(photo courtesy of hattiesburgamerican.com)
How young is too young to hunt?
An article posted on hattiesburgamerican.com boasts a picture of a beaming four year-old holding onto the antlers of a decent 3×3 buck. Now, I know a lot of adults that let their kids pose with their animals, but this article states that four year-old, Brennon Sikes of Columbia, Mississippi, back in 2008, actually killed this buck after “searching for his first big deer for quite a while”. The article also states that the youngster got this 150-pounder while he was hunting with his Dad, Jerry Sikes, in Sandy Hook, MS. This was a legal kill, too.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, Mississippi law has the following hunting guidelines:
Children at least 12 years of age and under 16 must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course. However, they may hunt without having the certificate if under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age. Children under the age of 12 must be under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age when the child is hunting.
Some believe that most four year-olds do not possess the necessary skills to ethically shoot and kill an animal, while others believe there shouldn’t be a minimum age limit at all because the adult hunter(s) required to be with the youth hunter can help teach them the ropes. Regardless of what anybody believes, this four year-old got himself a pretty nice buck. It is bigger than mine from last year!