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Vermont: Mentored Hunting Bill Still Pending in Committee

Friday, April 9, 2010

House Bill 243, introduced by State Representative Steve Adams (R-Windsor-4), is still pending in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

H. 243 would establish a mentored hunting license that would allow prospective hunters to try their hand at hunting before being compelled to complete a hunter education course.  Apprentice hunters would have 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 with these laws shows that this kind of mentored hunting programs are 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 hunters who permanently quit hunting, only 77 replace them.  This slide must be reversed and H. 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 hunting ranks as a result.

Please contact your State Senator and urge him or her to support H. 243.  Contact information for the Vermont State Senate can be found by clicking here

Also, please contact Senate President Peter Shumlin (D-Windham) via e-mail at senprespt@leg.state.vt.us or by phone at (802) 387-4447 and urge him to support this important piece of legislation.

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