Have you ever had a friend who you know would enjoy hunting if they only had a chance to try it? Or perhaps you’re a non-hunter who has always wanted to go along on a hunt to see what it’s all about. Now you can have your chance. A new law takes effect January 1, 2012, that allows people who are interested in trying hunting or bowhunting an opportunity to do so under the guidance of an experienced hunter without having to take a Hunter Education course first. It’s called the New Hampshire Apprentice Hunting License. Here’s how it works:

The licensed apprentice hunter is allowed to hunt only when accompanied by a properly licensed hunter who is 18 years of age or older. “Accompanied” means maintaining actual physical direction and control — keeping the apprentice within sight and hearing at all times (without use of electronic devices).

The apprentice hunting license is the same price as a regular resident or nonresident hunting license. It can be purchased only at N.H. Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H., or by mail (visit http://www.wildnh.com/Licensing/license_forms.htm).

You can purchase an Apprentice Hunting License only once in your lifetime. It is valid from the date of purchase through the end of the calendar year.

If you want to hunt in a future year, you must first complete a hunter education or bowhunter education course, then buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license. Register for Hunter Education at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm.

“The Apprentice Hunting License is an exciting new opportunity for sharing the hunting experience,” said Steve Weber, Chief of the N.H. Fish and Game Wildlife Division. “Like our successful youth hunting program, in which youngsters go afield under the supervision of an adult mentor, this program is a great way to provide a positive first-time experience for older new hunters who never had the chance to go hunting as a youth.”

In instituting the program, New Hampshire follows the lead of approximately thirty states that have established some kind of apprentice hunting program over the past five years.

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