From U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
-- The Nebraska Senate passed Legislative Bill 690 on February first by a vote of 46-1 for the third and final time. LB 690 creates an apprentice hunter education exemption certificate, which allows an experienced hunter to take a newcomer hunting before completing a hunter education course. The measure also lowers the deer hunting age for mentored youth from 12 to 10, allowing parents and mentors to share outdoor traditions with tomorrow's hunters.
In Virginia, companion legislation continues to move forward. SB 617 passed the Senate by a vote of 39-0 while HB 1175 passed the House by a vote of 98-0. The companion bills would create a 2 year apprentice license to allow newcomers to take to the field with a licensed adult hunter prior to the completion of hunter education.
"These measures go a long way to ensure the future of our nation's outdoor heritage and conservation efforts," said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president. "Through the apprentice hunting experience newcomers can learn the necessary tools to safely experience and enjoy the outdoors for years to come."
In Indiana, House Bill 1046 creates an apprentice hunting license allowing resident or nonresident newcomers, who are accompanied by a licensed adult hunter, to hunt for 3 years prior to the completion of a hunter education course. HB 1046 passed the House on Jan. 24 by a vote of 89-1 and awaits additional hearings in the Senate.
Finally in Wisconsin, Assembly Bill 672 had its first hearing before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. The bill would establish an apprentice hunting license for those 10 years old and higher, while also removing an archaic ban on allowing youth under 12 to target shoot. The measure passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 30, with overwhelming support.
To date, 21 states have already enacted Families Afield style bills.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen's organizations that protect the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.