Last week, the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources held a hearing on HB 2566 and it’s – 1 amendment. HB 2566, introduced by state Representative Brad Witt (D-31), would increase the age limit for youth participating in the existing hunter mentoring program from 14 to 17 years of age. This program allows a licensed hunter, 21 years or older, to mentor youth in order to introduce them to hunting.
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. HB 2566 allows them to experience hunting while under the supervision of a mentor before taking the course. 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 Oregon and other states with similar programs. Since 2006, nearly 1.5 million apprentice hunting licenses have been sold in participating states and have proven the value and safety of mentoring newcomers in the field.
HB 2566 would help ensure that Oregon's strong hunting heritage, and its vital contributions to conservation, wildlife management and the economy, are preserved for future generations to come.
HB 2566 is currently in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Please contact members of the committee and urge them to SUPPORT HB 2566 with the –1 amendment!