Increased Pa Hunting License Sales the Success of Families Afield

Increased Pa Hunting License Sales the Success of Families Afield

U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance

Columbus, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- Pennsylvania is again reaping the rewards of their expanded efforts at recruiting new sportsmen into the fold through their Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

According to the state Game Commission, Pennsylvania sold nearly 30,000 mentored youth hunting permits during the 2009-2010 hunting season alone. This brings the state’s total to over 100,000 Mentored Youth Licenses sold since passing a Families Afield measure in 2005.

This success illustrates the effectiveness of the Families Afield Program, developed by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), at reducing barriers and encouraging the participation of newcomers. As a direct result of the program, Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the number of hunting licenses it has sold.

Pennsylvania’s Mentored Youth Hunting Program was authorized when Gov. Ed Rendell signed HB 1690 on Dec. 22, 2005. The bill was part of the Families Afield campaign which continues as a nationwide joint effort between the founding organizations. Since its beginning in 2004, 30 states, most recently Vermont earlier this year, have enacted measures resulting in over 418,000 new hunters.

“The Families Afield initiative has always been about getting reducing barriers for new hunters entering the field,” said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO. “Pennsylvania is the hallmark of how successful the Families Afield program can become for the many states that have embraced it over the last six years.”

In addition to more youth licenses sold, the Commission has also recently hired a recruitment and retention coordinator to keep the new hunters engaged in the outdoors. This includes the publication of a “Youth Hunting Guide” and connecting Pennsylvania students to the National Archery in the Schools Program which teaches archery in physical education classes for fourth through 12th graders.

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The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen's organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. Visit www.ussportsmen.org.

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    jim ferraroJoe RiveraEd Maryott Recent comment authors
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    Joe Rivera
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    Joe Rivera

    The PA Game Commission has and is still OVER regulating and micro managing hunting. Until the regulations are simplified to something that one does not need a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret, hunting will not attract young people and new hunters.

    jim ferraro
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    jim ferraro

    Game laws are necessarily complex to a degree because there are such a wide variety of situations involving firearms, safety, seasons, game and bird animals etc. Game laws in other states are no easier to follow than Pa. I think there are other reasons for decreasing license sales, such as other forms of recreation attractive to young people. Despite the availability of public lands to hunt, I believe loss of private land access has had a major impact on license sales and participation. Antler restrictions have been a turn-off to those hunters who do not value trophies as much as… Read more »

    Ed Maryott
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    Ed Maryott

    Columbus, OH –(Ammoland.com)- Pennsylvania is again reaping the rewards of their expanded efforts at recruiting new sportsmen into the fold through their Mentored Youth Hunting Program. This success illustrates the effectiveness of the Families Afield Program, developed by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), at reducing barriers and encouraging the participation of newcomers. As a direct result of the program, Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the number of hunting licenses it has sold. As a direct result of the program, Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the… Read more »