South Carolina’s House Bill 3800, which would allow apprentice hunting for an unlimited number of years for people 16 and older, has passed the House Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Wildlife with a unanimous vote. Introduced by Rep. Bobby Cox (R- Greer), HB 3800 is expected to be considered by the full committee as early as next week.
Take Action Today! South Carolina members should contact their representative and ask them to vote YES on House Bill 3800. Members can contact their representative by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Apprentice hunting licenses allow someone to go hunting under the control of an experienced mentor prior to completing a hunter education class. Similar legislation has been enacted in 41 states, resulting in millions of licenses sold and new hunters recruited.
In South Carolina, people younger than 16 years of age may hunt prior to passing hunter education provided they are under the supervision of a mentor. However, those 16 and older may do so for only one year. Originally, HB 3800 would have increased the cap to three years, however, the sub-committee completely removed the cap, a move supported by many sportsmen’s organizations.
HB 3800 is supported by the national Families Afield effort, which 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 coalition has successfully championed mentored or apprentice hunting laws in since 2005 that has resulted in more than 2.2 million apprentice licenses sold. Research on apprentice hunting has consistently revealed that allowing people to purchase an apprentice license for three or more years results in a much higher rate of conversion to hunter education and the purchase of a regular hunting license.
“HB 3800 would make South Carolina’s apprentice hunting program more like its neighbors, which already allow apprentice hunters to purchase their apprentice license for three or more years,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services. “It is great news that South Carolina is expanding those options and encouraging new hunters to take to the great outdoors.”
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.