Youth hunting licenses increase nationwide

The number of young hunters is on the rise, says Families Afield. The program’s latest report found that apprentice hunting licenses increased by 100,000 in 2009.
Launched in 2004 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and National Wild Turkey Federation, the program works to reduce states’ regulatory barriers to youth hunting.
Since Family Afield’s inception, 29 states have passed legislation lowering barriers to youth hunting. The program advocates that parents, not politics, should decide at what age a child is mature enough to try hunting.
Families Afield joins licensed adult mentors with youth to safely introduce them to hunting. Proponents believe that hunting helps to get children outdoors and away from video games, while bonding families and increasing attendance in hunter education classes.
“It’s satisfying to see Families Afield fulfilling its mission to grow the ranks of hunting,” said Melissa Schilling, NSSF’s manager of recruitment and retention. “Families Afield will have a long-term, positive effect on hunting, and while the program’s numbers are impressive, we’re still in the early stages. Over time, we believe this successful program will add millions of new hunters.”
Based on 24 states reporting their license sales numbers, the Families Afield report shows more than 388,000 apprentice hunting licenses sold from 2005 through 2009. To learn more about Families Afield and about your state’s hunting regulations, go to ◊

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