Increased Pa Hunting License Sales the Success of Families Afield
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.
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.