Communities across the nation are gearing up for hunting season and this means both new and seasoned hunters should inquire about hunting license and safety education requirements for their state. In many states, a hunter’s safety course is a requirement before a person can get a hunting license.
Hunter education courses are packed with solid advice even veteran outdoorsmen can use. A refresher course on the basics of gun safety never hurt anyone. Safety courses have become more thorough and strict since they were first introduced. They now cover more than just hunting. Many discuss wilderness survival and first aid techniques, game identification and how to properly field dress and store game.
The courses still cover firearm safety and how to use and identify various firearms. Black powder and modern substitutes are covered in the primitive weapons section. With the advent of modern in-line muzzle loaders, the discussion covers flintlocks through 209 primer ignition firearms. Rimfire and centerfire rifles, shotguns and handguns are examined in their various permutations.
Archery and the various kinds of bows are discussed with emphasis put on broadhead safety.
Fortunately, many states allow prospective hunters to take education courses online. While the test may be delivered in person from a certified instructor, the online hunter safety course lets students learn the material at their own pace.
Online education also has another distinct advantage over live classroom instruction. If a student needs to cover certain material again, they can. A young hunter can also take practice tests online.
Older hunters can take some time to go over the information as well. As state-specific courses also cover some of the game laws, a veteran outdoorsman might learn about changes to the law.
While nothing replaces actual hands-on experience, video is a good choice to further instill a lesson. Watching someone demonstrate is one of the best ways to learn.
Hunting is Safe
Thanks in large part to education efforts, shooting is one of the safest sports around. The National Shoot Sports Foundation issued a report showing that hunting with firearms has an injury rate of around .05 percent. That’s one injury per 2,000 people participating. The same study shows only camping at .01 percent and billiards at .02 percent have better safety records for the most popular sports in the nation.
Since hunter safety certificates are required, most states have reciprocal agreements for this. Pass the test in one state and another state will honor the certificate.
For more information about hunter safety education courses near you, check with your state Wildlife Agency or Department of Natural Resources.