With the Fall Hunting seasons upon us, Hunter Safety Education has reached a milestone, with the number of students completing the hunter safety course surpassing the 200,000 mark.
"Hunter Education Courses are one of the primary reasons that hunting is one of the nation's safest sports," said R. Dan Martin, Commissioner, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. "Our instructors have done a remarkable job in educating a generation of hunters."
In 1986, the legislature mandated a law requiring all new hunting license holders to successfully complete a hunter education course before getting their license. Prior to that, attendance at hunter safety courses was optional.
Each year, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife provides more than 350 courses on hunting with firearms, bow and arrow, and trapping. These are attended by roughly 7,500 students and taught by over 800 volunteer trained instructors. Other safety courses taught by Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife trained instructors include boating, snowmobiles, and ATVs.
The basic Hunter Education course averages about 12 hours of classroom instruction. Each course is taught by trained, certified volunteer instructors according to national guidelines and state standards. The course covers safe firearms handling; wildlife management; game trailing, recovery and care; hunter ethics and responsibility; outdoor safety and survival skills; and map and compass skills.
If you are interested in finding out about course availability in your areas, log on to the department website at www.mefishwildlife.com. The website is updated every Friday afternoon, or call the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at 287-8000.
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