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Pa. Game Commission to expand mentored hunter program

Mentored hunters will soon be able to pursue waterfowl and bears in addition to other select species.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Commission is expanding a program to give more opportunities to mentored hunters. Mentored hunters in Pa. will now be able to hunt waterfowl and bears in addition to the species they are already able to hunt through the mentored hunter program. 

The Pa. Board of Game Commissioners adopted the new rules on July 24. Mentored hunters seven years and older will be able to purchase their own bear licenses while those under seven must receive a bear license through transfer from an adult mentor. 

All ages hunting waterfowl will need their own migratory bird license, in addition to their mentored hunting permit. Finally, the changes will allow mentored hunters seven and older to buy their own special spring turkey license. 

Bob D'Angelo with the Pa. Game Commission told FOX43 the changes come as a way to get more youth involved in hunting. 

"Not just in Pennsylvania, but nationwide, hunters are dropping off, or new hunters are not coming into the hunting tradition," D'Angelo said. "A lot of that has to do with kids wanting to play video games and that kind of thing. So, the Game Commission's aware of that and are trying to present opportunities to get more people involved, not just youngsters, but youngsters are a big part of it."

While the Board of Game Commissioners adopted the new measures, they will not become effective until they are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which typically takes about 6 to 8 weeks. 

With the additional opportunities, mentored hunters will be able to hunt rabbits, hares, ruffed grouse, mourning doves, bobwhite quail, pheasants, crows, squirrels, porcupines, woodchucks, coyotes, deer, waterfowl, bears, and wild turkeys in the coming seasons.

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