Pennsylvania Families Afield Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

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A bill that would expand the popular and widely acclaimed Mentored Youth Hunting program in Pennsylvania to allow adult participation recently passed the legislature and is awaiting approval of Governor Tom Corbett.

The bill, Senate Bill 623 introduced by Senator’s Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) and Wayne Fontana (D-Pittsburgh), allows those ages 12 and older to try hunting under the watchful eye of an experienced mentor prior to completing hunter education.  Also known as “apprentice hunting,” this try-before-you-buy philosophy is the hallmark of the Families Afield campaign.

Pennsylvania was the first state to pass Families Afield when it established the Mentored Youth Hunting program in 2006.  Since then, a total of 34 states have enacted Families Afield changes resulting in more than 1,000,000 apprentice or mentored hunting licenses being sold.

“Mentored hunting has been demonstrated to be a safe and successful way to recruit new hunters, not only in Pennsylvania but across the country,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s director of government affairs.  “Expanding to new hunters of all ages will only add to this program’s success.”

About Families Afield: Families Afield was established by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the National Wild Turkey Federation to bring a new generation of sportsmen to the field. Along with the National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the coalition has worked to pass measures in 34 states since the program’s inception.