If there’s one thing that can turn each experience in the field into a safe a productive one, it is hunter education.
Hunting happens to be one of the nation’s favorite pastime. It is great if you are out enjoying it or intend to do so. However, we’d recommend that you prep for it accordingly, too. It may be a great adventure in the great outdoors, but without education, you take an unnecessary risk.
In most states, people born in 1960 must take a hunter safety course. Completion is the only way they can get a hunting license in their state. The rule also stands if they are going to be hunting out of state. But what does such a course entail?
Hunter safety courses
For starters, you must complete at least 10 hours both in the classroom and doing fieldwork. You may divide the hours in a way that suits you best. For instance, you could complete them over the weekend. Alternatively, you can spread them out and attend as you get the time. You’ll find that hunter safety classes are available at a variety of locations statewide.
The curriculum itself doesn’t focus on one thing. Instead, it is designed to cover the rudimentary in various topics, including firearm safety, hunting ethics, archery safety, conservation, survival, wildlife management, and hunting regulations.
On completion, a student will have to sit for an exam. While you will have to pay for the course, the cost cannot exceed $10.00.
Some people don’t think the traditional classroom style suits them. They can forego it and opt for a home-study hunter education instead. The only requirement they must fulfill is registered for a field day class before they begin their course at home. However, a home study may not be an option everywhere. You may want to check the natural resources website in your state to find out more.
Finally, to make it even more accessible, in many places, an online course is also an option. Similar to the rules for the home study classes, you must register and attend a field day class before you attempt it. You will also have to pay the fees associated with online hunter education. Your state’s natural resources department can guide you best in this matter too.
But what is the purpose of hunter safety classes?
What hunter education is about?
Such a course encourages both beginner and veteran hunters to get involved in hunting. Moreover, it teaches you the skills and sciences that are essential to your survival and that of hunting. We cover some of the philosophies behind the course below:
You can be as skillful and knowledgeable as a hunter as you want. But without learning to behave responsibly, you will miss the chance of becoming a real hunter.
Being responsible refers to treating other hunters with courtesy, respecting them, yourself, and the wildlife, as well as, showing involvement. After you complete the course, you will know that responsible hunters won’t poach or act carelessly. They obey the laws that govern hunting, act fairly, and comply with the rules of safe hunting.
The safety skills related to hunting are also a part of your classes. You can only make them habitual for yourself if you go through hands-on training and practice. In your course, you get that knowledge from an experienced hunter.
Firearm safety is the most important thing you will learn in a hunter education course. It can be intimidating for people who didn’t grow up watching their parents carry a .45 caliber pistol or haven’t visited an indoor gun range. If you are one of them, think about firearm safety like you feel about driving.
By learning how to operate a vehicle, you took the fear out of driving. That is what a firearm safety course teaches you too!
Besides how to use a gun, you will also learn about gun storage in your hunting safety class.
Another crucial part that your hunter education course will touch on is how to hunt game ethically. While your instructor may approach this topic as a discussion, you shouldn’t let it end there.
As a hunter, you should keep this issue in the forefront of your mind. That is the only way you will be able to hunt ethically.
Many hunters describe what they consider ethical hunting in different ways. However, most of them will tell you that the basic tenets remain the same. It is crucial, for instance, that an ethical hunter understands and respects the game.
Secondly, they must practice fair chase and respect the grounds and other hunters when following their prey. Thirdly, hunters must always obey the laws of the state and the grounds where they happen to. All of this makes for hunting safely.
Most of the points about ethics are self-explanatory. But you may be confused about what fair chase means. It is, of course, referring to pursuing an animal without an unfair advantage. True hunters like retaining the challenge in the equation. Therefore, they will always be against a massive advantage that may remove it and make the endeavor less sporting.
So, here are our final thoughts on hunter education. A degree in any subject can’t provide you with the golden key to a successful career. Similarly, hunter education won’t make you a master hunter. That’s because it wasn’t designed to achieve that. Instead, it is going to provide you with a foundation of skills and ethics, which will serve as resources for your experiences afield.
The best thing about hunter safety classes is that they are a result of hunter educators across the country working hard. Their aim is creating courses and classes that fit the demographics of all their students.
You will find there are courses for adults only. But you will also discover classes for children as young as 10-12. Just open yourself to gaining knowledge when you walk into your class, and you will be surprised at how much you enjoy yourself!
Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.