Hunter Education Class
Amber with her Hunter Safety Card - Shorts, patch and eyes are color coordinated :)
In 1991, the Alabama Legislature passed legislation that requires all first time hunting license buyers born on or after August 1, 1977 to complete a hunter education course prior to purchasing their first hunting license. Alabama is one of 49 states that has a mandatory hunter education program. The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries expects approximately 13,000 students to complete the Hunter Education Course this year alone. The goal of the Hunter Education Program is to make Alabama hunters more responsible and more knowledgeable about wildlife conservation.
I joined a hunting club in Tennessee this year (2003) - Tennessee has a Youth Only deer hunt on November 1st and 2nd that's open to all youth. At the age of 10, all Tennessee youth big-game hunters must have a Hunter Education Certificate. Amber turned 10-years old in June and must complete the course to hunt deer in Tennessee this season. Amber and I completed the CDROM class and then attended the field day. I've been hunting, some form of critter, all my life and I learned a lot from taking the class.
The CDROM takes 20 hours or so to complete. One of the departments I manage develops software, I was impressed by the quality of the software product. It's well put together. You can pickup a free copy at different locations and it's well worth going through even if you don't plan to attend the class. The program has 15 or so different areas and you can complete them as time allows. We completed the program over a couple of weeks at night. We'd finish a section and then get the items together and go over it hands-on.
We completed the CDROM and took the 50 question test at the completion of the different sections.
Once you've completed the CDROM program, signup for a field day and print out the test results to carry to the field day testing class. The test results from the CDROM program is not used for a grade just to show you've completed the CDROM program.
At the field day, they have a couple of speakers and then get started with the testing. Each student takes a 50 question written test and must pass seven stations of knowledge.
The Seven Stations:
Archery - longbow, recurve, crossbow and compound
Treestands - hanging and climbing
Blackpowder - percussion and flintlock
Modern Firearms - Lever, break-open, bolt and semi-auto
Shotguns - Pump and semi-auto
Each station is pass or fail. The instructor will ask each student 5-10 questions pertaining to the subject matter. The student must demonstrate certain things. In the Modern Firearms station, they must load and unload each type of firearm and answer questions about each. At the Firearm Handling station, they must demonstrate the 6 firearm carrying positions, 4 shooting positions and how to cross a fence alone and with another hunter. The stations do not count toward your grade but you must pass each station to pass the class.
The 50 question written test generates your grade for the class - each question counts two points.
It was really cool! Amber loved the CDROM program and studying for the class. She made a 92 for the class!!!
I would highly recommend the class even if you've been hunting for many years.