Take Action Today! House Bill 2566 will move to the House Floor for a vote. Oregon sportsmen should contact their state representative today. Ask them to support House Bill 2566. Make sure they know that mentored hunting is safe, and has been especially effective at attracting women, girls and suburban and urban residents to hunting. Members can contact their state representatives by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Legislative Action Center.
An Oregon House Committee has amended legislation to permit youth ages 14-16 to try hunting under the control of an experienced mentor, prior to the completion of hunter education. The concept, known as “try before you buy,” has been adopted in 39 states. Oregon currently allows mentored hunting for youth ages 9-13.
On April 4, the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to amend the bill to include older teens. Current law already allows for anyone 18 years or older to buy a hunting license without taking hunter education, however, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife strongly recommends the course for new hunters. However, HB 2566 does not address 17-year olds, who will be the only age groups unable to participate in mentored hunting.
Oregon Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) originally introduced House Bill 2566 to focus on attracting adults to hunting. However, after hearing from the Sportsmen’s Alliance and the Oregon Hunters Association, Rep. Witt agreed to support an amendment to focus the bill on older teens previously left out of the state’s mentored hunting program.
Since 2006, laws permitting mentored hunting opportunities have been enacted in 39 states as a result of Families Afield, a program of the Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Research has demonstrated that the mentored hunter is the safest hunter in the field. Mentored hunting has been proven to be an extremely effective method to introducing newcomers to hunting. Since 2006 more than 1.7 million mentored hunting licenses have been sold as a result of Families Afield.
Because of the incredible safety record and the effectiveness of mentored 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 mentored hunters also transition to fully licensed hunting.
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.