Following in the footsteps of the highly popular Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which allows hunters under the age of 12 to participate in limited hunting activities with close adult supervision, the new program will allow new adult hunters experience the sport prior to taking the otherwise necessary Hunter-Trapper Education course.
Designed as a way of recruiting new hunters this program will allow participants to hunt for up to three seasons prior to completing the Hunter-Trapper Education course. During this time the mentored hunter would be allowed to hunt for rabbit, squirrels, hares, ruffed grouse, pheasants, bobwhite quail, porcupine, crow, woodchucks, coyotes, turkey and antlerless whitetail deer. Other species, including antlered whitetail deer, would not be allowed to be hunted for or harvested by mentored hunters.
Mentored hunters would be required to purchase a permit, at a slightly reduced price, and any necessary antlerless tags would be transferred to the hunter from their mentor. Hunters would also be required to stay within eyesight of, and at a close enough distance so that instruction could be clearly received, their mentor.
If, after no more than three seasons, the hunter wished to continue hunting they would be required to complete a Hunter-Trapper Education course and purchase a regular adult license.
The program received initial approval from the Board of Commissioners during the January meeting and final approval is expected at the upcoming April meeting.