DNR hunter education administrator, Megan Wisecup, says it allows people to bypass the hunter education requirement while they learn..
She says the program is for people over the age of 16 to try and get them interested in hunting by giving them a chance to go out before they need to invest in any equipment.
Providing supervision is a key part of the apprentice license. “It requires that they have a mentor with them, which is another hunter who is 18 or over and properly licensed as well. And they must maintain direct supervision between that mentor and menteee,” Wisecup says. She says once someone learns more about hunting, they are more likely to continue going out.
“There’s 36 states that currently an apprentice license of some sort in place and they’ve attributed over one million new hunters coming into the fold since those programs went out. So, definitely once they have the opportunity to try it, they get hooked and then they come back and meet the hunter education requirements and successfully hunt on their own,” Wisecup says.
She says they already have thousands of people signed up for the hunter safety courses and hope this program brings in more.
“There’s around 10 to 12,000 that kind of fit in that age group that we are trying to reach out to, so we are kind of hoping we might double or triple that number,” Wisecup says. A person may purchase the apprentice hunting licenses two times without having completed hunter education course. This apprentice program was approved by the Iowa legislature and signed by Governor Terry Branstad during the 2015 legislative session.