Sunday, May 7, 2017

Apprentice hunting program passes committee test

By John Hayes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Under the Mentored Youth Hunting program, a kid age 11 or under -- too young even to take the Hunter-Trapper Education Course -- can legally hunt limited species if she’s closely accompanied by an adult mentor 21 or over and in ownership of a Mentored Youth Hunting Permit, which costs $2.90.
An adult age 18 or over who has not taken the hunter education course and never owned a hunting license in Pennsylvania or elsewhere can legally hunt all game animals except antlered deer if he’s accompanied by an adult mentor and in ownership of a Mentored Adult Hunting Permit, which costs $20.90, same as an adult resident license.
But what about would-be hunters age 12 to 16 who just want to experience a hunt to see if it’s as thrilling as they’ve heard?
Late last month the state House Committee on Game and Fisheries unanimously passed a bill that would expand Pennsylvania’s mentored hunting program to include hunters who are 12 to 16 years old. Sponsored by Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Neil Goodman, D-Schuylkill, House Bill 485 is among dozens of apprentice hunting initiatives nationwide designed to expand hunting recruitment, particularly in youn ger generations, and maintain a sustainable stream of conservation funding. Often referred to nationally as Families Afield programs, they have recruited nearly 2 million apprentice hunters who supporters claim are statistically more than five times safer than the general hunting population.
“Not only will this legislation make it much easier for parents and young people to be exposed to hunting, it’s also a great example of how policymaking around hunting and fishing issues can bridge the political divide,” said Robb Miller, advisor to Gov. Tom Wolf on hunting, fishing and conservation, in a statement. “Next, we’ll turn our attention to having House Bill 485 voted before the full House and sent to the Senate for consideration.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderated. Anyone may comment.