On Thursday, February 21, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed House Bill 1263 by a 7-2 margin. HB1263 now heads to the Senate floor.
Introduced by State Representative Mike Buckingham (R-33), this important legislation would help preserve South Dakota’s proud hunting heritage by granting the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks rulemaking authority to establish a youth mentored hunting program for children between ages 10 and 16. The current minimum hunting age in South Dakota is 12. While licensed youth hunters would still need to take a Hunt Safe course, HB 1263 would establish a “try before you buy” program allowing younger kids to experience their first hunts without a license under the direct supervision of a licensed adult.
This bill is part of the Families Afield Initiative, a cooperative effort between NRA, National Wild Turkey Federation, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Please contact your State Senator and respectfully urge him or her to support this important legislation to help preserve the future of hunting in South Dakota. Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.