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Hunter safety classes: Online, in the classroom or in the home

With the fall hunting season fast approaching, it is time for hunter safety classes to begin.
With the fall hunting season fast approaching, it is time for hunter safety classes to begin.

Hunting season is fast approaching and for those who would like to try hunting for the first time, there is one step all beginners must take and it is the mandatory safety classes.

When most people think of hunter safety classes they envision a room full of youths taking the class, but the reality is that anyone born on or after Jan. 1960 must take the class. So there may be younger people in the class, but also those well beyond their teenage years.

So with small game season opening in two weeks, the time to sign up for a class is now.

“Right now is the best time to enroll because class opportunities are plentiful,” said Department of Natural Resources hunter education program supervisor Sgt. Tom Wanless. “With summer winding down, the focus is on getting kids ready for school. Parents should plan on enrolling their youth hunters in hunter education now. Waiting until the last minute to enroll sometimes makes it difficult to find an available class.”

Unlike in years past when the only way to take a hunter safety class was to attend either a day long or multi-day class, much of the preparatory work can now be done either with a home study course or by taking the class online. By offering the option of classroom, home study or online courses it is easier than ever for new hunters to complete the course.

Regardless of how the class is taken, each individual will still be required to attend a "Field Day". At the field day those taking the class will first need to take and pass the hunters safety test followed by further hands on instruction regarding safe use of a firearm and other safety information.

To find a classroom or home study class, the MDNR offers a listing of all approved hunter safety classes across the state along with all contact information. Fees for the classroom and home study courses average $10 per student. For those wishing to take the classes online, there are three state approved firms that offer the service with fees set at no greater than $25. Though the cost is a bit higher than the traditional classes, the online courses allow the user to complete the class at their own pace on their own time. You can find the services at Hunter Ed Course, and Michigan Hunter's Ed Course.

For further information go to the MDNR Hunter Safety website.

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