The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approved an expansion of the state’s Mentored Youth Hunting Program on Tuesday. According to this press release from State Rep. Peter J Daley’s office, the bill must still undergo a final vote in the state senate before returning to the House and being forwarded to Gov. Ed Rendell for his signature.
If the bill is enacted, the Game Commission would be able to add antlerless deer to the list of legal species for youth to pursue under the program.
…House Bill 281, sponsored by Daley, would allow adult mentors to transfer one antlerless deer license or permit per season to a youth under 12 participating in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
__House Bill 281 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives in 2009. On Sept. 20, 2010, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the bill, but it must undergo a final vote in the Senate before returning to the House and being forwarded to Gov. Rendell for his signature.
“We are down to the wire on this bill. The Senate must act next week or the bill dies. I am encouraging all hunters to call their senators so we can get H.B. 281 voted in the Senate and over to the House for a final floor vote.
“I praise the board for doing its part to encourage the Senate to act,” said Daley. “With hunting season right around the corner and the legislative session coming to a close, this is a great time for hunters to let their senators know about how this would enhance mentoring throughout the Commonwealth.”
If H.B. 281 is enacted, the Game Commission would be able to add antlerless deer to the list of legal species for youth to pursue under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. Current legal game species are: antlered deer, coyotes, groundhogs, squirrels and spring gobbler.
Approved by the legislature in 2006, the Mentored Youth Hunting Program allows a licensed hunter to serve as a one-on-one teacher to a young future hunter, and serves to introduce boys and girls to hunting, many for the very first time.
A study completed this year by Responsive Management and commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that when youth are involved in hunting-related activities before the age of 9, they are the more likely to become lifelong hunters.
Daley said the legislation is supported by a wide variety of outdoor organizations, including the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hunting, Fishing and Conservation, the Quality Deer Management Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation._