Hunters ed course starts March 21 this year
We are just a few weeks from the start of hunters ed. This year’s class held at the Abbotsford Sportsmen’s Club will begin on Saturday, March 21, with registration for the class starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, at the Abbotsford Sportsmen’s Club Clubhouse.
There is as always an informational meeting held after the majority of the registration is completed and a calendar of class dates and guidelines is handed out at the meeting.
Our group can handle up to 50 students, and that is the hard cap as we have discussed for several years now. The class will end on Saturday, April 4, with the field test just before turkey season.
The field test day is a mandatory date, no exceptions. The student must be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. Saturday classes run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Weekday classes, most occurring on Thursday evenings, run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The class is taught hands-on, with students handling real firearms to learn using dummy ammunition. Live fire is part of the class, with students getting the opportunity to shoot .22 caliber rimfi re rifles, .223 centerfire rifles, 20 gauge shotguns, and archery.
There are a couple of tests; first, a written test and, if successful, students then take a field test.
We try to make the class as fun and enjoyable as possible because hunting is supposed to be enjoyable. But we also try to stress the importance of safety because the only good hunt is a safe hunt.
We make adaptations for students that struggle but we need to know ahead of time. If your son or daughter takes their test in a room separate from the regular classroom or with other adaptations at school, please let us know at registration.
This is a class about hunting and not reading or reasoning through test questions. Not everyone always passes, but eventually everyone will pass a hunters ed class and students nowadays can still hunt without a hunters ed certificate.
Not scoring well on the written test this year is not the end, but being involved in a hunting incident may very well be the end.
Snacks and soft drinks are sold at the class or students can bring their own. We take breaks and students are allowed to use the bathroom whenever they feel necessary. No one learns anything when they are hungry, thirsty or crossing their legs. We like students to attend every class, but sometimes some students need to miss a class. If your student feels truly ill, don’t send them to class; let us know and let them rest and get well. No one will learn much if they are worried about tasting dinner a second time in front of everyone or about to pass out from a fever. If you or your student have a health condition that might affect them during class, let us know. Things like allergies, asthma, diabetes, seizures, etc. If we know this, we know how to respond faster appropriately.
When a student I know is diabetic comes up to me and tells me they feel funny and my stomach is sick or hurts, it takes about ten seconds to tell if they need juice or insulin and sometimes we can have the situation resolved before you get to us. The safety of our students, your children, is the most important thing to us with this class.
Because of that, we encourage you to stay and observe at any time. The more adults in the room the better, and adults actually tell us they got more out of the class then their young student did.
We do ask everyone to keep in mind that all instructors are volunteers. Volunteers who apprenticed, attend continuing education seminars, and have undergone a background check by law enforcement just to be an instructor.
That’s before we volunteer to teach, so obviously this is important to us and no one wants to see any student not be successful. If every student passes the course I’ll be the happiest person in the room. What I ask is that you treat the instructors with the respect deserving of someone that’s about to donate 30 hours of their time over three weeks.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at the club and please remember, “Safe Hunting is No Accident!”
CHUCK K OLAR LOCAL O UTDOORSMAN