Nebraska Closes Apprentice Hunter Program Loophole
Gov. Heineman has signed into law a bill that closes a loophole on language pertaining to the Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate.
Statutes had stated that a hunter holding an Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate must be accompanied by a licensed person age 19 or older. With the passage of LB 871, the accompanying person, if ages 19 through 29, must have firearm hunter education certification if hunting with a firearm or crossbow, or bow hunter education certification if hunting with a bow and arrow. An accompanying person age 30 or above would not be required to have certification.
This law closes a loophole in which two people who do not have hunter education certification could each obtain an Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate and be able to accompany each other.
The new law goes into effect July 14.
"The legislative intent of the Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate has always been to allow an experienced hunter to take someone hunting for the first time," said Mike Streeter, hunter education coordinator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. "The goal was to allow a novice to try hunting under strict supervision to ensure that safety, ethical behavior and responsibility were practiced.
"If the novice expressed interest in pursuit of the experience in the future he or she then could devote the time to obtain a certificate of completion for the respective hunter and/or bow hunter education course, meeting all of the legal education requirements of hunters in Nebraska."