First Hunter Heritage Bill Signed Into Law
Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) today rejoiced in the signing of the first of two bills that make up the “Hunter Heritage” package by Governor Rick Snyder. House Bill 4371, sponsored by Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle) and signed today by Governor Snyder, was one of the 2011 legislative priorities for MUCC.
The bill directs the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to create and implement a Mentored Youth Hunt Program that allows aspiring youth hunters to join their parents and relatives outdoors to take part in the heritage, safety, and traditions that have been a part of Michigan’s history for centuries.
The bill will also allow Michigan families to recruit young hunters by placing their safety and proper hunting techniques at the forefront. House Bill 4371 was modeled after a similar Pennsylvania law that has increased hunter recruitment in that state while also promoting safety at a young age.
The Hunter Heritage legislation in Michigan was sparked by Rob Miller, of Byron Center, MUCC member and chair of its Wildlife Committee, who passed a resolution requesting legislation to create a youth hunt program at MUCC’s annual convention in 2010.
Miller said that the positive effects of the Youth Hunt Program could go beyond the state recruiting more hunters. “This is a really positive solution for our state as a whole,” said Miller. “Not only can this program help us recruit and retain more hunters, but it is another avenue for children to get active outdoors while leaning about safety, conservation principles, and respect for our natural resources.”
MUCC Executive Director Erin McDonough was thrilled to be on hand as Gov. Snyder signed the MUCC initiative into law. “We could not be more excited for the future of hunting and conservation in our state. The more we can get our youth safely involved in the outdoors and our heritage, the better chance we have of preserving our heritage and natural resources for future generations.