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The passing of proper gun safety and handling protocol from generation to generation is a time-honored tradition. One of the best ways to do that is in the field on the hunt, since encouraging responsible hunting at an early age leads to responsible attitudes towards the environment, safety and personal accountability—as well as tremendous self-confidence.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign legislation passed by the state’s House of Representatives that will allow new hunters to go afield under the guidance of a licensed adult mentor before taking a hunter education course. Upon the bill’s signing, North Carolina will become the 35th state to enact Families Afield legislation.

The law will establish a Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permit that is available to persons of all ages, making it possible for youth or adult newcomers to try hunting if accompanied by a licensed adult hunter or a license-exempt landowner.

While Families Afield was designed to encourage youth to try hunting, an unexpected benefit of the program is that it has created both an interest and a pathway for adults to experience hunting before committing to the comprehensive hunter education course.

Families Afield-style legislation has led to more than 1 million apprentice hunting licenses being purchased nationally since the program’s inception in 2004.

Learn more at NSSF.org.

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