Pete Davison, Hunter Ed Coordinator: (603) 271-0459
Lisa Collins, Hunter Ed Secretary: (603) 271-3214
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
February 25, 2009
Time to Sign Up for Hunter Education
CONCORD, N.H. -- Right now is prime time to sign up to take a hunter education class. To purchase your first hunting license in New Hampshire, you must complete a hunter education course before you can hunt. Individuals 16 years old and older need a hunting license to hunt in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department offers Hunter and Bowhunter Education classes around the state, as well as Trapper Education. To find a class, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_schedule.htm or call (603) 271-3214.
"If you want to go hunting this spring and need to take a Hunter or Bowhunter education class to get your first license, the time is now," says Pete Davison, Hunter Education Coordinator for Fish and Game. "You'll also be all set for the fall if you take a course now, when there are lots of dates and locations to choose from."
The basic Hunter Education course averages about 16 hours of classroom instruction, hands-on demonstrations, small group activities and a live-fire experience on a shooting range. A Bowhunter Education course typically runs for 8 - 10 hours, both in and out of the classroom. Courses are taught by trained, certified volunteer instructors according to national guidelines and state standards. Classes cover safe handling and identification of firearms, bows and arrows; wildlife identification and management; shot placement; hunter ethics and responsibility; outdoor safety and survival; and hunting rules and regulations. Each class concludes with a written test, and firearm courses include a practical field exam. Students must successfully pass these tests to receive a hunter or bowhunter certification card.
In 2008, volunteer instructors held 151 classes for basic Hunter, Bowhunter and Trapper education around the state, taught by more than 550 trained volunteer instructors. More than 3,600 people were certified in hunter, bowhunter and trapper education last year in New Hampshire. Classes are already underway for 2009.
Hunter education instruction and course materials are provided free of charge; instructors may charge up to $5 per student to cover the use of facilities. To receive a certificate of completion in basic Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education, participants must be at least 12 years old by the end of the course.
In addition to traditional classes, Fish and Game offers a home-study option for completing the Hunter Education requirement. This option takes about the same amount of time as a classroom course. Initial preparation is done at home; participants then attend a required field day involving a written exam and field skills testing. There are specific deadlines for signing up for the home study option, and space is limited. Home-study course participants must be at least 15 years old. For a list of home study sessions, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_homestudy.htm or call (603) 271-3214.
"New Hampshire's hunter safety record is one of best in the country," Davison said. "A big part of this success is because Hunter Education instructors teach their students how to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters."
Hunter Education courses provided by Fish and Game are funded by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.
For more information on hunter education in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm.