Oklahoma Has Last Chance for Hunters Ed Before Season

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Time is running out for would-be deer gun hunters needing to take a hunter education course. With deer gun season just a matter of days away, the opportunities to complete a hunter education class are dwindling by the day.

"In the next couple of weeks there are more than 20 hunter education classes around the state, but they are filling up fast and I would encourage folks to sign for a class very soon," said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

For a complete list of hunter education classes, sportsmen can log onto the Departmen's Web site –www.wildlifedepartment.com/courses.htm. All classes are free of charge.

"One of the worst parts of my job is having to tell kids or even adults on the day before gun season that they can't buy a deer license because they did not complete a hunter education class. That is one of the reasons I want anyone who even thinks they might go deer hunting to sign up for the next class they can attend," Meek added.

Anyone under 16 years of age must successfully complete a hunter education course before hunting big game (deer, elk, antelope) during primitive firearm and gun seasons. The law also requires that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1972, upon reaching 16 years of age, must exhibit a hunter education certificate from the Wildlife Department or a like certificate from another state to purchase or receive any Oklahoma hunting license.

Hunters born after the above date who purchased a lifetime license before they turned 16 must complete a hunter education class before the can hunt big game with a firearm unless otherwise exempt. For complete information on hunting seasons and hunter education requirements, hunters should pick up a copy of the "2006-07 Oklahoma Hunting Guide."