New Brunswick Hunting Education Courses
Winter in New Brunswick is the perfect time to enroll in one of a number of conservation education courses available throughout the province.
The Department of Natural Resources and its network of about 350 dedicated volunteer instructors currently offer Firearm Safety/Hunter Education (FS/HE), Bow Hunter Education and Trapper Education courses. A Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators course is also available for those interested in providing nuisance wildlife control services to the public.
Who should take the courses, and why?
The FS/HE, Bow Hunter Education, and Trapper Education courses are mandatory for first-time hunters and trappers, all bow hunters, and all persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1981 in order for them meet provincial licensing requirements. The Firearm Safety component of the FS/HE course is required under federal law in order to obtain a Firearms Licence to own, borrow, inherit, or purchase a firearm, or to purchase ammunition. Youth and adults are welcome, and at the time the course is delivered, you must be at least 10 years of age to participate in the Trapper Education course, and 13 for the FS/HE and Bow Hunter Education courses. Conservation education courses offered in NB meet the training requirements of other provinces and states when participants purchase their hunting licenses.
How are courses offered?
Courses are offered through local DNR offices. Depending on the location, they may be held at the DNR office itself, or at some other suitable facility within the community. Most courses are classroom-based and include opportunity for hands-on learning. A typical FS/HE course consists of five-to-six evening sessions scheduled over a two-week period. Trapper courses are 17 hours in length and Bow Hunter Education courses are about eight hours long, and are usually completed in a single weekend. Students 18 years of age or older may be eligible for a home study or challenge option for the FS/HE or a challenge option for Bow Hunter Education. Contact DNR for details. Some courses are followed up by a field day where participants have further opportunity for hands-on learning activities.
When do the courses take place?
Courses are offered throughout the year, but the majority are held in the winter and fall months. A course schedule is available online.
Course fees vary from $40 to $95, depending on the type of course and the participant's age when the course is offered. Student manuals are $10.60 each. Youth 16 years of age or younger can participate in the FS/HE, Bow Hunter Education, and Trapper Education courses for $40, and have their student manuals provided free through a program funded by the Wildlife Trust Fund.
Where to get more information
Client Services Program, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Department of Natural Resources, Fredericton, N.B., 506-453-2440, fax, 506-453-6699. Visit the Department of Natural Resources, client services website at: www.gnb.ca (Keyword: Natural Resources), or the nearest Natural Resources office.