Take Action Today! Georgia sportsmen should contact Gov. Deal and ask him to sign Senate Bill 332 into law. Members can contact the governor by phone 404-656-1776 or email by clicking on the link https://gov.georgia.gov/webform/contact-governor
In Georgia, legislation sponsored by Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla) that would create a yearlong apprentice hunting license, also known as an “Outdoor Passport Program,” passed the House unanimously on April 3. Senate Bill 332 will now head to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to be signed into law.
Apprentice licenses allow people to try hunting under the control of an experienced mentor prior to completing a hunter education course. SB 332 was unanimously approved by the Georgia House of Representatives on Feb. 13.
Under current law, apprentice hunters over 16 years of age must buy a license, which is only valid for one day and must be renewed daily. Under SB 332, the license would be good for a full year.
Identical to current law, the Outdoor Passport Program would allow newcomers to try hunting in a safe and controlled environment, prior to the completion of a hunter education class. The only difference is that the new license would not have to be purchased daily. The program is aimed at people 16 years of age and older. Youth under 16 years of age are not required to complete hunter education as long as they hunt with a licensed mentor.
The bill also provides incentives for those who mentor new hunters. As a reward for becoming a mentor under the program, the state will offer reduced license fees.
Senate Bill 332 is supported by the Families Afield Coalition, which is coordinated by the Sportsmen’s Alliance and supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. The coalition has successfully championed mentored or apprentice hunting laws in 40 states since the Families Afield program was launched in 2005. More than 1.9 million apprentice licenses have been sold since then. The license has been shown to be effective at recruiting suburban and urban people, as well as women and girls to hunting.
“We would like to thank Sen. Harper for his hard work in moving legislation that will make it easier to recruit new hunters,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance.
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 possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.