Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hunter Education Certification - Are You Prepared?
With the Colorado elk and deer seasons just a few months away and me being a non-resident who plans to hunt elk, I'll have to submit my Hunter Safety Certificate number prior to purchasing a license. If you don't have a certification you have what I see as three choices. You can opt not to hunt at all, you can attend your state safety program and submit your information, or you can take the Hunter Education class that the DOW offers. I would recommend getting it in your home state first because should you choose to take it in CO there is still a 4-hour classroom session and a written test. My point it, get your certification if you plan to hunt out-of-state and do it now if you haven't done so already.

With the April 5 limited license application deadline looming, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and volunteer hunter education instructors are offering more than 100 hunter education classes statewide in March. Since 1970 the agency has required anyone born after 1948 to take hunter education before applying to hunt in Colorado.

Classes range from large classes like the one offered at the Division's Denver headquarters to rural offerings throughout the month in towns like Meeker, Trinidad and Antonito.
 
"Our goal is to make it as convenient as possible for people who need these classes to find one and complete one," said Mark Cousins, Hunter Education Coordinator for the Division of Wildlife.

A complete list of upcoming hunter education course is available on-line at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/CourseCalendar/.

Beyond traditional hunter education classes the Division is also offering internet-based courses which allow students to conduct some of the coursework on-line to help fit busy schedules or allow parents to work with their children. These classes aren't completely on-line as they still require a minimum of four hours of classroom time with an instructor, a live-fire session and a written exam to complete the course. Other hunter education courses are also offered specifically for youth, women or college-aged students.
 
"We recognize that people learn differently and in different environments," Cousins explained. "The important thing is that people find a class that fits their schedule and complete the course. Hunter education is for everyone interested in the outdoors and wildlife."

Colorado began requiring hunter education in 1970 after an average of nine hunting-related fatalities each year through the 1960s. By the 1990s, hunting-related fatalities had dropped to about one per year in the state.
 
"The numbers speak for themselves," Cousins said. "With more than 400,000 hunting licenses sold each year, hunting is one of the safest outdoor participation sports in Colorado."

Volunteers are the core of the Division's hunter education efforts. Courses are taught by volunteer instructors, keeping the cost of taking a course low at just $10.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

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