Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director
On September 28, Governor Henry McMaster signed legislation into law that expands the apprentice hunting license program.
House Bill 3800 passed the Senate on September 17 after the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and partners in the Families Afield coalition worked with the South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) to support the legislation’s advancement in the upper chamber. The bill previously passed the House on April 3, 2019, and the bill’s movement during the special session that was focused on budget and COVID-19 related items is a significant win for the sportsmen’s community.
Sponsored by Caucus Member Representative Bobby Cox, the legislation (effective 60 days after the Governor’s approval) will remove the limitation on the number of apprentice hunting licenses that a person may purchase. Currently, individuals are prohibited from purchasing more than one apprentice hunting license. As an important tool for recruiting novice hunters, apprentice licenses provide newcomers with an opportunity to hunt on a “try-before-you-buy” basis under the supervision of an experienced and licensed hunter.
“I’m proud that this important bill for recruiting the next generation of hunters was signed into law, and I would like to thank my colleagues in the Caucus for supporting the legislation,” said Rep. Bobby Cox.
CSF would again like to express our sincere appreciation to the members of the Caucus, particularly Senator Chip Campsen and Representative Bobby Cox for their work championing this important legislation.
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?