Ohio Senate unanimously passes Apprentice Hunting License bill

HB296, the Buckeye Firearms Association-endorsed Apprentice Hunting License bill sponsored by Representative Steve Buehrer (R-74) of Delta, Ohio was passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate on Tuesday, January 24, 2006.

The bill will help Ohioans introduce new hunters and trappers to the outdoors.

Click on the "Read More" link below for further details.

All 33 Ohio Senators voted for the bill, which has already been passed overwhelmingly by the Ohio House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by Governor Taft.

Many organizations, including Buckeye Firearms Association and the US Sportsmen Alliance supported this legislation. Buckeye Firearm's Larry Moore provided proponent testimony on behalf of both organizations in the House and Senate.

"Ohio has been a leader in youth hunting opportunities with reduced license fees and special early youth seasons," Moore noted. "The passage of the Apprentice Hunting and Trapping License bill is another tool that enables us to share our outdoor heritage with the next generation. It will be easier to introduce new hunters by postponing the requirement for hunter education."

A certified hunter education instructor, Moore continued, "once a new hunter or trapper has a positive experience, I am hopeful they will want to quickly attend a hunter education class. Hunter education is an important tool but it is the adult mentors who take the young people hunting who are the real teachers. I thank Rep. Buehrer for championing this legislation."

To view a copy of the bill as passed by the Senate, CLICK HERE.

Click here to view a video archive of the vote.

HB 296 will change Ohio law by:

  • Providing for the issuance of apprentice hunting licenses and apprentice fur taker permits.
  • Exempting an applicant for an apprentice hunting license or apprentice fur taker permit from requirements concerning the presentation of evidence of a previously held hunting license or fur taker permit or of the completion of a hunting or trapping education course.
  • Establishing statutory fees for the issuance of apprentice hunting licenses and apprentice fur taker permits that are equivalent to the fees charged for regular hunting licenses and fur taker permits.
  • Authorizing the Chief of the Division of Wildlife in the Department of Natural Resources to adopt rules governing the issuance and use of apprentice licenses and permits.
  • Prohibiting a person from purchasing more than three apprentice hunting licenses or more than three apprentice fur taker permits.
  • Authorizing a holder of an apprentice hunting license or an apprentice fur taker permit to hunt or trap, as applicable, only while accompanied by another person who is 21 years of age or older and who possesses, respectively, a valid hunting license or fur taker permit.
  • Prohibiting a holder of a valid hunting license or fur taker permit from accompanying more than two holders of an apprentice hunting license or apprentice fur taker permit at one time.
  • Establishing 17 years of age, rather than under 15 years of age, as the age limit for special youth hunting licenses and youth fur taker permits

    Click here to read the USSA press release.

    Hannah News Service also offered interesting coverage of the bill's passage:

      The final bill of the day, HB296, which provides for the issuance of apprentice hunting licenses and apprentice
      fur taker permits, was supported by several senators.

      Sen. Larry Mumper (R-Marion) told members the bill will expose more people to hunting and said he would like
      to encourage more young people to learn and participate in hunting. Recalling an anecdote from his high school years,
      Mumper told about a time when he and several of his friends, including a couple from the city, went hunting. Following
      the downing of a pheasant, Mumper said while reaching down to pick it up he heard a "click" from a gun held by one
      of his hunting companions who had pulled the trigger but failed to load the barrel. While no harm was done to him,
      Mumper said the story illustrated the need for safety, which he said is a primary goal of the bill.

      Sen. C.J. Prentiss (D-Cleveland), Senate minority leader, who represents an urban district and who confessed
      she has never in her life had a gun, said, "God speed on this one, and let's get it done."

      Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton), who chairs the Sportsman's Caucus in the Senate, said the bill is very
      serious. In a moment of levity, Padgett said she would take Sen. Prentiss as an apprentice and would help her
      first by hunting snipe. Senate President Bill Harris (R-Ashland), bringing calm back to the chamber following
      Padgett's comment, said, "Don't do her that way," referring to hunting for "snipes," a fictional animal.

      Sen. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) said he was as an avid hunter and outdoor sportsman and urged
      support of the bill. He noted that the bill will encourage those who may not find time to take the two-day hunter
      safety course to nonetheless participate in the sport and keep safety at the forefront.

      State fiscal highlights indicated there may be gains from the bill, but noted they are dependent on sales. On
      the expenditure side, there may be a minimal increase in administrative costs.

    Buckeye Firearms Association has been pleased to partner with USSA in endorsing HB296, and we look forward to having it earn Gov. Taft's signature.

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