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DNR Reminds New Hunters to Sign Up for Safety Classes
Michigan Ag Connection - 03/08/2018

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers remind new hunters that it's not too early to sign up for safety classes.

All first-time hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1960, must successfully complete a hunter safety course.

"Michigan offers quality hunting opportunities year-round," said Cpl. Dave Painter of the DNR's Recreational Safety, Education and Enforcement Section. "First-time hunters shouldn't wait until the last minute to sign up for a safety course, especially if they are considering a springtime hunt. The first step in ensuring an enjoyable hunting experience is to know how to do it safely and legally. Classes tend to fill up in the fall, so now's the time to learn."

Painter said that even new hunters who are outside of the age requirement should consider taking a class. Hunter education courses teach responsibility, ethics, firearm safety, wildlife conservation and identification, game care, survival and first aid. Courses are offered across the state throughout the year, though most are conducted from August through October.

"It's also helpful when an experienced hunter takes a class with a new hunter," Painter said. "This is a great way to show support and mentor the new hunter into Michigan's rich hunting tradition."

A course typically is comprised of two to five sessions with a total class time of 10 to 12 hours. Classes usually are conducted at outdoor clubs, schools, police stations and camps. In addition to traditional classroom courses, home-study and online courses -- which use a self-paced method followed by a field day of material review and testing -- are available.

Students who elect to take an online or home-study course should contact an instructor prior to the course to ensure availability of the required field day. Students must successfully complete both the online or home-study course and the field day to earn their hunter education safety certificate.

Online vendors are fee-based and there may be a minimal charge for classes and field days.

Hunter education is a partnership between the DNR Law Enforcement Division and more than 2,500 volunteer instructors. The program is funded through federal Pittman-Robertson Act taxes on sporting firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.

In addition to taking a safety course, Painter encourages all hunters to review the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest for other essential information before taking to the field.

Visit michigan.gov/huntereducation for more information on hunter education and to find a class near you.

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