June 3, 2019

Maine: Legislators Discuss Apprentice Hunting Program at Caucus Luncheon

Contact Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator

On May 30, the Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted another Caucus luncheon, which was attended by Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) New England States Coordinator Joe Mullin, along with several in-state and national conservation organizations and industry-related partners.

With the majority of bills having made their way through committees, members had the opportunity to discuss their communal efforts thus far and what steps must be taken in the remaining weeks of the legislative session. One such topic of discussion was the effectiveness of the state’s apprentice hunting license program and ways to expand the general public’s understanding and appreciation for such opportunities as well as ways that Maine can advance the program in the future.

Apprentice hunting licenses offer individuals the opportunity to participate in a hunt under the direct tutelage of a licensed hunter before having to complete a hunter’s education course. Several Caucus members shared success stories of recruiting new participants to hunting through this apprentice program and advocated for the need to promote its effectiveness towards creating life-long hunters and license buyers.

CSF has long-promoted the benefits of apprentice hunting licenses and efforts towards encouraging novice hunter participation at any age. They offer apprentice hunters the chance to partake in hands-on learning experiences and provide the motivation to complete a formal hunting education course.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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