This weekend I participated in a Hunter’s Safety Education Class in California as a first step in becoming a knowledgeable and ethical hunter. For anyone that is looking to get into the world of sport hunting or would just like to know more about bow or firearm safety, this is a great class. This class is a requirement for all 50 states in order to purchase a hunting license, though each state has it’s own set of rules and regulations for gun ownership and harvesting animals.
There are a couple of ways to go about becoming hunting certified. One is to take the class that I just took, a 14-hour two-day class where at the end of day two you take a 100-question test and you receive your certificate to be able to buy your license. Or if you are in one of the 28 states that offer this, you can take the test online where at the completion of the test you print out a certificate and you then attend a 4-hour class to receive your official certificate to purchase a hunting license.
The class teaches us to be responsible, ethical and knowledgeable hunters and to respect our surroundings. For those that are interested in harvesting animals, you have to take into consideration that not everyone likes the idea of harvesting animals. So it is important to be respectful of others by not bragging about your latest harvest, properly transporting the animal(s) so that others do not have to see them and respecting their views. As hunters we need to educate others as to why we hunt and why it is not a terrible sport. Hunting associations do their part to support wildlife habitats and help to manage animal populations to make sure that these habitats can support the animals that survive in them. Groups that rebuild habitats to rebuild decreased populations and groups that use the fees that are collected for taking these classes and buying a license to fund these conservation and preservation projects.
In summary by becoming certified and eligible to purchase a hunting license you support the very wildlife you hunt and the habitat that they need to survive, flourish and be around for generations to come.
Visit the International Hunters Education Association for more details, courses and individual state requirements.