Six-year-olds show off bloody hunting trophies after minimum age scrapped in Wisconsin

Jeff Farrell

Children as young as six are posing in photos beside bloody animal carcasses in one state in America after the minimum age for hunting was scrapped.

Governor Scott Walker announced the change, in Wisconsin, which allows a youngster of any age to head into the wild to shoot game such as deer as long as they are in the care of an adult.

In the past, a hunter had to be at least 12 before they could target animals with a gun – a practice seen as a sport in the state and as an opportunity for bonding between friends and family.

Governor Walker revealed the shake-up in the rules just days before the state's new hunting season began.

Locals head into the northern forests for days on end to kill animals including deer, bears and turkey in what is justified by some as population control.

Tyler Harris and daughter Lexie, six, travelled to Medford in Taylor County, about 230 miles northwest of Milwaukee to hunt.

Mr Harris said he had been bringing Lexie to a shooting range for weeks to get her ready for the day he could take her out hunting.

She later claimed her first kill on the outing with her father, and posed in a photo beside the buck – a male deer – with the rifle she had used to end its life.

"She was shaking,” Mr Harris told CBS News, adding that she then refused to gut the animal. "She looked at me and said, ‘That's gross’.”

Joe Krantz and his six-year-old son Reece also went out hunting together.

He filmed the moment when his child shot a buck and later walked up to the slain animal.

"Watching it back I'm speechless almost every time I watch the video. it brings a tear to my eye and makes my heart hurt,” Mr Krantz told CBS 58.

Governor Walker’s change in the rules made Wisconsin the 35th state in the US to scrap the minimum age on hunting.

Animal rights activists in the past have targeted the legal pastime in the state to highlight what they say is a cruel practice.

Protestors in 2014 tailed hunters who ventured into forests around the Great Lakes area to both shoot and trap grey wolves.