Tomorrow, Senate Bill 362 will be considered by the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry, and Assembly Bill 455 will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage.
Wisconsin has enjoyed a safe and successful hunting mentorship program since 2009. Both SB 362 and AB 455 would build on this success by removing the minimum age limit for participation, thus expanding this program to the most important group of future hunters – our youth. This legislation further empowers parents or guardians to make the decision as to when their children are safe and responsible enough to try hunting under the close supervision of a mentor.
We encourage all of our members who are able to attend these committee hearings to make their voices heard during the legislative process. Details for the committee hearings may be found below.
Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry
August 2, 2017 • 12:00PM
Room: 400 Southeast
Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
August 2, 2017 • 9:30AM
Room: 417 North (GAR Hall)
The Families Afield initiative, founded by a coalition of sportsmen’s groups more than a decade ago, aims to recruit new hunters through mentored hunting and by removing barriers such as age restrictions. Since its inception, 40 states have adopted Families Afield legislation and more than 1.6 million mentored hunting licenses have been sold. This “try before you buy” approach gives new comers the opportunity to experience hunting before committing to a lengthy hunter education requirement for an activity that they are simply trying out.
In addition, SB 362 and AB 455 eliminate the restriction that only one firearm or bow may be carried between an apprentice and a mentor. This change continues with the theme of allowing parents to decide what is best for their particular mentored hunting situation. For reference, only four states have this restriction.
Again, we encourage all of our members who are able to attend these committee hearings to make their voices heard during the legislative process.