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Hunter education aims at adults
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Hunter education course content

The course content for the hunter education program includes all of the following:

- Our hunting heritage, hunting firearms and equipment.

- Understanding firearms and basic safety rules for hunters and shooters.

- Proper care, cleaning and storage of firearms and equipment.

- Marksmanship fundamentals.

- Responsibilities of hunters for our environment, wildlife, landowners and others.

- Wildlife identification and habits.

- Field care of harvested game.

- Handling outdoor emergencies.

- Wildlife management, law enforcement and the student's role in the future of hunting.

- How hunting accidents are caused, and how they can be prevented.

Veteran instructors Dan Syvrud and Barry King are taking a different approach to hunter education this year by offering an Internet course, followed by a field day exercise.

"We set this up for adults that may want to go to a different state to hunt or who are taking up the sport later in life," Syvrud said.

They will not turn away younger people, but he points out another traditional classroom course will be offered later Sept. 25 and 26.

He expects the Internet option may draw considerable interest and urges interested individuals to give him or King a call to pre-register as soon as possible. Contact Syvrud at (608) 482-0841, or King at (608) 482-0191. Registration is limited to 25.

Registrants will be advised on how to access the course and a timeline for getting the course work complete prior to the field day, scheduled for Aug. 28. On that date, students will take both the written and practical portions of the exam and receive their hunter safety certificates.

The field day will include a variety of instructions such as gun carrying procedures and crossing fences or other obstacles. Included will be the four basic rules of gun safety: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded; be certain of your target and what lies beyond it; always point the muzzle in a safe direction; and, keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation notes that summer is the perfect time to take a hunter education course.

"Don't have your fall hunting plans spoiled by forgetting to take that all-important hunter education course," said NSSF Senior Vice President Chris Dolnack. Hunter education graduates receive a certificate that is accepted in every state, Canadian province and Mexico, he notes.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973 must have completed a hunter education course and show the certificate to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin. Young people who complete the hunter education course and receive a certificate are eligible to hunt and use firearms without supervision at age 14. The basic course consists of 10 lessons.

The hunter education course is open to anyone. Department of Natural Resources officials point out, however, that people younger than 12 may lose some benefits, including authorization for a free small game hunting license.

Course objectives aim to reduce the potential for hunting accidents, injuries and fatalities; reduce the potential for conflict between hunters, landowners and other resource users; and, promote safe, responsible and ethical use of our resources.

The average length of the regular course is 18 hours, but adult learners may be able to prepare for the final exams in less time by taking the Internet course. The field day will take approximately eight hours.

"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," Dolnack said. "In addition to beginning hunters, the class can serve as a good refresher for veteran hunters regarding their states' regulations," he added.

More information about the hunter education program is available at

- Lee Fahrney is the Monroe Times outdoors writer. He can be reached at (608) 967-2208 or at