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Hunter education classes ramped up for fall hunters
Courses now offered statewide and on the Internet
PHOENIX — With the fall big game hunt results announced, now is when the planning begins. Proper preparation includes exercising, researching hunt areas, and honing your marksmanship skills. But what about having a safe hunt?
One way to assure a safe trip afield is by taking a hunter education course. Taught by certified, knowledgeable and experienced volunteer instructors, the program teaches the basics and beyond, to make your hunt satisfying, successful, and most of all, safe.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has hunter education classes available throughout the state, including metro Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Camp Verde, Lakeside, Kingman and many other areas. Some of the classes begin as soon as this Friday, July 25.
For a full listing of classroom courses, visit www.azgfd.gov/education and click on “hunter education.”
“Although hunter ed is not mandatory for adults, youth hunters ages 10, 11, 12 and 13 are required to have a valid hunter education certification from Arizona or other approved program to participate in a big game hunt,” says Hunter Education Coordinator Mark Quigley.
Hunting remains one of the safest recreational activities. Hunting-related incidents in Arizona are extremely low, averaging around three accidents a year with rarely a fatality. Hunter education provides a sound foundation for young hunters and those new to hunting in the West, or it is an excellent refresher for experienced hunters.
“Our course is very diverse and fun. We teach about ethics, fair chase, hunting laws, firearm safety, wildlife identification, conservation, game care, first aid, survival and much more,” Quigley adds. “We also offer several different types of courses, including introductory, basic, combined basic/bowhunting, and our latest online self-paced Internet course.”
For more information about the online hunter education course, visit www.azgfd.gov/education and click on “hunter education” and then “online course.”
“Although it’s the middle of summer, right now is the time to take a class,” says Quigley. “Class availability will dramatically decrease as the hunting season progresses.”
Lastly, Quigley suggests, “even if you don’t take a hunter safety course, all hunters are encouraged to wear “hunter orange” in all hunting situations – except spring turkey season – and to remember Arizona’s safe hunter’s slogan, tab plus one (T.A.B. +1): T=Treat every gun as if it were loaded; A=Always keep you muzzle pointed in a safe direction; B=Be sure of your target and beyond; +1=Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
Early deer season starts in late August, and then dove, small game and fall big game hunts begin. There is no time to waste – sign up for a hunter education course today.