Assembly approves hunter mentoring

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:06

    HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Legislature this week approved a measure that hunting advocates say will encourage more young people to become involved in the state’s hunting traditions. The bill is part of the “Families Afield” campaign, established by a partnership of sportsmen’s organizations to aid in the recruitment of new hunters. The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed HB 1690 and on Wednesday the House voted 195-1 approval. The bill authorizes the Pennsylvania Game Commission to create a mentored youth hunting program. The legislation is not detailed, but advocates of similar legislation in Ohio and Wisconsin seek to allow youths as young as 8 years to accompany mentoring hunters in the field, before they have completed hunter safety programs, which have been required prior to licensing. Rep. Bruce Smith, R-Dillsburg,originally introduced a bill to allow the hunting of coyotes over bait and Sen. Joe Conti, R- Doylestown, Chairman of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, attached the mentored youth hunting language to the bill. The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Ed Rendell.