Take Action Today! North Dakota sportsmen should contact their state representative and state senator to ask them to pass House Bill 1204. Please let them know that apprentice hunting is safe, and extremely effective at attracting newcomers, including women and girls, to hunting. Members can contact their state elected official by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Legislative Action Center.
Legislation extending the eligibility of a program in North Dakota that allows a newcomer to try hunting under the supervision of an experienced mentor prior to the completion of hunter education was voted out of the Senate by a margin of 47-0 in favor on March 23. HB 1204 would extend the state’s successful apprentice hunting program to those ages 12 and older. House Bill 1204 already passed the House on January 30 by a vote of 92-2. Because the Senate version of the bill contains an unrelated change, the bill will now be worked on further in a Conference Committee of representatives and senators.
Current law already permits apprentice hunting for ages 16 and older. House Bill 1204, sponsored by Pat Heinert (R- Bismarck), will enable families to easily introduce more young people to hunting before they become immersed in school sports and other extracurricular activities that compete for their time.
“By expanding the Apprentice Hunting program to those 12 and older, North Dakota is taking an important step to ensure the future of hunting,” said Luke Houghton, Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services. “This ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach allows new hunters to get in the field under the direct supervision of an experienced mentor in a safe and exciting manner.”
Because of the incredible safety record and the effectiveness of apprentice hunting in attracting newcomers, Families Afield supports mentored hunting opportunities for people of any age, including young people with parental consent. Research has shown that apprentice hunters transition to taking hunter education and become fully licensed hunters.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.