Take Action! As Senate Bill 218 is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Bullock, Montana sportsmen should contact his office and let him know the importance mentored hunting plays in recruiting new and safer hunters. Members can contact Gov. Bullock’s office either by phone at 406-444-3111 or by email by clicking on the following link: http://governor.mt.gov/Home/Contact/shareopinion .
A proposal allowing adults to try hunting while under the supervision of an experienced mentor passed the Montana House of Representatives with a vote of 90-10 in favor on April 22. Senate Bill 218 expands Montana’s popular apprentice hunting program to people 18 and older. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Blasdel (R-Kalispell), passed the Montana Senate by a vote of 41-9 on March 9. It will now head to Gov. Steve Bullock to be signed into law.
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, including Montana in 2015. The result has been more than 1.7 million licenses sold, many to suburban and urban people, as well as women and girls.
By expanding Montana’s apprentice program to allow adult participation, more sportsmen will be recruited, which will support sound wildlife management and help fund conservation. Research has shown apprentice hunting to be especially effective at attracting women and girls who want to try hunting. Last year, 4,573 apprentice hunting certificates were sold, which generated $116,061 for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
“Apprentice hunting is incredibly safe, and an effective means to pass hunting on to the next generation,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services. “The Sportsmen’s Alliance thanks Senator Blasdel for continuing to champion this cause, and we encourage Gov. Bullock to sign the bill into law.”
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.