Hunter Education Classes

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With the hunting season fast approaching, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department today issued a reminder that every first-time hunter must complete a mandatory hunter education course. Click here to find a hunter education course near you, or call (603) 271-3214.

"Don't delay in getting signed up for a course, because hunter education instructors are all volunteers. Since the instructors are hunters themselves, once the season begins, they'll be out in the field," said Pete Lester, Hunter Education Administrator for Fish and Game.

The number of hunter education courses offered in New Hampshire intensifies during the late summer and early fall. Each year, approximately 130 classes for basic hunter, bowhunter and trapper education are held in fish and game clubs, churches and camps around the state, taught by more than 550 volunteer instructors trained by N.H. Fish and Game. Over 3,000 people participate in these courses each year.

Fish and Game's Hunter Education course is much more than a "gun safety" class. The mandatory basic course, usually about 16 hours long, consists of classroom instruction and field experiences and usually includes firing on a shooting range. Each course is taught by trained, certified volunteer instructors and the local conservation officer, according to national guidelines and state standards. The course covers safe firearms handling; introduction to muzzleloading and bowhunting; wildlife identification and management; game trailing, recovery and care; hunter ethics and responsibility; outdoor safety and survival skills; and New Hampshire hunting laws.

Hunter Education instruction and course materials are provided free of charge. Some classes may charge a nominal fee ($2 maximum) to cover the use of facilities. To receive a certificate of completion in basic hunter education or bowhunter education, you must be at least 12 years old by the end of the course.

"Today's hunters are better educated than ever before," said Pete Lester. "New Hampshire's Hunter Education Program -- coupled with the voluntary use of hunter orange clothing -- has dramatically helped to reduce the number of hunting-related firearms incidents in the field."