With hunting seasons not far off, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reminds new hunters to be sure to enroll in a hunter education course to acquire the necessary certification to purchase a hunting license this fall.
“Don’t let your hunting plans be spoiled by forgetting to take that all-important hunter education course,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
NSSF suggests that you check with your state’s wildlife agency to find a class that is convenient for you to attend, keeping in mind that a class may take up to 16 to 18 hours to complete. A commitment to multiple evenings or a weekend will be necessary depending on the state you live in and the course you take, though the investment in time will be well worth it. The NSSF website www.huntinfo.org provides links to each state’s wildlife agency and can help you locate a class.
If you miss out on enrolling in an on-site, state agency-sponsored class, another option is an online, study-at-home component offered for free by some state agencies or for a fee by a private company.
In nearly every state, proof of having taken a hunter education course usually is required to purchase a hunting license. Requirements do vary, however, so prospective hunters should check with their state’s agency.
If you’re planning to take a newcomer hunting with you this fall, check your state’s hunting regulations on the requirements. Many states now offer apprentice hunting licenses that allow both novice youth and adults to try hunting with a licensed adult mentor prior to taking a hunter education course. Nearly 800,000 apprentice hunting licenses have been purchased nationwide thanks to Families Afield, a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and National Wild Turkey Federation that has improved opportunities for newcomers to hunt in 33 states.
“It is the duty of every sportsman and woman to hunt safely and responsibly, and the best way to understand how to accomplish that is by taking a hunter education course,” said Dolnack. “Taking a course is not just for inexperienced hunters. The class can serve as a good refresher for veteran hunters about their state’s regulations and a reminder about showing respect for wildlife, the land, landowners and other hunters.”
A number of NSSF education brochures are used in hunter education courses, including “Firearms Safety Depends on You,” “Hunter Ethics,” “The Hunter and Conservation” and the “Hunter Pocket Fact Card.” These and other materials, including firearm safety and wildlife conservation videos, are available at www.nssf.org/hunting.
Logo courtesy of the NSSF