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West Virginia: Senate Committee Scheduled to Consider Apprentice Hunting Legislation Tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Please Contact Members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee Immediately!

Tomorrow, the state Senate Natural Resources Committee will consider Senate Bill 478, legislation which would create an apprentice hunting license for residents and non-residents of West Virginia.  This hearing will take place at 1:00 p.m. in Room 208W of the State Capitol.

SB 478, introduced by state Senator John Unger (D-16), is similar to current youth hunting licenses, as its goal is to place new hunters afield under the supervision of an adult eighteen years of age or older who possesses a valid West Virginia hunting license.  This would allow the “apprentice” to be introduced to hunting without having to take the otherwise required hunter education course. 

Lengthy hunter education requirements often discourage potential hunters from going afield because they are unwilling to dedicate the necessary time to complete the course in order to pursue an activity that they are simply trying out.  The apprentice license program will allow them to become hooked on hunting while under the supervision of a mentor.  Eventually, the goal is for these apprentices to complete a hunter education course so they can hunt on their own, which has largely been the case in the states that have similar programs.  Apprentice hunting license programs throughout the country have issued more than 600,000 licenses to date and these hunters have proven to be safer than all other classes of hunters in what is already one of the safest recreational activities in America.

This license would allow supervised, novice hunters to go afield for three hunting seasons, within any five consecutive year window of time without having to take a required hunter education course.  The NRA is working closely with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources on this important legislation and its efforts to sustain and enhance the time-honored tradition of hunting are appreciated.

Please contact members of the state Senate Natural Resources Committee and respectfully ask them to support SB 478.  Contact information can be found below.

Senate Natural Resources Committee:

Senator William Laird (D-11), Chairman
(304) 357-7849

Senator John Pat Fanning (D-6), Vice-Chairman
(304) 357-7867

Senator Clark S. Barnes (R-15)
(304) 357-7973

Senator Robert D. Beach (D-13)
(304) 357-7919

Senator Donna J. Boley (R-3)
(304) 357-7905

Senator Larry J. Edgell (D-2)
(304) 357-7827

Senator Douglas Facemire (D-12)
(304) 357-7845

Senator Karen Facemyer (R-4)
(304) 357-7855

Senator Mike Green (D-9)
(304) 357-7831

Senator Walt Helmick (D-15)
(304) 357-7980

Senator Roman W. Prezioso (D-13)
(304) 357-7961

Senator Robert Williams (D-14)
(304) 357-7995

Senator Mark Edward Wills (D-10)
(304) 357-7843



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