Dayton Daily News story highlights reasons why HB296 is so important

Commentary by Larry S. Moore

The Dayton Daily News recently published a touching story on the strong parent-child bonding time that occurs each year during hunting season, and it is apparent from the story that Ohioans should support the opportunity for such bonding to be increased through HB296.

From the story:

    Logan Murray is an 8-year-old who knows what he wants. He wants to go hunting with his dad.

    "I just love being outdoors," said the wide-eyed youngster with a big, friendly smile. "It's fun to hear the birds chirping and listen to the squirrels chatter."

    The Carlisle second-grader must think hunting is easy. After all, it took him only three shots with his crossbow to bring down a doe, a turkey and an eight-point buck last year, when he was 7.

    "I've been taking him along on hunting trips since he was about 4 years old," explained his father, Shane, 37, a registered nurse. "Last year was the first year he actually hunted. And when he hunts, I don't. I put all of my attention into what he is doing."

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The story goes on to say that Shane, who has been hunting since he was a teen, bought a wooded 15-acre tract of land in Adams County a few years ago that is full of deer, wild turkey, squirrels and plenty of other wildlife.

    "I have always hunted on public lands, but I knew Logan was going to want to hunt, so I bought this property," Shane said. "It has a building and I cleared some of the land so we could put up a blind for him to hunt from. I don't let him hunt from a tree stand yet."

    Since Shane now owns the land on which they hunt, Logan has been able to hunt without a license. But he plans to take hunter education in the spring.

    "He's reading well enough that I think he could take the test now," Shane said. "But since he's on his father's property it's not a mandatory thing. There's no doubt that he could pass the test. We go over situations all the time and stress safety."

    Another reason they wanted their own land was Logan's mother, Jeri, insisted that if the youngster was going to go hunting it wouldn't be on public land, where there are other hunters and it would not be as safe.

This story about Logan Morgan, his father Shane and Mother Jeri, is what mentoring is all about. That is why young people, whether they've been to hunter ed class or not, are successful - when they are mentored. Logan would need that mentoring even if he had taken hunter ed class. There is all kinds of great information in hunter ed but taking the book and putting it into the field still takes time and learning. That is where the mentor is so important.

HB 296, which will receive sponsor testimony from Rep. Steve Buehrer today in the Ohio House, will offer this same opportunity to experience the great outdoors through hunting or trapping to all Ohio youth. Currently only those fortunate enough to own their hunting land have this opportunity. HB 296 will level this playing field and let experienced adult hunters and trappers more easily share their outdoor pursuits and passions with others.

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