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Nebraska Governor Signs Law to Increase Hunter Recruitment

(Lincoln, NE) - A Families Afield bill that will help to ensure the future of our hunting heritage has been signed into law by Governor Dave Heineman.

The measure, LB 690 introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer, I-Valentine, creates an apprentice hunter education exemption certificate allowing experienced hunters the ability to take a newcomer hunting before the completion of a hunter education course. The bill also lowers the deer hunting age for mentored youth from 12 to 10.

"This law opens the door for the next generation of hunters in Nebraska," said Governor Heineman. "It is critical to the future of conservation and Nebraska's great hunting heritage."

The Families Afield campaign was established by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and National Wild Turkey Federation in 2004 to urge states to eliminate unnecessary hunting age restrictions and ease hunter education mandates for first-time hunters.

"Nebraska continues to show a strong commitment to the next generation of hunters," said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president. "The Families Afield initiative allows tomorrow's hunters to take to the field today while safely experiencing and enjoying our outdoors

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the National Wild Turkey Federation worked with the National Rifle Association and local sportsmen's organizations, to ensure the passage of LB 690.

"The NWTF's grassroots network of volunteers in Nebraska should be commended for their work in the passage of this legislation," said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. "Their dedication to creating opportunities for new hunters has paid off."

Lawmakers in Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Arizona and Oklahoma are also considering Families Afield style legislation this year. Available data from states that have implemented Families Afield initiatives reveals that apprentice hunting license programs brought over 34,000 new hunters, both children and adults, to the field.

"Ultimately parents know far better than the government when their sons and daughters are ready to begin hunting," said Chris Dolnack, Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "This new law gives families the tools to successfully
pass our hunting heritage to the next generation."

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen's organization that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs.
For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website,
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