Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello’s legislation, House Bill 3623, which allows a hunter to purchase an apprentice hunting license for multiple years, passed the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously and is headed to the full Senate for a vote. HB 3623 passed the House by 94-0 vote on March 29.
Take Action Today! Illinois members should contact their senator and ask them to vote YES on House Bill 3623. Members can contact their senator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Beginning in 2006, Illinois opened apprentice hunting for people ages 10 and older, and in the years since, has eliminated the 10-year-old age minimum and removed the one-year cap for youth. The only remaining restriction on apprentice hunting in Illinois is a one-year participation limit for adults. HB 3623 removes that restriction.
“Research from other states have shown that apprentice hunters are much more likely to take hunter education and become a fully licensed hunter when they are given multiple years,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “The apprentice hunting license is a proven tool to engage key demographics, especially women, girls and those living in metropolitan areas, that gets them to try hunting.”
Support for HB 3623 and other Families Afield legislation across the country is led by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. This bill is supported locally by the Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources. Since the Families Afield program was launched in 2005, 41 states have passed apprentice or mentored hunting legislation, and more than 2.23 million apprentice licenses have been sold.
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.