Our inboxes here at Lone Star Outdoor News have been receiving a familiar forwarded email lately asking if an article from the National Report website exclaiming the federal government will restrict all hunting to those 21 years or older is real.
It is not.
The National Report website is a satirical website posting fake news stories.
The article states, “The United States Government has decided 2015 is the year to enact a new nationwide “minimum hunting age” of 21. Previously, each state has set its own minimum age for a hunter to hunt alone and sometimes a different age for minors to hunt while in the company of an adult.
The federal regulation, set to go into effect on July 1st, 2015, will supersede all existing hunting age restrictions in all fifty U.S. states. For example, prior to this ruling Alaska had no license require for any hunters under the age of 15; meaning that a four-year old could go out and hunt game with or without adult supervision. Under the new policy, any hunters under the age of 21 will be locked out of the sport and all hunters over 21 will be required to show a national hunting license upon request from a game warden.
In addition to the nationwide minimum hunting age now being 21, all hunters will have to take a federally sponsored annual “hunting safety and wildlife appreciation” course which will feature a written exam that must be passed to be eligible to receive a National Hunting License. All prospective hunters must also pass an annual physical endurance test and receive clearance from their primary care physician. Under these new regulations, individual state licenses will no longer required and state game wardens will become federalized.”
Firstly, hunting ages and rules, by and large, are set by each state, not the federal government.
According to the debunking website Snopes.com, “the National Report article was presented like an authentic news story: It used a fabricated quote from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gregory Pearson (who is not a real person) and cited a petition from the NRA (which does not exist). But since the writing resembled a professional news piece, many readers believed that it was true, and within a few days of its publication thousands of people had shared it on Facebook.
The National Report has had a lot of practice publishing fake news stories. The website’s disclaimer page (which has since been removed) states that the National Report is a “political satire web publication.”
The minimum hunting age in the United States is currently decided by individual states. In Idaho, for instance, children between the ages of 10 and 17 may get a hunting licence after they pass a hunter education course. Alaska does not require a license if the hunter is under the age of 15.”
So don’t worry Texas hunters, while anti-hunting groups are working tirelessly to take away your hunting rights, this article saying the federal government is going along with them is false.