***UPDATE! North Dakota House Bill 1242 passed unanimously (91-0) from the North Dakota House of Representatives and has a hearing Thursday, March 4, in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee at 2:30 p.m. in the Peace Garden Room.***
North Dakota State Rep. Dave Nehring’s legislation that would allow anyone who purchased an apprentice hunting license in 2020-21 to purchase an apprentice hunting license for an additional year will be heard this week. The bill has come about as a relief opportunity for new and inexperienced hunters trying out hunting for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under current law in North Dakota, an apprentice hunter validation is only valid for one license year in your lifetime.
Take Action Today! North Dakota sportsmen should call their state senators and urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 1242. North Dakota members can contact their legislators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.
Apprentice hunting licenses allow new hunters to try hunting before spending hours in a hunter education class. This “try-before-you-buy” concept allows mentors to instill safety, ethics and their passion for the sport in new hunters in a safe setting while they get to experience the hunt.
This legislation is a great first step in expanding North Dakota’s apprentice hunting opportunities, but there is more opportunity to leverage the apprentice program to increase hunter recruitment in the state. Studies conducted by the Sportsmen’s Alliance in Ohio and Wisconsin found that nearly 91% of people who purchase an apprentice license three times will go on to complete a hunter’s education course. With the end goal of increasing hunter participation, this legislation can be improved by including language that allows anyone to purchase an apprentice license for at least three license years in a lifetime.
“We are glad to see Rep. Nehring is using his office to find unique ways to make it easier for North Dakotans to go afield,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We hope this legislation will provide opportunities for the Alliance to engage and advocate for more advancement of mentored hunting opportunities.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.