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Montana: Apprentice Hunter Bill to be Heard in House Committee Tomorrow

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Montana: Apprentice Hunter Bill to be Heard in House Committee Tomorrow

Last week, the Montana Senate passed Senate Bill 395 by a 28 to 22 vote and has now been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, April 8.  Sponsored by state Senator Mark Blasdel (R-4), SB 395 would strengthen Montana’s rich hunting heritage by opening up an apprentice program for minors in the field.

SB 395 would give minors who are 10 to 17 years of age the ability to go into the field to hunt, as long as they are accompanied by someone at least 21 years of age or older who has successfully completed hunter education training, holds a current Montana hunting license and has the permission of the minor’s parents/guardians. 

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 would allow them to experience 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 with similar programs.  Apprentice hunting license programs throughout the country have issued more than 1 million 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.

Senate Bill 395 is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, April 8.  Please contact the members of this Committee TODAY and ask that they vote YES and support SB 395 when it comes up for a vote.

House Judiciary Committee:

Representative Jerry Bennett (R-1), Chair
(406) 293-7012

Representative Alan Doane (R-36), Vice-Chair
(406) 583-7546
alandoane@midrivers.com

Representative Virginia Court (D-50), Vice-Chair
(406) 259-5099
Rep.Virginia.Court@mt.gov

Representative Seth Berglee (R-58)
(406) 690-9329
Rep.Seth.Berglee@mt.gov

Representative Jenny Eck (D-79)
(406) 459-1082
jennyeck4mt@gmail.com

Representative Clayton Fiscus (R-43)
(406) 860-6400
clayton@fiscusforthepeople.com

Representative Stephanie Hess (R-28)
Stephhess28@gmail.com

Representative Ellie Boldman Hill (D-90)
(406) 218-9608
elliehillhd94@gmail.com

Representative Kathy Kelker (D-47)
(406) 652-6716
Rep.Kathy.Kelker@mt.gov

Representative Sarah Laszloffy (R-53)
(406) 530-7013
Rep.Sarah.Laszloffy@mt.gov

Representative Margie MacDonald (D-51)
(406) 652-6625
Rep.Margie.MacDonald@mt.gov

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.