JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill aimed at creating special big-game hunting seasons so kids can hunt before school starts passed the Senate on Wednesday.
Sen. Pete Kelly said he sponsored Senate Bill 72 because he's watched shortening seasons over the years prevent parents from taking their children hunting, depriving the kids of chances to learn valuable lessons and traditions about living in the wild and stewardship of game.
''As the season got shorter, I remember my dad and my brothers going off and I just couldn't because of school,'' said Kelly, R-Fairbanks.
The bill directs the Board of Game to establish annual hunting seasons for kids in appropriate areas of the state. It limits the seasons to kids between eight and 17 hunting with a parent, stepparent or legal guardian. Everyone involved would have to be an Alaska resident.
The bill passed 16-2. With Democrats Georgianna Lincoln of Rampart and Bettye Davis of Anchorage voting no.
''When we talk about take a child hunting season, to me that's take a child killing,'' said Lincoln, who recounted a story of her son killing a porcupine for fun and leaving the meat in the field as a boy.
Kelly said the idea of the bill was to instill proper hunting values at a young age.
''One of the things we learned as children was how not to waste game,'' Kelly said.
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