Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Getting a Good Education - For Bowhunters
Recently, I have had a few new bowhunters ask me where they can find out about taking the CA Bowhunter Safety Course. Back in NY we had to sit through a Saturday class. It seemed long when I was 14, but in reality it was great. I got to hear some great stories, I learned an incredible amount from the two guys giving the course and we got to 'follow a blood-trail' in preparation for hunting. Nowadays you can go online and take a course. The National Bowhunter Education Foundation has some great information and the site will show you what courses are being given locally.

Here's an excerpt from the About Us on the NBEF website:
"Over 25 years ago a group of bowhunters met who were all members of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA).  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss New Jersey native, Bill Wadsworth’s bowhunter education program.  In 1969, Bill had written the course for the New York State Field Archers and Bowhunters Association and now wanted to take the program nationwide.  After intense discussion, the group decided to follow Bill’s advise and help take the program nationwide.  Originally, bowhunter education functioned as a separate committee of the NFAA.  This committee was known as the Bowhunting and Conservation Division of the NFAA.  Ten years later, bowhunter education was larger than any other single organization of bowhunters and with the blessing of the NFAA, the NBEF became a totally separate and independent 501 c 3 nonprofit foundation.  On October 13, 1979, the first volunteer board of directors for the National Bowhunter Education Foundation met at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky.  It was during that historic meeting that the group formally adopted the course (known as the International Bowhunter Education Program) which Bill had started 10 years earlier."
You can take the California Bowhunting Safety and Bowhunter Education Course where you can take a practice test before the real deal. They give you this info right on the first page:

Online Bowhunter Education Home Study Steps

  1. Study the Today’s Bowhunter material in each chapter and then complete the chapter review questions. Re-study any material you may have answered incorrectly.
  2. When you have studied all eight chapters, take the Practice Test as many times as you like—free of charge—to ensure you've mastered the course material. A different set of questions is presented each time you take the Practice Test.
  3. Then if you wish to qualify for admittance to a Field Day, take the Field Day Qualifier Exam. There is a $20.00 charge for taking the online exam. The $20.00 is collected whether you pass or fail. A score of 80% is required for passing this exam. (This fee covers use of the online course materials and costs of administering the online exam. The entire fee is retained by Kalkomey, Inc. and the NBEF.)
  4. Upon passing the Field Day Qualifier Exam, you can print out your official NBEF Field Day Qualifier Voucher. To determine locations and dates of Field Day events as well as contact information, visit the California Department of Fish and Game bowhunter education web page.

I highly recommend that any new or upcoming bowhunter head over there and soak up as much as you can. Ask other hunters about their experiences and maybe they'll help you out getting started. Feel free to ask me, too. I don't know everything and I am always learning, but I'll share what I can to help anyone. Shoot straight!

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