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13 year old hunting alone?

Hi Everyone, just want to get some opinions.

1) Is it legal for a 13 year old boy in Oklahoma to sit alone in the blind with the gun and hunt on his own (his step dad will be in a tree stand but not nearby)

2) Do you think it's a safe or sensible idea? He is new to hunting, he does have his hunters safety card, and he is not careless or reckless, but I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Thanks for any and all opinions/ information. =)

CVC
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Has he hunted with his step

Has he hunted with his step dad before?  I mean where the two of them sat together and the step dad was able to observe how he handled the gun and himself when a deer came into sight?  I think 13 is young but if he has experience and you have the confidence that he can handle himself then it is okay, but if this is the first time for him hunting without prior experience, I'd feel more comfortable with adult supervision.

Is it legal?  I don't know but that is an excellent question that you can answer by calling DNR or reading the regs online.  If it is not legal then end of discussion.

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not sure about the legality

not sure about the legality of it...

Personally i think if the youngster is responsible and understands safety first... NO problem

i was younger than that my first big game hunt...and i wasnt only sitting but was actually still hunting on my own and pushing draws at hat age. my dad would drop me off and drive 2 or 3 miles up or down canyons and would say...see you at so n so in a few hours...okay pops be ready to gut when i get back!! i know i had killed 6-10 deer/ antelope by the time i was 13...first bear i was 14 and was alone in tree stand for 8 hours a day.

it is totally based on the child. i think 13 is old enough to know especially if they have been in the field for a few years with a ethical adult guide.

CVC
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Yep, one of those it depends

Yep, one of those it depends situations.  As a parent, only you know for sure if he is ready and able to handle it.  Each child is different.  i wouldn't let my daughter do it because she doesn't have the experience, but did I do it at 13...yep, but I was hunting for quite a while too and she hasn't hunted. 

Something that might be a good idea is to invest in a set of inexpensive walkie talkies so they can keep in contact if necessary.  Might add some peace of mind.

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While some of you here have

While some of you here have done it I wouldn't let him off by himself until I knew that he was capable of taking care of the deer after it is down, and that means gutting it by himself.  There are a lot of states where the hunter has to be over the age of 18 to hunt alone and that is for a reason with safty being the main one.  I know that when I began to hunt deer the hunting age for big game was 16 and I was capable of taking care of the animal from the shot to the butcher table, but that came after a few years of hunting with an adult that taught me what I had to do to make sure that I had a good time and a great piece of meat to take home. 

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I am not familiar with that

I am not familiar with that states regulations in regards to youth hunting restrictions but I agree with what most of the others have said. I was hunting at that age but I had experience. Here in Colorado, youths have to be within sight and earshot of their hunting mentor. I think that it is a very cautious law but I think there are a lot of kids out there that are capable of hunting on their own. I think Critter has a good point about gutting an animal. If he has never done it, than you are probably going to want to be nearby in order to teach him. Also if he has never taken a big game animal than you might just want to stick close to him to share in the experience. Like others have said, it really just comes down to the individual youth and their maturity level. I would rather see the parent being able to make that choice rather than the state making the decision. If you know in your heart that he is ready, than cut him lose. If you have any doubts, than I would sit with him in the stand for one more year.

CVC
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So, inquiring minds want to

So, inquiring minds want to know...what was the final decision.  Did you allow him to hunt alone?  If so, how did the hunt go?  Was it successful?

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I agree

It is definitely a "it depends" situation.  It depends entirely on the kid.  There are 12 years olds I would not hesitate to hand a gun to and say 'come back in an hour'.  There are 32 year olds that I wouldn't hand a loaded gun to - ever!

My son has hunted birds and small game with me all year.  He is thirteen.  I have no fear with him standing behind me with a loaded gun.  Of course I remind him of saftey issues on every hunt, but that's my job as a Dad and an older hunter to reinforce good habits, but I have full confidence in his ability to handle a gun responsibly.

If and / or when he has a desire to hunt on his own I have no hesitation to send him off to do so.  Here in New York he can't hunt big game on his own yet, but he is perfectly capable to hunt small game on his own and legal to do so.

How DID you make out?

 

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Why not? I did it!

I was raised in Georgia and it wasn't uncommon to see 12 and 13 year old boys hunting alone.  I started hunting when I was 10 years old, by the age of 13 I could grab my gun and go hunting almost anytime I wanted to.  I remember killing my first deer when I was 12 and walking home and getting my dad to help me.  Do I think it is smart for a 13 year old to be hunting by themselves No, but if they have been taught safety first then I don't see a problem with it.  My dad and grand father always preached safety first.  I live by those same principles today as i am currently teaching my kids about hunting and gun safety.

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