On Wednesday, January 31st, the Hawaii House Committee on Water and Land passed House Bill 1970 to establish an apprentice hunting license in Hawaii. HB 1970 still must pass both the House Committee on Judiciary and the Committee on Finance before being considered by the House and moving on to the Senate.
Sponsored by Representative Dee Morikawa (D-16), HB 1970 would allow an individual who is at least ten years or older to hunt under the close supervision of a licensed hunter who is at least twenty-one years of age prior to completing a hunter safety course. The legislation would further support Hawaii’s strong hunting heritage by ensuring the vital contributions made by hunters to conservation efforts, game management and the economy are preserved for generations to come.
This bill would expand hunting opportunities to the most important group of future hunters – our youth. The 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. 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. House Bill 1970 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 other states with similar programs. Since 2006, nearly 2 million apprentice hunting licenses have been sold in participating states and have proven the value and safety of mentoring newcomers in the field.
Continue to check your inbox and www.nraila.org for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in Hawaii.