Every sport relies on youngsters getting involved at an early age, whether it’s little league, Pop Warner football, or learning to ski at a local facility. Typically, these more formal activities begin very informally by having a catch in the backyard or sliding down the snow-packed driveway. Imagine if you had to take an eight-hour course in order to try skiing, baseball, or football? Hunter-safety courses make beginner hunters safer and more informed, but this entry-level class inhibits the spontaneity of hunting. It’s like joining a group of schoolmates at a deer camp or turkey hunting with a father or uncle. Many people believe that a “mentoring” program is the best first step, where a newbie must be accompanied by a licensed hunter. Pennsylvania is considering this important step; will your state follow? Here are the details from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, as reported by Bob Freye:

Boys in Camo 343It’s possible, even likely, that Pennsylvania Game Commissioners will offer an adult mentored hunting program starting next fall.  But exactly what form it will take has not been determined.

State lawmakers earlier this year passed legislation permitting the commission to expand its popular and successful mentored youth program. It now has the authority to let adults try hunting, under the guidance of a mentor, for a limited time without first having to pass a hunter education safety course or buy a license.  It’s up to the commission to determine how the program will work.  However, that prompted a lot of debate when commissioners held their work group meeting in Harrisburg.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.