|Posted:||December 12, 2016 12:44 PM|
|From:||Representative Neal P. Goodman and Rep. Keith Gillespie|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Expand PA’s Mentored Hunting Programs to Include Junior Hunters|
|In the near future, we will introduce legislation from last session (previously HB 1840) to expand Pennsylvania’s mentored hunting programs to include youth ages 12 to 17. It will essentially create a new “mentored junior hunting program” to complement the existing youth and adult mentor programs.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Game Commission operates a mentored hunting program for youth, but only those under 12 years of age may participate. The popular program is designed to introduce young people to hunting under the one-on-one guidance of an experienced adult. There is a similar program for those who are age 18 and older. However, at this time, we don’t extend the benefits of mentored hunting to those individuals in the 12 to 17 year-old age bracket, meaning that in order to participate in hunting, they must successfully complete the mandatory hunter/trapper safety education course, which is a barrier for many.
The mentored youth hunting program is successful, in part, because it allows young people to try hunting without committing to taking the safety course. Expanding this program to include youth ages 12 to 17 will provide those in this age range with the same opportunity we currently provide to those under the age of 12 and those who are age 18 or older.
In addition to extending the mentored program to youth who are 12 to 17 years old, this bill repeals a section of the Game Code that is made obsolete by the expansion of the program.
Previous co-sponsors: HARHAI, FARINA, READSHAW, D. COSTA, GERGELY, GIBBONS, GROVE, HAHN, A. HARRIS, PHILLIPS-HILL, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, LAWRENCE, MAHONEY, MASSER, McNEILL, MILLARD, MOUL, MURT, REGAN, ROZZI, SCHLOSSBERG, WARD and ZIMMERMAN
Introduced as HB485