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Posted on March 12, 2010
HB 243 passed out of the Committee on Ways and Means and could be brought up as early as next week for a vote on the House Floor.
Introduced by State Representative Steve Adams (R-Windsor-4), House Bill 243 would establish a mentored hunting license that would allow prospective hunters to try their hand at hunting before completing a hunter education course. Apprentice hunters would be required to be directly supervised in the field by a mentor who is at least 21 years-old and who holds a valid hunting license. Experience in more than two dozen other states shows that this mentored hunting program is exceptionally safe and will bring many new hunters into the field. There is no reason to believe that the citizens of Vermont will prove to be the exception to this outstanding track record.
Hunter recruitment is critical to the long-term preservation of our hunting heritage. Hunter numbers are declining and radical anti-hunting organizations like the Humane Society of the United States are doing everything they can to keep people from hunting. For every 100 Vermont hunters who permanently quit hunting, only 77 replace them. This slide must be reversed and HB 243 will help in this effort. Research shows that overly burdensome regulations deter citizens from trying hunting for the first time. This includes the current requirement that virtually all prospective hunters complete hunter education. An apprentice hunting program allows people a “try it before they buy it” opportunity. Ultimately, many will want to complete a hunter education course in order to hunt on their own. In the end, more citizens will complete hunter education and join the hunter ranks as a result.
Please take the time to contact your state legislators and encourage them to support HB 243. Contact information for the Vermont General Assembly can be found by clicking here.
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