The Sportsmen’s Alliance and our partners have worked to enlist more states in our Families Afield legislation, or to expand that legislation in states which already have it, in order to recruit more new hunters. We’re happy to announce that two states have stepped up to expand their offering for sportsmen!
West Virginia House Bill 4523, which would allow newcomers to purchase an apprentice hunting or apprentice trapping license for an unlimited number of years, unanimously passed out of the West Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 98-0 and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. South Dakota House Bill 1095, which allow new hunters to be mentored by an experienced mentor who has completed a hunter safety course, even if they are not residents of South Dakota, has unanimously passed out of the House by a vote of 69-0 and was signed into law by Gov. Kristi Noem.
Apprentice hunting licenses are the cornerstone of the Families Afield program, an initiative led by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. The program has successfully championed mentored or apprentice hunting laws in 41 states since the Families Afield program was launched in 2005, and has resulted in more than 2.4 million apprentice licenses sold.
“Mentored hunters are proven to be safer in the field and more likely to take their hunter education course and become regularly licensed hunters if they are given the opportunity to hunt for several years,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Our West Virginia and South Dakota members have the support of governors and legislators that believe in protecting the future of our hunting heritage by making hunting opportunities more accessible to new sportsmen and women.”
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.