Take Action Today! Pennsylvania sportsmen should contact their State Representatives and ask them to vote YES on House Bill 485. Barring high school and middle school kids from mentored hunting makes no sense. This bill will allow teens to experience hunting in a safe and controlled environment. Currently HB 485 is in the House Game and Fisheries Committee. Pennsylvania members can contact their State Representative by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Two Pennsylvania state representatives have teamed up to introduce legislation that would allow teenagers to try hunting under the direct control of an experienced mentor through the use of a mentored or apprentice license. House Bill 485, sponsored by Rep. Neal P. Goodman (D- Mahanoy City) and Rep. Keith Gillespie (R- York), would extend mentored hunting privileges to kids ages 12-17. Mentored hunting licenses are already permitted for people under 12, and for those 18 and older.
“Pennsylvania is the only mentored hunting state that currently prohibits high school and middle school kids from participating in mentored hunting,” explained Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Mentored hunting has been shown to be the safest and most effective means of attracting newcomers to hunting. We thank Representatives Goodman and Gillespie and strongly encourage their colleagues in the legislature pass this important bill.”
The Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the other Families Afield partners (National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation), have successfully championed mentored or apprentice hunting in 39 states since the Families Afield program was launched in 2005. The result has been more than 1.7 million licenses sold, many to suburban and urban people as well as women and girls.
Pennsylvania was the first state to adopt a Families Afield-style mentored hunting law for kids in 2006, and has led the nation in mentored hunting license sales since. In 2013, the Pennsylvania legislature approved legislation allowing people of any age to join the program. However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported that it needed special authorization to include kids ages 12-17. House Bill 485 addresses that issue.
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.