It's Hunter Education Season

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Most hunting seasons are over, but now is the best season to learn how to hunt.

With midwinter the slowest outdoor period of the year and hunter education classes plentiful it is the best time to take the class. Hunter education is required for everyone born after 1965 to hunt with a firearm in Wyoming and for everyone regardless of age to hunt in Grand Teton National Park or the National Elk Refuge.

Potential students should call (800) 842-1934 or check the gf.state.wy.us Web site for class availability.

More important than the law, says Helen McCracken, Wyoming’s hunter education coordinator, is the ethical field responsibility of all hunters.

“That’s why we encourage hunters of all ages and parents to also take the class with their prospective young hunters,” McCracken said.

But she also encourages students not to wait until early fall to take the class. “As hunting seasons approach, class demand is heavy, the volunteer instructors are getting ready for their own hunting trips and finding a class is difficult,” McCracken said.

February classes are being offered in Cheyenne, Encampment, Evanston, Green River, Lander, Riverton, Sheridan and Wright.

Hunter education covers a lot more than just firearm safety and ethics, she said. Wildlife identification, first aid, survival skills, regulations and hunting tips are also discussed.

She alerts students whose schedule or location makes enrolling in a traditional class difficult, most of the written part of the course can be taken over the Internet. After passing that, attending an on-site “range day” is required to demonstrate safety proficiency and take the final exam required of all hunter education students. For more information call (800) 842-1934 or the gf.state.wy.us Web site.