Hunter Education Today—Safety And So Much More

My son and my semi adopted daughters took there hunter safety course today and wow has it changed a lot from when I took it back in the Dark Ages. I was totally impressed with how much more has been included in the program to take it from just safety to a complete overview of the state of hunting in this day and age. It truly deserves the title it now has, Hunter Education and I will narrate in the following pictorial some of what we covered. Right out of the gate old doggie was not happy that she was not being included in the days activities as she observed the bee hive of action at 6:00 am in the morning. Sorry there home dog. The Tioga County Sportsman’s club was gracious enough to donate their facilities for the education of these future sportsmen and women so kudos to them. Upon arriving there on what had to be the nicest morning we have had since June the first order of business was to check in the firearms that many of the students had brought. The instructors immediately had the students demonstrate a knowledge of the firearm and demonstrate that it was in a safe mode.  The class had done 4 hours of work already and  upon all the firearms being secured the group was gathered for review and more instruction. Many subjects were covered in the class including safe handling of firearms and a deep respect for the manner in which a moment of carelessness can change many lives. Types of firearms, their parts and capabilities were covered. Ammunition types and how they interact with the firearms were covered. Tree stand safety was covered and the proper use of the safety belts was covered. Habitat, conservation, landowner interaction, posting  and very importantly the great responsibility that they have to be ethical as the newest stewards of gun sports. Much more was covered but these are some of the highlights. Next was a trip to the rifle range where patterning of shotguns and the sighting in procedures for rifles was demonstrated and practiced. Next was some field work on hunting situations such as crossing fences, making sure of targets and what lies beyond them, proper hunting formations and how to assign a team leader, posted signs, encountering other hunters and their equipment, hunting sites and rights to be there also. Now it was time to test their retention of the knowledge and wisdom that had been shown and demonstrated. Upon the completion of the tests the group gathered at the gun range for some hands on blasting of clay birds and a further demonstration of the safe handling of their firearms. Meanwhile the instructors were grading the tests and the result was a 100% graduation of new gun owners and hunters. I hope the smile on my face isn’t spilling out into your home!!! It was fantastic to see so many women becoming involved the hunting and gun sports. A big thanks to the instructors whom gave up their days to teach this class.

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