are safer than older ones.

I do not advocate young children 9-13ish hunting alone.......and most normal people would never let their kids anyway, regardless of the law.
 

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I wouldn't let my 11-year-old hunt by himself, but he goes out with my dad. He wants to take a hunters ed course so he can actually shoot when he goes hunting with my dad next year. Right now he just watches.

But in high school, the teenage guys would skip school and go hunting on the opening day of deer season. It's an instance where someone who grew up in the city and someone who grew up in the sticks are most likely not going to see eye-to-eye. It's also an instance of parents knowing they're childrens' maturity levels and what they're capable of being responsible for. One 16-year-old could be more capable of hunting responsibly than a 25-year-old standing next to him.

I do not advocate young children 9-13ish hunting alone.......and most normal people would never let their kids anyway, regardless of the law.
Exactly. I don't know anyone who would think that young would be okay. But when you get near driving age the idea changes...

I still probably wouldn't let my kid do it. =)
 

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Adults drive and cause accidents and hurt themselves and others. We should let our 10 year olds drive vehicles too :)
Adults drink alcohol and mess up. We should allow children to drink and party as they please.
If anything the guardians of this child should be held responsible. Isn't that what happens when an underage person gets caught drinking and partying in their parent's home because their parents gave them permission?

Granted, adult hunters accidentally shoot at people or other things they shouldn't be shooting at...however the unsettling part for me is that handing something so powerful like a gun to a child. Do they have the mental capacity to responsibily handle something like that? and then deal with the reprucussions of an accident?

If we feel like a person should wait till they are 21 to drink alcohol, 16 to handle driving a vehicle...how on earth do we think it is ok to hand over a firearm to a child under 12without supervision? Does not make sense to me. I am not saying children should not be taught how to hunt but I do feel they need to be under adult supervision no matter how good they are or mature they are for their age. I feel like people underestimate the power, dangers and responsibilities that come with handling firearms. It really is not child's play.

No one should and no one does.......ok.... Of course there are idiots who might do anything.

I can't imagine anyone in the hunting community supporting that. I am also sure it hardly ever happens.......and if someone is stupid enough to do it I highly doubt any law on age would deter them in any way.


It's not just the gun thing....if they are unsupervised then they are also alone in the woods......you would have to worry about them getting lost, or hurt or whatever. No one leaves their 10 year old in a situation like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But in high school, the teenage guys would skip school and go hunting on the opening day of deer season. It's an instance where someone who grew up in the city and someone who grew up in the sticks are most likely not going to see eye-to-eye.
I grew up in a tiny village in the countryside of England. It was the site of one of the earliest crop circles but thats another story. :) I know what you mean...growing up a lot of City folk were buying "weekend houses" were I lived. They would then complain about things such as fox hunting.


It's also an instance of parents knowing they're childrens' maturity levels and what they're capable of being responsible for. One 16-year-old could be more capable of hunting responsibly than a 25-year-old standing next to him.
Unfortunately parents don't always follow this thinking. Therefore laws have to be in place because, as you say, all kids are not the same and some are more responsible than others. The fact that this article highlights the lack of age laws is what bothers me.
 
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