Lexie Harris, a kindergartener, has tagged along with her father on deer hunts in Wisconsin for the past three years, but this deer season the 6-year-old was actually allowed to hunt for the first time, thanks to a new hunting law.
Lexie's father, Tyler Harris, acted as her mentor and was by her side when a six-point buck came into view as they hunted Sunday near their rural Medford home in Taylor County, as reported by the Associated Press.
"She was shaking," Tyler Harris told AP, adding that he told her she could take a shot but only if she wanted to.
Six-year-old Lexi sat many hours yesterday without success but today her persistence paid off. Her father, Tyler Harris, had tears of joy when his little hunting partner got her first buck & poses for Warden Randy Dunkel. Congratulations, Lexi! pic.twitter.com/bcIc6GaJ7u
— Wisconsin DNR (@WDNR) November 20, 2017
Lexie took the shot and hit the deer, which they tracked a short distance before finding it on the ground.
"She looked at me right away and said, 'I'm not gutting it because that's gross,’" Tyler Harris told AP.
Randy Dunkel, a game warden for Marathon County in central Wisconsin, snapped a photo of Lexie posing with her first deer and posted it on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Twitter feed, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The tweet read, "Six-year-old Lexi sat many hours yesterday without success but today her persistence paid off. Her father, Tyler Harris, had tears of joy when his little hunting partner got her first buck & poses for Warden Randy Dunkel. Congratulations, Lexi!"
On Nov. 12, Gov. Scott Walker signed a new bill into law that eliminated the age restriction for participating in a mentored hunt. Previously, a Wisconsin resident had to be 12 years old to purchase a hunting license or hunt with a gun but children could participate in a mentored hunt program as young as 10.
Age requirements for hunting vary from state to state with several having no age limit, and seven—reportedly Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington—have no age restrictions for hunting alone.
"It's just crazy [the minimum age] would go below 10," Rep. Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie told AP after the bill passed the GOP-controlled Assembly earlier this month. "Absolute insanity that we're talking about giving a kid a gun at any age so they experience the heritage of hunting. The most important factor is safety."
Republicans argued that parents should decide when children are old enough to handle weapons, AP reported.
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