Friday, December 15, 2006

News: Kentucky Families Afield Open Doors for New Hunters

Kentucky hunting regulations have been modified to encourage hunter recruitment. It is the latest state to approve Families Afield regulations that will help break down hunting barriers.

On Dec. 8, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission approved regulations that exempt new hunters from hunter education for one year if they hunt under direct supervision of a licensed, adult mentor. The new rules also revise the age at which hunter education becomes mandatory, from 10 years old to 12 years old.

The adjustments came after wildlife officials met with a trio of hunting organizations – the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and National Wild Turkey Federation - that are promoting the Families Afield campaign.

The concept for Families Afield was established by the partnership of sportsmen’s groups after results of a study called the Youth Hunting Report revealed declining youth involvement in outdoor sports and pointed to reasons for the sliding numbers.

The regulations were proposed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The nine commission members unanimously approved the changes, which take effect July 1, 2007.

The changes make Kentucky one of 12 states to approve Families Afield bills and regulations. The new laws lower hunting age restrictions, create mentored hunting programs, and ease hunter education mandates. They open the door for millions of hunters to introduce children and newcomers to the sport.

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