Harrisburg, March 19, 2013 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today applauded unanimous Senate support for a bill that would enable the Pennsylvania Game Commission to establish an adult mentored hunting program.

“A mentored hunting program can encourage more adults to give hunting a try,” Fontana said. “By providing more of an incentive for people to get out there in the field to see if they like the sport, the program could spur greater interest in hunting.”

Fontana said he is concerned by the drop of hunting licenses in Pennsylvania — traditionally one of the strongest hunting states in the nation. From 2006 to 2011, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report revealed that the number of licensed hunters in Pennsylvania dropped from 945,892 to 933,208.

The bill (Senate Bill 623) mirrors legislation Fontana (Senate Bill 140) of the current session) authored during the last four sessions. The proposal would allow the commission to waive the license cost for someone interested in the sport to accompany a licensed hunter on an outing. The program would likely be structured similar to the state’s successful mentored youth hunting program. That program was established in 2006.

Fontana, who previously served as Democratic chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, said he will continue to support efforts that encourage more people to enjoy hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.

The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.

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