Don't Wait to Take Hunter Safety Class

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is encouraging would-be hunters to sign up and take their mandatory Hunter Safety Course this summer and not wait until the fall. This time of year provides the best opportunity to get into a class as slots are more readily available. During hunting season and just prior, classes usually fill up fast.

The FWC Hunter Safety Course, or similar approved course by another state, province or organization, is a requirement to obtaining a Florida hunting license for anyone born on or after June 1, 1975. Even though the course is not required for persons born before that date, it is recommended, especially for beginning hunters.

Classes are taught throughout the state by certified volunteer instructors who teach firearm safety and laws, basic hunting terminology, conservation, safe hunting practices, outdoor ethics, wildlife identification and management, survival, field first aid and the Florida Wildlife Code. The course is free and prepares sportsmen for a safer, more rewarding experience while in the outdoors.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up to take a Hunter Safety Course or you may have a hard time getting into a class,” said Bill Cline, program administrator. “A large number of courses are being offered statewide this summer, and it’s best to try to get into one while more space is available. Then, when hunting season gets here, you’ll be ready to go.”

The Florida Hunter Safety Course meets all the requirements for hunter safety training throughout North America. It also is essential for Floridians who wish to hunt in most other states or in Canada and need to purchase a non-resident license.

The course is available to be taken in a classroom setting, and it is offered in all of the state’s 67 counties. In addition to the traditional in-class course, hunters now have the option of taking most of the classroom instruction online or on compact disc, without leaving home.

However, hunters who choose the Internet or CD-ROM version must take an additional three hours in the classroom; successfully pass a written exam; and participate in a field-day class that includes live-firing instruction on a shooting range.

“Don’t wait to take the class, and make arrangements now to sign up for one this summer,” Cline said.

For more information on the Hunter Safety Program or to learn when the next available class or field day will be offered in your area, contact your local FWC office or visit MyFWC.com/huntersafety.