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    U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance
    801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229
    Ph. 614/888-4868 ē Fax 614/888-0326
    Website: www.ussportsmen.org ē E-mail: [email protected]


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dale Miles (614) 888-4868 ext. 226
    June 20, 2006 Beth Ruth (614) 888-4868 ext. 214

    Michigan Legislature Approves Hunter Recruitment Bills


    (Lansing) Ė The Michigan legislature today brought its state closer to an apprentice hunting license program by advancing two pieces of legislation. One bill was sent to Gov. Jennifer Granholm for signing and another passed through the House of Representatives.

    The Michigan House of Representatives agreed, 89-16, to changes made by the Senate to HB 5192. The bill, now on its way to Gov. Jennifer Granholm for her signature, is sponsored by Rep. Scott Hummel, R-DeWitt. It lowers the big game hunting minimum age from 14 to 12 and the small game hunting minimum age from 12 to 10.

    The Michigan House also overwhelmingly passed SB 1105, 103-2. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Michelle McManus, R-Leelanau, and co-chair of the Michigan State Sportsmenís Caucus. The bill now returns to the Senate for agreement on changes made in the House before being sent to Gov. Granholm. Agreement on House changes is expected.

    Senate Bill 1105 creates an apprentice hunting license which allows people to hunt under direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter before completing hunter education training. To become fully licensed and hunt alone, the new hunter must complete a hunter education course.

    Both bills are part of Families Afield, a program designed by the U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance (USSA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) to recruit young hunters into the sport by lowering or eliminating unnecessary age restrictions.

    The Youth Hunting Report, a study commissioned by the USSA, NSSF and NWTF, found that states which permit parents to decide when their children begin to hunt, and states which allow potential hunters to try hunting under the watchful eye of a mentor before completing a hunter education course, experience better recruitment and retention of new hunters. More importantly, these states produce safety statistics that are better than states that place high restrictions on age and hunter education, as well as under what conditions a new hunter can legally enter the field.

    Michigan is second only to New York as the most restrictive state in the country.

    Families Afield legislation has been adopted in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Utah and Mississippi. Like these states, Michigan has a rich hunting heritage, yet hunter recruitment is waning due to restrictive regulations placed on the ages at which a person can begin to hunt. Families Afield gives parents the opportunity to decide when their child is ready to hunt, rather than have the government set an arbitrary age minimum.

    The U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.
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