Nebraska Hunter Apprentice Law Signed by Governor

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A new law allows Nebraskans more flexibility in sharing their hunting adventures with their children.

Gov. Dave Heineman on Thursday signed into law LB 690, which created the Hunter Apprentice Exemption Certificate. A signing ceremony was held in the governor's office at the state capitol, with Dr. Mark Pinkerton, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner, in attendance.

The Hunter Apprentice Exemption Certificate may be issued to any nonhunter, ages 12 through 29, who wishes to try hunting in Nebraska and has not yet completed the required Hunter and/or Bow Hunter Education course. The certificate only can be issued once during a person's lifetime, with one renewal, for a fee of $5. The certificate expires Dec. 31 of the year in which it was issued.

The new law allows hunters ages 12 through 29 more opportunities to try the sport before investing time in the state's Hunter and or Bow Hunter Education Program. "The Commission feels this new action will help more persons to begin hunting under a qualified mentor, soon finding their way into a Hunter and or Bow Hunter Education class." said Jeff Rawlinson, assistant administrator in the Commission's Information and Education Division.

A person hunting with a Hunter Apprentice Exemption Certificate must have the required valid hunting permit or stamp and be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is at least 19 years old. The person accompanying the hunter must be in unaided verbal and visual contact at all times and may not accompany more than two persons at one time.

As in the past, Hunter Education is not required by youth under age 12 as long as the youth is accompanied at all times while hunting, but the new law also allows a person at least age 30 to hunt without taking a Hunter and/or Bow Hunter Education course. A person must be at least 11 to take the Hunter Education course.

With the new law, anyone ages 12 through 29 who is hunting antelope, deer, elk or bighorn sheep with a bow and arrow is required to have either proof of successful completion of a Bow Hunter Education course or an Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate, along with the appropriate hunting permit and stamp. The requirements are the same under the bow hunter statute as under the firearm statute regarding the person accompanying the apprentice hunter.

LB 690 also:

-- allows the hunting of deer by a person at least age 10, and a person age 10 or 11 must be accompanied at all times while hunting, by an experienced licensed hunter age 19 or older, and a person age 12 through 15 must be supervised by a person who is at least 19 and has a valid hunting permit.

-- limits the number of individuals ages 12 through 15 hunting deer, antelope, elk or mountain sheep that may be supervised at any one time by a licensed hunter 19 years of age or older to no more than two.

For more information, contact Hunter Education Coordinator Mike Streeter at the Commission, (402) 471-6134 or