Presenter: Steve Hall

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Hunter Education Regulations - Reduction of Minimum Age
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: TPWD staff seeks approval of an amendment to §51.8, concerning the Hunter Education Course and Instructors that would reduce the minimum age requirement for hunter education certification from 12 to 9 years of age.

II. Discussion: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §51.8, concerning Hunter Education Course and Instructors. The proposed amendment reduces the minimum age requirement for hunter education certification. The current minimum age for certification is 12 years of age, which has been in effect since 1988. Staff recommends lowering the minimum age to 9 years of age to be consistent with the minimum age standards of the department-sponsored youth hunting program and similar laws in other states.

Hunter education instructors, through pre-service and in-service training workshops provided by department staff, are taught how to successfully teach both youngsters and adults. Many children younger than 12 years of age currently attend courses and receive attendance recognition. Therefore, most instructors have already learned how to accommodate such age groups of students in their existing courses. The hands-on process is the best method for both age groups, so this is the learning method modeled by staff during the training of instructors.

The proposal as published in the Texas Register is at Exhibit A. Based on public comments received by the posting of this item, there is support for the proposal.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the proposed amendment to 31 TAC §51.8, with changes as necessary to the proposed text, as published in the February 22, 2008, issue of the Texas Register (33 TexReg 1488), concerning Hunter Education Course and Instructors, changing the minimum hunter education certification age from 12 to 9 years of age."

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposal Preamble - Hunter Education Rules Change of Minimum Age of Certification