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Mentored Hunting Bill Advancing in Vermont!

Friday, April 16, 2010

House Bill 243, introduced by State Representative Steve Adams (R-Windsor-4), was passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee by a vote of 4-1.  The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration. 

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 prevent 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. 

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. 

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 the members of the Senate Finance Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support H. 243.  Contact information for the committee can be found below.

State Senator Ann Cummings, Chair
(802) 223-6043
acummings@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator Claire Ayer, Vice Chair
(802) 545-2142
cayer@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator William Carris
(802) 438-5391
bcarris@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator Harold Giard
(802) 758-2577
hgiard@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator Robert Hartwell
(802) 362-5757
rhartwell@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator Mark MacDonald, Clerk
(802) 433-5867
mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us

State Senator Richard McCormack
(802) 234-5497
rmccormack@leg.state.vt.us
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