The Wisconsin Assembly Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage Committee will be voting on Assembly Bill 455 during the executive session to be held at 10AM tomorrow, August 30. AB 455 seeks to build upon the success of the safe and successful mentored hunting program that Wisconsin has had since 2009. Unfortunately, the proposed Assembly Amendment 1 would eliminate the portion of the bill that would repeal the current restriction that only one firearm or bow may be carried between an apprentice and mentor. Please contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE Assembly Amendment 1 and SUPPORT Assembly Bill 455 as is!
This bill would remove the minimum age limit for participation in order to expand hunting opportunities to the most important group of future hunters – our youth. The legislation further empowers parents or guardians to make the decision as to when their children are safe and responsible enough to try hunting under the close supervision of a mentor.
In addition, it would repeal the restriction that only one firearm or bow be carried between an apprentice and mentor. This change would also empower parents and guardians to decide what is best for their particular mentored hunting situation. For reference, only four states have such a restriction.
The Families Afield initiative, founded by a coalition of sportsmen’s groups more than a decade ago, aims to recruit new hunters through mentored hunting and by removing barriers such as age restrictions. Since its inception, 40 states have adopted Families Afield legislation and more than 1.9 million mentored hunting licenses have been sold. This “try before you buy” approach gives new comers the opportunity to experience hunting before committing to a lengthy hunter education requirement for an activity that they are simply trying out.
Again, please contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE Assembly Amendment 1 and SUPPORT Assembly Bill 455 as is!