No Hunting Merit Badge?

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Dr. Sandman

Jan 20, 2010
Northern Indiana
Anybody know why the BSA has no merit badge for hunting? I was shocked when I found out that there was not a merit badge for this activity. I was heavily invovled in the BSA as a youth and I never thought about it then, but now, it seems to me there ought to be one. Possibly this could exempt a person from state "Hunter Education". Anybody know why?
Not familiar with the BSA Merits, but the Royal Rangers have merit badges for archery, BB gun, air rifle, marksmanship, advanced marksmanship, firearm safety, knife and hawk throwing, advanced archery, black powder safety, black powder shooting, frontier archer (1780's style....), frontier hunter, frontier rifleman, hunter safety (you need to take the state course as part of the merit), hide tanning, paintball, shotgun safety, shotgun shooting, smallbore safety, and smallbore shooting.

Yeah, camp is usually pretty fun.

This is a great alternative to the Boy Scouts if you prefer your kids to be in a church based environment, and one that isn't so PC.
Well, we had "Stalking" Merit badge until 1952 and I think my 1911 Boy Scout Handbook as a section on skinning a rabbit... I might be wrong.
As far as I know there has never been a hunting merit badge offered by the Scouts. :eek:

I think that it would be a worthy addition to scouting program but I am concerned that it would get shot down pretty quick. There has been a movement to "sissy-fy" the boy scouts in recent years. I am fighting it hard on the local level.

I encourage you to look into getting a Hunting Merit Badge on the books. I note, however, that the scouts only shoot .22 rifles, shotguns, and black powder. That might limit your game options.
I wuz a Boy Sprout, 1946-1948. I earned most of the "outdoor" merit badges, but don't recall one for hunting.

I don't really know how it would be set up, unless by some sort of photo deal.
I got an Article 15 in the Cub Scouts. Unauthorized snowball throwing.
I am currently active in the BSA.

Let's see....

Rifle shooting:

At Philmont they have the Sportsman Adventure:

Guide to Safe Scouting:

Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.

(The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.)

In the Venturing programing, look at the Ranger Award:

The Ranger Award includes hunting.

So, in my opinion, it is an "age" controlled activity, for older boys.

BTW, here are all of them:
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H&H, hahahahaha

i bet its a way to keep parents happy. it would probably require actually going hunting to satisfy some requirement somewhere...
I get a monthly BSA magazine geared to the youngsters, Boys' Life. They have a page that shows a couple of merit badge requirements in each issue. There seems to be over twice as many merit badges available now as when I was in it in the mid-'50s.
It seems that earning a merit badge is a bit easier now than it was.

I learned to shoot at an inner-city YMCA through a Boy Scout/NRA program but there was no shooting merit badge that I recall. There were NRA medals, however. That started my love for shooting which has persisted for almost 70 years.

They now offer merit badges in Archery, Fishing, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, and Fish and Wildlife Management but no Hunting.
I earned 13 merit badges and made Life Scout. If they had the number of merit badges that now exist, it would have been easy to get at least 20.

The main problem now, as it was then, is screening scout leaders for potential pedophiles. Our first scoutmaster was relieved of his position for that reason.
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I've been involved in Scouting for almost 40 years and have never seen a "hunting" merit badge. Used to be a "rifle and shotgun shooting" badge, this was then divided into two badges maybe 15 years ago. I have seen an old BS handbook from about the 30s (??) that had many badges that reflected the demographics of that time: chicken farming, taxidermy, etc. I don't really see the need for a hunting badge.

Scouting also has a program called "Crews", which are co-ed groups of youth organized around a particular activity. Kind of what the old "Explorer posts" would do. Some focus on careers (law enforcement, etc), others on activities (mountain biking, surfing, etc). Here in Marin County (of all places!) we have a Crew focused on shooting sports (appropriately called Crew 12-20) that's led by an outdoorsman and Hunter Ed instructor. The kids do a lot of competitive shooting, and we've also run a big game hunting program where we teach them field shooting techniques, basics of field dressing, etc, get them to pass hunter safety, then take them on a hog hunt to my ranch in NorCal. About the only thing that's more fun than shooting a hog is helping a kid shoot his first hog!
well... I don't know many kids (8-12) who go hunting but only one at my school all kids my age say its cruel but not really as long as you use it as much as possible --Ethan H.;)
First place that I, ever the suburban yoot, touched and fired a firearm was at Camp Bowman in Goshen.

I've been there. I got my rifle/shotgun merit badge with skeet, not rifle, which was something of an oddity when I went to camp.

I also have the wilderness survival merit badge. When I earned it we had to know some wild foods... now the last requirement for the badge is:

12. Explain why it usually is not wise to eat edible wild plants or wildlife in a wilderness survival situation.

Some wild edible plants are similar to some poisonous plants, that's true, but I don't see how eating a fish or taking a squirrel, would be a bad idea, as long as you cooked them. That's some serious BS.

Having been involved with scouts, my son is an Eagle Scout, I can't figure out how'd you configure the requirements of a Hunting merit badge. I am a NRA Certified Range Safety Officer and work scout event 'range days' for their shooting merit badges and in a controlled environment it's a job to get everyone through safely. The biggest issue for ANY scout merit badge is finding qualified people willing to donate and commit their time for the boys betterment. That's why 6 years after my son left Scouting I'm still involved where I can be.
So you're saying they don't issue merit badge requirements nor offer the badge unless there are people qualified to certify the scout earned the badge? WHAT? :what:

Basically, if you took my state's 9 hour exam on hunter safety, and instead of a multiple choice test, you had a verbal exam for things such as hunting ethics, environmental factors for capacity, and game identification, plus did the field trial, that would work for a Hunting Merit Badge.

I Taught

the fishing merit badge for a few years, no mention of catch and release, the manual badly needs an update. Perhaps a foot in the door would be running hunter safety courses through scout troops, and recruiting local rod and gun clubs for mentors/guides
I believe the original intent of the BS was to introduce boys from the city to activities geared in the outdoors. It also was not just to turn them into outdoors-men, but courteous, God-fearing adults. I remember when I was in Boy Scouts, much of the outdoors stuff I already knew. It was the Chivalry, Community service and religious aspects I had trouble with. Altho they were introduced to me by my parents, the Scouts reenforced them. First aid was another thing they taught me and 50 years later I still use that knowledge. I assume during it's long history that a hunting merit badge has been considered many times, but those in power somehow decided it was not to be. I did earn a shooting merit badge by going to summer camp for three years.
I think it would be difficult for some Scouts to be able to get out and actually hunt, if that's what the requirement for such a badge would be. Apart from equipment, licenses, hunter education, some kinds in the cities just wouldn't be able to get out to where hunting is allowed.

If such a badge were up to me, I would consider going the route of requring the Scout to earn the Archery, Rifle, and Hunter Education badges to earn a Hunting badge.
The biggest issue for ANY scout merit badge is finding qualified people willing to donate and commit their time for the boys betterment. That's why 6 years after my son left Scouting I'm still involved where I can be.

Odd, because I've tried to volunteer my time as an instructor and an RSO and usually get told "we'll get back to you". Guess the demand isn't the same in different places.
Basically, if you took my state's 9 hour exam on hunter safety, and instead of a multiple choice test, you had a verbal exam

And this doesn't require qualified people?

Your previous post implied that since there weren't enough qualified people then they haven't issued a merit badge and contention is that they should issue the merit badge and manual, and worry about whether or not it may be taught later...

I believe ElevenBravo hit the nail on the head. The BSA program needs to work anywhere you are in the U.S. Apart from the cost of hunting equipment and licensing, it may require a 4 to 6 hour drive for some areas to get out into the woods. When you add that to "finding the right spot" and getting your scout in sight of an animal, it becomes a difficult thing. I fully advocate hunting but I think it requires more involvement than simply earning a merit badge.

I hunted for three years before I filled my first deer tag and that was with a very experienced hunting partner (50+ years). It could take them years to harvest a tag and if that is the requirement for the merit badge, many could just give up on it.
We went on quail hunting trips with my boy scout troop when I was a kid. No badge I suppose. But that didn't stop our dads from taking the troop.

In fact, my 7 year old just completed his first backpacking trip last weekend. He has already caught fish and been deer hunting and he hasn't even started boy scouts yet.
When you add that to "finding the right spot" and getting your scout in sight of an animal, it becomes a difficult thing. I fully advocate hunting but I think it requires more involvement than simply earning a merit badge.

You miss the point of the merit is to give partial experience in a field, not even to the point of going beyond "novice".

I got the Forestry merit badge but didn't harvest a tree.
I got the First Aid merit badge without actually treating an injured person
I got the Wilderness Survival merit badge without getting lost in the woods, and only needing to spend a single night out in the woods without a shelter...
The Aviation merit badge doesn't require you to pilot a plane...

And you may take and pass a hunting safety class, obtain a firearm and ammunition, and go hunting, without ever being with a person who has shown you how to skin and clean an animal...

So why would a scout be expected to actually harvest an animal to earn a merit badge?

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