Utah and Wyoming have approved Families Afield Bills, meant to support the introduction of hunting and shooting to young Americans.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported on the bills, which are going a long way in helping recruit new hunters and shooters and eliminating barriers keeping them from becoming sportsmen and women.
Utah passed Senate Bill 165 through the state House, which in part will create a hunter apprentice program with a special trial hunting permit. Those who are new to the sport can hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, but without having to purchase a full license for themselves.
In Wyoming, a similar apprentice program known as the hunter education deferral program will be expanded thanks to the passing of Senate File 38. New hunters can now participate in the hunter education deferral program multiple years.
“These new and expanded programs have the potential to open many doors for new hunters and future conservationists in these states,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, in the article. “These are great opportunities, and we thank the Utah and Wyoming legislatures for supporting these important programs. They will have a tremendous impact on the future of hunting.”
The bills are part of the overarching Families Afield initiative, a national effort spearheaded by the NSSF. Due in large part to recent bills like these two, Families Afield has claimed 1 million new hunters in the first five years of its existence.
Does your state offer a hunter apprentice program? If so, have you ever participated, as a mentor or an apprentice? Leave your comments below.